Home Travel Destinations Cliffside City: 10 Breathtaking Clifftop Towns in the World

Cliffside City: 10 Breathtaking Clifftop Towns in the World

by Jane Sophia
Cliffside City

Cliffside City poetically called ‘cliffhanger’ in the travel industry. There are Clifftop towns such as Cinque Terre in Italy that are entirely located on tall, rugged cliffs.

You find immense pleasure, a sense of achievement when you climb on top of a mountain or a cliff.

The views from a Cliffside City are always breathtaking.  When you stand atop a cliff and you see a beautiful ocean below, or any water body for that matter, you will get goosebumps.

A gorge, an abyss, a valley or a canyon looks spectacular when seen aerially.

In this blog post, I am going to tell you about several Ciffside City located in various parts of the world. You go there, take a selfie and post it on Instagram or Facebook; it surely will go viral.

10 Breathtaking Cliffside City in the World

The best examples of a Cliffside Cities are:

  1. Cliffside City: Swallow’s Nest, Crimea

Ciffside City

The title image for this blog post is a perfect example of a Cliffside City. It is called “Swallow’s Nest”. It is a castle built more than a century ago. The Swallow’s Nest is located in Gaspra near Yalta. To give you a better clue to visualize, this Swallow’s Nest is in Crimea Peninsula.

The altitude of the cliff is 130 feet! The cliff has an attractive name “Aurora Cliff”.

  1. The Cliffside City- Civita di Bagnoregio, Viterbo, Italy

I wish to take you back to one of my earlier blog posts about ‘Cinque Terre’. If you fell in love with the brightly painted Cliffside city in Italy,

then, you will like to visit another Cliffside City in Italy. It is called “Civita di Bagnoregio”, a small village located on a cliff.

Cliffside City- Civita di Bagnoregio

If you are going to Italy for a vacation, then, you would surely land in its capital Rome.

From Rome, our cliffhanger destination is just 120 km away.

Earlier, in the year 2006, this Cliffside City in Italy near Rome was included in the list of “hundred most endangered sites in the world”.

Entry fee for this Italian cliffhanger.

Incidentally, though only eleven people are permanent residents of Civita di Bagnoregio, because of the high inflow of tourists, the local authorities have started collecting entry fees.

  1. Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

View this image in your computer in full-screen mode to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of this cliffhanger.

In this case, the Cliffside City is a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan. Some of the highly secret Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan, Tibet, and Mongolia placed high on top of cliffs. The approach to this cliffhanger in Bhutan is not easy. The only way to access is by trekking on a treacherous road.

In addition to its gorgeous clifftop location, Paro Taktsang carries another name, “Tiger’s Nest”.

The cliff is overlooking the ‘Paro valley.

By the way, do you know the monastery’s height? It’s a mammoth 10,200 feet! This Bhutanese cliffhanger often shrouded in clouds.

The monastery comprises four temples apart from quarters for the Buddhist monks.

From Bhutan’s capital Thimpu, Paro Taktsang is located just 65 km away but the time taken to reach this Cliffside City depends solely on your stamina.

  1. Bonifacio, The CliffSide City of Corsica, France

Bonifacio, The CliffCity of Corsica

After seeing Cinque Terre and Civita di Bagnoregio, I imagined most of the world’s beautiful cliffhangers are located in Italy facing the Mediterranean Sea.

In the first place, look at the name of this cliffhanger, “Bonifacio”. Doesn’t it sound Italian?

Well, it is not to be my friend, it is actually located in France’s Corsica’s region. The sea on which this majestic Cliffside City lies is the equally majestic Mediterranean.

Do you know that Corsica is an island? Our cliffhanger destination is located on this tiny island of France means, the entire island’s landscape must be of rugged mountains and jagged cliffs.

Bonifacio is a pilgrimage center comprising two ancient and sacred churches called:

  • Saint Dominique
  • Sainte-Marie-Majeure

In order to reach this 13th-century church, you must be prepared to climb 187 rocky steps.

Since Corsica is an island, visitors to Bonifacio can also visit and enjoy several French beaches.  In addition, these quaint and offbeat cliffhangers provide out of the world French food and champagne.

  1. Prídrangaviti Lighthouse, Iceland

OMG! What a lonely structure! It must be an eerie experience to go to this Cliffside City. The tall rocky surface on which the lighthouse is built is by whom and when?

