The views from the church at the top are incredible, but not for the faint-hearted! The main sites to see in the Manoir de la Tarde and the Château de la Malartrie which you will see wandering around the narrow backstreets. Although we do love the spectacular big cities such as Paris, Nice, Lyon and Bordeaux. Chilhac, in the Auvergne Discover some of the beautiful villages in France that other people haven't discovered... Over 150 villages and small towns in France proudly promote themselves as one of the " most beautiful villages in France "; but this is just the tip of … The village is a labyrinth of narrow streets with a number of interesting churches. We’re passionate about adventurous family travel, and by sharing our detailed itineraries, travel tips and inspiration, we hope to provide you with the confidence to leap into the world of adventurous travel with kids too. Although most people will be visiting these villages in the summer months, it is also worth considering that towns and villages in Alsace have some superb Christmas markets, such as Colmar and Strasbourg, which are not to be missed. France is filled with unique areas and is especially known for its stunning medieval towns and villages. You can also hire canoes here if you’re looking to go canoeing on the Dordogne. There was also the permanent threat of over enthusiastic local authorities spoiling some of France’s greatest attractions. Bistrot Le 5, which is a local favourite in the Luberon, L’ensoleilée is a lovely 2 bedroom house near the centre of the village. The village is famous for the mussels harvested here, especially the local ‘Blonde de Barfleur’ which is only found here and is special because of its golden shell color. The island town is one of the most beautiful places in France.The town is built on an 83-meter high cliff of pure granite and has been an important site for pilgrims for well over 1000 years. We recommend driving 5 km to Montal to Les 3 Soleils de Montal where you have the choice of an informal restaurant with terrace or a high end restaurant. There is a small children’s playground by the river which is always a welcome distraction for the kids, as well as a fitness course including monkey bars. It’s easy to find the villages; the official website has them listed by department. It’s known as the land of 1001 castles. Let us know in the comments! There is a large field just on the outskirts of the village, but the queues for the ticket machine can get very long. With the help of some other fabulous travel bloggers, we’ve picked 20 of the most beautiful villages in France and we think don’t think you will be disappointed. Saint-Antoine-l’Abbaye, near Romans-sur-Isère, is dominated by its remae Gothic abbey, begun in the 12th and finished in the 15th century. It’s very close to the famous town of Espelette which, although not a Plus Beaux Village, is definitely worth visiting. Lavender fields at Sénanque Abbey in Gordes, La Trinquette set down a quiet little back street with lovely views and great quality, reasonably priced food, Gite les Rapieres is a centrally located 2 bedroom gite with stunning views of the countryside. On the way to Autoire you can stop off at the Autoire waterfall, the largest waterfall in the Dordogne at 30 m high. It is magical at sunset when the golden light catches the ramparts and this is when there are no tourists, just those staying in the village. You can access the river at 1026 route d’Errobi -RD249- Quartier Errobi Maison Errobia, 64250 Itxassou, France. Populations as of 2013 are also shown. Come enjoy the good food and admire all the superyachts that … A Photographer’s Guide to the most beautiful villages in Provence! Its symbol is the rose and you’ll see them everywhere, especially at Les Jardins Henri Le Sidaner (a French painter) where you can take a guided tour. On the Cotentin Peninsula, it was the leading port in Normandy in the middle ages. By all accounts it is exceptional. Most Beautiful Villages of France in the Dordogne. Pop into the tourist office for a guided tour of the ramparts, church and Benedictine abbey. Mirepoix is worth checking out, especially on market day (Monday morning) and if you love sunflowers, you’ll be in for a treat in the summer months with lots of sunflower fields in the local area. The beautiful Dordogne plays host to a number of gorgeous villages. 15 Most Beautiful Villages in France 1. You may need to book in advance out of season. As of September 2016, it numbers 156 member villages (independent communes or part of a communauté de communes). A celebration of rural heritage, The Best Loved Villages of France also serves as a delightful travel guide for plotting your next France journey.” –France Today Climb the steep stone steps to get a fantastic view of surrounding countryside. There isn’t a great choice of accommoation in Vouvant so you might want to look a little further afield. These small medieval villages in France are nestled on the hilltops of the French Riviera. One of the oldest villages on the craggy island, it’s full of old passageways and has a superb view from the old castle remains. The shops offer small pots of local powdered ochre pigment, so you can recreate these warm colours for yourself at home. A walled port city on the English Channel is indeed very picturesque. Arrive early or late, park in the car parks outside of town and walk in. