As far as foxy cities go, the big ones are easy to reach -- they build airports there, after all. You want to see the vaulting domes and spires of Istanbul’s cathedrals? Punch in the airport code IST in Google Flights and you’re on your way, champ. Want to gawk at Osaka Castle during cherry blossom season? Why, that’s just an $800 nonstop from California to KIX. And then you can snap the same selfie as 50,000 other people. Congrats, sorta.
Much more rewarding for a discerning adventurer are those smaller nooks of ravishing beauty, often reachable only by car or boat or trail or ferry. On world maps these gorgeous villages and towns are marked only by the teeniest print, if they appear at all. They’ve managed to stay small despite their stunning beauty, and for that, they deserve a toast. None are secret, exactly, but their very size (held in check, often, by their remoteness) makes them all tricky to reach in their own ways. And yet we’re confident you’ll find ‘em absolutely worth the pursuit.