Are you passionate about history, architecture and beautiful destinations? Then we at Luxury Gold recommend that you make one of these enchanting walled cities part of your next vacation. For centuries, civilizations across the globe have protected their people with walls. Steeped in history and beautifully preserved for future generations, these charming, fortified cities and towns now offer travelers the chance to experience a bygone era.
Explore ramparts and battlements and enjoy amazing views. Meander through tiny streets, revel in historical tales and soak up the feudal atmosphere.
Regarded as the most picturesque city on the Dalmatian Coast, the moment you see Dubrovnik you understand why it is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik’s beautiful Old City is completely surrounded by magnificent defensive walls and forts, running nearly 1.25 miles around the Old City. To admire Dubrovnik in all its glory, take to the top of the walls where you can walk fully round and enjoy exceptional views of the city squares, palaces, narrow streets and intricate architecture, all flanked by the crystal blue Adriatic Sea. The city is also famed as the main filming location for Kings Landing, in the hugely popular television series Game of Thrones.
To see the beauty of Dubrovnik for yourself, along with the many wonders of Croatia, take a look at our Croatia & the Dalmatian Coast two-week luxury guided tour. Discover the stunning waterfalls of Plitvice National Park, savor oysters straight from the sea and soak up a stunning mix of medieval and modern architecture in the capital, Zagreb. Dubrovnik provides a spectacular ending to this magical journey, with plenty of time to discover the city and hike around the walls.
Nestled in the heart of Southern France, Avignon was the seat of the Catholic Popes from 1309 to 1377 and is entirely enclosed by ancient walls. Construction was started by Pope Innocent IV in 1355 to protect against free bands of mercenaries, attracted by the papal wealth. Recognized for its architectural beauty and historic importance, the center of Avignon was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
You can visit Avignon on our Ultimate Southern France luxury guided tour, and explore the walls, visit the Palais des Papes, the world’s largest gothic edifice and dine at Michelin-starred La Vieille Fontaine. This 12-Day tour immerses you in the best of French cuisine, architecture and culture as you journey across the South Coasts of France and Monaco. Explore sights including the Aix-En-Provence Cathedral, Old Town Albi, which features monuments from the 10th Century, Monte Carlo and the charming streets of Old Nice.
San Gimignano, Italy
The small walled town of San Gimignano is one of the most recognizable and iconic destinations in all of Tuscany. Known as “Medieval Manhattan”, the town has an unforgettable skyline, due to the myriad of towers that rise up over the rooftops. Built by the noble families and upper middle-class merchants who controlled the town, the towers were symbols of their wealth and power – there were some 65 tower houses when the city was at its height, with 13 still surviving today.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano on our Ultimate Italy luxury guided tour – a 12-Day voyage that takes in the historical sights of Florence, Venice, Pompei and Rome. Visit the stunning 15th century wine domain of Guardastelle, with its spectacular views of San Gimignano’s magnificent towers and toast the view with a delicious glass of local wine.
Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City is North America’s first permanent French settlement and the only walled city in Canada – in fact it is the only fortified city north of Mexico. The ramparts circle Old Quebec’s upper town and date back to the 17th Century and include four gates, three Martello towers and several cannons. Inside the walls sits the famous Château Frontenac, the Citadelle de Québec and the Dufferin Terrace, a 425 meter long wooden boardwalk.
We have two fabulous luxury guided tours that take you to Quebec City. The eight-day Indulgence in Eastern Canada explores the stunning area of Eastern Canada and combines the architecture of Quebec City and Ottawa with breathtaking natural beauty including Niagara Falls. Or take a look at our nine-day Vibrant Quebec & New England luxury guided tour, which leads you through stunning landscapes and architectural gems including the 19th Century Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, and Harvard University. Both tours spend time in Quebec City, where you can dive into the city’s rich history with a Local Expert, and see the Citadelle de Québec, Latin Quarter, Plains of Abraham, National Assembly and Place-Royale.
Step back in time in the medieval city of York with its cobbled streets and gothic buildings. Once an important center of Roman occupancy in England, the city is surrounded by a large stone wall, which was crucial for defense. Originally built around AD 71, substantial portions remain, having undergone transformations and repairs over the years. Visitors can walk along the walls and enjoy spectacular views of the River Ouse and the Old Town.
York is one of the fascinating stops on our three-week Castles & Kingdoms luxury guided tour. The ultimate voyage for fans of history and architecture, take in the some of the most magnificent castles, stately homes, cities and gardens across the United Kingdom, Scotland and Ireland. The city is also one of the treasures on our ten-day British Royale luxury guided tour. On both tours, explore York with the help of Local Experts, see the grand York Minster and enjoy after-hours VIP access at Castle Howard, one of Britain’s finest historic houses.
Londonderry is the only remaining intact walled city in Ireland, and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. The mile-long fortifications were built in the 17th Century and include gates, watchtowers, battlements, bastions and huge cannons. History is all around you here, from the famous murals to the story of the Armada – in 1971 divers from Londonderry found the wreak of the La Trinidad Valencera, and the artifacts recovered help to paint a vivid picture of the Armada and of the soldiers of the 16th Century.
Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this fascinating city on our Ultimate Ireland luxury guided tour. Join Ronan McNamara, the finest storyteller in Northern Ireland and leave informed, enthralled and entertained. With Ultimate Ireland you will also see the Titanic Shipyards in Belfast, Dublin’s Trinity College, the impressive Giant’s Causeway and uncover the stories of Blarney Castle. Londonderry is also a destination on our Castles & Kingdoms luxury guided tour, mentioned above.
Keen to walk those walls?
If you’re already searching for your walking boots and planning your next vacation, why not make it extra special with Luxury Gold? Enjoy exclusive hotels, exceptional dining and VIP Experiences for a truly memorable experience, while your Traveling Concierge and Well-Being Director look after the logistics every step of the way.
For more information on these stunning destinations, and all of our luxury guided tours please visit our website.