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Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France

Walls, churches, and a combination of style, which can be seen in each of these towns.

Leopoldo Ágreda Lovera
8 min read
Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Medieval towns in France.

France is a country with numerous tourist attractions, such as its iconic Eiffel Tower, the majestic city of Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, among others; however, you can travel back in time, if you decide to tour the French medieval villages.

These medieval places are some of the most charming villages in France, where the atmosphere of its narrow streets, the impressiveness of its natural landscapes, and the architecture of the villages; They will make you feel like you are in a chivalric novel, or in a Middle Ages movie.

French medieval villages preserve the atmosphere of the past, with small towns located on mountains, sometimes rocky, other times surrounded by green vegetation; and sometimes, very close to rivers or lakes, giving greater beauty to these idyllic landscapes.

The creation of towns of this type with difficult access, was due to defensive elements; since it was a time, in which powerful feudal lords or kingdoms, sought to conquer cities to loot them.

The walls, the mountainous locations, towers and castles; they served as defensive-offensive fortresses, in case of a major attack.

What to see and do in France? : Top 10 of the most charming French medieval villages


Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Monpazier, medieval town in France.

Surrounded by the green landscape of the Aquitaine region, the medieval village of Monpazier offers incredible scenery, reflecting the French Gothic architectural style, with its pointed buildings and flattened roofs.

The town of Monpazier has almost the same appearance as its foundation, which was in the 13th century, when it was founded in honor of the King of England, Edward I, in 1284.

It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, with some points that you cannot miss, such as:

  • Monpazier Town Hall: the building where the town government is established.

  • Place des Cornieres: the central square of the town, which is the meeting place for its inhabitants, where you can visit its market, which has more than 700 years of history.

  • The church of Santo Domingo: with its peculiar arcades inside, which give it a sober but imposing appearance.

2. Saint Paul de Vence

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Saint Paul de Vence, one of the most visited medieval villages in France.

It is considered the most beautiful village on the Côte d'Azur, and one of the oldest in France; which in turn, has the pride of being the most visited. This is due to the magical beauty of this medieval town.

Located on top of a hill, located between Nice and Cannes, stands Saint Paul de Vence; surrounded by a 16th century wall, which served as a protective barrier for this small town.

A predominant feature of Saint Paul de Vence is its many art galleries, art workshops, and art shops throughout the town.

This artistic quality is a special tourist attraction, where visitors will find excellent works of art; but that also attracts thousands of French artists, eager to work in their workshops, and show their work in the prestigious galleries of this medieval town.

3. Avignon

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Avignon, medieval town in France.

The majesty and beauty of the town of Avignon is due to its long and extensive history; since for a time it was the Papal seat, becoming the most important place in France.

Today, there are still important remnants of that dark period in the history of the Vatican, when the papacy moved to this town.

When the papal seat moved to this medieval city, Avignon would live a period of greatness, which can still be perceived today.

Among the main monuments that you should know, is the Palace of the Popes, with its arcades and pointed towers typical of Gothic, offering the ideal appearance of medieval castles.

Another of the essential visits to Avignon is to visit its bridge, which previously crossed the Rhône river; but that to date, only four of the twenty-two arcades that it had can be walked on.

The Rue des Ténturiers, or the street of the dyers in Spanish, was, and still is, a picturesque street in Avignon, which borders the river; where silk was dyed and washed, which gave this street its name.

4. Colmar

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
View of the French medieval town, Colmar, from its canal.

The beauty of Colmar offers one of the best tourist destinations in France, with its houses that represent various architectural styles, and the medieval atmosphere that permeates each of its streets.

Colmar is located in the Alsace region, which is why the German architectural influence is very much felt in this place, with its houses adorned with wooden beams, along with the wide color of its flowers; that make Colmar one of the most charming towns in France.

One of its main points is its central square, with German Gothic buildings around it, where shops and restaurants offering local cuisine are located.

Rue des Marchands is another street that you cannot miss, being one of the best known places in Colmar.

One of the most picturesque elements of this beautiful medieval town are its canals of the "Petite Venise", where you can see the most incredible postcards of Colmar, sailing through its canals aboard a boat.

5. Eguisheim

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Eguisheim Square.

Eguisheim is another medieval Alsatian village, where the houses adorned with beams, and the style of the German Middle Ages, give a special atmosphere to this French village.

It is another important enclave of French tourism, thanks to the beauty of its streets, which are decorated with different flowers, predominantly geraniums.

This beautiful medieval town is also widely known for being a place where some of the best wines in France are produced, forming part of a wine route that stretches for more than 100 kilometres.

It is said that it was the main inspiration for Walt Disney, for the setting of "Beauty and the Beast".

6. Carcassonne

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Carcassonne fortress, medieval town in France.

The medieval town of France, Carcassonne, is a World Heritage Site, being the best preserved walled city in the entire European continent ; being this wide wall, its most distinctive seal.

The city of Carcassonne was divided several centuries ago into two parts, the upper part that corresponds to the medieval city, and the lower part, located on the banks of the river, which ended up displacing the ancient city of the Middle Ages.

It is one of the most important and visited medieval towns in the south of France, with numerous activities during the summer, which focus on showing the history of Carcassonne during the Middle Ages.

It is located between Toulouse and Perpignan, being very close to the Spanish border.

7. Fat

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Gordes, medieval village in France.

With its narrow streets and stone paths, Gordes, located on top of a hill, is another of the French medieval towns that you cannot miss.

The construction of this town, like many medieval cities, began around a large castle.

This castle was called the Castle of Gordes, erected in the 16th century, on the remains of an 11th century fortress. Today, the City Hall is located.

When visiting this magical medieval town, you can pay a visit to the Luberon Natural Park, which is located in the vicinity of Gordes.

8. Najac

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Najac, french medieval village.

One of the main characteristics of several French medieval towns is that they are located on a rocky hill, which gives the town greater elegance, beauty and majesty.

This is what happens in Najac, one of the French medieval towns, which captures to a greater extent, the essence of this period of history.

Najac is a small town, surrounded by lush green vegetation, where its houses are aligned with the mountain, and the city's castle; offering its visitors incredible dreamlike views.

9. Saint Eulalia of Cernon

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Church of Santa Eulalia de Cernon, place where the Knights Templar settled.

Santa Eulalia de Cernon, brings back the memory of one of the most important medieval chivalric orders, the Knights Templar, who settled in the 12th century, after several lands were given to this order, in the vicinity of the town.

The whole town stands out for its beauty, with its cobbled streets, walled sites, stone buildings where there are small shops, restaurants or taverns, where you will spend a pleasant moment.

However, it is the Santa Eulalia de Cernon church, the most important point, for its beautiful architecture, and for its connection with the Knights Templar, and other secret orders.

In Santa Eulalia de Cernon, you can find thematic tours that will tell the history of these orders in the region, as well as guided tours about the history of the city.

10. Mont Saint Michel

Discover the magic of the most beautiful medieval villages in France
Mont Saint Michel, one of the most charming medieval villages in France.

The Normandy coast boasts the jewel in the crown of French medieval towns, on its small island called Mont Saint Michel.

From afar, you can see a walled island with a church on top, which is dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

If you reach this granite island by boat, as was done during medieval times, you will see the long protective wall, and the roofs of the small houses of the inhabitants.

Today, the island is accessible via a pedestrian bridge, which can be crossed on foot or by bicycle.

Mont Saint Michel, despite its small size, is one of the most picturesque and unique French medieval villages in Europe.