Discover the garden towns of France

The 'towns and villages in bloom' award (ville fleurie) is given to French places that make a special effort to create a pleasant natural environment for both residents and visitors by focussing on plants, flowers and open areas within the town.

The awards range from 1* to 4* (4* is the highest) - there are a great deal of places that have received 1* and 2*, rather less with 3* and approximately 200 that have received the prestigious 4* for their efforts. In our experience 4* towns in bloom in France have made significant long term efforts to improve their gardens and parks and are worth visiting because of their efforts, even if for no other reason (some of the towns are also important tourist destinations in their own right, others less so).

List of the French Towns in Bloom

Alsace: ville fleurie 4*s

Bergheim village

Bergheim (Haut-Rhin)

The original fortified walls still surround the very picturesque village of Bergheim

See Bergheim guide

Colmar village

Colmar (Haut-Rhin)

The medieval centre of Colmar, with brightly painted half-timbered houses along the canalside, is extremely attractive

See Colmar guide

Eguisheim village

Eguisheim (Haut-Rhin)

Of the many beautiful traditional villages in Alsace, Eguisheim is one of our favourites

See Eguisheim guide

Guebwiller village

Guebwiller (Haut-Rhin)

In Guebwilller it is the part of the town along the canal and also the churches that are the highlight for visitors

See Guebwiller guide

Ribeauville village

Ribeauville (Haut-Rhin)

The traditional coloured houses and the castle poised high above the town make Ribeauvillé a pleasant place to explore

See Ribeauville guide

Aquitaine: ville fleurie 4*s

Anglet village

Anglet (Pyrenees-Atlantiques)

Anglet, close to Biarritz, is also a good place to enjoy some of the most southern beaches of the French Atlantic coast

See Anglet guide

Bergerac village

Bergerac (Dordogne)

Bergerac is a substantial town on the banks of the river and with an extensive medieval old town. One of our favourite towns!

See Bergerac guide

Biscarrosse village

Biscarrosse (Landes)

A small and modern sea resort Biscarrosse is also one of the liveliest and most popular in the region

See Biscarrosse guide

Mimizan village

Mimizan (Landes)

The resort at Mimizan Plage is a popular destination with several kilometres of sandy beaches

See Mimizan guide

Mont-de-Marsan village

Mont-de-Marsan (Landes)

Not usually thought of as a tourist destination, Mont-de-Marson merits a visit when you are in the region

See Mont-de-Marsan guide

Pau village

Pau (Pyrenees-Atlantiques)

The large town of Pau is well known for the views from the belvedere that cover a large section of Pyrenees mountains

See Pau guide

Perigueux village

Perigueux (Dordogne)

One of our favourite towns in the Dordogne, Perigueux has an imposing byzantine cathedral and an extensive medieval old town to explore

See Perigueux guide

Auvergne: ville fleurie 4*s

Vichy village

Vichy (Allier)

The spa town of Vichy is best known for its bottled water and as centre for the government of unoccupied Fraance during the Second World War

See Vichy guide

Brittany: ville fleurie 4*s

Dinard village

Dinard (Ille-et-Vilaine)

Dinard, estblished as a fashionable resort in the 19th century, is still one of the nicest towns in Ille-et-Vilaine

See Dinard guide

Fougeres village

Fougeres (Ille-et-Vilaine)

The castle and historic lower town are the main attraction, but be sure to also explore the newer upper town in Fougeres

See Fougeres guide

Lannion village

Lannion (Cotes-d'Armor)

Although Lannion is now associated with hi-tech industries, you will also find an interesting historical centre

See Lannion guide

Pontrieux village

Pontrieux (Cotes-d'Armor)

The canals, river and port in Pontrieux - and the famous washhouses - make it a very scenic town to explore

See Pontrieux guide

Quimper village

Quimper (Finistere)

The important town of Quimper is also one of the most visited in Brittany, especially for the half-timbered houses and the cathedral

See Quimper guide

Rochefort-en-Terre village

Rochefort-en-Terre (Morbihan)

