Gastronomy

    • Arlempdes vue maisons

    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

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    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

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    • Barfleur église

    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.

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    • Beuvron-en-Auge Vieux Manoir

    Beuvron was a former stronghold of the Harcourt family and lies in the heart of Pays d’Auge country on the Cider Route. It is just like a picture postcard with its half-timbered houses, its market and country houses scattered around the countryside.

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : Beuvron cider, Cider and Cheese Routes
    • Unusual sights : Place de la Halle or Market Square

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    • Beynac-et-Cazenac rue tour carrée

    Beynac-et-Cazenac lies 10 kilometres southwest of Sarlat, on the banks of the Dordogne, and boasts an imposing castle, once besieged by Richard the Lion Heart, around which "lauze" stone slab-roofed houses with their creamy façades are built.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Dordogne
    • Castles and ramparts : Beynac Castle
    • Gastronomy : Geese and ducks
    • Unusual sights : The Archaeological Park

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    • Bonneval-sur-Arc charpente

    For 6 or 7 months of the year in Savoie, in the Haute-Maurienne Valley, Bonneval-sur-Arc quilts its stone-built houses with their stone-slab roofs in a thick snowy mass from which only the typical chimneys and church spire emerge.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Arc
    • Gastronomy : Charcuterie, salt meats and cheeses

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    Between Rochefort and the Ile d’Oléron, the fortified city of Brouage rises from the marshland. As an ancient port it thrived on the salt trade, which today has given way today to oyster farming. However, it is equally renowned for the fortifications ordered by Cardinal Richelieu in the 17th century; behind its girdle of ramparts, houses typical of Charente’s architectural style rub shoulders with the Halle aux Vivres (a military food store), gunpowder stores, forges and underground quays.  The Canadian stained-glass windows in the church remind us that Brouage was the birthplace of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec…

    By Themes:

    • By the waterside: the marchlands.
    • Castles and ramparts: the ramparts (16th C.)
    • Gastronomy: mussels and Marennes' oysters

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    • Charroux fenêtre

    A short break in Charroux in the Bourbonnais, just 30 kilometres west of Vichy and 20 kilometres south of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, promises great charm and difference ! The village is famous for its mustard that is used by several great chefs and exported around the world, but this former fortified village and centre of trade has other things to show off too.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : the ramparts, the East and West gates
    • Gastronomy : Charroux Mustard
    • Unusual sights : the "Cour des Dames" (small inner courtyard in the centre of the village), the truncated spire of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church

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    • Coaraze église

    Coaraze lies at an altitude of 650 m, not far from Mercantour National Park, and is known as "sunshine village". The steep cobblestone lanes, arch-covered passageways, houses built of stone or painted blue, yellow or pink in Italian style and the flower-decked squares have attracted many artists and celebrities, some of whom, such as Jean Cocteau or Ponce de Léon, signed the village’s sundials.

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : Olives and olive oil
    • Unusual sights : The sundials

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    • Flavigny-sur-Ozerain rue de l'église

    Built around a Benedictine abbey founded in the 8C, this Burgundian village not only relates its medieval history through its ramparts, fortified gates, cobblestone streets, houses and mansions but also through its aniseed-flavoured sweets that are still made in the former abbey and the smell of which will welcome you as you arrive !

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The ramparts, the fortified gates of Val, Bourg, and Poterne
    • Gastronomy : Aniseed sweets
    • Panoramas : View of the Auxois hills from the rampart walk
    • Wine : Locally produced Coteaux de l’Auxois wine : Flavigny vineyards

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