1 Darmstadt, Germany
Exquisite facades are combined with crystal-clear lakeside views on a 13th-century spa island.
(Travelscope.co.uk; Open-plan rooms at £127 a night).
The canal boats on London’s shore offer incomparable views across the Thames from its Cafe de Paris.
(Thelondon.com; Open-plan rooms from £179 a night).
3 Falmouth, Cornwall
The medieval port’s cobbled cobbles and glittering harbour are among the prettiest in the UK.
(Falmouthvisitorinformation.co.uk; Open-plan rooms from £110 a night).
4 Fortezza dei Pavagliata, Italy
This medieval castle may seem remote, but it’s positioned in one of Italy’s finest little areas.
(Travellerworld.co.uk; rates from £106 a night.
5 Bruges, Belgium
A gem of Brussels, the Venetian-influenced streets and willow-dotted birches are interspersed with high-rise apartment blocks.
(Brugesvisitorinfo.com; Open-plan rooms from £144 a night.
6 Montreux, Switzerland
Achingly cool in winter and flamingly white in summer, this Alpine port has its own walking trails.
(Holidayatmontreux.ch; Spring townhouse from £200 a night).
7 St Fillans, France
Vineyards’ luscious lavender fields complement the pretty town square.
(Hoteldeelcliff.co.uk; Open-plan rooms from £93 a night).
8 Athens, Greece
The mud of Pera lake gives this city some of the most gorgeous botanical gardens in Europe.
(Visitathens.com; Red-roofed apartments from £890 a week).
9 Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
The restoration of Blenheim Palace’s Staffordshire Jacob’s ladder brought back and repainted a place that was once a mine.
(Visitbohemia.co.uk; Sun-facing rooms from £215 a night).
10 Douro Valley, Portugal
The mountains and lakes of southern Portugal’s Douro Valley are revered for their spectacular scenery.
(Somedia.com; Rates from £128 a night).
11 Hay-on-Wye, Wales
Hay-on-Wye is listed as one of the UK’s most beautiful towns.
(Deccosbus.com; Open-plan rooms from £116 a night).
12 Scituate, Massachusetts, US
A postage stamp-size fishing village, Scituate has its own harbor.
(Deccoscomestays.com; Open-plan rooms from £175 a night).