Cities built on the edge of a cliff

Travel Destinations — By on April 20, 2009 at 3:41 pm

If you were founding a new city today, it’s unlikely you’d choose to situate it on the edge of a cliff, would you? But some of the most stunning and unusual towns in the world actually do peer over the side of a rock wall. The website SpotCoolStuff recently profiled five such towns around the world. Here are two of them:

Manarola, Italy – The uber-colorful Italian village of Manarola is not the most precariously placed cliff-side settlement of the five in this review. This is fortunate considering the amount of wine produced—and consumed—here. The local specialty is Sciacchetrà, a sweet dessert wine that tastes of honey and apricots. Manarola is one of five villages in the Cinque Terre area of the Italian Riviera. The other four villages, not incidentally, have rather cool cliff-side locations as well.

Al Hajjarah, Yemen – Yemen is one of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite travel countries (though, sadly, these days the security situation there for travelers is spotty). In the western part of the country lie the Haraz mountains and the village of Al Hajjarah. The fortified clifftop center of the village was originally built by the Ottomans in the 11th century, partly for military purposes and partly to serve as a Muslim enclave for what was then a mostly Jewish village. Today, Al Hajjarah makes for a striking trekking destination. Or you can travel here from San’a in about 3 hours by shared taxi via Manakhan.


The town of Manarola, Italy.

Photo: Casey Muller, Wikimedia Commons.

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