Now listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France' you will enjoy a stroll around the centre of Rochefort-en-Terre and a look at the castle

See Rochefort-en-Terre guide

Saint-Malo village

Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine)

We were pleased to discover that Saint-Malo, often considered a ferry port, is also an exceptional town to explore

See Saint-Malo guide

Vannes village

Vannes (Morbihan)

An unmissable highlight in this region of Brittany, the half-timbered houses in the centre of Vannes make it one of our favourite French medieval towns

See Vannes guide

Burgundy: ville fleurie 4*s

Beaune village

Beaune (Cote d'Or)

Beaune is the centre of the famous wine region of the same name, with a visit to th 15th century Hotel-Dieu the highlight in the town

See Beaune guide

Dijon village

Dijon (Cote d'Or)

There is a remarkable range of interesting historic sites in Dijon, perhaps our favourite among the Burgundy towns

See Dijon guide

Macon village

Macon (Saone-et-Loire)

After exploring the pleasant town of Macon we suggest a visit to nearby Lamartine's Castle

See Macon guide

Paray-le-Monial village

Paray-le-Monial (Saone-et-Loire)

The 12th century abbey and other buildings and the pretty setting make the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur at Paray-le-Monial one of the most visited sites in France

See Paray-le-Monial guide

Sens village

Sens (Yonne)

Sens is an important regional centre dominated by the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne, the first gothic style cathedral built in France

See Sens guide

Champagne-Ardenne: ville fleurie 4*s

Chalons-en-Champagne village

Chalons-en-Champagne (Marne)

In Chalons-sur-Champagne it is the various churches that are the main highlight of a visit

See Chalons-en-Champagne guide

Reims village

Reims (Marne)

In the attractive and lively centre of Reims you can see three UNESCO listed world heritage sites: the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Abbey of Saint-Remi and the Palace of Tau

See Reims guide

Franche-Comte: ville fleurie 4*s

Belfort village

Belfort (Territoire-de-Belfort)

The town of Belfort and its citadel are pleasant to exlore when you are in the southern Vosges region

See Belfort guide

Montbeliard village

Montbeliard (Doubs)

It is the castle in Montbeliard, on a raised rocky platform, that dominates the town centre

See Montbeliard guide

Limousin: ville fleurie 4*s

Limoges village

Limoges (Haute-Vienne)

Limoges is not usually featured on a list of 'must be visited places' but actually has an interesting centre, well worth exploring.

See Limoges guide

Loire Valley: ville fleurie 4*s

Aubigny-sur-Nere village

Aubigny-sur-Nere (Cher)

It is the multi-turreted castle and the Scottish connection that explain the popularity of Aubigny-sur-Nère

See Aubigny-sur-Nere guide

Blois village

Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

The town of Blois, with its castle, cathedral, extensive historic centre and other monuments is one of our favourite Loire Valleyt towns

See Blois guide

Bourges village

Bourges (Cher)

Although Bourges is known for its stunning cathedral, it also has a substantial medieval centre and the Palais Jacques-Coeur among its many places of interest

See Bourges guide

Briare village

Briare (Loiret)

With the Loire River and the Canal de Briare crossing in the centre of Briare it is not surprising that water based activities are important here

See Briare guide

Chartres village

Chartres (Eure-et-Loir)

Although most famous for its cathedral, you will also find plenty to explore elsewhere in the town of Chartres

See Chartres guide

Chateauroux village

Chateauroux (Indre)

A little remote from the main tourist routes, Chateauroux is quite a sprawling town but has some sites of interest in its historic centre

See Chateauroux guide

Issoudun village

Issoudun (Indre)

There are few important monuments here in Issoudun, but we enjoyed a stroll around the old town near the 'White Tower'

See Issoudun guide

Tours village

Tours (Indre-et-Loire)

Tours is a large important town with numerous monuments, gardens and medieval buildings, and is also well placed to explore the west of the Loire Valley

See Tours guide

Vendome village

Vendome (Loir-et-Cher)

Now listed as a 'town of art and history', Vendome retains many monuments from its active past despite extensive wartime damage

See Vendome guide

Lorraine: ville fleurie 4*s

Bitche village

Bitche (Moselle)

The citadel in Bitche is very interesting, with videos explaining the history and sieges of the town

See Bitche guide

Metz village

Metz (Moselle)

As well as the cathedral it is the grand squares surrounded by 18th century townhouses that are among the highlights of your visit to Metz

See Metz guide

Nancy village

Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle)

Rather overlooked as a tourist destination, the centre of Nancy around Place Stanislaus is impressive enough to be classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are several high quality museums!

