Are you looking for a cool destination to visit for the next summer ? Hop in the car and discover the charm of the 11 most beautiful medieval villages in France.

Travel the country discovering medieval villages in France, each more astonishing than the last. Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Brittany, and many other regions are full of areas still little explored. So, hop in your time machine and head for the Middle Ages. In addition to creating unforgettable memories and relaxing, you will enrich your knowledge of French history. How can you resist?

1. Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

The Most Beautiful Medieval Villages in France : Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

Located at the foot of the Larzac plateau, this destination was awarded the prestigious “Grand Site de France” label in 2010. And for good reason! You will discover breathtaking picturesque alleys and craft shops waiting for you. Moreover, this place is very popular among hikers. Forty-nine paths and walking routes crisscross this beautiful medieval city. Download the map of circuits from the official tourist office website before leaving. Everything is done on foot in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. To get there, park in the Devil’s Bridge car park. From there, take advantage of free shuttles to access it (in high season).

To visit: on the way back, cross the Angels’ footbridge to reach the Devil’s Bridge. You will have a breathtaking view of the Hérault gorges. Rent canoes, paddleboards, or simply take a dip. In July and August, swimming is supervised.

2. Collonges-la-Rouge

Collonges-la-Rouge one of the Most Beautiful Medieval Villages in France

Nestled just twenty kilometers from Brive-la-Gaillarde, it is the most atypical of the medieval villages in France. For the record, it was its former mayor Charles Ceyrac who came up with this label in 1982. His goal? To promote the charming local villages.

Collonges-la-Rouge is an architectural gem. With its fortified towers and red stone walls, you will have a feeling of never having seen anything like it. Where does this unusual color come from? From the oxidation by iron of the sandstone between Brive and Meyssac. Château de Vassignac, Chapelle des Pénitents, Castel de Maussac: your eyes will be everywhere.

Finally, take a tour of the Siren’s house to investigate the village’s rich past. Built in the 16th century, it houses a museum of art and popular traditions. History lovers, discover its beautiful collection of fossils and everyday objects from the past on the first floor.

Relaxation tip: enjoy a cool drink on a terrace square. Then, let yourself be enchanted by outdoor street performances at the end of the day. Theatrical performances are played every Tuesday at 9:30 pm in the Lavoir square.

3. Moncontour

Moncontour one of the best medieval Villages in France

Before the annexation of Brittany to France in 1514, Montcontour was one of the region’s strongholds. A quintessential medieval city, it produced linen and hemp canvases. Stroll through its medieval alleys and admire its ramparts before taking a carriage ride. A unique experience that will delight young and old.

In the evening, take the opportunity to try Breton cuisine and its iodized flavors. Consume shellfish, crustaceans, and ultra-fresh fish without moderation. In addition to being good for health, they will delight gourmets. For the greediest, finish your meal with a sweet crepe. But… is it really necessary to recommend it?

A must-see: Saint-Mathurin church. Enter to discover its six windows built in the 16th century. These are one of the most beautiful sets of glass painting in Brittany. A sight that does not leave one indifferent.

4. Conques

The medieval village of Conques

This green village located in Aveyron is a little corner of paradise. Upon arrival, you will be captivated by the surrounding charm. It is located at the foot of the Dourdou river in the Occitanie region. Its cobbled streets and half-timbered houses will transport you directly to the Middle Ages. The locals will tell you, this place is full of treasures.

Moreover, do not miss its abbey church. This masterpiece of Romanesque art in southern France has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. If you have not yet gone to conquer Conques, it is high time to set off! And if you are staying for several days, opt for unusual accommodation. At the Duzou farm, floating or tree-perched cabins will provide unforgettable sensations.

Cultural point: walk the streets of Conques in search of public fountains. Built in the Romanesque period, they allowed pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela to quench their thirst. Today, they bring authenticity to the city.

5. Èze

the wonderful village of Eze

This eagle’s nest perched 429 meters above the sea surprises with its beauty. Listen to the cicadas sing or enjoy a pleasant shaded beach. Admire the pink facades of the villas during a walk on the heights of the city. Thanks to its microclimate, the place has aphrodisiac plants with fantastic colors. All of which makes Èze one of the most beautiful medieval villages in France.

