Search
Close this search box.

The Incredible Unseen Villages of France

Despite the fact that France is an interesting country with a diverse culture and interesting sites, many tourists tend to focus their travels on Paris, going to well-known museums and climbing the Eiffel Tower before leaving for home, thinking they have seen everything France has to offer. In fact, the nation is home to countless other amazing places that can be explored.

Visit quaint medieval cities and lovely villages to see France’s less-traveled regions. Discover the beauty of medieval castles and the peaceful countryside instead of fighting the crowds at the Eiffel Tower and Louvre. You can unearth undiscovered jewels that highlight the rich cultural legacy of the nation among the roughly 150 officially recognized “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER (PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR)

The charming village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is located on the French Riviera halfway between Nice and Monaco. This Mediterranean treasure, which has brightly colored homes surrounding the coastline, has deep waters that draw big ships and offer sailing and diving opportunities. The 16th-century St. Peter’s chapel and the 18th-century St. Michael’s church are examples of historical sites that add to the appeal of the community.

PIGNA (HAUTE-CORSE)

Pigna is a little village with a population of roughly 100 people that is tucked away in the Balagne region of Northern Corsica. The tower in the settlement that dates back to the ninth century inspired its name. Despite its diminutive size, Pigna has gained recognition in the music industry by serving as the site of the Estivoce music festival in July. The community also has a stage for live events outside.

EGUISHEIM (HAUT-RHIN)

Despite having a population of less than 2,000, the historic village of Eguisheim in the Haut-Rhin region of France, close to the German border, is well known for its vineyards and fine wines. Eguisheim is a well-liked vacation spot for wine lovers as it is situated along the Alsatian wine trail. The community is home to the impressive St.-Leon castle, enchanting streets adorned with flowers, and attractive homes. Additionally, there are many options for biking and trekking there, and in August there is a stork festival every year.

LOCRONAN (BRITTANY)

There are about 800 people living in the west of France village of Locronan, which is close to the shore and has a long history. The St. Ronan church and numerous stone homes in the village’s center define the area. At the village’s entrance, visitors can park their automobiles and wander around the streets while admiring the many quaint shops, workshops, and antique stores. They can also buy one-of-a-kind gifts from regional craftsmen. Due to its gorgeous setting, the village is frequently used as a backdrop for historical movies and television shows.

VEULES-LES-ROSES (NORMANDY)

Only 500–600 people live in the lovely village of Veules-les-Roses on the Normandy coast in the north of France. The village is home to the smallest French river, Veules, and it is surrounded by beautiful vegetation and historic homes with thatched roofs. A 13th-century church, art galleries, and a memorial to the celebrated French author Victor Hugo are all accessible to visitors.

SAINT-VERAN (HAUTES-ALPES)

Saint-Veran, one of the highest communities in Europe with a population of barely 200 people, is situated in the French Alps at an elevation of almost 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) above sea level. Numerous tourists visit the area to take in the splendor of Queyras National Park. Skiing is offered in the winter, while popular hiking trails can be discovered in the summer. Traditional old homes and the Soum museum are two further highlights of the area.

RIQUEWIHR (ALSACE)

One of the most lovely villages in Alsace is Riquewihr, a picturesque village in the valley about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Colmar. It is renowned for its beauty. The community, which has just 1,000 residents, is distinguished by its combined German-French ancestry, language, and culture. The Dolder Tower, which today houses the Museum of Art and Popular Tradition, the ramparts of the ancient stronghold, and colorful homes are all visible to visitors. The restaurants, stores, and gift shops on Charles de Gaulle Street are well-known. The community is renowned for its outstanding cuisine and top local wines, both of which may be savored while relaxing.

GORDES (VAUCLUSE)

Gordes is a village in the Vaucluse department in southeast France with 1,600 residents. A castle from the 16th century resides in the settlement, which is perched on a hill. The Renaissance-style castle was constructed to serve as the village’s defense; today, it houses the town hall and a museum. The town has tight building laws, requiring all structures to have stone walls and concealed electrical lines. Beautiful lavender fields surround the adjacent Abbey Senanque, and the Gordes village slopes offer a stunning perspective of the Luberon landscape.

