By the waterside

    • Moustiers-Sainte-Marie portail chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir

    Moustiers has established its houses and bustling streets in the indentation of a rock, right beside the Lac de Sainte-Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. It is famous for producing pottery (faïence) and the village still has some twenty workshops devoted to that craft today.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Source of the River Adou, Lac de Sainte-Croix, Gorges du Verdon
    • Unusual sights : The "Chain" and its star linking the two rocky cliffs overhanging the village
    • Panoramas : View of the village and its site from a waymarked path leading to the "Chain"

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    • Najac vue d'ensemble

    Najac is built along a rocky ridge, overlooked by a fortress that was once the envy of Kings of France and England. Its "lauze" stone-slab-roofed houses stretch out above the wild gorges of the Aveyron. Take the rampart walk and you will get an amazing view of the wild open spaces around you.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The Gorges of the Aveyron
    • Castles and ramparts : The 12C royal fortress
    • Gastronomy : Najac’s fouace
    • Panoramas : View of the village, the river and valley from the rampart walk

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    • navarrenx échauguette et remparts

    At about 30 kilometers far from Pau, Navarrenx was founded as a "bastide" in 1316 and fortified in the 16th century which makes its particular urban structure. Navarrenx is also a stopping place on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela overlooking the river Oloron...

    By themes

    • By the waterside : the river Oloron
    • Castles and ramparts : fortifications
    • Panoramas : View on the river Oloron from the "Bastion de la Clochette"

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  • Curled up in the hollow of a meander made by the River Serein, Noyers has two sides to show visitors : its medieval and its winegrowing facets. Place de la Petite-Etape-aux-Vins, Place du Marché-au-Blé or Place du Grenier-à-Sel (Wine, Corn Market and Salt Storehouse Squares) are all squares that call to mind the village’s flourishing period of farming and trade, as do the fine half-timbered fronts of the 15C houses

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Serein
    • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts, towers and gates of the old fortification
    • Unusual sights : Naïve Art Museum
    • Wine : AOC Chablis wines

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  • Olargues is torn between the South of France and the Massif Central, but that’s no problem because it’s got a little bit of both ! Chestnut and cherry trees rub shoulders with vines and olive trees and the sun tries to heat up the chilly waters of the River Jaur. At the foot of the Caroux Mountains, the old fortified village attracts visitors not only because of its paved streets and covered passageways but also because it is ideally located for outdoor activities.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : River Jaur
    • Castles and ramparts : Remains of the ramparts, keep of the old castle which is now the church tower
    • Panoramas : Panoramic view from the church tower
    • Wine : AOC wines from Berlou and Roquebrun (Saint-Chinian)

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    • Parfondeval vue depuis la mare

    Parfondeval is in Picardy and its impressive redbrick, grey slate-roofed houses are clustered around a carpet of greenery. The village is almost entirely geared to farming and its scenery includes apple orchards, pastureland and fields of maize – it’s just like being out in the countryside !

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : The fortified church of Saint Médard built in the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV
    • Unusual sights : The pond in the middle of the village square

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  • Pesmes used to be a strategic site on the way from Gray to Dole and has had a turbulent history because of the various occupations it underwent before it became French in 1678. Despite that fact, the village has preserved a wealth of heritage : remains of the castle, church of Saint Hilaire dating back to the 13C and 14C and gates. Along the delightful River Ognon, the 16C and 17C dwellings that used to belong to leading citizens and the wine growers’ houses are reminders of the village’s wine producing past.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Au fil de l'eau L’Ognon (rivière)
    • Castles and ramparts : Castles and ramparts of Pesmes
    • Unusual sights : The ancient forge

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    • Peyre façades maisons

    This hamlet that belongs to the municipality of Comprégnac will have had an unusual destiny : just 7 kilometres from Millau, its creamy stone houses stretch out along a sheer cliff that faces the highest viaduct in the world. In front of the church that is built into the cliff face, an open square offers an unobstructed view of the viaduct and the green waters of the River Tarn.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Tarn
    • Abbeys and churches : Church of Saint Christophe built into the rock
    • Panoramas : View of Millau Viaduct and the River Tarn

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    • Piana maisons

    In Corsica, known as the Island of Beauty, at the entrance to a magnificent pink granite "calanche" or rocky inlet listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Piana looks down over the Golfe de Porto from its idyllic setting. As you wander from narrow street to shady square where the scent of eucalyptus hangs, you will discover the white houses arranged in amphitheatre fashion that are overlooked by the Italian-style church of Sainte Marie.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Mediterranean Sea
    • Unusual sights : The rocky inlets

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  • 15 kilometres southwest of Alençon, Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei lies nestled in a loop of the River Sarthe that is spanned by a small stone bridge. Its old houses are clustered around the 11C Romanesque church that boasts outstanding frescoes. On the other side of the river, opposite a delightful 15C chapel, a miracle spring, which arose following a prayer made by Saint Céneri, is said to have the power to cure certain eye diseases.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Sarthe
    • Abbeys and churches : 11C Romanesque church of Saint Céneri and the 15C chapel

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