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7 Most Entrancing Villages in France

When one mentions the beautiful country France, the first thing we naturally think of is its capital, Paris. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysées and the Louvre are famous landmarks that are well worth seeing, but what lies beyond the ‘City of Lights?’ A lot!

France is punctuated with myriads of enchanting and quaint little villages and towns, and each one has an alluring ambience of its own. The scent of centuries old villages with historic castles, medieval cobblestone streets, romantic and breezy seasides, ancient vineyards, and picturesque landscapes will change you forever.

I love visiting France. It would take a lifetime to see all of its whimsical and breathtaking corners. The land, the cuisine and the champagne will keep you coming back. Here are a few places that many deem the loveliest villages and towns in France. I completely agree with them!

Copyright Photo by Manuel Zwick

Angles-sur-l’Anglin is a pretty little village that rests in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France. The Château d’Angles-sur-l’Anglin dates back to the 11th century and had significant alterations and additions in the 15th century. Today, the ruins sit like a crown 50 meters about the village. Sights to see are the Wizards Rock, St. Martins Church, high city, low city and the castle ruins.

Beynac-et-Cazenac is a lovely medieval feudal village that dates back to the 11th century that’s situated in Southern France. Its chateau soars 500 feet about the Dordogne river with a view fit for a king. Stroll along the winding streets and explore the charming shops and pretty gardens as you take in the views of this photogenic village.

The fortified town of Domme is perched on a cliff that hangs arrestingly over the Dordogne valley. In 1307, the Knight Templars were imprisoned in Porte des Tours in Domme during the trial against them, of which hundreds of Templar graffiti carvings still bear witness. Domme’s fortifications, 17th-century Palace de la Halle, stunning caves, and delightful promenade running alongside the cliff offer visitors an exceptional experience.

photo by Ralph Hammann

Kaysersberg is a graceful village with half timbered homes and narrow paved streets. It also has the ruins of a 13th-century castle overlooking the village and a 16th-century fortified bridge offering a panoramic view of the river.

Kaysersberg is one of the finest wine growing areas in Alsace.The first vines were brought here in the 16th century from Hungary, and wine production is still an important aspect of the town’s economy today.

Equisheim, listed among the most beautiful villages in France, is built with streets arranged in parallel circles all around its castle. The narrow paved streets are lined with beautiful old half-timbered houses that are adorned with cheerful geranium-bedecked wooden windows and balconies. The central square is the heart of the village. It has a magnificent fountain, the colorful Saint-Léon-IX chapel and the Eguisheim castle.

(c) OTPBA

Perouges is a stunning medieval walled town on a quaint hill that overlooks the Ain River valley, about 35 km from Lyon, France. Nestled between two medieval gates, the old charm of centuries gone by with historic stone houses and narrow and wonky cobblestone paths have been very well preserved. With only 100 or so residents, there are still plenty of charming shops, restaurants and hotels to accommodate guests. Saunter around the Rue des Rondes which encircles the center of the village and soak in the charm. Visit the Palace du Tilleuls and see the 200-year-old Liberty Tree, or check out Saint George’s church. The Three Musketeer movie was filmed here in 1970’s.

Yvoire is the most beautiful and romantic medieval town along Lake Geneva in France. It was built in the early 14th century and not much has changed. Thankfully they’ve taken care to preserve the castle, old town walls, gate, ramparts and well-trodden cobblestone roads and have not modernized their village. The village is decorated with lots of cheerful flowers making it utterly charming. Read my full review here.

56 Comments

  • The France I want to go see is not so much Paris, but yes, these wonderful villages and towns! Rural France is so diverse and has so much to offer that I can’t wait to go see it one day.

  • May I add Carcassonne, in the south of France? It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, as is the Canal du Midi, which runs through town, so you get two in one place. It’s surrounded by gorgeous vineyards, with mountains to the north and south and Mediterranean beaches not far to the east. Lots to see and do.

  • It’s hard to believe there is still these wonderful and beautiful places, they all look so peaceful and calm

  • These towns in France are so picturesque and charming.I love how they have preserved their history and how unique and beautiful they are.My dad was there to visit and brought some awesome pictures home.