See Nancy guide

Midi-Pyrenees: ville fleurie 4*s

Cahors village

Cahors (Lot)

Best known for the famous Pont Valentre bridge, Cahors is a lively town which also has a small historic centre

See Cahors guide

Tarbes village

Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrenees)

The substantial gardens of Jardin Massey are the main place of interest in the centre of Tarbes

See Tarbes guide

Nord-Pas-de-Calais: ville fleurie 4*s

Arras village

Arras (Pas-de-Calais)

The belfry and the large number of baroque style houses make the centre of Arras very appealing with little clue that most were rebuilt less than 100 years ago after WW1 damage

See Arras guide

Boulogne-sur-Mer village

Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais)

The old town with its ramparts, castle and ancient streets are the highlight in Boulogne itself, while nearby there are plenty of good sandy beaches

See Boulogne-sur-Mer guide

Le Touquet village

Le Touquet (Pas-de-Calais)

Upmarket Le Touquet is probably the most popular of the coastal resorts in the region, with a lovely beach and wide range of facilties

See Le Touquet guide

Montreuil village

Montreuil (Pas-de-Calais)

The historic centre of the fortified town of Montreuil is lovely to explore with lots of cobbled streets and shady squares to discover

See Montreuil guide

Roubaix village

Roubaix (Nord)

Although its not a major tourist destination, the centre of the large town of Roubaix has several sights of interest

See Roubaix guide

Normandy: ville fleurie 4*s

Cabourg village

Cabourg (Calvados)

One time favourite of Marcel Proust, Cabourg has one of the longest and active beaches in the region

See Cabourg guide

Cherbourg village

Cherbourg (Manche)

The port town of Cherbourg has several monuments and museums of interest and a visit is recommended

See Cherbourg guide

Eu village

Eu (Seine-Maritime)

The red-brick castle, built in the 16th century, is the main attraction for visitors to Eu

See Eu guide

Honfleur village

Honfleur (Calvados)

There are lots of interesting things to see in Honfleur - if you can drag yourself away from the lovely harbour!

See Honfleur guide

Lyons-la-Foret village

Lyons-la-Foret (Eure)

The half-timbered buildings in the village of Lyons-la-Foret make it one of the prettiest places in Normandy

See Lyons-la-Foret guide

Pont-Audemer village

Pont-Audemer (Eure)

The canals and rivers are the highlight in Pont Audemer, famous for its traditional canalside washouses

See Pont-Audemer guide

Saint-Valery-en-Caux village

Saint-Valery-en-Caux (Seine-Maritime)

The area around the beach, harbour and marina in Saint-Valery-en-Caux is always very active in summer

See Saint-Valery-en-Caux guide

Pays de la Loire: ville fleurie 4*s

Angers village

Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

Most famous for its castle, Angers also has a cathedral and many other interesting historical monuments, numerous parks and gardens...

See Angers guide

Aubigne-sur-Layon village

Aubigne-sur-Layon (Maine-et-Loire)

The small village of Aubigne-sur-Layon is very pretty, especially in late spring and summer when the many flowers in the town are in bloom

See Aubigne-sur-Layon guide

La Baule village

La Baule (Loire-Atlantique)

La Baule-Escoblac is a very pleasant and popular resort with a long sandy beach - a toch of the French riviera in the north-west!

See La Baule guide

Nantes village

Nantes (Loire-Atlantique)

One of the largest towns in France, Nantes has many monuments, museums and places of interest to discover including the famous 'elephant' on the island.

