Taking inspiration from the ‘Plus Beaux Villages de France’, the Spanish newspaper El País has come up with its own list of France’s 15 most beautiful villages. They all have distinctive features that set them apart.
La Roque-Gageac in the Dordogne took the number one spot. This village of only 450 inhabitants is perched above the Dordogne river, with dramatic cliffs as its backdrop. The nearby Beynac-et-Cazenac took third place, and similarly sits beside the Dordogne river.
The hilltop village of Gordes in the Vaucluse came in at second place. Dominated by the imposing Château de Gordes, the artists Marc Chagall and Victor Vasarely are two of its famous former residents.
The intriguingly named Cordes-sur-Ciel in Tarn was founded in 1222. It was allegedly built as a hilltop fortified town, known as a bastide, and was the first of its kind.
Also in Tarn, Albi boasts a striking medieval brick cathedral, built between 1282 and 1480. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.
Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany and Barfleur in Normandy were the two northernmost villages to make the list.
The full list:
1. La Roque-Gageac (Dordogne)
2. Gordes (Vaucluse)
3. Beynac-et-Cazenac (Dordogne)
4. Cordes-sur-Ciel (Tarn)
5. Barfleur (Manche)
6. Ainhoa (Pyrénées-Atlantiques)
7. Riquewihr (Haut-Rhin)
8. Conques (Aveyron)
9. Belcastel (Aveyron)
10. Vézelay (Yonne)
11. Albi (Tarn)
12. Najac (Aveyron)
13. Loubressac (Lot)
14. Rochefort-en-Terre (Brittany)
15. Yvoire (Haute-Savoie Alps)
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