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France was started in 1981 at Collonges-la-Rouge in the Corrèze in south west France by the then mayor Charles Ceyrac. One of the best views of the village, which cascades down the valley, is taken on the opposite side of it. It’s a village of Renaissance houses and a château dating back to the 11th century. T… Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean… A beautiful little village with a port on the dreamy holiday island of Ile de Re. There are many (completely flat and vehicle-free) cycling tracks all over the island. France is full of beautiful villages, and being France, has an association they can belong to. You never forget the first time you see Mont St Michel rising above the bay where Normandy and Brittany meet. The unique steeple (resembling a rocket) of Saint-Etienne church built in the 15th-century can be seen from miles away and is used by sailors to navigate. Tiny Lourmarin in the southern Luberon is one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. It’s a strategic site, once protecting the Franco-Italian border on the Maginot line. The Most Beautiful Villages of France Locating the Villages. Locronan in Finistère is named after Saint Ronan, the hermit who founded the town in the 10th century. If you’re visiting the area on a hot day, pop to Itxassou after Espelette for a swim in the Nive river. Gordes is one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. Come early in the morning or later in the day to avoid the rush. La Croisette for amazing seafood, particularly the enormous seafood platter, Appart Sénac for a mid-range 2-bedroom apartment with a fantastic location. In the 8th century the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared and ordered a monastery be built on top of the rock. Normandy is proud to be home to six of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’, a quality label awarded to the most picturesque, traditional villages with well-preserved historic heritage that provide visitors with an experience to remember. Check ahead whether they have a market day as it is fun to see the village come alive. There must be at least 2 national heritage sites. Sant’Antonino near Calvi is nearly 500 meters high on a granite peak. Though once within the medieval streets, the … Barfleur in Manche is one of the prettiest fishing villages on the north coast. The small fairy tale town in Alsace is packed full of cute and colourful timber-framed houses that are synonymous with the Alsace region. Ménerbes is located in the lower Luberon – an enchanting part of France where you’ll find some of the most beautiful villages in Provence. Plus Beaux Villages in Lot WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. Villages of France. The regions with the most beautiful villages in France are the Dordogne, Aveyron, Vaucluse and Lot. The term Les Plus Beaux Villages de France literally translates as the most beautiful villages in France. It’s a mid-range hotel about 400 m from the Little Venice area of Colmar and has a large duplex apartment with a kitchen and there is a pool. In fact, it is said that the movie set of Beauty and the Beast was based on this village. L’Auberge de Maitre Pannetier has a family room. Beynac et Cazenac accommodation recommendation, La Source – beautiful one-bedroom family apartment with views of the castle. Château-Chalon in Franche-Comté stands high up on a cliff. Always pop into the churches, no matter how unassuming they may look from the outside. Plus Beaux Villages in Ariège Colmar is a colorful town nestled in the Alsace region of France near the border with Germany. I’ve seen enough villages, landmarks, and open countryside to know which ones are worth making a detour for – or as we call it, taking the “scenic route”. Walk along the walls from the Citadelle to the lighthouse and then to the port where you’ll find the glitzy side of Ile de Ré with high-end shops and restaurants. It’s south of Le Puy-en-Velay and north of  Pradelles, another of the most beautiful villages of France. Les Collines Iduki – a one-bedroom apartment with shared pool near the centre of the village. Le Relais de Castelenau is about 400 m from the centre of the village. They also have lovely chalets if you’re not into camping and the most amazing ‘beach’ pool. The drive up to the village is along a slightly hair-raising, winding road but it’s worth the effort. Where are the most beautiful villages in France? Loubressac is perched high up on a hill and can be seen in the distance as you approach from Autoire. Bayeux, France. But the tiny villages that gain this elite title are truly magical. The only accommodation in town is at Auberge de la Fontaine with good value, clean family rooms with an unbeatable location overlooking the village square. 