Picturesque hilltops aren't always wild and empty.
Some are adorned by ancient castles or churches, with pretty towns teetering on the edge. These vertiginous villages exude a special aura and offer far-reaching vistas over the landscape below.
For a glimpse of the high life, here are 14 of the most beautiful hilltop towns in Europe:
1. St Michael's Mount, England
This conical tidal island sits opposite the pretty village of Marazion in the middle of Mount's Bay in Cornwall. Perhaps the most famous sight in southwestern England, the outcrop is home to a medieval castle and church, dating from the 12th century, as well as a smattering of homes overlooking the water.
The island can be reached via a causeway at low tide....
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