Thanks to an Alpine location and traditional timber chalets, Wengen is the Swiss village of your dreams and looks like something straight out of Heidi (the fact that cars have been banned here for more than 100 years also adds to the charm). The alpine mountain village has been a tourist hub since the late 1800s, when notable guests like writer Mary Shelley sang Wengen's praises (she wrote Frankenstein while traveling in Switzerland, and described the Alps as ""belonging to another earth"). Many of the belle époque hotels of the era remain, including the Hotel Bellevue (from $235 per night; bellevue-wengen.ch). The village's altitude of almost 4,200 feet attracts skiers, of course, increasing the population almost ten-fold in the winter to around 10,000.
Getting There: Since cars are not allowed, travelers coming by road must park in Lauterbrunnen and take a 15-minute train ride up to town ($3.50; swisstravelsystem.ch). Train service is available from Interlaken as well; the ride takes about 45 minutes from Wengen ($7.45; swisstravelsystem.ch).
Sweeping Mediterranean views and tons of medieval charm have made this cliff-top town a popular stop on the French Riviera. Thanks to its key location near Nice, Eze was coveted by various invaders over the centuries, and this tangled history is reflected in its architecture—from the baroque church's Egyptian cross dating back to the Phoenicians to the Genovese-style bell turret on the 14th-century Chapelle de la Sainte Croix. Not surprisingly, the fairy-tale village was a favorite of Walt Disney's.
Getting There: Eze is about a 30-minute bus ride from Nice ($1.50, lignesdazur.com) and 15 minutes from Monaco ($1.50, lignesdazur.com).
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
One of the oldest villages in the Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov is set in a valley in Bohemia south of the Blansko Forest and circled by the Vltava River. The village grew up around the 13th-century Gothic castle of the Lords of Krumlov, which has 40 buildings and palaces, gardens, and turrets and today is a major performing arts location. The cobblestone streets of Cesky Krumlov's Old Town are lined with Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance buildings housing art galleries, cafes, and quaint B&Bs. One of the best ways to experience the town is to take a ride down the Vltava on a wooden raft ($24, en.ceskykrumlov-info.cz).
Getting There: Prague, about 110 miles away, is connected to Cesky Krumlov by a three-hour bus ride ($10 each way; jizdnirady.idnes.cz).
Pariangan, West Sumatra, Indonesia
The active Mount Marapi volcano looms over this spot in Indonesia's Western Sumatra province, a protected national monument. Pariangan is said to be the oldest—and most culturally significant—village of the Minangkabau people and has numerous well-preserved examples of traditional Minangkabau pointed-roof architecture, including a 300-year-old house with woven rattan walls and wood carvings and a 19th-century mosque with still-operating communal hot springs.
Getting There: Pariangan is about nine miles by car from Batusangkar, the capital of the Tanah Datar regency in western Sumatra. The closest airport is in Padang, linked by air to major cities like Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
The iconic "fairy chimney" rock formations of Cappadocia surround the village of Göreme in Turkey's Central Anatolia region. First settled back in Roman times, the town (which has gone by several names throughout history) is today best known for its national park/open-air museum, which features some of the best-preserved examples of ancient cave churches and monasteries. The town itself has several "pigeon houses" carved right into the rocks. There are also funky cave hotels like the Kelebek Hotel, where 18 of the 35 rooms are carved into the cave (from $53; kelebekhotel.com). Nearby Uchisar offers a great view of Göreme from its hilltop castle, the highest point in the valley.
Getting There: There are regular flights from Istanbul to Kayseri, about 43 miles from Göreme. Shuttle service is available from the airport (about $13 each way; goreme.com) and most hotels can arrange transfers.
St. George, Bermuda
St. George is the oldest continually occupied English town in the Americas, and little has changed since the Brits established residence here in 1612. Sure, nowadays you've got gourmet restaurants, hopping bars, and upscale shops specializing in things like hand-rolled cigars and custom-made perfumes. But it's all surrounded by beautifully preserved colonial architecture and historic sites like Fort St. Catherine, the 17th-century stone State House, and St. Peter's Church, the oldest continuously occupied Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere.
Getting There: Bermuda is less than a two-hour flight from most Northeast U.S. cities. St. George is just over the bay from the international airport.
In pictures: World's Most Picturesque Villages