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Europe's Best Big-Time Small Destinations 2014 – Winners

Winner: Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination

We’re always on the hunt for beautiful, lesser-known travel destinations so a month ago we teamed up with hotel.info to discover the best small towns in Europe and pit 52 of them in head-to-head voting battles. Each town was chosen for their picturesque qualities and we also scored each destination on hotel reviews, social signals and more, meaning that we could also crown a points winner using our Trump Card game. The competition really took off and after weeks of voting and plenty of lively discussion, we can finally reveal the winner of our competition in conjunction with hotel.info…

The winner of Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destinations 2014 is Ribe, Denmark.

Ribe, Denmark

With over 22,000 votes cast, there was a very close battle between Obidos, Portugal and Ribe, Denmark, with the results going the way of the Danish town by 3,734 to 3,965.

We said: Denmark’s oldest town (dating back to the early 8th century), Ribe is a beautiful authentic slice of Danish life. Wander the old town, meandering through narrow cobblestone streets lined with crooked half-timbered houses, or explore the ancient Cathedral, before climbing the Commoner’s Tower to gaze over the rooftops.

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Our Trump Card scoring also resulted in Ronda, Spain coming out as the Points Winner, with a near perfect score in all six categories. Congratulations to the beautiful town of Ronda!

Top 20 of the most beautiful cities in Spain

We said: One of Spain’s oldest towns also happens to be the most beautiful. Located in the province of Malaga, it’s popular with culture-seeking holiday-makers who are drawn to its romantic history – the city has attracted many famous writers and artists over the years including Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles and Alexandre Dumas. Although it’s arguably most famous for its dramatic views over the Serranía de Ronda mountains and for the deep El Tajo gorge where an 18th century bridge straddles the 100m chasm below.

Special congratulations also go to Portree, Scotland which was voted the best town from the UK entries.

Portree, Scotland

We said: This little town on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides is a busy port and popular stop for tourists. Colourful painted cottages line the harbour, and ‘the king’s port’ is a great starting point for exploring this wonderful part of the world. With craft shops and art galleries, it’s also a cultural hub, and the Aros Centre is also home to a cinema and theatre.

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a special fondness for Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland.


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