France is festooned with thousands of chic cities, towns and villages, but which are the best villages in France to visit?
France has an official scheme called Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, a 27-year-old association. There are currently 157 villages across France with official Beau Village status, all of which are listed in a beautiful coffee table guide book. Often set in beautiful landscapes, these French villages are ideal destinations for your road trip.
We have visited many of the Beaux Villages of France on our own camper road trips, all are worth a visit. All but one of the villages featured in our photo gallery offer motorhome parking and are detailed in All the Aires France North and South 3rd edition (the All the Aires region is provided after the department number). If you are a cat lover like Meli, be sure to read her blog The Most Beautiful Village of Cats.
Gordes, Vaucluse (Dept 84), Mediterranean, Southeast France: For the most stunning view of Gordes, stop at the viewpoint on the D15.
Ste Eulalie d'Olt, Aveyron (Dept 12), Southern France: Join the villagers for the annual auction held at the end of October - Lot 1 is always a live chicken.
La Roque Gageac, Dordogne (Dept 72), Atlantic, Central France: Halfway up the limestone cliff you will find palm, banana, citrus and fig trees growing in this village's special microclimate.
St Cirq Lapopie, Lot (Dept 46), Midi-Pyrenees, Southwestern France: 300 feet above the river Lot, this stunning village is dominated by fortifications hewn into the rock of the cliffs.
St Benoit du Sault, Indre (Dept 36), Centre, Northwest France: Visit in April or September when the weather is mild and the spring blossoms or autumn leaves turn the Portefeuille valley into a sea of colour.
Collonges la Rouge, Correze (Dept 74), Limousin & Auvergne, Central France: Built in red sandstone, this village has truly been forgotten by time. Don't miss the impressive altarpiece at Église Saint-Pierre.
Talmont sur Gironde, Charente-Maritime (Dept 54), Poitou, Western France: Built on a narrow isthmus, this village is characterised by its inclined wooden docks. Climb up to La Roche du Caillaud for a great view of the peninsula and the mouth of the river.
Gordes, Vaucluse (Dept 84), Mediterranean, Southeast France: Visit Gordes in August to take in the Festival des Soirées d’été and enjoy music, comedy and open-air theatre.
Riquewihr, Haut-Rhin (Dept 68), East, Northeast France: Just 21km from the German border, this beautiful half-timbered village is on the Alsatian Route du Vin. Don't leave without having a glass of Riesling!
La Roque sur Ceze, Gard (Dept 30), Mediterranean, Southeast France: Just 850m south of the village lie the Cascades du Sautadet and the incredible Giants’ Cauldrons - be sure to take caution on the rocks and around the waterfalls and whirling pools!
Monflanquin, Lot-et-Garonne (Dept 47), Atlantic, Southwest France: Monflanquin is considered one of the best preserved medieval bastide villages in France. Visit during the medieval fair in mid August for an authentic experience.
La Couvertoirade, Aveyron (Dept 12), Midi-Pyrenees, Southern France: Climb up to the restored windmill, the only one in the region, to see the village's communal bread oven and taste some local specialities.
Montbrun les Bains, Drôme (Dept 26), Rhone-Alps, Southeastern France: Take a dip in this village's thermal waters, which have been used for healing and relaxation since Roman times.
All except one of these Beaux Villages have Aires, which are detailed in our motorhome stopover guidebooks, All the Aires France North and South.
Have you enjoyed this blog post? Now read a fun cat story about the Beau Village of La Romieu.
Feel like we have missed your favourite? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!