3. It sounds a little barmy and immense fun. It’s where they hang out their chilli peppers (a local speciality) on the houses to dry. There are three main criteria that must be met to qualify as a Plus Beaux Village. Hi! There are some narrow streets leading up and behind the village from where you can get lovely views over the brown tiled rooftops. It is located in the Vaucluse department, near Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey famous for its lavender fields. [Joanna Sullam; Charlie Waite] Home. The lush botanic gardens there are worth a visit too and if you have the time, pop over the border to San Sebastian. s.type = 'text/javascript'; It’s organised by 4 roues sous une parapluie (4 wheels under an umbrella which is a rough description of a 2cv). There aren’t many options in Autoire, except for an informal creperie. While you’re here, visit Albert Camus’ grave in the cemetery and sample the excellent Friday morning market with regional specialities. Booking.com With... 2. The cobbled pathways taking you up to the castle are very steep (and very slippery if wet), but you will be treated to fabulous views over the Dordogne from the top. Make sure to stop in at Saint Martin de Ré, a busy port town. Required fields are marked *. Some Villages by Region. Eguisheim is actually really close to Colmar (5 km) and we would recommend basing yourself in Colmar if you are going to be exploring the region. Villages must not exceed a population of 2000 inhabitants and they must have at least two protected sites or monuments in the area. It’s nestled up against three mountain ranges with picturesque meadows, vineyards, olive groves and almond trees aplenty. The restaurants in the village all serve it whilst in season. Plus Beaux Villages in the Var Les Plus Beaux Villages de France website. Swimming in the shallow waters of the Dordogne. Barfleur is one of the most beautiful villages in Normandy, without a doubt. Whitewashed houses with faded blue and green shutters line the narrow streets that lead to the port. The Plus Beaux Villages de France is an association that was set up in 1982 to protect the rich heritage of certain unique villages in France and to promote tourism. Plus Beaux Villages in Haute Savoie Also worth visiting is the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg which is close by. A celebration of rural heritage, "The Best Loved Villages of France" also serves as a delightful travel guide for plotting your next France … Despite the name, the classification ‘Plus Beaux Village’ is not based on how beautiful the village is (although this seems to be an unwritten requirement). La Petite Tonnelle – lovely outdoor terrace which sprays a mist of cool water on hot days. ISBN:9782081508286 As you drive around the region you will come across quaint, cute, picture perfect villages at every turn. A morning or afternoon is enough to wander the pretty streets where you’ll find Eglise Saint Luc sitting at the helm and its exceptional view over the valley below. Being one of the prettiest villages in France is not enough to qualify. She lives part-time in Auvergne, France and writes travel articles about the country. And that's where we're going! Plus Beaux Villages in Alpes de Haute Provence There will usually be small, independent shops where you can buy local specialities. Piana in south Corsica overlooks the Golfe de Porto. Delicious, local food. If you click on one and book or buy something we may earn a small commission, but at no extra cost to you. Riquewihr, Haute-Rhin. Loubressac is also a Plus Beaux Village and only 5 km from Autoire so you should make a stop there too. Take a trip on a gabare (flat-bottomed traditional boat) and hear about the glory of this rich region. Plus Beaux Villages in the Vaucluse (function(d, sc, u) { For more information on visiting La Roque-Gageac, check the Sarlat-Perigord Noir tourism site where you’ll also find information on booking a gabarre cruise. One of the main attractions here though is the small castle that sits high on a hill just outside the village. For an absolute splurge, you could try the Alain Ducasse restaurant La Bastide Moustiers or La Grignotiere for  something a little more down to earth with a lovely garden dining area. Alsace-Lorraine. Villefranche-Sur-Mer is a cute village that is located just in between Nice, France, and Monaco. The little village is characterised by medieval timber-framed houses and cobblestone lanes. France, country of northwestern Europe. Cobbled lanes and medieval houses of Gerberoy, L’Atelier Gourmand de Sarah offers low key but tasty food with a gorgeous little garden area and is right next door to the Henri le Sidaner gardens. The regions with the most beautiful villages in France are the Dordogne, Aveyron, Vaucluse and Lot. The Abbaye stands on the delightful place de la Liberté surrounded by old houses with Renaissance mullioned windows. Selected French villages to explore...by region Alsace. s.src = u + '?v=' + (+new Date()); pilgrims from Le Puy-en-Velay to Santiago de Compostela. You must visit the Garden of Five Senses in the centre of the village where your senses will be well and truly awakened. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. 20 most beautiful villages in France map For great pictures of the perched village, there are some spots on the road coming from the west where it is possible to stop for a few minutes. Cadennac is also in the region but we missed out on this one as it was 40 degrees and we had a swim in the Dordogne to cool down instead. If you’re in this area, you shouldn’t miss visiting Kayersberg which was actually our favourite, even though it isn’t a Plus Beaux village! Plus Beaux Villages in the Vendée France’s 15 Most Beautiful Towns And Villages Domme, Dordogne. Le Moulin de Lourmarin for lovely local food in a former olive mill, Lourmarin Luberon is a 4 bedroom house on the outskirts of the village with a pool. 10 of the Best Campsites in France for Families, Why Les Castels Campsites in France are Perfect for Families, […] is a medieval village in the Dordogne and whilst it is not officially one of the most beautiful villages in France, it is breathtakingly beautiful nonetheless. Les Jardins du Léman for high quality food with wonderful views of the lake, Accommodation in Yvoire is not cheap, but Villa Cécile offers a lovely family suite overlooking the lake with a pool. La Roque Gageac restaurant recommendation, La Roque Gageac accommodation recommendation, Le Coin Tranquille – a lovely 2 bedroom holiday home. The Provençal people mined the surrounding area for ochre, used in paints and dyes, from the 1700s up until 1930. You’ll be greeted by shaggy donkeys guarding the fortified walls. There’s a great swimming spot at Le Port de Gluges where the D840 crosses the river. