Discover Le Jardin de Liliane
Le Jardin de Liliane is a beautiful French garden in the Haute-Vienne department of France.
Le Jardin de Liliane is in the village of St-Laurent-sur-Gorre not far from Limoges.
Places to visit in France
Le Jardin de Liliane is a beautiful French garden in the Haute-Vienne department of France.
Le Jardin de Liliane is in the village of St-Laurent-sur-Gorre not far from Limoges.
Courpiere is in the Puy de Dome department of the Auvergne region of France.
Sauxillanges is in the Puy de Dome department of the Auvergne region of France.
It is on the western edge of the Livradois-Forez natural park. It is close to Usson which is one of the "most beautiful villages of France".
Auzon is in the Haute-Loire department of France in the Auvergne region.
Auzon is a pretty village sat on a hill in the Livardois-Forez natural park. It is close to the most beautiful village of Lavaudieu.
Allegre is in the Haute Loire department in the Auvergne region of France.
Allegre is at the southern tip of the lovely Livradois-Forez natural park close to La Chaise-Dieu.
Olliergues is in the Puy-de-Dome department between Thiers and Ambert.
Olliergues is in the pretty Livradois-Forez naturel parc.
Billom is a small town in the Puy-de-Dome department of France in the Auvergne region.
Billom is on the western edge of the Livadois-Forez Regional Park and is close to Ambert and Thiers.
Caudecoste is in the Lot et Garonne department on the border with Tarn et Garonne and also very close to the Gers department.
Caudecoste is a pleasant 13th century bastide.
Donzac is a village in the Tarn-et-Garonne department. It is in the Garonne valley on the left bank of the river. Donzac sits next to the border with Lot-et-Garonne and very close to Gers department.
It is close to the lovely village of Dunes and Auvillar which is one of France's 'most beautiful villages'.
Dunes is a village in the Tarn-et-Garonne department on the border with Gers.
It is close to the "most beautiful village" of Auvillar and itself has a very attractive medieval centre.
Saint-Antoine is a small village in the Gers department. It is close to Valence d'Agen and Moissac.
Saint-Antoine is an attractive village with an ancient hospital, the Ancien Hospice des Antonins.
Valence d'Agen is a market town in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrenees region. It is 16km west of Moissac and 5km from Auvillar.
Without any major sights it is non the less a pleasant town with cafes and restaurants and a few shops.
Bardigues is a small village in the Tarn-et-Garonne deparment of the Midi-Pyrenees region.
It is close to the most beautiful village of Auvillar and the town of Moissac with its lovely cloister.
Le Pin is a quiet village in the Tarn-et-Garonne close to the 'most beautiful village' of Auvillar.
Le Pin has a beautiful chateau with fairy-tale like spires and an impressive gate-house. These are private and not open for visits.
Saint Nicolas de la Grave is in the Tarn-et-Garonne department. It is just 6km from Moissac with its famous cloisters.
Saint Nicolas de la Grave is a small town with an unusual brick-built chateau where Richard the Lionheart once stayed.
Beaumont de Lomagne is in the department of Tarn-et-Garonne. It is close to two of the most beautiful villages of France; Sarrant at 13km and Auvillar at 22km.
Beaumont de Lomagne is a bastide town built in an attractive mix of brick and stone and dating back to the 13th century.
Realville is a small village in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrenees. It is close to Bruniquel with its two castles and the lovely town of St-Antonin-Noble-Val.
Varen is a fortified village in the Tarn-et-Garonne department of the Midi-Pyrenees Region.
Varen is a pretty village close to the lovely medieval town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Var and the village of Najac which is classed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.
Verfeil is a small bastide in the Tarn-et-Garonne department of the Midi-Pyrenees.
It is near to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and also the charming Jardins de Quercy situated between Verfeil and Varen.
Espinas is a tiny village in the Tarn-et-Garonne most notable for its nearby chateau, the Chateau de Cas.
The town of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux is situated in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, on the border with Belgium to the north of Valenciennes and surrounded by the Scarpe-Escaut Natural Regional Park. The Maison du Parc, the visitor's centre for exploring the Natural Park, is in the town.
Apart from the easy access to the natural park, Saint-Amand-les-Eaux also attracts visitors due to its long established tradition as a spa treatment centre.
The village of Maroilles is situated towards the south-east of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, about 40 kilometres east of Cambrai and in the heart of the Regional Natural Park de l'Avesnois.
The village, in a picturesque riverside setting, is best known for its abbey buildings and for a well known cheese produced in the village.
The small town of Esquelbecq is situated towards the north of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, about 20 kilometres south of Dunkirk.
As well as being a pleasant place for a stroll it is also known as a 'village of books' and for its war cemetery.
Parisot is a pretty small village in the north east of the Tarn-et-Garonne department. It occupies an attractive position looking out over the gently rolling countryside.
It is situated close to the village of Caylus, worth visiting for its excellent contemporary wooden statue of Christ.
Caylus is found to the South East of Tarn-et-Garonne in the Midi-Pyrennes region. It sits in a lovely location winding up a hill with views over the surrounding countryside.
The town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is found towards the west of the Somme department of Picardy, south of Le Crotoy on the estuary of the Somme river.
The town has certain historical sites to discover, and is also close to the important natural environment of the Somme Bay, making St-Valery-sur-Somme one of the most visited towns in the region.
