World's Most Unusual Places To Live

7 May 2015
Read Time: 2.6 mins

As Australians celebrate 100 years of living underground in Coober Pedy, we round up some of the world's most beautiful but unusual settlements. From a dormant volcano and rock houses, to a literal desert oasis and a medieval fortress, here are some of the most dramatic places to live.
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1. Coober Pedy, Australia

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 Living under the earth at Coober Pedy

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2. Pitigliano, Italy

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 A forboding sight on a grey day, the buildings of this little medieval town appear to elbow each other aside in a shambolic fashion. They stand dangerously close to the edge of a limestone ridge. Nearby are Etruscan cave tombs.

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3. Aogashima, Japan

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 A volcano is not everyone's first choice for a home but the 200 or so residents here will find the soil in the middle of their crater island nothing if not fertile. It is the most southerly island in Japan's Izu Archipelago and is actually formed from four calderas. The volcano's last eruption was in the late 18th Century. Picture: Wikipedia

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4. Matera, Italy

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 Matera is a glorious, honey-stoned medieval vision of tiny alleys, and was one of our recommended destinations to visit last year. Fifty years ago, Matera was one of the poorest towns in western Europe, with some 20,000 people crammed into the sassi, a honeycomb of ancient and wretched cave dwellings that riddled the ravine below the town. They were cleared in the Sixties and until recently had remained derelict. Now some 2,000 people have returned, along with cafes, galleries, restaurants and, above all, hotels, sparking a renaissance in Matera’s fortunes. Picture: Wikipedia

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5. Kandovan, Iran

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 Locals live in troglodyte dwellings here that are similar to those found in the rock formations of Cappadocia, Turkey. Shops, storage barns and a hotel have been carved into stone alongside people's homes that date back around 700 years. The first people to live here were said to have been fleeing a Mongol invasion. Picture: Wikipedia

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6. Castelluccio, Umbria

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 Castelluccio is a small highland town located in Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini. Every summer the sweeping valley is transformed into a carpet of flowers bursting with colours from yellow to violet during 'The Fioritura', the flowering. The best time to see this spectacle of nature is the end of June. Picture: Wikipedia

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7. Isortoq, Greenland

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 Isortoq, 'the foggy sea', is Ammassalik’s smallest and most southerly settlement. For those crossing the Ice Sheet from the west, Isortoq is the first built-up area you meet and is popular for fishing because it’s so close to the ice cap. This settlement has no protection from the Arctic weather; however, it was built there as the islands, fjords, coves and drifting ice create a paradise for seals and other wildlife, and is also a perfect hunting ground for its 70 inhabitants. Picture: Wikipedia

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8. Al Ain, Oman

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 Found on the remote Sayq plateau, you will need a 4WD to access this hamlet, built into ancient steppes in the hills. It is renowned for its rose petals, which are collected to make various oils and essences. Picture: Wikipedia

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9. Dana, Jordan

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 This cluster of stone buildings hangs on the edge of a cliff face that bellows down into the Dana Nature Reserve - a valley full of wild thyme and Palestinian sun birds. Picture: Wikipedia

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10. Monemvasia, Greece

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 Rising dramatically from the sea, the medieval establishment of Monemvasia, clings to the face of a large rock which broke free from the mainland during an earthquake in 375AD. The upper town is home to the original fortress, which is now a ruin perfect for exploring. The lower town, where the residents reside, features more modern comforts such as hotels, cafes and restaurants. Picture: Wikipedia

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11. Huacachina, Peru

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 Known among tourists as a sandboarding destination, this oasis is worth a visit just for its location alone, hidden amid golden dunes in a desert outside Ica. Huacachina is almost entirely a resort town now and a number of hotel swimming pools can be spotted from the top of the dunes. Picture: Wikipedia

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12. Gasadalur, Faroe Islands

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 Gasadalur only had a population of 18 in 2012, which might be because the village's only path to the outside world is a small exposed cliff-side track that climbs over 400 metres. But the village is worth the trek. If you look left from the path there is a fjord dotted with islets and as you reach the top of the path there are houses with turf roofs at the edge of the rocks, with a view no one could get bored of. Picture: Wikipedia

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more travel advice and the latest travel deals.

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This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.