  • I’ve always wanted to see France it’s been a childhood dream. One day I will get that chance. Such a beautiful place to visit

  • I love that France has enchanting and quaint little villages and towns, and each one has an alluring ambiance of its own, the pictures are awesome. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • oh my gosh! it is like scenes from a movie! I see Equisheim, and it reminds me of Beauty and the Beast <3 What enchanting places and a dream to see in person

  • France, like a lot of other European countries, has really picturesque villages and of course centuries old buildings/castles/fortifications. I love the historic buildings and the architecture is marvellous.

  • The villages are so pretty and I love all the scenery in these villages. Would love to walk some of those streets some day.

  • I would love to see France and travel all through there and all of Europe if I was able to. There’s so much history and the beautiful architecture. That would be a dream come true for me.

  • All gorgeous and I did not know that the Knight Templars were imprisoned in Porte des Tours in Domme during the trial against them. Very interesting.

  • It is a dream of mine to travel through France and see the historical sites and learn about them! It would be amazing to see! I love that the virtual world connects us and allows us to glimpse at the places we dream of and learn about them!

  • My goodness! Such places I have only dreamed of visiting. I’ve only been out of the country twice and I now live in this one of Canada. I came from a very small town and have not had the money or opportunity to travel the world. These places are absolutely beautiful and astonishing. I’d love to be able to just travel one day.

  • Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. Quote that’s meaningful and useful for all! Good luck on the contest and fingers crossed over here!????????

  • How I would love to have the time money and freedom to travel to France just to look at wonderful ruins all day! I love history being able to see these historic spaces in person would be a dream.

  • My brother did his master’s degree in France, and he loved all the little towns and villages. I only briefly visited Paris and Cannes, but France has so many nice places to see. Hope to go there again. Your village roundup is great, makes me wanna go there and stay for a while!

  • I love that France has enchanting and quaint little villages and towns, and each one has an alluring ambiance of its own, the pictures are awesome.

  • I love that you have posted an article on the lesser visited and known villages/towns in France. I have actually visited about 90% of them and been in those areas and they are lovely!

  • The architecture is stunning! There is something inherently beautiful about an old building or home (although I’m sure the heating bill isn’t it!) 🙂

  • I would love to go to France! I love the history of the homes, castles and villages! So beautiful! I can only imagine it is even more breathtaking in real life.

  • the pic are great and would love to go over see to ireland and france an dwould take so many pic i fill up to 3 cameara disk

  • To think that all I’ve ever seen is Paris…I like it there too, but, next time I’m going to take the time to scout around if I can. wow

  • Wow looks like a very peaceful place , would love to travel to France one day , its def on my bucket list to visit thanks for sharing !

  • Another addition to a history buff’s Bucket List would be these seven villages mentioned in your post. If you only have time for one and love beauty, choose Yvoire. It is practically covered in all types of flowers and would be a flower lover’s dream come true.(I am such a person.)
    The other villages are wonderful as well. Kayserberg is also noted for the fine wines grown there. You would be in love with all of seven if you love history.

  • We went to Eze while on a tour and it was like a fairytale to me! We only had a couple hours but out of all the places I’ve been that is one I’ve dreamed of returning to. LOVED it!

  • I was in France, once, many many years ago, so this was an very interesting article, to me. I went to Paris and Nice and that was it! I was young, and didn’t think of going off the beaten path….but this article sure made me wish I could go back, and see some of the off the beaten path places that I didn’t know about, or search for, when I was younger. Equisheim looks especially beautiful.

  • So beautiful! I definitely prefer the small towns to the hustle and touristy feel of Paris. I had the chance to visit Limoges in high school and I loved it.

  • This is an article that I’ll save in my “Travel-France” folder! I’ve visited Paris but not any of these other lovely places and I would definitely include them in a trip!

  • Oh my gosh! The pics are to die over – is it really so pretty there? I knew I wanted to see Scotland for the many villages that have been around forever but now these pics make me think of France as well.

    Mishelle

  • I have been home bound for the past four years due to my wife’s health. I have to say that after seeing and reading the places in France; I long to visit there. Once her health permits I will visit there.

  • Thank you so much for this post! These look like wonderful fairy tale villages! Something outside of Paris! Thank you for the pics! Wonderful!

  • What a beautiful sceneries and photos of france, I usually travel there but have ot been to this beauty, would love to go there too

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