DOMME (DORDOGNE)

Southwest France’s Domme is a medieval fortress settlement that dates back to the 13th century. It was built on a mountaintop with sweeping views of the Dordogne River basin. The town, which now has roughly 1,000 residents, was initially constructed to protect the region from attackers. From the vantage point in the hamlet, Domme offers a rare panoramic view of the Dordogne valley, which is the village’s major draw. In addition, a 400-meter (1,312-foot) long cave with exquisite cave decorations exists beneath the settlement.

GERBEROY (OISE)

Less than 100 people live in the small village of Gerberoy, which is in the north of France. The picturesque flower arrangements that adorn the homes and yards in the area are well-known. The artist Henry Le Sidaner, who bought a home in the community at the start of the 20th century and built a lovely rose garden on the ramparts of the old fortress, is credited for popularizing the practice of growing roses there. The village transforms into a beautiful, romantic setting for the Rose Festival, which takes place in June. While strolling through the cobblestone streets, visitors can take in the roses’ beauty and smell.

ROCHEFORT-EN-TERRE (BRITTANY)

There are just 600 people living in the little community of Rochefort-en-Terre, which is situated in the Brittany area of western France. Everywhere, including terraces, gardens, and squares, the community is famed for its stunning floral arrangements. A 12th-century fortress that was devastated in the 18th century but reconstructed by American-French painter Alfred Klots in the early 20th century is also available for viewing by visitors. The renovated castle now includes a gallery featuring Klots’ artwork and a collection of other items gathered from throughout the community. Additionally, a day trip to a nearby lake with a gorgeous beach and numerous sporting amenities is an option.

COLLONGES LA ROUGE (NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE)

500 people call Collonges la Rouge home. It is a village in the Correze department of central France. The community is renowned for having been fully constructed out of red sandstone, which gives every structure a distinctive consistent color. It has a lengthy past that dates to the Middle Ages, when it was used as a stronghold. The 14th-century fortified walls, as well as numerous churches, towers, and castles, are still visible to visitors. The lovely homes from the 15th and 16th centuries are noteworthy, and the stunning architecture of Maison de la Sirene will astound tourists. Restaurants, workshops, and tiny stores abound on the winding cobblestone alleyways, where you may sample regional wines and find unique gifts.

ROUSSILLON (VAUCLUSE)

The village of Roussillon, which lies in the southeast of France, is well-known for its ochre-rich surroundings. The extraction of this pigment, which was employed in the textile industry, once required the labor of thousands of people. However, in order to protect the environment and its iconic red cliffs, this activity is now forbidden. With a population of over 1,300, the village’s citizens primarily produce fruit and wine. The settlement is distinguished by its streets, where the facades are painted a recognizable reddish hue. Samuel Beckett, a renowned author, also hid from the Nazis in the town during World War II.

MOUSTIERS SAINTE-MARIE (ALPES-DE-HAUTE)

At the beginning of the Verdon Gorge, in the southeast of France, is the community of Moustiers Sainte-Marie, which is well-known for its towering stone cliffs. The town, which has only 700 residents, is well-known for its pottery and home to a ceramics museum. The village’s major draw is a golden star that has stood in for the community for ages and is suspended from a chain between two tall rocks. Visitors can admire the lovely Maire Valley from the cliffs where the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir Church is located and is reached by stone steps.

NAJAC (MIDI-PYRENEES)

Only 700 people live in the village of Najac, which is in the south of France. The Chateau de Najac fortification, which was constructed on top of a hill above the Aveyron River, is the area’s most famous landmark. The village was established in the Middle Ages. Visitors can stroll through the winding alleyways and witness Gothic churches, medieval residences, and a fountain from the fourteenth century. An extraordinary perspective of the surroundings, which are encircled by the forest, may be found from the terraces of neighborhood cafes. The Saint Blaise Bridge, which unites the two banks of the Aveyron River, is another notable feature of the community.