For the most part, this cliffhanger lighthouse is almost inaccessible. Rains don’t relent easily and the sea seems to be infested with killer whales.

If that is the case, I wonder how it was built in 1939! An incredible feat! The cliff itself stands 120 feet tall. On it was the lighthouse built! Is it still functioning?

The Atlantic Ocean in this part of the world is not so friendly.

Oh man, do you dare to spend a night in the remote and isolated cliffhanger in Iceland? If you dare, you can set your feet on this rocky surface only by going in a chopper.


  1. The Rocky CliffSide City Ronda, Spain

Rocky CliffCity Ronda, Spain

Spain beckons us with its own cliffhanger in the form of a rocky and Cliffside City called “Ronda”. It can be accessed by train from Madrid City, Spain.

Additionally, roads from several parts of the Malaga regions lead to Ronda.

Due to its location on rocky mountains and its special endemic flora called “Spanish Fir, Ronda gained its entry into the Sierra de las Nieves National Park.

The Mediterranean Sea lies way below Ronda at 2500 feet!

Another view of the Spanish Cliffside City.

Rocky CliffCity Ronda, Spain


  1. Most Picturesque Cliffside City Vernazza, Italy

Most Picturesque Cliffside City Vernazza, Italy

We can’t bypass Cinque Terre when it comes to Cliffside City in the world-right? By the way, Vernazza is the most picturesque cliffside village of the 5 cliffhangers of Cinque Terre.

You don’t have to take my word, buddy. Look at another view of Vernazza and you are likely to book your ticket to Italy today.

Cliffside City Vernazza, Italy

Can you believe this Cliffside City in Italy’s Cinque Terre is nearly eleven centuries old?

Almost every house on the cliff has a great view of the lovely Mediterranean Sea below.

Additionally, even the bistros and bars of Vernazza’s Piazza offer spectacular sea view from way above the Mediterranean Sea.

How to reach Vernazza?

As a rule, cars are not allowed in the five villages of Cinque Terre because the roads are narrow and steep. So then, the best way to get to Vernazza is to take the train from La Spezia.

Incidentally, the leaning tower of Pisa is just 110 km away from Vernazza, the beautiful Cliffside City in Italy.

  1. Karoulia, a CliffSide City on the Holy Mountain, Greece

I am sure the majority of you have heard of Mount Athos in Greece. It is a holy mountain for several sects of orthodox Christians.

Mount Athos

Mount Athos

They live like hermits on the caves of cliffs of Mount Athos. Their place called the Hermitages of Karoulia.

The rocky cliffs are jagged and harsh in Karoulia.  You can’t even say the mountain is steep because it is as vertical as the rocks.

The hermits that live in on this Cliffside City belong to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

Some of the residences (just holes or caves) of the Christian hermits in Karoulia remind me of the Guns of Navarone.

Do you remember those two giant gun barrels installed inside a cave on rocks overlooking the sea?

The hermits of Karoulia in Greece live totally away from this world, living the life of a recluse.

  1. Positano Exquisite Ciffside City in Italy

Positano Exquisite Ciffside City in Italy

In addition to Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast in Italy should be included in the list of cliffhangers in the world that you have to see at least once in your lifetime.

Positano is an exquisite Ciffside City and is a big tourist attraction for reasons that include:

  • The Italian food and wine
  • Gorgeous views of the Tyrrhenian Sea
  • Luxury resorts

The restaurants, cafeterias, and houses built on steep cliffs that seem to be desperately hanging on to the rocks.

View of Positano as your yacht arriving to its port.


This cliffhanger in Italy blessed with an excellent climate and cool sea breeze. It has been on the tourist radar for several centuries.

Another big attraction of Positano as a Ciffside City is its scenic beaches.

The most beautiful beach in Postiano is “Spiaggia Grande”.

Other sunny beaches of Amalfi Coast are:

  • Laurito
  • Arienzo
  • Fornilla
  • Fiumicello


Here are some more cliffhangers of Italy that are worth your time.

  1. Clifftop Castle Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

  1. Cliffside city Pitigliano, Italy

Pitigliano, Italy

The last two places in Italy look more like castles or forts on a clifftop.

To conclude, I am sure Italy has many Cliffside City that will take your breath away. They are stunningly close to the Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian Seas.

If Cliffside City is your favorite tourist landmark, then, head to Italy first and then to Greece.

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