By the waterside

    • Aiguèze méandre Ardèche

    One side is perched on a cliff overlooking the gorges of the Ardèche, the other faces the Côtes du Rhône vineyards. The two facets of this former stronghold draw visitors because of their simplicity and the exceptional setting.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The rivers Ardèche and Cèze
    • Castles and ramparts : The ramparts, the Sarrazine tower, the "castelas"
    • Unusual sights : The "hoaxes" in the village streets to tease the tourists
    • Wine : The Côtes du Rhône wines

    read more
    • Angles-sur-l'Anglin spectacle pyromélodique

    Angles-sur-l’Anglin is on the borders of Berry and Touraine ; it gets its name from the Angles, the Saxon tribe that invaded England in the 5C, and from the river that separates the upper part of the village from the lower one. As for its reputation, that has been established for the past 150 years thanks to its "jours" – a wonderful form of hand-made drawn-thread embroidery. The village is also famous for its 15000 year old Magdalenian sculptures of the "Witches’ Rock"...

     Themes

    • By the wateride : The river Anglin
    • Castles and ramparts : The fortress
    • Unusual sights : The "Witches' Rock" and its Magdalenian sculptures

    read more
    • Apremont-sur-Allier Parc Floral pavillon turc

    Apremont is nestled in the heart of Berry, in a bocage landscape criss-crossed by hedges and copses on the banks of the Allier. The village is overlooked by its castle which is surrounded by a flower garden inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s landscaped garden in Sissinghurst ; the village was completely restored in the last century.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Allier
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle

    read more
    • Arlempdes maison

    Arlempdes is an impressive sight appearing as it does after a bend in the road. The village stands at the top of a volcanic peak that the Loire encircles in a meander and the ruins of its castle serve as backdrop for the "Théâtrales du Velay" drama festival every summer.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Loire
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Gastronomy : The green Puy lentils

    read more
    • Ars-en-Ré échauguette

    Ars-en-Ré lies at the westernmost tip of the island called Ile de Ré and can be spotted thanks to its church steeple whose 40-m high, black and white spire still serves as a landmark for sailors. The village grew up around the salt marshes in the 11C and 60 salt workers still farm the Fier d’Ars salt marshes today.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Atlantic Ocean
    • Gastronomy : Oysters, potatoes and finest sea salt
    • Wine : Pineau

    read more

    On the borders of Charente and Périgord, Aubeterre clings its entangled roofs and castle to a grassy cliff on the banks of the Dronne. The monolithic or rock-hewn underground Church of Saint Jean, the Collegiate Church of Saint Jacques and chapels and convents are evidence of the village’s significant religious past and pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela used to stop here.

    Themes

      • Abbeys and churches : Underground Church of Saint Jean, Collegiate Church of Saint Jacques, Poor Clare, Franciscan and Minim convents
      • By the waterside :
      • Castles and ramparts : The castle

      River Dronne

    read more
    • Auvillar place de la Halle

    A stopping place on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela between Toulouse and Agen, on the banks of the Garonne, Auvillar is revealed through one of the 3 gateways that cut through its fortifications and lead to the square where a circular corn exchange can be admired – the only one of its kind in Southwest France.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Garonne
    • Unusual sight : The circular corn exchange

    read more
    • Balazuc grange

    Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ardèche, the old fortress belonging to the "Lords of Balazuc" has kept many signs of its medieval past : a maze of winding streets and arched passageways have always been part of the village scenery along with the castle, the fortified Romanesque church and the outer gates.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Ardèche
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle, Summer Gate and Sablière gate
    • Wine : AOC Côtes du Vivarais, Coteaux de l’Ardèche locally produced wine

    read more
    • Barfleur vue générale

    Barfleur was the Anglo-Norman Kingdom’s leading port in the Middle Ages and is still a big yachting and fishing port today. Its grey granite houses jut out over the Channel under the watchful eye of the semaphore and Gatteville lighthouse.

    Themes

    • By the Waterside : The Channel
    • Gastronomy : "Blondes de Barfleur" mussels, fish and shellfish off the boats.

    read more
    • Belcastel vue village

    In this former stopping place on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, by the banks of the Aveyron, stone-built houses and roofs tiled with "lauzes" stone slabs rise in tiers at the foot of the fortified castle that was remarkably well restored in the late 1970s by architect Fernand Pouillon.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Aveyron
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle

    read more