The most beautiful villages of France

Written by on May 14, 2013 in Places to Go

 beautiful villages of france

The Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France – L’Association des Plus Beaux Villages de France was started in 1982 in Collonges-la-Rouge, Corrèze.

The aims of the group are, unsurprisingly, to discover, recognise and promote the most beautiful villages of France whose merits are within set guidelines. Members are a limited number, whose inhabitants must not number more than 2000 to be eligible and the town or village must have a minimum of two protected sites or monuments.

The villages must be in settings of exceptional beauty, either man-made or natural and of the 32,000 villages (approximately) that there are in France – only 157 have made the list to date.

Villages may apply to be considered for the accolade of one of the “plus beaux villages de France” and will then undergo stringent tests – very few make the grade. Quality, reputation, heritage, development and many other factors are reviewed by the judges who aim to avoid a village turning into a “theme park” type tourist area by achieving the coveted title.

Not every region of France is represented in the association – the south features highly with the highest number of beautiful villages being in the Perigord – south west France.

beautiful villages of france

Perigord, in the Dordogne, has 36 villages listed including Collonges-la-Rouge, the original village from which the whole association was begun by the then Mayor. The Association states that  “the matchless red sandstone is the hallmark of this former stronghold of the Counts of Turenne. It is everywhere: beneath the “lauze” stone-slab or slate roofs of the impressive 15th Century and 16th Century houses, and adorning the corn and wine mart and the Church of Saint Pierre”.

Perigord is home to 1001 chateaux and castles, boasts prehistoric remains, beautiful countryside, wonderful architecture, vineyards, churches and abbeys and meandering rivers. It is known for its many unspoilt, picturesque medieval towns and villages.

beautiful villages of france

Provence is represented by 15 villages including Seillans which the Association says “has everything a typical Provencal village should have: houses arranged in tiers on the hillside, narrow paved streets, arched passageways, little squares where fountains babble, sunny weather and vistas of vineyards and olive groves”.

The region of the Loire includes 11 beautiful villages, among them Montrésor which “stands on the banks of the Indrois which reflects the remains of the double enclosure walls of this old fortress and its Renaissance castle. In the village, the houses with their white tufa walls or half-timbering mix with semi-cave dwellings”.

For more information about the most beautiful villages in France see the Plus Beaux Villages website.

Related Articles

The Good Life and a gorgeous holiday house in the Lot

Rosalie and Malcolm Lewis found their dream home in France in 1995, a former convent built in 1837 in the village of St Martin de Vers in the Lot. Rosalie reveals how their wonderful home is also now a gorgeous holiday house rental. She trained as an interior designer and her skills are apparent in […]

Continue Reading

Three great coastal regions in France for a fun holiday

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to picking a seaside base in France for a brilliant holiday. We asked Donna Sloane, general manager at www.frenchconnections.co.uk to pick three locations where you not only have great beaches but stunning countryside too… Normandy Normandy is a marvellous mix of seaside resorts and glorious […]

Continue Reading

Family friendly chateau holiday accommodation in Dordogne

In the midst of the magnificent Dordogne countryside, the Chateau de Sadillac rises up like a fairy tale castle but unlike in the story books – this castle isn’t just for Kings and Queens and sleeping beauties, it’s the most beautiful holiday home. With a ton of fabulous things to do without stepping out of […]

Continue Reading

Super Spring Getaways in France

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a detour to some of the most fabulous cities and towns in France. Spring in Alsace Alsace in the north east of France is a land of pine-clad forests, the Vosges Mountains and fairy-tale-like hamlets. Eguiseheim is the birthplace of wine making in Alsace and its pointy roofed […]

Continue Reading

3 regions in France that are perfect for Autumn visits

France is always a good idea but in autumn perhaps just that little bit more special. Hot chocolate, golden leaves falling from trees, acorns crunching under foot and steaming stews are just a few reasons to visit France in the fall. Here are three regions that are particularly perfect for autumn trips. The Loire Valley […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top