Other blogs

Despite the fact that France is an interesting country with a diverse culture and interesting sites, many tourists tend to focus their travels on Paris, going to well-known museums and climbing the Eiffel Tower before leaving for home, thinking they have seen everything France has to offer. In fact, the nation is home to countless other amazing places that can be explored.

Visit quaint medieval cities and lovely villages to see France’s less-traveled regions. Discover the beauty of medieval castles and the peaceful countryside instead of fighting the crowds at the Eiffel Tower and Louvre. You can unearth undiscovered jewels that highlight the rich cultural legacy of the nation among the roughly 150 officially recognized “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER (PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR)

The charming village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is located on the French Riviera halfway between Nice and Monaco. This Mediterranean treasure, which has brightly colored homes surrounding the coastline, has deep waters that draw big ships and offer sailing and diving opportunities. The 16th-century St. Peter’s chapel and the 18th-century St. Michael’s church are examples of historical sites that add to the appeal of the community.

PIGNA (HAUTE-CORSE)

Pigna is a little village with a population of roughly 100 people that is tucked away in the Balagne region of Northern Corsica. The tower in the settlement that dates back to the ninth century inspired its name. Despite its diminutive size, Pigna has gained recognition in the music industry by serving as the site of the Estivoce music festival in July. The community also has a stage for live events outside.

EGUISHEIM (HAUT-RHIN)

Despite having a population of less than 2,000, the historic village of Eguisheim in the Haut-Rhin region of France, close to the German border, is well known for its vineyards and fine wines. Eguisheim is a well-liked vacation spot for wine lovers as it is situated along the Alsatian wine trail. The community is home to the impressive St.-Leon castle, enchanting streets adorned with flowers, and attractive homes. Additionally, there are many options for biking and trekking there, and in August there is a stork festival every year.

LOCRONAN (BRITTANY)

There are about 800 people living in the west of France village of Locronan, which is close to the shore and has a long history. The St. Ronan church and numerous stone homes in the village’s center define the area. At the village’s entrance, visitors can park their automobiles and wander around the streets while admiring the many quaint shops, workshops, and antique stores. They can also buy one-of-a-kind gifts from regional craftsmen. Due to its gorgeous setting, the village is frequently used as a backdrop for historical movies and television shows.

VEULES-LES-ROSES (NORMANDY)

Only 500–600 people live in the lovely village of Veules-les-Roses on the Normandy coast in the north of France. The village is home to the smallest French river, Veules, and it is surrounded by beautiful vegetation and historic homes with thatched roofs. A 13th-century church, art galleries, and a memorial to the celebrated French author Victor Hugo are all accessible to visitors.

SAINT-VERAN (HAUTES-ALPES)

Saint-Veran, one of the highest communities in Europe with a population of barely 200 people, is situated in the French Alps at an elevation of almost 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) above sea level. Numerous tourists visit the area to take in the splendor of Queyras National Park. Skiing is offered in the winter, while popular hiking trails can be discovered in the summer. Traditional old homes and the Soum museum are two further highlights of the area.

RIQUEWIHR (ALSACE)

One of the most lovely villages in Alsace is Riquewihr, a picturesque village in the valley about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Colmar. It is renowned for its beauty. The community, which has just 1,000 residents, is distinguished by its combined German-French ancestry, language, and culture. The Dolder Tower, which today houses the Museum of Art and Popular Tradition, the ramparts of the ancient stronghold, and colorful homes are all visible to visitors. The restaurants, stores, and gift shops on Charles de Gaulle Street are well-known. The community is renowned for its outstanding cuisine and top local wines, both of which may be savored while relaxing.

GORDES (VAUCLUSE)

Gordes is a village in the Vaucluse department in southeast France with 1,600 residents. A castle from the 16th century resides in the settlement, which is perched on a hill. The Renaissance-style castle was constructed to serve as the village’s defense; today, it houses the town hall and a museum. The town has tight building laws, requiring all structures to have stone walls and concealed electrical lines. Beautiful lavender fields surround the adjacent Abbey Senanque, and the Gordes village slopes offer a stunning perspective of the Luberon landscape.