The small town of Langeais is centrally placed in the Loire Valley region, about 20 kilometres west of Tours and on the Loire River.
It falls in the eastern part of the Regional Natural Parc of Loire-Anjou-Touraine.
Lyon old town is situated across the Saone River from the Presqu'ile district at the heart of Lyon's beautiful and thriving centre.
Maguelone is a tiny volcanic island attached to the mainland by a narrow strip of land surrounded by water. It is home to the cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul of Maguelone. The cathedral can be reached by car from Palavas-les-Flots or on foot from Villeneuve-les-Maguelone.
Lunas, Avene, Brenas, Ceilhes et Rocozels, Dio et Valquieres and Joncels are small but pretty villages in the area known as the 'Pays des Monts et des Sources', 'Land of Mountains and Springs'.
Take a drive through this pretty countryside and stop to discover the pretty villages tucked away in this peaceful area of the Herault department in Languedoc Roussillon.
Montpellier's new Odysseum district has been built in a fun modern style giving it something of the aire of a Miami shopping mall. It combines shopping with a number of leisure pursuits including an ice rink, a planetarium and an aquarium. It is to the east of Montpellier's centre on tramway line 1.
Montpellier's Antigone district is just next to the historic centre and full of huge neo-classical buildings designed by the Catalonian architect Ricardo Bofill. Montpellier is in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France just 10 km from the Mediterranean.
Avene is situated in the Pays des Monts et Sources (land of mountains and springs) in the Herault department of Languedoc Roussillon. It is not far from Lodève. Avene is famous for its therapeutic waters and the spa and Avène beauty products that use these healing waters.
The Lac du Salagou is a large lake near to Clermont l'Herault in the Herault department of Languedoc Roussillon. Well known in the area for the vivid colours of the lake and its surroundings it is very popular for various water sports, walking and cycling.
Villeneuvette is an attractive village close to Clermont-l'Herault in the Herault department of Languedoc Roussillon. Originally built as a factory to produce cloth for the king and to house the workers and earning its label as a "Manufacture Royale".
Clermont-l'Herault is 48km from the vibrant city of Montpellier and 40km from the sea. Although it is much smaller than Montpellier it is the capital of the Languedoc Roussillon Region.
The town of Issoudun is about 30 kilometres north-east of Chateauroux, in the Indre department (Centre region) of central France.
The town is quite typical of those in the region and although lacking major monuments Issoudun is pleasant to explore and there are several sights of interest, so a detour to visit is suggested when you are exploring the region.
The village of Nohant-Vic is located in the peaceful countryside of the south-eastern Indre department, about 30 kilometres south-east of Chateauroux.
It would perhaps pass unnoticed by tourists, if it were not for the presence of the home of George Sand, which attracts many visitors each year.
Saint-Chartier is a small town on the river Igneraie and in the natural region known as Boischaut in the south-east of the Indre department, to the north of La Chatre and just a few kilometres from Nohant-Vic.
The small town of La Chatre is located to the south-east of the Indre department, at about 30 kilometres south-east of Chateauroux, the department 'prefecture' town, within the Boischaut natural region that is well known for its association with the author George Sand.
The town of Longeville-sur-Mer is in the south-western Vendee department and about 10 kilometres east of Jard-sur-Mer. It is a popular destination for those seeking a friendly beach holiday.
Rather curiously given its name, Longeville-sur-Mer is not actually on the coast - but the surrounding commune contains a section of coast with beaches so they are not too far away!
Lucon is a pleasant town in the southern part of the Vendee department, best known for its cathedral and a popular trip with visitors to the beaches along the coast to the west of here.
The town and associated coastline of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez is one of the best known and most visited of the popular resorts along the Vendée coast of western France - the 'Côte de Lumière'.
It is situated just a few kilometres north of the resort at Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, and south-east of Saint-Jean-de-Monts, and includes an extensive stretch of the coast between these two towns, explaining its popularity.
The town of Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, along with the nearby Port Bourgenay and the popular Veillon beach are centrally placed in western Vendée between the resorts of Les Sables d'Olonne and La Tranche-sur-Mer.
La Faute-sur-Mer is the most southern of the seaside resorts in the Vendee department, and situated along a 10 kilometre long peninsula to the east of La Tranche-sur-Mer and facing the Ile-de-Ré.
Until about 100 years ago La Faute-sur-Mer was little more than a sandy island, but an extensive programme of tree planting and land reclamation started in the 19th century transformed it into the resort we see today.
The small town of Jard-sur-Mer is on the coast of south-western Vendée, here known as the 'Côte de Lumière', to the south-east of the popular Sables d'Olonne resort and north-west of La Tranche-sur-Mer.
The Ile d'Yeu is an island off the coast from Saint-Jean-de-Monts, in the Vendée department of western France. About 20 kilometres off the mainland, the island itself is about eight kilometres long and four kilometres wide.
Broadly speaking, the towns, villages and gently sloping beaches are on the north coast and the south coast is more rocky - although beaches can still be found here in a couple of places.
Saint-Jean-de-Monts is one of the most popular of the coastal resorts along the Vendee coast in western France, predominantly because of the long sandy beaches along the coast here. This section of coast is known as the 'Cote de Lumière'.
The position of Saint-Jean d'Angely, in the heart of the Charente-Maritime department and north of Saintes, put it outside the major tourist regions of France, but the town has several sites of interest and a pleasant historical centre that merits a visit.