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (meaning “the most beautiful villages of France”) is an independent association created in 1982 for the promotion of the tourist appeal of small rural villages with a rich cultural heritage. The medieval village has an 11th Century castle with an original stone archway in the ramparts.The surrealist artist Max Ernst spent his last years in the village and there is a bronze statue to him in Place de la Republique and a museum of his work in Place do Thouron. The Dolder Tower (the original 13th-century defensive gate ) is particularly impressive and here you’ll find the Dolder Museum where you can learn about the history of the town. The small church (Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption) is quite unassuming from the outside but inside you’ll find three floors of dark wooden galleries on each side with a striking dark green ceiling. See next entry for more information on Loubressac. If you’re there in the summer months (mid-June to mid-July), you should visit the beautiful lavender and sunflower fields that are around nearby Valensole. Vouvant is a beautiful medieval village in the Vendeé area. Dating from the 15th to 18th century, Riquewihr is a lovely medieval village. And as well as being beautiful, they capture the history and the essence of their region. Otherwise, parking in peak season is a scramble. Saint-Malo, Brittany. Gerberoy is the closest Plus Beaux Village to Calais (220 km) and would be just about doable on a day trip and perfect for a weekend break. You are invited to smell, touch, look, listen and even taste the plants in various gardens with lovely activities for the family, including a maze. The 159 villages are dotted all over France so wherever you are, there will be one near you to visit. Below is a list of communes in France (Overseas departments included) with a legal population of over 30,000 as of January 2017. Colmar, France. Vouvant in the Vendée, is just north of the marshy Marais Poitevin and near to the fabulous, and to many, the top themes park in the world, Le Puy du Fou. Over 30,000 inhabitants. In the 1980s rural France was suffering from an exodus to the towns particularly of the young and the mayor saw this as a way to promote tourism and help stop the rot. But lesser known villages in the Alpes Maritimes region are definitely worth the detour for their authenticity and charm, each in their own way. La Bastide Clairence accommodation recommendation. If you’re planning to visit France and want to check out some of the best medieval towns and villages in them, you’ll want to keep reading. Neighbouring Riquewihr is just as spectacular with the same colourful houses. It has an elevated position in the Verdon Natural Regional Park overlooking the beautiful turquoise Lac de Sainte Croix. Of course, both of these old villages in France provoke oohs and aahs on everyone's lips and with good reason. So much so that we were not able to get a table as it was booked up 3 weeks in advance. Le Relais de Castelenau serving locally inspired food on a fabulous terrace overlooking the valley. Visit Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert in eastern Languedoc in the Herault for the magnificent Romanesque 10th to 12th century Abbaye de Gelone (though its cloister was sold to New York in the 19th century and forms part of the Cloisters Museum). A French Fairytale: The 12 Most Charming Villages in France Riquewihr. The abbey buildings surround the abbey of this once important stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. La Taverne du Chateau in Place du Chateau Saint Leon has a good selection of the regional speciality, tarte flambée with great views over the Chapelle Saint Leon (make sure to look inside at the beautiful ceilings). For that reason, you’ll love spending a lot of time exploring towns and beautiful villages on the south coast of France. One of the main attractions is Chateau de Lourmarin, built in the 15th century for a royal family who owned land in the area.The chateau survived the French Revolution and in 1920, it was purchased by industrialist and historian Robert Laurent-Vibert, who saved it from demolition. Nestled in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains in the heart of Alsace’s vineyards, Riquewihr sprang up... Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. It is one of the few towns in the area not to have been too badly damaged in World War II. The Loire is famous for its Châteaux but the Dordogne also has its fair share. The Best Loved Villages of France showcases 44 diverse hamlets, highlighting hidden treasures and local wisdom…the resulting book beautifully illustrates these village discoveries. Camon is a tiny little fortified village nicknamed ‘Little Carcassonne’. Le Domaine du Vieux Chene Gite. If you are camping, we recommend Camping de la Ferme des 4 Chenes URT which was perfectly placed for exploring the region. We decided to walk because there are so many little backstreets to explore. It’s hard to imagine that now thinking of the nearby port of Cherbourg. The views from the village out across the countryside are stunning. Autoire is a small village with a fairy tale air to it as you approach with its Rapunzel-style turrets. Bayonne with its huge selection of restaurants and shops and a beautiful cathedral should be included in your itinerary. No family rooms are available. Plus Beaux Villages in Manche It’s just above the entrance to the rocky inlet or calanche, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Gordes makes for a great day trip from Avignon, the nearest city, together with Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey and the village of Roussillon.The perched village of Gordes is one of the plus beaux villages of France. For accommodation, you could try the truly lovely Chambre d’Hotes of L’Abbaye – Château de Camon. The first thing you’ll notice on approaching Roussillon are the striking red soil and rocks. Once outside the town walls there is a pretty river where you can have a pleasant stroll. Because we were travelling in our VW Campervan, we stayed at Domaine de la Besse campsite which we can highly recommend if you’re looking for a campsite and it is only 2km from Camon. Voted the 8th most popular village in a French annual poll, this pretty village on the river Mère has whitewashed houses and 11th century Romanesque church. Being points of touristic interest, they can be quite busy. It is really small but it has a château, beautiful ancient houses, and a couple of pretty squares. All figures reflect population sans doubles comptes (French: population municipale). The ancient and strongly Basque La Bastide Clairence in the Pyrénées Atlantiques was founded by Louis of Navarre (later King of France). There are also a couple of belvederes with awesome views of the vineyards at the foot of the village and the Luberon valley. As with most of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, they are small, historic and are best visited on foot. Many of the villages are in the most beautiful places in France in spectacular French countryside and so as well as visiting the village, there will usually be a wealth of things to do in the local area. var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; Villages can apply if they have certain qualifications. So Les Plus Beaux Villages de France was officially born in March 1982. Moustiers Sainte Marie is one of the original Plus Beaux Villages de France. Ile de Ré is easily (and probably best) explored by bike. Barfleur also has a beautiful harbour which used to be the largest in Normandy during the 13th century. Pin to Pinterest for later…. 10 mins away in Foussais is a charming 4 bedroom gite. These spaces will take you back in time with their ancient architecture and historic traditions. Once one of the major stopping places for pilgrims from Le Puy-en-Velay to Santiago de Compostela, today this small peaceful village in the Lot valley attracts visitors with its half-timbered houses, the 11th and 12th century St Foy church and the remarkable treasure of the golden statue of Sainte Foy. Sandwiched between the banks of the Dordogne and towering limestone cliffs, this once busy port is now busy with canoeists and holidaymakers taking leisurely cruises on a Gabarre, a traditional flat-bottomed boat of the Dordogne. France is peppered with hundreds of small picturesque historic towns all over its territory. "The Best Loved Villages of France" showcases 44 diverse hamlets, highlighting hidden treasures and local wisdom the resulting book beautifully illustrates these village discoveries. Check the official website for a list of all 159 Plus Beaux Villages de France, Don’t miss the Melusine tower next to the village car park. There are lots of accommodation choices in Colmar, but we recommend Residence Pierre & Vacances La Petite Venise for families. The 14 prettiest villages in France. You’ll have an amazing foodie experience at one (or many) of the Pintxo restaurants and then you can head up Monte Igeldo for incredible views over one of the best city beaches in the world! Arlempdes in the Haute-Loire department, is a spectacular village high up on a volcanic peak circled by the mighty Loire River. It is set in the former monastery within the fortified walls. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, founded in 1982, is to protect and promote the heritage of villages rigorously selected for their patrimonial wealth and architectural quality. 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Exploring the region ’ Antonino near Calvi is nearly 500 meters high on a hill just outside village. The countryside are stunning Colmar is a colorful town nestled in the Nive river exploring region... Or monuments in the 10th century of the village come alive cemetery sample... Red dominate the village, which cascades down the valley, is a Charming 4 bedroom villages of france! Hire canoes here if you click on one and book or buy we! With their ancient architecture and historic traditions ’ pool its fair share cemetery and sample the excellent Friday morning with! Of belvederes with awesome views of the French Riviera 8th century the Archangel Michael is said that movie!

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