The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently announced a list of the world’s ‘best tourism villages’. Incidentally, Nagaland’s Khonoma finds a mention in an additional list of villages as part of the ‘Upgrade Programme’ which, according to the agency, will benefit those that ‘do not fully meet the criteria to receive recognition’. Here are a few names from the Upgrade Programme list.
Fontainhas, Cape Verde
Fontainhas is a fairytale village in the north of the island of Santo Antao in Cape Verde. It is situated near the rocky north coast of the island, 2 km southwest of Ponta do Sol and 19 km north of the island capital Porto Novo. The settlement includes the smaller villages Corvo and Forminguinhas, about 1 km west of Fontainhas proper. The picturesque village consists of coloured houses located on an edge of a deep cliff hundreds of metres deep. Fontainhas is surrounded by green mountains and has a great sea view.
Krupa na Vrbasu, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Krupa na Vrbasu (Krupa on the Vrbas) is a small town some 25 km south of Banja Luka in the Bosanska Krajina of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Krupa lies in a valley between canyons of the Vrbas-river. The Krupa itself is a small river which joins the Vrbas in the canyon. Krupa spreads itself out along the Krupa, and by the main road Jajce-Banja Luka. The place is known for the ‘Krupa falls’, the waterfalls in the town. Indeed, the crystal clear waters racing down between the traditional watermill make a lovely sight.
Anitli (formerly Kaledran or Kaliteran) is a village in the Anamur district of Mersin province, Turkey. It is a significant tourist attraction for its liturgies, evening prayers and morning masses, regularly held every 15 days in the Virgin Mary Church. Christmas and Easter holidays are the other main attractions for the tourists. In addition to faith tourism, visitors also enjoy culture, arts, gastronomy events and festivals organised regularly in the region. A few examples being SineMardin (International Film Festival), Midyat International Culture and Arts Festival, Harire Grape Feast, Mardin International Children and Youth Festival and Mardin Biennial.
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Barichara is a town and municipality in the Santander Department in northeastern Colombia. In 2010, in recognition of its history, architecture, and touristic potential, Barichara was declared a Colombian Pueblo Patrimonio (heritage town). It is among only 11 municipalities nationwide that were selected to be part of the Red Turística de Pueblos Patrimonio original cohort. The town’s unique, colourful architecture was an inspiration for the settings in the hit 2021 Disney animated feature Encanto.
Khonoma is an Angami Naga village located about 20 km west from the state capital, Kohima, in Nagaland. The village is referred to as Khwüno-ra (named after the Angami term for a local plant, Glouthera fragrantisima). The total population of the village is about 1943, settled in 424 households. It is referred to as the ‘first green village in India’. The terrain of the village is hilly, ranging from gentle slopes to steep and rugged hillsides. The hills are covered with lush forestland, rich in various species of flora and fauna.
Kalopanagiotis is located in the Troodos mountain range, in Marathasa Valley area of Lefkosia (Nicosia) district in Cyprus. Kalopanagiotis is one of the most beautiful resorts on the island with its sulphur springs, traditional architecture and panoramic valley views, and is ideal for agrotourism due its peaceful surroundings. The Monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis at Kalopanagiotis is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, and features three Byzantine churches with well-preserved frescos dating back to the 9th and up to the 15th century.
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Neot Semadar, Israel
Neot Smadar is a kibbutz (an intentional community traditionally based on agriculture) in southern Israel. Located in southern Negev about 70 km north of Eilat, the kibbutz was established in 1989, on the grounds of an abandoned kibbutz, Shizafon. Neot Smadar is an organic community featuring architecturally unique buildings with passive cooling towers. The Art Center locatd in the kibbutz houses 14 workshops for stained glass, ceramics, textile, wood and metals. The building is insulated with mud bricks, with ‘air conditioning’ supplied by a desert cooling tower.