It is one of the most attractive towns in the region, principally because of its setting on a raised promontory on the banks of the Charente river - most unusual in this region of Charente-Maritime which is usually very flat.
The seaside resort at Chatelaillon-Plage, one of the most visited along the Charente-Maritime coast, is on the coast just a few kilometres south of La Rochelle.
The sunny town of Fouras is one of our favourites along the Charente-Maritime coast, combining a 'real' French town with a modern resort, and beaches with history. It is situated on a small peninsula to the north-west of Rochefort.
Note: although it is commonly referred to as Fouras, the full name of the resort is actually Fouras-les-Bains, a reminder that the town was established more than 150 years ago as a popular thermal treatment centre and one of the first seaside resorts in France.
The port town of Pont l'Abbé is found on the southern coast of Finistere in western Brittany, to the south of Quimper.
Because of its location Pont l'Abbé is not the most visited town in Brittany, but there is a great deal to reward visitors in this Breton village including a pleasant port area and streets of traditional low whitewashed buildings.
For several hundred years Pont-Aven was a quiet port town with an industry based around its watermills and port, then towards the end of the 19th century it also gained a reputation as an art town. A significant number of artists are still attracted here, with the town referred to by the local tourist authorities as a 'city of artists'.
The town of Huelgoat is in the relatively unexplored centre of Finistere (western Brittany) where it falls within both the Armorique Regional Natural Park and the Monts d'Arree region.
As well as the town itself there are a couple of unexpected pleasures to discover here - including an 'enchanted forest' - and a visit is recommended.
The town of Pons is situated in the countryside of the southern Charente-Maritime department and about 20 kilometres south of Saintes.
Note: the 's' in Pons is not pronounced!
The town originally developed because of its position on one of the important pilgrimage routes across France - the so-called 'Via Turonensis' that starts from Paris and follows western France before entering Spain to continue westwards to St Jacques de Compostelle.
It is the proximity of Abbeville to the Bay of Somme that also attracts a good number of visitors here.
Joinville is a small town south of Saint-Dizier in the Haute-Marne department (Champagne-Ardenne), which would perhaps go unnoticed by tourists if it weren't for the presence of a couple of interesting monuments, one of which is a chateau with a highly renowned french-style garden...
Among the most popular of the Vendee beach resorts, La Tranche-sur-Mer is situated to the south of the department and has extensive sandy beaches to both sides of the town.
The small town of Pégomas is situated in the Alpes-Maritimes department, in attractive countryside a few kilometres north of the French Riviera at Mandelieu le Napoule and a similar distance south of the 'perfume town' of Grasse.
The village of Ermenonville is situated to the south of ther Oise department of Picardy, about 40 kilometres north of Paris and on the southern edge of the Forest of Ermenonville. It is the combination of monuments and local attractions of the town itself and the surrounding natural environment that together combine to attract visitors
As you explore you will see several refences to the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau who spent a short period of time in Ermenonville before his death in 1778.
The Normandy town of Sées is about 15 kilometres north of Alencon, towards the south of the Orne department, and on the Orne river.
The location has been occupied since at least the time of the Gauls (before the Ancient Romans), and the peace that now reigns in the town gives little indication of the turbulent passed that Sées has experienced...
...as a fortified town in the Dark Ages, Sées was then captured by the Normans, and again by the English during the Hundred Years War, then ransacked in the 16th century during the Wars of religion!
Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval is a small village - or perhaps a group of hamlets would be a better description - in quite a remote location in the Alps to the east of the Haute-Savoie department, reached from Cluses and to the south of popular ski resorts such as Morzine and Avoriaz.
The village was simply called Sixt until 25 years ago when 'Fer-à-Cheval' was added.
Beaufort is a small town and popular resort, both in summer and winter, in the Savoy Alps to the north-east of Albertville in the region called Beaufortain. The town is also known as Beaufort-sur-Doron*, and includes the ski region called Arêches-Beaufort.
Over the centuries it has also been known as Luce, Saint-Maxime, Belfort, Castellania Bellifortis and Saint Maxime de Beaufort so apologies in advance if it is called something different by the time of your visit!
Charleville-Mezières is an important town in the Champagne-Ardenne region of northern France, and also the prefecture town for the Ardennes department. Although it is not a major French tourist destination you will find a great deal to enjoy in the town when you visit including several imposing historical monuments.
The achievement of the town is particularly impressive when you realise that more than half of Charleville was destroyed in bombing at the end of the First World War, and a great deal of reconstruction was required in the following decades.
Valence-sur-Baise is a bastide town founded in 1274. The main part of town is centered around the church and arcaded square but Valence also has a river port with facilities for those arriving at the village by boat.
Valence-sur-Baise is in the Gers department in the Midi-Pyrenees region.
The town of Revel is a 14th century bastide town situated in the Haute-Garonne department of southern France, about 20 kilometres to the north of Castelnaudary.
It was almost by accident that we discovered the small town of Sorèze in the south of the Tarn department when we were exploring some of the better known tourist destinations in the region - and we were very glad we did because it is an interesting medieval town with a great deal of historical monuments and buildings.
It is largely the location of the village, on the edge of the slopes of the Montagne Noir and at an alitude of near 500 metres, that makes Saissac interesting, because it has very extensive views across the plains to the south (the Montagne Noir is the southernmost point of the Massif Central).
