Cities built on cliffs present us with a striking contrast between the natural world and the structures that we build to challenge and overcome it. These photos capture stunning views of some of the most epic cliff-side cities in the world.
Many cities or dwellings could have been built on cliffs for a variety of different reasons, but this was most often done with defensive advantages in mind. A cliff-side city overlooking a sea passage has a superior command of the surrounding waters and is virtually impossible to assault from the water. Cities on steep hills, on the other hand, might have been built there to defend from land-based aggressors or because of their proximity to important landmarks like rivers.
If you’ve ever traveled to a cliff-side city with stunning views, we’d love to see them! Please add your photos to this list and vote for your favorites as well.
02. Riomaggiore, Italy
03. Manarola, La Spezia, Italy
04. Santorini, Greece
05. Azenhas Do Mar, Sintra, Portugal
06. Rocamadour, France
07. Ronda, Spain
08. Vernazza, Italy
09. Pitigliano, Grosseto, Italy
10. Wadi Dawan, Yemen
11. Piodao, Historical Village Of Portugal
12. Meteora, Greece
13. Vernazza, Italy
15. Civita Di Bagnoregio, Italy
16. Al Hajarah, Yemen
17. Positano, Italy
18. Bonifacio, France
19. Pitigliano, Italy
20. Haraz, Yemen
21. Ronda, Spain
22. Bonifacio, Corse, France
23. Rocamadour, France
25. Gordes, Provence, Southern France
26. Hajarah, Yemen
27. Mont Saint-michel, France
29. Castellfollit De La Roca, Spain
30. Vernazza At Dusk, Cinque Terre, Italy | Felipe Pitta
Vernazza has no car traffic, and remains one of the truest fishing villages, probably the most characteristic of the Cinque Terre and is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It was founded about 1000 A.D. and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa starting in 1276. The tiny port is surrounded by subtle colourful pastels and the charming piazza is lined with good restaurants and bars. The village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce among the finest olive oil in the country.