Top 10 of the most beautiful villages in Occitanie, the craziest region of France

Occitania is the French region with the most villages classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. An exceptional concentration linked primarily to a rich architectural history, an exceptional topographical heritage and the fact that the small villages were generally spared enemy bombardments during the Second World War. Enough to fuel pretty little walks.

1. St Cirq-Lapopie

Located in the Lot, this small village of 200 inhabitants served as a surveillance base in Gallo-Roman times, due to its very dominant position over the Lot valley. The pilgrimage to Compostela passes through the village. The site is almost entirely classified and the village counts in all the classifications of the most beautiful places in France. André Breton also bought a house there.

Top 10 of the most beautiful villages in occitanie, the craziest region of france
Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Adam Baker from Houston / Moscow / Toulouse (travel a lot)

2. Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert

With inhabitants named Sautes-Rochers, we can imagine the topography of the place. The abbey and the parish church are obligatory passages, and the surrounding vineyards offer a rather crazy comfort of life. You can even go kayaking in the surrounding rapids. Stunning.

3. Cordes-sur-Ciel

The medieval village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, in the Tarn was born in 1222. The site was classified as the 4th most beautiful village in France by El Pais, and its name is not to put off potential tourists. This name comes from the fact that the village overlooks the mist when the weather is covered because of its position on the heights of a rocky pile. The village was also named favorite village of the French in a France 2 broadcast.

4. Lagrasse

This village is an incredible discovery, at the bend of a winding road that leads to one of the deep valleys of the Aude. Its Roman bridge, its medieval mansions, its covered market and its abbey, which is still inhabited, make it a tourist detour that is not very dispensable. And if its name is not as evocative as Corde-sur-Ciel, we just have to ignore it.

5. Gruissan

A lagoon, the sea within reach, the mountains in the background, ponds, the forest, seaside chalets, a port with its restaurants, a constantly boiling festive life and concerts on salt mountains. A village whose cultural life is abundant in an exceptional heritage environment. It is beautiful and ideal to appeal to all ages. The Barbarossa Tower, which dominates the village, is the vestige of an old medieval castle.

6. Sarlat-la-Caneda

Sarlat-la-Canéda is probably the best preserved medieval city in France, if not in the world. A real dive into the life of the Middle Ages at the beginning of the Renaissance, with unfortunately a few too many tourists. The village was also the first to benefit from the heritage protectorate instituted by the Malraux law.

7. Rocamadour

According to legend, Rocamadour would be backed by the mountain that Roland would have created by throwing his sword Durandal. The local cheese is also a marvel, proof that the heritage of a site can be both heritage and immaterial. Camped on its steep cliff, the city has made a great effort to maintain its heritage and knows how to highlight it for the purposes of walkers.

8. Conches

Time is irrelevant: when you are Conques, you are Conques. This is where the latest adaptation of The beauty and the Beast was turned. The Romanesque architecture of the village and its location, in the middle of a particularly arboreal zone, make it a kind of small refuge cut off from the world, magnificent to visit and extremely exotic.

9. Najac

Najac is perched on a rocky ridge (still holds one!) and survey the valleys it overlooks. Fief of the brother of Louis IX (in Occitania we cannot qualify as a Saint someone who tried to genocidate us when we were Cathars, for goodness sake), this stronghold has always protected its inhabitants from enemy incursions, they are military or cultural. Its Renaissance architecture remains intact, apart from its castle which has since fallen into ruins.

10. Lavardens

A charming village, perched on its rocky outcrop (yes yes like 95% of the villages of Occitanie). Classified as the most beautiful villages in France (and yes, we hold the record for villages classified in France!) the Château de Lavardens overlooks a sea of ​​fields as far as the eye can see, like a ship on a green sea.

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