The small town of Montolieu, a few kilometres north-west of Carcassonne, in the Languedoc region of southern France, is best know as for the number of booksellers in the town that attract enthusiasts of old books from far afield, but there is much to enjoy during a visit even if you are not interested in old books...
Saint-Hilaire is a small town to the south of Carcassonne. A pleasant town in itself, Saint Hilaire attracts many visitors because of the presence of a jewel of romanesque architecture in the village - the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire.
The small village of La Pomarede is situated to the north of Castelnaudary and south of Revel, in the Aude department of Languedoc-Roussillon, on a site that has been occupied for at least 1000 years.
Alet-les-Bains is a small town in the Aude countryside to the south of Carcassonne and a few kilometres south-east of Limoux, well known for its ruined abbey and for the spa water that comes from the town.
The town of Chalons-en-Champagne is the prefecture town for both the Marne department and the whole Champagne-Ardenne region.
Although the region is not top of the list of tourist destinations for visitors to France the town contains a good number of places and historical monuments of interest and a visit is recommended when you are in the region.
The village of Épine, in the agricultural landscape of the quiet Marne countryside to the south-east of Reims and close to Chalons-en-Champagne would go unnoticed if it were not for the presence in the village of one of the most important historical landmarks in the Champagne-Ardenne region...
The town of Rieux-Volvestre, to the south-west of Toulouse, is a very scenic small town in a picturesque setting and with several buildings of interest to discover.
The centre of the town is largely built in the small red bricks typical of the region round Toulouse, adding to its charm.
The Vallée de l'Ubaye is a lovely mountain valley in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of France (in the Provence region). It is particularly scenic from Barcelonnette, past Jausiers to St -Paul sur Ubaye and on to the small village of Maurin and at the other end at the Lac de Serre-Poncon.
The Lac de Serre-Poncon is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe and is surrounded by hills and mountains from which you can get stunning views over the lake. It straddles two departments; the Hautes-Alpes and the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence.
The small town of Luz-Saint-Sauveur is situated in the heart of the Pyrenees to the south of Lourdes. As well as having several points of interest in the town itself it is also very well situated for various activities in the surrounding mountains.
The road that leads to the village follows a road uphill through a scenic section of woodland.
When out exploring it is quite rare to come across places that exceed my expectations - Arreau is one that most certainly did, and should be more widely recognised!
I must admit I had never heard of Arreau until I was in the region and stopped on the off-chance that it would be worth a look around. In fact there is a great deal to see, with a pretty riverside setting and several historical buildings of interest, all surrounded by the steep wooded hills of the Pyrenees.
Gavarnie is a small village about 25 kilometres south of Luz-Saint-Sauveur, in the French Pyrenees and close to the border with Spain.
The small village of Tourtouse is little more than a hamlet, set in the wooded hills of the Ariege department between the town of Cazeres on the plains to the north and Saint-Girons in the hills to the south.
Although it is very small and a visit won't take you very long a detour to visit is recommended if you are passing.
The small village of Montjoie-en-Couserans is just a few kilometres to the north-east of Saint-Lizier, in a picturesque region of the Ariege department.
True or not, it is said the village takes it name from the joy experienced by pilgrims when they first came in sight of Saint-Lizier.
The small village of Audressein is in a valley that runs south-west from Saint-Girons, in the Ariege department of south-west France.
Valcabrère is a small village a short distance outside Saint Bertrand de Comminges that would doubtless go unnoticed if it wasn't for the presence of the very lovely roman style Basilica of Saint-Just on the edge of the village.
Mont-Dauphin is a fortress designed by the famous french military architect Vauban. The fortified village is in the Hautes-Alpes department of France (in the Provence region), sitting on a cliff above the Durance river and the river Guil.
Gap sits on the crossroads of two valleys leading to its growth as an important market town in the Hautes Alpes. It is in the Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur region of south-east France.
The small town of Vizille is dominated by its large chateau. It is situated a little south of Grenoble, in the southern part of the Isere department, in the Rhone-Alps region of south-east France. It is at the edge of the Vercors Natural Regional Parc.
Grignan is a pretty village dominated by its large chateau, in the Drome department (Rhone Alpes region) to the north of Vaison-la-Romaine.
Puygiron is a small but charming village with excellent views in the Drome department (Rhone Alpes region) near to Montelimar.
Saint-Martin-de-Londres is a picturesque village in the Herault department of Languedoc-Roussillon, not far from Montpellier, in the south of France.
Caunes-Minervois is a medieval village in the Aude department of Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France. It lies at the foot of the Black Mountains.
Montaigu-de-Quercy is a small market town towards the north-western border of the Tarn-et-Garonne department, and about 30 kilometres east of Villeneuve-sur-Lot, in south-west France.
Palavas-les-Flots is a sea-side town in the Herault department, just 6 kilometres south of Montpellier, in the south of France.
Les Matelles is a picturesque village in the Herault department, not far from Montpellier, in the south of France.
Sainte-Croix-en-Jarez is a small village in the Parc naturel regional de Pilat in the Loire department of the Rhone Alps, 37km from St Etienne and 48km from Lyon. It is classed as one of France' most beautiful villages.
Saint-Etienne is the capital of the Loire department in the Rhone Alpes region.
