Choosing the most beautiful area of France is rather subjective, and personal opinions will vary!

Judging the Most Beautiful Area of France

Najac View

Najac – Wikipedia Commons License

One of way of judging an area’s beauty is looking at the number of “most beautiful villages” in a particular region. All the hard work has been done by the organisation known as “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France“.  The organisation is very strict about adding villages to its list. The appraisal is based on a chart of 27 objective criteria to measure the extent and value of the village heritage, its architectural, urban and environmental quality and also the suitability of municipal initiatives in terms of managing and showing off its area (town planning tools, controlling visitor flow, aesthetic developments, etc.).

The end result is …. the association includes 157 villages spread over 21 regions and 69 départements (areas within the regions).

Based on the number of most beautiful villages in a region – the winner is clearly the Midi-Pyrenees. The Midi-Pyrenees is the largest region of France but the number of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” is significantly higher in this stunning region. Perhaps with the back-drop of the Pyrenees it is no great surprise – but there is much more to this region than the Pyrenees.

The Midi-Pyrenees villages who feature in this renowned list are:

  • Autoire
  • Auvillar
  • Belcastel
  • Brousse le Château
  • Bruniquel
  • Camon
  • Capdenac le Haut
  • Cardaillac
  • Carennac
  • Castelnau de Montmiral
  • Conques
  • Estaing
  • Fourcès
  • La Couvertoirade
  • Lacapelle Marival
  • Larressingle
  • Lauzerte
  • Lautrec
  • Lavardens
  • Loubressac
  • Monestiès
  • Montréal du Gers
  • Najac
  • Peyre
  • Puycelsi Grésigne
  • Sarrant
  • Sauveterre de Rouergue
  • St Bertrand de Comminges
  • St Cirq Lapopie
  • St Come d’Olt
  • Ste Eulalie d’Olt

If you are visiting the region, why not discover some or all of these villages! Let us know you favourites!

Planning a trip to the Midi-Pyrenees

If you want to schedule your route around the Midi-Pyrenees – there is a map here showing the location of these village.

Perhaps time is short and you do not want to cover large distances. The Midi-Pyrenees is sub-divided into Departements – they are

Ariege
Aveyron
Gers
Haute-Garonne
Lot
Hautes-Pyrenees
Tarn
Tarn-et-Garonne

Here is our recommendations for each of these departments:

Estaing, Belcastel and La Couvertoirade in Aveyron; Lauzerte and Auvillar in Tarn et Garonne; Camon and Saint Lizier in Ariège ; Lautrec, Puycelci and Castelnau de Montmiral in Tarn ; Montréal du Gers and Sarrant in Gers ; Carennac, Autoire and Loubressac in Lot ; and Saint Félix de Lauragais in Haute Garonne

Here are some video highlights of Villages from the Midi-Pyrenees

1) Loubressac

2) Belcastel

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