To understand the traditions of this village and observe its plants, a stop at the exotic garden is essential. In addition to being magnificent, they offer you a panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes. You can’t miss it! As a bonus, escape games are offered to discover the gardens in a fun and informative way. This activity is ideal, whether you are traveling with family or friends.

6. Provins

The reknown medieval village of Provins

If you live in the Paris region or the north of France, you don’t need to go far to discover one of the most beautiful medieval villages in France. Provins, located halfway between Paris and Troyes, has a unique medieval atmosphere.

Start your visit with the Caesar Tower, an emblematic monument of the city. This majestic dungeon enjoys a breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding fields. Between sky and earth or along the water, a wide choice of activities will perfectly complement your stay. Hiking, trail, ULM, fishing, or water skiing: the sources of pleasure for athletes and thrill-seekers are endless.

Looking for souvenirs? Stroll through the cobbled streets to meet local craftsmen and regional creators. Buy original clothes and unique objects. You can even leave with a homemade medieval costume. All the ingredients that will make your vacation unforgettable.

7. Pérouges

Pérouges one of the top medieval villages

From Lyon, you will only have half an hour’s drive to discover this former weaver’s city. This magnificent flowered destination is surrounded by a double wall of ramparts. Once crossed, time stops. Innkeepers, papermakers, and calligraphers will welcome you warmly.

In June, you may come across knights and princesses at the medieval festival. These characters from the past love to have fun. However, it is not easy to access the city center. Park in the nearby car park before continuing on foot to the tourist office. There, you will be given a thousand and one pieces of information about the medieval and preserved character of Pérouges.

Not to be missed: the gourmet specialty of the region. The Pérouges pancake, plain or with pralines, has made many happy. You can go there with your eyes closed!

8. Pujols

The medieval village of Pujols

Between fortified gates and remains of its castle walls, Pujols is full of architectural elements evoking the medieval era. Perched on the heights of Villeneuve-sur-Lot and not far from Bordeaux, this village will appeal to history enthusiasts.

Before going on an excursion, stop by the tourist office. There, the guides will tell you many secrets. And to relax at the end of the day, head to the Malbentre aquatic center. A hammam, massaging showers, and a wild river await you.

Finally, to end your stay in style, visit the Maison du Jouet rustique for free. You can admire many wooden objects presented by very warm people.

9. Limeuil

The medieval village of Limeuil

A real archetype of the medieval city, Limeuil is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Latrines, andronnes, and old shops will transport you to another world in just a few minutes. Stroll through the steep streets of the village to admire its beautiful stone houses.

Then, stop at the panoramic gardens of Limeuil. In addition to being magnificent, they offer you a panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes. You can’t miss it! As a bonus, escape games are offered to discover the gardens in a fun and informative way. This activity is ideal, whether you are traveling with family or friends.

10. Yvoire

Close to geneva the medieval village of Yvoire

This unique fortified village borders Lake Geneva. Whether you are French or Swiss, this village with a very particular soul will amaze you. A quintessential medieval place, this place is actually an old fishing village. If you want to visit this incredible fortress with a top-notch guide, make an appointment directly on the tourist office website. The visit lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes and is well worth the detour!

11. Dole

The medieval village of Dole

Located near Dijon, Dole is a gastronomic city full of mysteries. A gastronomic salon dedicated to labeled products and national producers will take place from November 20 to 22, 2020. Once there, start by going to the tourist office to get a map of the Chat Perché itinerary. This circuit was specially designed for tourists to discover this medieval village at their own pace.

Stroll through the streets of Dole before admiring the Tanners’ canal: a charming place. Finally, don’t forget to climb to the top of the city’s Collegiate Church. You will then enjoy a breathtaking view of this authentic village and its divine surroundings.

Who said that successful vacations had to take place by the sea or in the mountains? Savor the crazy charm of the most beautiful medieval villages in France. Our country is wonderful. Let’s take advantage of the post-lockdown period to discover it fully!

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