Saint Floret is one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is in the Puy-de-Dome department in the Auvergne region.
Listed among the 'most beautiful villages in France, Le Poet-Laval is situated in the Drome department (Rhone-Alps region) about 20 kilometres to the east of Montelimar.
La Garde-Adhemar is a listed 'most beautiful village of France', along the crest of a hill to the south-west of the Drome department (Rhone-Alps region of France).
Beze is a small village about 25 kilometres north-east of Dijon in Burgundy. The village developed around an abbey founded here in the 7th century.
Aubres is a village stretched out along the crest of a hill in the Drome department (Rhone-Alps), close to Nyons and north-east of Vaison-la-Romaine.
Yevre-le-Chatel (part of the commune of Yevre-la-Ville) is a village situated on a slightly raised area overlooking the Rimarde valley and about 40 kilometres north-east of Orleans, in the Loiret department of central France.
It is listed among the most beautiful villages in France (the only village with this award in the Loiret department).
Sarrant is a small village in the Gascony countryside to the east of Fleurance and about 50 kilometres north-west of Toulouse. It is near the eastern border of the Gers department with Haute-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne, in south-west France.
The village is a long established member of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.
Gargilesse-Dampierre is a small village in the Indre department of central France to the south of Chateauroux and about 10 kilometres south-east of Argenton-sur-Creuse. It is situated in a peaceful setting in the valley of the river Creuse.
The village is a member of the 'most beautiful villages of France' organisation and perhaps best known as the village where the 19th century novelist George Sand wrote some of her works.
The small town of Montherme is attractively positioned inside a broad meander of the river Meuse, at its confluence with the river Semoy. It was in this picturesque position surrounded by the tree covered hills of the Ardennes that an abbey was founded in 1128 and the around which the town developed.
It is situated about 100 kilometres north-east of Reims and 15 kilometres north of Charleville-Mezieres in north-east France (close to the French border with Belgium).
Rodemack is a small villlage to the north of Metz, in the Moselle department (Lorraine region) close to the border with Luxembourg and Germany in northern France.
The village is listed among the 'most beautiful villages in France' and often referred to as 'the little Carcassonne of Lorraine' because of the extensive fortified walls that still surround historic Rodemack.
Saint-Quirin is a small village in the quiet Moselle countryside of the Vosges Massif (in the Lorraine region of north-east France) about halfway between Nancy (to the west) and Strasbourg (to the east).
The village takes its name from Saint-Quirin, a Roman tribune martyred in 132 AD whose relics were brought here in the 11th century and which made St quirin an important medieval pilgrimage centre.
The small town of Givet is situated to the north of Montherme and to the north of the Ardennes department in north-east France. The town is on the Meuse river on a narrow strip of land that is surrounded on all sides by the frontier with Belgium.
Vireux-Molhain is a small town 10 kilometres south-west of Givet in the northern Ardennes department.
The village of Pesmes is situated about 25 kilometres north of Dole and to the west of Besancon, in the countryside of the France-Comte region. On the banks of the River Ognon, Pesmes is listed among the 'most beautiful villages in France'.
The village has had an active history, belonging at various times to the Francs, the Spanish, and the Dukes of Burgundy, before becoming part of France in 1678.
Gravelines is a town on the Opal Coast in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, between Calais and Dunkirk and north of Saint-Omer.
Aire-sur-la-Lys is a town in the Pas-de-Calais department of northern France, to the south-east of Saint-Omer and east of Boulogne-sur-Mer. The town is officially listed among the 100 'most beautiful detours' in France.
The town of Vendome is situated on the Loir River in the Loir-et-Cher department (Centre region) about 30 kilometres north-west of Blois and only 40 minutes by train from Paris, making vendome a popular commuter town with people working in the capital.
Niort has an interesting historical centre, with houses and other buildings dating from the medieval and renaissance era and also several monuments of interest to discover, as well as a substantial amount of more recent development - it is an important centre for local business and finance in this region of France.
With a history dating back more than 1000 years the town is still dominated by its imposing medieval castle.
Eze is a medieval village perched high on a hill above the French Riviera in south-east Provence.
La Brigue is a village in a picturesque riverside setting just south of Tende and north of Menton in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France. Originally part of Italy, La Brigue was annexed to France as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1947.
The small town of Breil-sur-Roya is at the southern end of the Upper Roya Valley between Sospel and Tende, in an attractive location on a broad meander in the river Roya with steep hills rising all around the town.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a small resort town on the French riviera a few kilometres east of Nice.
Arles sur Tech is a small town in the Pyrenees Orientales department. It is notable mainly for its abbey and cloister. Arles sur Tech is just 13km from the lovely town of Ceret.
Prats de Mollo la Preste is an attractive medieval town town in the Pyrenees Orientales department near to the border with Spain. It has a medieval centre, an impressive fort and a spa. It is just 15km from the attractive town of Ceret.
Saint Cyprien is a coastal resort in the Pyrenees Orientales department near to the border with Spain. It has a large sandy beach and a back-drop of mountains including the splendid Mount Canigou.
Molitg les Bains is a small village and spa located in and above the Gorges de la Castellane in the Pyrénées Orientale department.
Ille sur Tet is a busy town in the Pyrénées Orientale department. It is close to a wonderful natural rock formation known as the Orgues d'Ille sur Tet which are well worth a detour to see.
