Around France

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France

There’s a new obsession running around in my head: “visit as many of France’s ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages‘ as I possibly can.”

So far, I’ve seen only 10 out of some 156 “authentic” Les Plus Beaux Villages. I have a lot of traveling to do.

Les Plus Beaux Villages

There are 156 communities in France with the distinction of being a beaux village. Most are in the Dordogne and Aveyron departments. Vancluse and Lot are next with seven and six beaux villages respectively.

Most Beautiful Villages in France

The designation “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” was borrowed from the Reader’s Digest book of the same name. Charles Ceyrac, mayor of Collonges-la-Rouge, one of the villages featured in the book, believed his village and others like it could be revitalized economically if they joined together and promoted themselves as the most beautiful villages in France.

The criteria for the title was based on (1) the character and population of a village: rural with no more than 2,000 inhabitants; (2) two national heritage sites; and (3) the local council of the municipality must have voted on the application.

In 1981 mayors from 66 villages joined Collonges to form the association.

So far, these are Les Plus Beaux Villages I’ve visited. Click on the name of each village to learn and see more. Enjoy!

Eguisheim

Riquewihr

Domme

La Roque-Gageac

Les Baux-de-Provence

Gordes

Lourmarin

Menerbes

Roussillon

Najac

Yes, I have a lot of traveling to do.

If you have thoughts on the Beaux Villages I shouldn’t miss, please leave a comment. Let’s all go!

 

11 replies »

    • Actually, I have been to Lussan but didn’t take photos. Have to return and learn more. I understand there are several within easy driving distance.

  1. Domme (in the Dordogne) is spectacular! Stop there and take the tour of the town gate — some of the Knights Templar were imprisoned there, and they left behind impressive graffiti.

    • Yes, I’ve been to Domme but didn’t know to look for the most interesting and historic facts. Will need to return! Thanks

    • I’m seeing a lot of photos in my future, too! Would love to run into you sometime along the way. Thanks for the note!

  2. Vern and I are also on a mission to explore as many of Les Plus Beaux Villages as possible, which is much easier to do when you rent for a longer period of time in one place as a base, in the Dordogne, for example. We love getting out on the French back roads with our Michelin Atlas of France, a picnic lunch, and our list of yet unseen Les Plus Beaux Villages. They never fail to impress! Keep an eye out for Les Villes Fleuries as well…it takes quite a bit of community effort to receive a flower symbol (or two or three or four or five) on the city sign. And, of course, the site historique sign is a big indicator that the village/town/city has a site from the pages of history well worth seeing! One of our favorite villages, Monpazier in the Dordogne, scored all three signs! That’s quite a coup!

    • Keep me posted, Judith. I’ll be near Monpazier on my way back from the US through the Dordogne. I have been to some of Les Villes Fleuries, but haven’t done the due diligence to look at the list. Is there enough time in a whole lifetime to see all the beautiful places in France? Wish I’d started earlier! Thanks for your note and suggestions! Bon courage on your journey, too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.