Forests, Flowers And Fishermen – Take A Trip To France’s Most Beautiful Villages

October 29, 2020

If 2020 has got you feeling blue, why not indulge in some wanderlust with our list of some of the most picturesque places in France? 

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France is an organisation that awards places of exceptional beauty the accolade of one of the most beautiful villages in France. 

Flower-filled streets, half-timbered houses and meandering rivers, make these destinations some of the most pretty and peaceful in France. Though travel may not be on the horizon this year, read on for fabulous French villages to inspire your 2021 break!

 

Barfleur 

The traditional fishing port of Barfleur could be picked from a postcard and planted on the Normandy coast. Its granite houses, towering lighthouse and 17th century church make a charming scene and a short walk to the headland offers amazing views across the Cotentin peninsula. Its varied history can be seen in its architecture, gardens and churches and its rich maritime history can be tasted at many local restaurants. The wild mussels, Moules de Barfleur are harvested just off the coast and are a delight washed down with some crisp white wine. 

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Beuvronen-Auge 

Located on the cider trail, Beuvron en Auge not only boasts locally produced cider but a range of delectable cheeses and calvados brandy. Pick up some of these regional delicacies at the local market, situated in the centre square, before strolling the village and taking in the historical buildings, some dating as far back as the 12th century. A six kilometre walk from the village takes you to the Saint-Michel chapel of Clermont-en-Auge, which has breathtaking views over the Dives valley and forests beneath.  

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Le Bec-Hellouin 

Thatched cottages with colourful hanging baskets line the streets of Le Bec Hellouin, making it easy to see why it was awarded one of France’s most beautiful villages. At the centre of the village is the Abbey of Notre Dame, which still houses a community of Benedictine monks. You can visit the site for free and pick up some hand-made ceramics, candles, jams and preserves all made by the religious communities of the abbey. Climb St Nicholas Tower for vast views across the area or enjoy a bike ride on the cycle path below the village which stretches over 42km through the French countryside and villages of Normandy.  

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Lyons-la-Forêt 

Nestled in the heart of a forest, the village of Lyons-la-Forêt was once the place of residence of the Dukes of Normandy. Its half-timbered houses, 18th century wooden market halls, stone fountains and quaint cafes all contribute to it being one of the most beautiful villages in France. Take a look at the 18th century town hall, stroll down to the river Lieure and stop by the 12th century St Denis Church. If you fancy a longer walk, follow one of many routes through the largest beech grove in France, the forest of Lyons.  

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St-Cénéri-le-Gérei 

Overlooking a meander of the Sarthe river, St-Cénéri-le-Gérei lies within Normandie-Maine Regional Nature Park and has been the inspiration for painters and poets throughout the centuries. The stone bridge spanning the river, the Romanesque church and green banks of the Sarthe make it a perfect place for a stroll. The small 15th century chapel by the river contains a statue of Saint Cénéri and legend says if a young woman sticks a needle into the robe of the saint, she will be married within the year. Whether you believe in miracles or not, one thing is for certain – St-Cénéri-le-Gérei is a beautiful village with plenty to explore. 

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Veules-Les-Roses 

Coast and country combine in the beautiful village of Veules-les-Roses. Traditional thatched houses surrounded with a profusion of flowers, trees and greenery, line the streets of the village and several water mills line the riverside path that leads to the sea. The ruins of St Nicholas church stand atop the white cliffs overlooking the rugged Normandy coast. Its streams have grown watercress since the 14th century and the local oysters are harvested by the foot of the cliffs, giving them a delicious, unique tasteA trip to the chocolate-box setting of Veules-les-Roses will be sure to ignite that wanderlust once again!

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Explore France’s most beautiful villages for real in 2021 on a DFDS ferry from Newhaven to DieppeTaking just 4 hours, you can be in these picture postcard places in no time at all!  Plus, our Travel Guarantee means if plans change, you can rearrange for free.  

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