Port Vendres is a natural port on the Mediterranean coast in Languedoc-Roussillon, a little south of Collioure, just north of the border with Spain - the coast here is known as the Cote Vermeille.
Port Vendres is the only natural port on the Vermeille coast and is both a yachting harbour and an active fishing town. It has been an active harbour since the 6th century. The town sits on the edge of the port overlooking the boats and the Mediterranean sea.
La Souterraine is a traditional town in the Creuse department of Limousin
Trevoux is a quiet little town on the edge of the Saone river however it has a number of very impressive buildings, evidence of the town's importance in the past.
If you head for the tourist office they can give you a map which highlights the key sights in the town. The tourist office is housed in the 'Sires de Villars house'. This has an attractive stone oriel window and is home to an exhibition of diamond dies - the things that a wire is passed through to make it smooth and even.
Anse is a quiet town in the Rhone department, 29km north of Lyon. It was an important town in Gallo Roman times and there are a number of remaining buildings which testify to its important past.
The surrounding region is known as the 'Pierres Dorées' region, the 'Golden Stone' region due to the lovely golden stone used for building in the area.
Theizé is a quiet village which is perched on the side of Mont Bansillon and overlooks some of the many vineyards in this important wine-making area.
Veyrier du Lac is a pretty village which sits on the edge of Lake Annecy. Veyrier sits in a splendid position hugging the mountains on one side of the village and commanding great views of Lake Annecy on the other. It is just 5 km from Annecy on the sunny side of the lake, the side known as the Rive Plein Soleil.
Menthon Saint Bernard is a pretty village which sits on the edge of Lake Annecy. It is just a few kilometers from the fabulous town of Annecy and is on the sunny side of the lake known as the Rive Plein Soleil.
Evian les Bains is a lovely town which sits on the edge of Lake Leman. It is, of course, famous for its spring water. Evian is in the north of the Haute Savoie and Switzeland sits on the opposite shore of the lake. Evian won the award for the best resort in France in the 2011 World Travel Awards.
Thonon les Bains is an attractive town which sits on the edge of Lake Leman. The town centre sits above the lake and its attractive port called Rives sits on the edge of Lac Leman - the biggest lake in Europe. Thonon les Bains is the capital of the area known as Chablais.
Abondance is an attractive alpine village famous for its abbey. It is 30 km from the southern end of Lac Leman and Evian les Bains. The drive to Abondance through superb scenery is absolutely fabulous. Even in September some snow tipped peaks could be seen.
Talloires is a beautiful village on the shores of Lake Annecy. Lake Annecy is a stunning lake surrounded by mountains and its edges are dotted with attractive villages the best of which is Talloires.
The town of Villamblard is about 20 kilometres north of Bergerac. It is a small and pleasant traditional French town that doesn't take long to explore, and is slightly removed from the more famous sights of the Dordogne department, but has a few historical buildings of interest so a visit is recommended when you are in the region.
In the quiet wooded valleys of the southern Dordogne department (to the east of the bastide town of Beaumont-du-Perigord) the attractive countryside is very picturesque and largely undiscovered by visitors - it is here that we find several quiet villages of note, including Saint-Avit-Senieur.
A small village - although Saint-Avit is large enough to have a welcome cafe - there is a cluster of attractive houses in the local Dordogne stone around a shady central square in the centre of the village.
The route that passes between Belves and Beaumont, in the southern Dordogne, follows in part along the scenic Couze valley, where wooded hills and pastoral valleys conceal small villages, unchanged over the centuries.
The picturesque village of Bourdeilles sits peacefully on the Dronne River in the northern part of the Dordogne department near Brantome. Although small the village has several highlights and a visit is recommended.
Tulle is the capital (prefecture) of the Correze department, in the Limousin region of France and on the Correze river. Historically the town has been an important centre for lace production, and was the town where the material called tulle - a finely woven material used for wedding veils etc - was invented.
The town of Sedan is in the east of the Ardennes department (Champagne-Ardenne region) of France, on the edge of the great forests of the Ardennes and near the country's eastern border.
Sedan is officially listed as a 'town of art and history', and the centre of the town is now a protected zone, to ensure development is controlled and the important patrimony is preserved for the future.
St-Brevin-les-Pins is situated on the southern side of the Loire estuary, across the river from Saint-Nazaire.
It has been a popular regional seaside resort since the 19th century, and it is still for the coast that most people visit saint-Brevin-les-Pins - several sandy beaches are close to hand (almost 10km long altogether), much of it backed by sand dunes and pine forests - one of the best is the Roussellerie beach, backed by the Forest of Pierre Attelee.
Heading north from Bordeaux, after about 25 kilometres the scenery changes: vineyards start to dominate the landscape, while small areas of woodland conceal impressive wine chateau accessed by long tree lined driveways.
Belfort is a town on a plateau between the Jura mountains (to the south) and the Vosges mountains (to the north), in the Franche-Comte region of eastern France (hence close to the border with Switzerland). The town is the capital of the small Territoire de Belfort department.
While not the most visited part of France, Belfort itself has some interesting features that make a detour to the town worthwhile, based around the historical centre.
Situated to the east of the Haute-Saone department, in the Franche-Comte region of eastern France, Luxeuil is a pleasant town to explore, with a good selection of open spaces and interesting historical buildings to enjoy.