See Nantes guide

Notre-Dame-de-Monts village

Notre-Dame-de-Monts (Vendee)

The resort of Notre-Dame-de-Monts is one of the quiter resorts of the Vendee coast

See Notre-Dame-de-Monts guide

Pornichet village

Pornichet (Loire-Atlantique)

The emphasis in Pornichet, immediately south of La Baule, is most certainly based around the long and sandy beach

See Pornichet guide

Saint-Jean-de-Monts village

Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Vendee)

At Saint-Jean-de-Monts you will enjoy the extensive sandy beaches and one of the livelier resorts on the Vendee coast

See Saint-Jean-de-Monts guide

Picardy: ville fleurie 4*s

Beauvais village

Beauvais (Oise)

In Beauvais you can see the important (if often rebuilt and renovated) cathedral with its famous astronomical clock and several medieval houses

See Beauvais guide

Poitou-Charentes: ville fleurie 4*s

Angouleme village

Angouleme (Charente)

Angouleme is one of our favourite Charente towns, with several interesting historic monuments to see and nice views

See Angouleme guide

Marans village

Marans (Charente-Maritime)

Marans is a small town with a pretty section along the river in the town

See Marans guide

Royan village

Royan (Charente-Maritime)

At Royan you will enjoy the beaches and also the promenade along the seafront

See Royan guide

Saintes village

Saintes (Charente-Maritime)

The town of Saintes is very interesting, with an extensive old-town to explore and a Roman amphitheatre

See Saintes guide

Thouars village

Thouars (Deux-Sevres)

Best known for its 17th century castle, in Thouars you can also see several medieval monuments

See Thouars guide

Provence: ville fleurie 4*s

Bormes-les-Mimosas village

Bormes-les-Mimosas (Var)

The lovely historic centre of Bormes-le-Mimosas overflows with plants and flowers

See Bormes-les-Mimosas guide

Cannes village

Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes)

Even without the famous film festival, the town and harbour area of Cannes would ensure its popularity

See Cannes guide

Hyeres village

Hyeres (Var)

Hyères has an extended historic centre with parks and a castle as well as a charming 19th century quarter in the town

See Hyeres guide

Martigues village

Martigues (Bouches-du-Rhone)

The harbour area and quaint fishermen cottages is the principal attraction in the large town of Martigues

See Martigues guide

Menton village

Menton (Alpes-Maritimes)

The beautiful town of Menton, on the slopes of a hill near the Italian border, is one of our very favourite towns in France

See Menton guide

Nice village

Nice (Alpes-Maritimes)

One of the largest towns in France, Nice is also the most visited resort and our favourite Riviera resort town in France

See Nice guide

Sanary-sur-Mer village

Sanary-sur-Mer (Var)

The historic boats and the palm trees around the pretty harbour are the highlight in Sanary-sur-Mer, with various beaches close to hand

See Sanary-sur-Mer guide

Rhone-Alpes: ville fleurie 4*s

Aix-les-Bains village

Aix-les-Bains (Savoie)

Aix-les-Bains is one of the best preserved 'belle-epoque' spa towns in France

See Aix-les-Bains guide

Annecy village

Annecy (Haute-Savoie)

Annecy is a very lovely town with a great deal to enjoy, enhanced further by the mountain backdrop

See Annecy guide

Evian village

Evian (Haute-Savoie)

Evian is a very lovely town, also well known as a spa town and for the bottled water from here that is famous worldwide

See Evian guide

Megeve village

Megeve (Haute-Savoie)

Megeve is among the most prestigious of the French ski resorts and also an active town

See Megeve guide

Valence village

Valence (Drome)

Although the famous local vineyards are the main attraction there is a great deal of interest in Valence itself

See Valence guide

Yvoire village

Yvoire (Haute-Savoie)

The village of Yvoire on the banks of Lake Geneva is extraordinarily pretty and one of our personal favourite French villages

See Yvoire guide

See more about the Towns in Bloom (villes fleuries) and a complete listing at the official site Villes et villages fleuris (French only).