There are lots of contenders for this title – you will probably get a diverse opinions for sure!
If you love rural France, then perhaps you can judge by the number of most beautiful villages in France (Les plus beaux villages de France) per region. The winner on that count is the Midi-Pyrenees. There are over 30 villages in the Midi-Pyrenees with that accreditation.
Here are some of the villages featured:
Perched on a promontory that offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Dordogne valley and the surrounding castles, Loubressac invites visitors to discover its charming medieval houses built of ochre stone and capped with pointed roofs. The church of Saint Jean Baptiste and the château, a manor dating back to the 15C and 18C, are worth the short climb it takes to reach them.
In this former stopping place on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, by the banks of the Aveyron, stone-built houses and roofs tiled with “lauzes” stone slabs rise in tiers at the foot of the fortified castle that was remarkably well restored in the late 1970s by architect Fernand Pouillon.
Najac is built along a rocky ridge, overlooked by a fortress that was once the envy of Kings of France and England. Its “lauze” stone-slab-roofed houses stretch out above the wild gorges of the Aveyron. Take the rampart walk and you will get an amazing view of the wild open spaces around you.
One of the big influences on lifestyle in France is Wine and Gastronomy.
You may remember Oz Clarke’s and James May’s TV series tour of France. In these videos you will learn about the French regional wines, and “science” of wine-making, and how to enjoy wines – sorry James!
Episode 1 Content in 4 parts – covering Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Explore the Coast in video – France is lucky to have the Channel coast to the north, the Atlantic on the West coast, and the glorious Mediterranean to the South.
The Northern coast is approximately 1,130 km long from Brittany to Nord Pas de Calais. The western coastline of France stretches along the Atlantic coast from the Brittany peninsula to the Gironde. Irregular in shape, its is approximately 1,390 km in length. Finally you have the Mediterranean coast, which is about 620 km long and offers some of the best natural harbours.
Perhaps the most famous stretch of coast is the French Riviera or Cote d’Azur which extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, or Cassis in the west.
But here is our list of Top 10 Towns in France:
1. Paris – obviously
2. Loire Valley Towns: Amboise, Blois, Chambord – for chateaux!
3. Mont St Michel, St Malo and Normandy Beaches
4. Bordeaux – plus visit the wine districts
5. French Riviera Towns: Nice, Cannes (sandy beaches), Monte Carlo
6. Avignon – especially the Pope’s Place
7. Strasbourg (home of European Union)
8. Nancy – prettiest square in France?
9. Aix en Provence – wealthy town with beautiful boulevards
10. Rouen – old town and cathedral
If you have time check check out Troyes, Metz, Reims, La Rochelle, Toulouse, Rennes, Grenoble …..
Peter Mayle country! One of the favourite areas of France for the Brits. Unfortunately this can be a very expensive area for both property purchases and rentals. Inland prices begin to drop.
The region is very popular during July and August and you need to book accommodation well in advance. Warning: July and August can be very hot and also during the winter months the Mistral wind can blow down the Rhone Valley.
France prides itself on its villages – in fact they have a dedicated association of Villages
Listed Beautiful Villages of France
Some 32,000 villages have shaped the French countryside over time and those of them that are members of the Association “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages of France) share the same passion and ambition: to make the exceptional quality of their heritage known and recognized and to invite you to encounter their history, their land, their culture and their inhabitants.
Take a tour around France for a flavour of the country:
Let start the tour by starting on the North West coast in Brittany, travelling east along the Channel coast and then into Paris. Our travel continues down the eastern border regions into Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur. Then along the Med coast into Languedoc-Roussillon and into the Pyrenees
The second part – takes us from the West coast into central France including Aquitaine, and the rolling hills of the Limousin