Montbeliard is a medium size town in the Doubs department of Franche-Comté (eastern France), about 20km south of Belfort.
There are several buildings and monuments of note to discover during a visit:
Vesoul is a town in (and capital of) the Haute-Saone-department of Franche-Comte, in eastern France, where it stands at the foot of a hill called the Motte, which also dominates the skyline of the region. It was on the Motte that a castle once stood, and around which the town developed.
It is the historical old town that is the focus of a visit to Vesoul, with a good number of interesting buildings and monuments to admire, including the Church of Saint-George and Palace of Justice, and surrounding streets containing many houses dating from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (the latter being the predominant style in Vesoul).
Vertheuil is a village on the eastern side of the Medoc peninsula of south-west France, where it is a few kilometres north-west of Pauillac.
The village itself is picturesque, although very small, and would perhaps not feature on a list of Medoc highlights if it wasn't also home to one of the Medoc's finest architectural highlights: the Vertheuil Abbey, and the ruins of a medieval castle.
Lesparre is a quiet town towards the north of the Medoc peninsula in Gironde (north of Bordeaux and the Arcachon basin), which in medieval times was the home to an important local family of lords and has long been the regional administrative centre for this part of the Medoc.
A small town, we perhaps wouldn't have included St Vivien-de-Medoc - there are no particular highlights, and you are more likely to pass through the town than to set out to visit - but I did find the church 'intriguing'...worth a look if you are passing.
Le Beaucet is a small, very picturesque, pedestrianised village running down the side of a hill. It is situated south-east of Carpentras and east of Pernes-les-Fontaines in the centre of the Vaucluse department of Provence.
The steep narrow streets pass houses and ancient stone walls that merge into the cliffs and rocks behind, and enhance the timeless appeal of the village - some troglodyte dwellings are even built into the rocks themselves.
Pernes-les-Fontaines is a town to the south of Carpentras in the Vaucluse department of Provence. There are several sites of interest to discover as you explore the old town, which has been officially classified as a 'recommended detour town', and a visit is recommended if you are passing.
Carpentras is an important regional town north-east of Avignon and towards the centre of the Vaucluse department of Provence. A bustling local town, Carpentras has much of interest to explore in its old centre - recognised in the town's official listing as a 'town of art and history'.
Perched high on a rocky promontory below Mont Ventoux, Venasque has far-reaching views across the Nesque valley and Vaucluse. Venasque is officially listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'.
Seguret is a small village standing at the base of a steep hill in the Vaucluse department of Provence, to the east of Orange and at the western end of the scenic Dentelles de Montmirail region. Mont Ventoux is to the east of Seguret.
Officially classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France', Seguret falls within the cotes du Rhone wine region, as seen in the number of vineyards in the region, and tourism in the village is partly based around the wine producing activity, with several opportunities available for wine tasting and visiting wine cellars in the vicinity.
Draguignan is a substantial town to the east of the Var department (Provence region) of France.
While Draguignan has not historically been considered as an important tourist destination, in recent years the town centre has been improved and the town has been growing in popularity as a destination with visitors to this part of Provence. It also has the largest shopping centre in the region.
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume is situated towards the west of the Var department of Provence and about 34 kilometres east of Aix-en-Provence. There are several notable sights to visit here that bear witness to the colourful history of the town over the last 800 years.
A little history is useful to understand the importance of Mary Magdalene to the town. You may recall that she entered France by boat (at Saintes-Maries-de-le-Mer) after the crucifixion. Mary Magadelene subsequently spent many years living in a cave near here (the Grotte de la Sainte Baume). In the 13th century her tomb was discovered here, and many pilgrims were attracted to the region that became Saint-Maximin.
Bargeme is a small, picturesque village in the north-east of the Var department of Provence to the east of the Gorges du Verdon and north of Seillans (note: these places look close to Bargeme on a map but the roads are rather longer!)
Officially the highest village in the Var department (1097 metres above sea level), it is not surprising that Bargeme has stunning views across the region - but there is more to the village than views and Bargeme is also officially classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.
The small town of Nuits-Saint-Georges is situated in the Cote d'Or department of Burgundy between Dijon and Beaune, and is best known as being the centre of the local wine region called the 'Cotes de Nuits'. Around the town you will see endless vineyards across the rolling hills.
Tournon d'Agenais is a lovely village stretched out along a hill top in Lot-et-Garonne about 25 kilometres east of Villeneuve-sur-Lot. Like many historic towns in the region it was originally founded as a bastide town (in 1270).
Le Verdon-sur-Mer is a small coastal resort at the northernmost end of the Medoc peninsula, close to Soulac-sur-Mer and north of Bordeaux in south-west France. A small resort town with basic facilities, it faces across the Gironde estuary to the town of Royan (Poitou-Charentes).
Hourtin is a resort, and also a nearby small town, about half way up the western coast of the Medoc peninsula.
These places include Carcans Plage (the sea resort), Carcans itself (the traditional town a few kilometres inland from the coast) and Maubuisson, the small town / resort at the southern edge of the lake.
Coaraze is a small 'perched village' in the hills north of Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes department of Provence, south-east France. Officially classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France', Coaraze is in a lovely setting running up the side of a hill with mountains rising dramatically behind the village.
Sainte-Agnes is a small village situated a few kilometres inland from the coastal towns of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Menton, near the French border with Italy in the south-east Alpes-Maritimes department of Provence.
