France Off The Beaten Path Tours – France is full of characteristics, authentic, ideal and unusual small towns and villages, more or less known travelers. If you want to get out of the box to discover the exotic villages of the common citizens, take a look at this glimpse of the treasures hidden deep off the beaten track in France.
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10 France Off The Beaten Path Tours
1 – La Roque-Gageac
Nestled at the foot of a cliff on the banks of the Dordogne, the small village of Roque-Gageac, facing south, is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Do not hesitate to embark on a gabarre or as in English a Scow, these traditional boats on which were once used for transporting the goods, to admire the facades of the charming small houses since the Dordogne.
In the heart of the cliff acting as a natural solarium is a small tropical garden where palm trees, banana trees, bamboos, and cacti grow very fine next to the church.
2 – Mirepoix
Not far from the city of Carcassonne where the famous fortress of the same name stands, you will find the delightful bastide of Mirepoix. Located in the Pays de Pyrénées Cathare and labeled Country of Art and History, the Mirepoix bastide has retained all the charm of a medieval village, including half-timbered timber-framed houses that surround the typically medieval covered square at the center of the village.
Do not miss to hit the antique shops of the village, where you will surely find unique souvenirs and objects of all kinds, the vintage pieces that will make you flip.
3 – Saint-Véran
The town of Saint-Véran is located in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Queyras. It is labeled the most beautiful villages in France and is the highest inhabited municipality in Europe.
Its wooden chalets with slate roofs, all the small wooden fountains and typical mountain bakeries will literally make your heart melt for this village which benefits from a burst of extraordinary sunshine. And check out the numerous sundials which spread all over the alleys of the village.
4 – Cucuron
Located in the heart of the Natural Park of Luberon, just a few kilometers from Aix-en-Provence, Cucuron is worth to be better appreciated. This typical Provençal village will charm you with its barricades, its castle, its baths and wash houses and the Pond lined with hundred-year-old plane trees which make Cucuron recognizable by all.
Lose yourself in the midst of shades and scents as you walk in the shadow of the extending trees on the streets, from one small square to another where you can sip a glass of Côtes du Luberon in absolute tranquility.
5 – Saint Goustan
Nothing more natural than a village of Brittany remained unchanged and Saint Goustan is the proof. You will not find anywhere else a panorama and an atmosphere similar to those of Brittany.
Stroll in the cobbled streets of Saint-Goustan and a bit like taking a leap into the past. Cross its stone bridge and explore its narrow streets animated by the presence of artisans and art galleries to the port that takes its name from Saint Goustan, the patron saint of sailors and fishermen.
6 – Bormes-Les-Mimosas
Bormes-Les-Mimosas … such a name is full of excitement! Classified as one of the most flowery villages in France, Bormes-Les-Mimosas, perched on a hill, proudly overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.
You are still in time to attend the Grand Floral Corso Mimosa de Bormes which is held every year on the last weekend of February. Relish the houses with pink and ocher tiled roofs, turning and snaking alleys, walls and castle ruins, you will realize how Bormes-Les-Mimosas is a genuine village, a true Provençal spot to tour indeed.
7 – Castelnou
The village of Castelnou is a true gem of Catalonia, against the backdrop of the legendary Canigou mountain. Castelnou is perhaps a little more known and therefore touristy than the other places that we mentioned in this 10 France Off The Beaten Path Tours list.
Nevertheless, we wanted to share it with you because it is particularly preserved! No overabundance of shops or hotels have ever denatured this outstanding frame-like postcard.
8 – Moncontour of Brittany
Snuggled in lush greenery, a heart of the Breton countryside and clinging to a rocky outcrop, the medieval city of Moncontour is definitely one of the 10 France Off The Beaten Path Tours today.
The town hall, the church, the superb bourgeois mansions, and the luxurious villas contribute to the remarkable historical and architectural heritage of Moncontour, labeled the most beautiful village in France it’s a town of real character.
9 – Piriac-Sur-Mer
For those of you who prefer the sea or the beach, rather than the hikes that you can enjoy around Moncontour, enjoy Piriac-Sur-Mer. Located on the peninsula of Guérande, this small town of style will surprise you with its rich natural, architectural, literary and legendary diversity.
Experience the sea air of this charming seaside resort with a strong Breton identity and indulge in the authentic atmosphere of the port, the charming cottages in the heart of the village and along the coast which reveals mesmerizing panoramas.
10 – Belcastel
On the road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, in the south of France and bordering the Aveyron, stands a perfectly restored castle at the foot of which is spread a small village made of stone houses of the country and topped roofs of lauzes.
Do not miss to visit the fortress of Belcastel, built in the late tenth century on a chapel dating from the ninth century, left in ruins and finally restored with taste and expertise in the seventeenth century by the architect Fernand Pouillon. It now houses an art gallery that contributes to the dynamism of the town.
For the little anecdote: pay attention to the mailboxes of houses in the village, each one is more humorous than the other and if you have the opportunity, go to the gourmet Michelin starred restaurant du Vieux Pont, an institution in Belcastel where Cyril Lignac did his apprenticeship with sisters Nicole and Michèle Fagegaltier.