DOMME (DORDOGNE)

Southwest France’s Domme is a medieval fortress settlement that dates back to the 13th century. It was built on a mountaintop with sweeping views of the Dordogne River basin. The town, which now has roughly 1,000 residents, was initially constructed to protect the region from attackers. From the vantage point in the hamlet, Domme offers a rare panoramic view of the Dordogne valley, which is the village’s major draw. In addition, a 400-meter (1,312-foot) long cave with exquisite cave decorations exists beneath the settlement.

GERBEROY (OISE)

Less than 100 people live in the small village of Gerberoy, which is in the north of France. The picturesque flower arrangements that adorn the homes and yards in the area are well-known. The artist Henry Le Sidaner, who bought a home in the community at the start of the 20th century and built a lovely rose garden on the ramparts of the old fortress, is credited for popularizing the practice of growing roses there. The village transforms into a beautiful, romantic setting for the Rose Festival, which takes place in June. While strolling through the cobblestone streets, visitors can take in the roses’ beauty and smell.

ROCHEFORT-EN-TERRE (BRITTANY)

There are just 600 people living in the little community of Rochefort-en-Terre, which is situated in the Brittany area of western France. Everywhere, including terraces, gardens, and squares, the community is famed for its stunning floral arrangements. A 12th-century fortress that was devastated in the 18th century but reconstructed by American-French painter Alfred Klots in the early 20th century is also available for viewing by visitors. The renovated castle now includes a gallery featuring Klots’ artwork and a collection of other items gathered from throughout the community. Additionally, a day trip to a nearby lake with a gorgeous beach and numerous sporting amenities is an option.

COLLONGES LA ROUGE (NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE)

500 people call Collonges la Rouge home. It is a village in the Correze department of central France. The community is renowned for having been fully constructed out of red sandstone, which gives every structure a distinctive consistent color. It has a lengthy past that dates to the Middle Ages, when it was used as a stronghold. The 14th-century fortified walls, as well as numerous churches, towers, and castles, are still visible to visitors. The lovely homes from the 15th and 16th centuries are noteworthy, and the stunning architecture of Maison de la Sirene will astound tourists. Restaurants, workshops, and tiny stores abound on the winding cobblestone alleyways, where you may sample regional wines and find unique gifts.

ROUSSILLON (VAUCLUSE)

The village of Roussillon, which lies in the southeast of France, is well-known for its ochre-rich surroundings. The extraction of this pigment, which was employed in the textile industry, once required the labor of thousands of people. However, in order to protect the environment and its iconic red cliffs, this activity is now forbidden. With a population of over 1,300, the village’s citizens primarily produce fruit and wine. The settlement is distinguished by its streets, where the facades are painted a recognizable reddish hue. Samuel Beckett, a renowned author, also hid from the Nazis in the town during World War II.

MOUSTIERS SAINTE-MARIE (ALPES-DE-HAUTE)

At the beginning of the Verdon Gorge, in the southeast of France, is the community of Moustiers Sainte-Marie, which is well-known for its towering stone cliffs. The town, which has only 700 residents, is well-known for its pottery and home to a ceramics museum. The village’s major draw is a golden star that has stood in for the community for ages and is suspended from a chain between two tall rocks. Visitors can admire the lovely Maire Valley from the cliffs where the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir Church is located and is reached by stone steps.

NAJAC (MIDI-PYRENEES)

Only 700 people live in the village of Najac, which is in the south of France. The Chateau de Najac fortification, which was constructed on top of a hill above the Aveyron River, is the area’s most famous landmark. The village was established in the Middle Ages. Visitors can stroll through the winding alleyways and witness Gothic churches, medieval residences, and a fountain from the fourteenth century. An extraordinary perspective of the surroundings, which are encircled by the forest, may be found from the terraces of neighborhood cafes. The Saint Blaise Bridge, which unites the two banks of the Aveyron River, is another notable feature of the community.