At an altitude of almost 800 metres above sea level it is claimed to be the highest coastal village in Europe, and Sainte-Agnes is also classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'.
This traditional Provencal town, now quite substantial in size (with a population around 23000 it is the most populated town in the Allpes-de-Haute-Provence department), is situated on a hill in the renowned olive groves of the region (photo above shows olive tree and lavender field near Manosque), and has an interesting medieval centre to explore.
Digne-les-Bains is situated on the river Bléone and below the Cousson mountain in a region of thermal springs, in the centre of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department (it is also the 'capital' of the department, although Manosque is larger) of south-east France. The town refers to itself as 'capital of lavender' because the flower is grown in large areas of the surrounding countryside.
Note: until 1988 the town was known simply as Digne, and is often still referred to by that name. The second part of the name was added because of the town's association with thermal baths and spas.
Riez is a small Provencal town situated below the hill of Saint-Maxime in the lavender fields of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, between Valensole and Moustiers. Riez is officially listed as a 'village of character' and falls within the Verdon Natural Regional Park.
Simiane-la-Rotonde is a village to the north-east of Apt and west of Forcalquier in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of Provence (south-east France). Simiane is on a major lavender growing plateau and there are numerous lavender fields in the vicinity.
The village is in an enviable location, clustered around a small hill on a high plain (more than 600m altitude), with the Luberon to the south-west and close to Mont Ventoux. Simiane-la-Rotunda is itself a picturesque village, with an attractive medieval heart to explore.
Barcelonnette is a small town situated in the Ubaye Valley, in the mountains to the north-east of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department.
There is much to enjoy in the town of Barcelonnette, although you will perhaps notice that there is little in the way of very old buildings - this is because most of the town was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1628, so most of the buildings date from the 17th century onwards.
Colmars (also known as Colmars-les-Alpes) is found in the Upper Verdon Valley to the east of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of south-east France, south of Barcelonnette and east of Digne-les-Bains, and within the Mercantour National Park.
Lurs is a perched Provencal village spread out along a ridge high above the olive groves and the Durance valley, just east of Forcalquier and north of Manosque in the south-west of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department. the view of the village spreading down the hill as seen from the approach road is one of the highlights of a visit.
History tells us that the Emperor Charlemagne founded Lurs in the 8th century - legend perhaps, but the history of the village certainly dates back at least 1000 years when the bishops of Sisteron established a summer residence here.
Mane is a picturesque Provencal village a little way south of Forcalquier and north of Manosque in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of Provence (south-east France). The village is in an imposing position on a hilltop that has been occupied since at least roman times and contains several notable monuments.
Seyne-les-Alpes is a (slightly remote) village situated on the side of a hill at high altitude and against a mountainous backdrop in the north-east of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department. It is officially listed as a 'village of character'.
Valensole is a small town situated to the east of Manosque in the south-west of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department. It is a lovely traditional village of small Provencal houses set on a hill in very picturesque surroundings, above fields of lavender (the Valensole plateau is well known for its lavender) and almond and olive tree plantations.
A very attractive traditional fortified Provencal village, Cucuron is also surrounded by the exceptional scenery of the Luberon, and stands below the remains of a 14th century castle.
Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt is a village (larger, more developed and less visited by tourists than many in the vicinity) on a hillside just north of the town of Apt and south of Sault in the Luberon region of the Vaucluse department of Provence (south-east France).
Sault is a small town spread out along a low rocky promontory above the lavender fields to the north-east of the Vaucluse department of Provence - the plateau and village are at an altitude of more than 750 metres above sea level, with one side of the village winding around the top of a cliff.
Nevache is a small village and ski resort in the Clarée valley to the north-east of the Hautes-Alpes department of Provence, in the French alps. The village is at an altitude of 1600 metres, and close to the border with Italy and the large Serre Chevalier skiing region.
Nontron is a small town located towards the north of the Dordogne department (Aquitaine region) of south-west France, and 16km to the north of Brantome, in the region known as Perigord Vert.
A quiet town (and officially listed as a 'recommended detour' town), Nontron has a long history reputed to date back 3000 years, and evidence of prehistoric settlement in the area. There are several points of interest to discover during your visit.
Mezin is located in the Lot et Garonne department of Aquitaine, about 14km from Nerac, and is a small town with an attractive main square which originally developed more than 1000 years ago around a monastery (the monastery no longer exists).
It is part of the commune of Lannes and is on the border with the Gers department, so it also forms part of the ancient Gascony region.
Poudenas is a village located towards the southern border of the Lot-et-Garonne department of Aquitaine, about 15km south-west of Nerac.
The town of Mens is about 50 kilometres south of Grenoble and to the south of the Isere department in the Rhone-Alpes region of south-east France. Mens was once capital of the historical region known as Trièves (along with neighbouring Clelles and Monestier-de-Clermont).
The small town of Pont-en-Royans is situated between Grenoble (to the north-east) and Valence (to the south-west), in the southern part of the Isere department, in the Rhone-Alps region of south-east France. It is at the edge of the Vercors Natural Regional Parc.
Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette (in the commune of La Savalette-Fallavaux and near the village of Corps) is an important church and pilgrimage destination to the south of the Isere department in the Rhone-Alps and about 40 kilometres north of the town of Gap.