TOP 10 Walled Cities; Most Cities Used to Have Defensive Walls. Those That Survive Have Preserved Something specialThe Fort That Counts

Sunday Mirror (London, England), April 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

TOP 10 Walled Cities; Most Cities Used to Have Defensive Walls. Those That Survive Have Preserved Something specialThe Fort That Counts


Byline: ANDREW EAMES

1 CHIANG MAI, THAILAND Seven days from PS839pp Everyone's favourite Thai city, especially after the stress of Bangkok. The walls, and the moat around it, date from 16th century. Outside, the northern capital seems like a big place, but inside it reverts to village life, with sleepy back streets, gold-roofed temples, restaurants and small boutique places to stay. It's a great base for the activities - rafting, elephant parks, hilltribe trekking - that take place in the hinterland. This city break (with flights) from Southall Travel includes staying at the threestar Busara Chiang Mai Hotel, inside the walls. southalltravel.co.uk

2 DUBROVNIK, CROATIA Four days from PS445pp This Unesco World Heritage city is the archetype of medieval, sea-battered walled cities by the waterside, which is why it plays such a big part in Game of Thrones.

And it does look a bit like a film set, partly because much of it was rebuilt following the Balkans war. The massive walls, which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, encircle the whole city. Visitors can walk large sections of the ramparts, and look down over rippling terracotta roof tiles. This city break includes flights, hotel and breakfast. coxandkings.co.uk

3 ROTHENBURG, GERMANY Five days for PS899pp Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the prettiest towns in Europe. Its walls are from the 12th century, with 42 gates and towers, and a covered walkway where guards used to march. The town below is a nest of cobbled lanes and beautifully decorated merchant's houses with Renaissance facades. Unsurprisingly, Rothenburg has the backdrop for several films, from Chitty Chitty Bang to Harry Potter. And it is one of the highlights of Germany's Romantic Road, on a self-drive holiday which includes flights, car hire and hotel accommodation. fredholidays.co.uk

4 JAISALMER, INDIA 14 days from PS1,607pp The Golden City (so called because of the colour of the local sandstone) is one of the key attractions of India's most spectacular state, Rajasthan. The town rises like a mirage out of the Thar Desert on a ridge of yellowish stone, crowned by the huge walls of its ancient fort. Inside is a finely sculpted royal palace and several ornate temples, along with lots of houses, because this is a living place. The faces, colours and festivals have a tremendous intensity. The walls are so generous that hotels have taken up residence inside the bastions, and sunsets and sunrises are soul-stirring from the terraces. Jaisalmer is part of a Highlights of Northern India group tour, which also includes the Taj Mahal. Guide, transport, hotels, some meals and flights included. cosmos.co.uk

5 KOTOR, MONTENEGRO

15 days from PS1,120pp The Bay of Kotor, which looks like across between the Norwegian fjords and the Italian lakes, was put on the map by the Venetians. At its furthest end is Kotor itself, an ancient town to rival Dubrovnik. Its 16th century walls hem in densely packed paved streets. It is filled with cats, courtyards, merchant's palaces, and a 12th century cathedral. This Balkans in Two Weeks group itinerary bundles up Kotor with Dubrovnik and Albania's Berat. Transport, guide, hotels, and entry fees included - flights extra. tucantravel.com

6 RONDA, SPAIN

Five days from PS445pp Southern Andalusia is white town country. Ronda is one of the biggest, and its walls were built by Arab settlers during their 800- year occupation. …

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