Unusual sights

    • Domme place Mairie

    Some ten kilometres south of Sarlat, Domme is perched on a breathtakingly high cliff that allows it to enjoy an exceptional view of the Dordogne valley and the neighbouring Most Beautiful Villages of La Roque-Gageac and Beynac-et-Cazenac. This creamy-stoned "bastide" or fortified village boasts a successful combination of architectural, natural and gastronomic heritage typical of Périgord Noir.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Dordogne
    • Panoramas : View of the Dordogne valley and its tourist attractions
    • Unusual sights : The caves and development of concretions

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    • Gargilesse fresques

    In the leafy valley of the River Creuse, this Berry village that George Sand was so fond of has played host to many painters all of whom were charmed by the romantic sight of its steeply-roofed houses, clustered harmoniously around the Romanesque church and the castle. Gargilesse still enjoys a wealth of cultural events today that take place in a welcoming, easygoing atmosphere.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Creuse
    • Abbeys and churches : 11C Byzantine and Romanesque church
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Unusual sights : George Sand’s house

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    • Gordes château

    The houses of Gordes cling to the side of the Vaucluse plateau, overlooking Cavaillon plain. They are arranged in tiers around the imposing Renaissance castle and church and narrow cobbled streets wind their way through them. Gordes is a village of artists and has been extolled by Marc Chagall, Victor Vasarely and Pol Mara ; it is a must on Provence’s cultural trail.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Sénanque Abbey
    • Castles and ramparts : The Renaissance castle
    • Panoramas : Views of the village from the road, view of Apt Valley and Cavaillon plain from the top of the village
    • Unusual sights : The village of Les Bories (dry-stone huts)
    • Wine : AOC Côtes du Ventoux wines

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  • Located on the Wine Route, right in the middle of the vineyards, this flower-decked village of Alsace conceals a wealth of treasures and unusual sights : its 16C houses, its fortified church and cemetery, which make Hunawihr one of the few examples of defensive religious architecture, and for a romantic touch, its Butterfly Garden.

    Themes

    • Unusual sights : Butterfly Garden
    • Wine : AOC Alsace wines and local Grand Cru, Rosacker

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  • With their half-timbering on dazzling white walls, hipped gables and geraniums at the windows, the impressive houses of Hunspach are typical of the Wissembourg region and line the main street of the village. Some of them have kept a distinguishing feature of Hunspach : the rounded glass in the windows which allows their inhabitants to see out without being seen !

    Themes

    • Unusual sights : Rounded glass windows
    • Wine : Wines of Alsace

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  • "Bastida de Clarenza" was founded in 1314 by Louis I King of Navarre and future King of France because he needed an outlet onto the sea. It still bears the marks of the different peoples and religions that came here as a result of its position. White facades striped with green or red nevertheless remind visitors that here they are in Basque country

    Themes

    • Unusual sights : The Jewish cemetery

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    • La Flotte bateaux

    A pretty little fishing and yachting port ! With its rounded, 200m-long jetty built in 1840, La Flotte lives in tune with the comings and goings of the boats that enliven the quays all year round. Inside, the peaceful, flower-decked streets line up their low-roofed houses whose sparklingly white walls provide a luminous background to the green or blue shutters

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Atlantic Ocean
    • Gastronomy : Oysters, Pineau fortified wine and sea salt
    • Unusual sights : Fort de la Prée

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    • La Garde-Adhémar route pont

    Some twenty kilometres south of Montélimar, the white stones of La Garde-Adhémar dazzle in the Drôme Provençale sunshine. From the top of its chalky outcrop, the village, which has kept ramparts, traces of the castle and old houses from its medieval structure, offers an unobstructed view of the Rhône Valley and the Vivarais Mountains.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Church of Saint Michel, White Penitents’ Chapel, Notre Dame Chapel (Val des Nymphes site)
    • Castles and ramparts : The ramparts and feudal castle
    • Panoramas : View of the Rhône Valley and the Vivarais Mountains
    • Unusual sights : Val des Nymphes site (worship of water gods and mother goddesses)

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  • In Périgord Noir, at the foot of a south-facing cliff, the creamy stone houses with their "lauze" stone slab or brown-tiled roofs are mirrored in the waters of the River Dordogne where the famous "gabares" (traditional flat-bottomed boats) laden with goods used to pass in the 19C.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Dordogne
    • Castles and ramparts : Castle of the Bishops of Sarlat
    • Unusual sights : Troglodytic fort built in the cliff face

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  • Perched above the valleys and hills of Quercy Blanc, this fortified village founded in the 12C by the Count of Toulouse is on the "via Podiensis", one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Many traces of its historical and religious past still remain intact : the main square and its cobblestones, stone-built or half-timbered houses, and the pilgrim’s garden to name but a few

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : Lauzerte macaroon, AOC Chasselas grapes, fruit and duck products
    • Panoramas : View of Quercy Blanc valleys
    • Unusual sights : The square surrounded by an arcade with its raised paving in one corner
    • Wine : Coteaux du Quercy wines

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