À l’assaut des villages français haut perchés
To attack the French villages perched high
Published October 17, 2014, in France
Located on rocky peaks or along steep cliffs, these extraordinary villages deserve. Often designed as impregnable citadels, today they oppose such resistance as walking and strength to conquer the calves.
1. perched villages of the Luberon (Vaucluse)
Planted on hillsides such attentive sentinel, the hilltop villages of Luberon emerge a puzzle hills, forests, cliffs and cultivated plains. Each preserves a distinct personality: Bonnieux, friendly and trendy; Lacoste , stately and mysterious; Oppède-le-Vieux , wild and scenic, or Ménerbes , the artist soul. Further emerge the silhouettes Roussillon , declining all shades of ocher, Gordes , built as an extension of the rock, or to Saignon , understated elegance, with the rocky outcrop overlooking the valley Apt.
Allow one day to visit Oppède-le-Vieux, whose center is only accessible by foot. As to Gordes and Roussillon, absolutely avoid the high season!
2. Lama (Haute-Corse)
Dominated by the Monte Astu , the village of Lama is like the capital of the valley of Ostriconi , a micro-region located between the Balagne, the Agriates desert and mountains of central Corsica. Perched on a rocky outcrop 450 meters above the valley, the village deserves some attention here, whether strolling through the narrow streets of its old medieval quarter, or to admire the great bourgeois houses Italian styleXVIIIe andXIXth centuries, which belonged to wealthy growers of the valley.
The town organizes every year the summer, an outdoor film festival (www.festilama.org).
3. Eze (Alpes-Maritimes)
Perhaps the most beautiful but also the most sought-top villages on the French Riviera. Eagle nest perched 429 meters above the Mediterranean, around the remains of the castle, Eze offers a magnificent view of the deep blue sea and the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat . In its winding streets, tourists visit the stalls of artists and artisans, and prestigious hotels and restaurants of star chefs. Arranged in tiers, the village also extends to the Col d’Eze on the high ledge, and in the sea.
Do not forget to visit the exotic garden of Eze, located at the top of the village is renowned for its collection of cacti and succulents.
4. Semur-en-Auxois (Côte-d’Or)
The site of Semur retains a beautiful architectural unity. The city preserved over 80%, has to walk a very scenic site over the Armançon . Three staircases connect the riverside to the city on the plateau where, bluntly, one ventures between the private mansions, the Church of Our Lady , the tower of the Golden Orle , r Empart, Pinard bridge , descending 130 steps to one side, and going up to 120, a little further; in a site of old shops and mansions typical Burgundian absolutely intact.
At the foot of the ramparts, stop at Les Minimes, the old room and good food at low prices (www.restaurantlesminimes.fr).
5. Champtoceaux (Maine-et-Loire)
Perched on the edge of a high outcrop of 70 meters, overlooking the Loire, Champtoceaux occupies a site that was highly coveted in history. On the edge of Anjou and Brittany, the fortress held a key position for control of the river. shavedXVth century, the citadel offers only the remains, partly accessible to the public. The great attraction of the place is especially the panoramic view of the Loire Valley. That is, with the promenade Champalud , which starts behind the church, one of the most extraordinary views of the wild river, here divided into arms, wooded islands and huge sandbanks in summer.
To see the site of this village perched on the left bank of the Loire, better get on the right bank of the river.
6. Turenne (Corrèze)
From the imposing castle of the viscounts of Turenne , crowning the village of the same name, there remain only two feudal towers located on either side of a French garden. Turenne has built cascaded around this promontory . The site, very steep, is not less harmonious. His unit is its color range that plays between the slate roof and white limestone facade. Conical structures, towers, turrets adorn its noble houses; the surrounding landscape, hilly countryside added to the table. Time has indeed stopped on the steps of Corrèze .
Children may find a little rough storm the village. Casually, its steep streets are damn straight!
7. Bruniquel (Tarn-et-Garonne)
He served as the main backdrop to the film Le Vieux Fusil (1975), of Robert Enrico, with Romy Schneider and Philippe Noiret . Stamped one of the » most beautiful villages in France «, the medieval castle town has many charms. Stroll along its flowery streets, go through its old doors in the walls, hear the sound of the clock in the belfry. A little courage: it will climb up there to fall on his castle, six centuries old. Your reward: a breathtaking view of the confluence of the Aveyron and Vere , as well as the Albigensian .
Late July-early August, the Opera Festival of Castles Bruniquel revisits the opera buffa of Jacques Offenbach at the foot of the castle.
8. Cordes-sur-Ciel (Tarn)
Built in 1222 on top of Puech of Mordagne, Cordes is raised to the highest heaven to watch for the enemy during the Albigensian Crusade. Real pearl of the French houses , it magnifies Gothic art with the facades of the houses from the Middle Ages, intermixed with those more modest brick. You will inevitably seduced by its cobbled narrow streets and fortified walls. Upon seeing the medieval well in the square, head to the Garden of Paradise , which will transport you in an oriental world.
Unusual: the sugar Art Museum, installed in the home Prunet, which displays colorful sweet pieces of medieval themes.
9. Vitrac (Dordogne)
On the one hand, a high cliff . On the other, the broad ribbon of the Dordogne . In between, an unusual village pushed halfway up the cliff. Some houses have only three walls: the fourth is formed by the rock. Others have their garden several meters below. The highlight, of course cave, nestled on top of a hundred steps carved in limestone. Even stranger, the heart of the Southwest, this beautiful little town enjoys a Mediterranean climate …. On either side of a narrow road along the cliff, growing citrus, banana, olive and oleander.
To get the best overview of Vitrac, arriving from West, and preferably in the late afternoon when the sun lights up the cliff.
10. Rocamadour (Lot)
Perched above a cliff overlooking the canyon of 150 m Alzou, Rocamadour is staggering. The three floors of the village reflect the three levels of medieval society: the knights at the top religious clerics in the middle, and lay workers down, near the river. Rocamadou r also a shrine to Mary , which attracts many pilgrims. The most famous of these was Henry II of England , husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who came in 1159 to Rocamadour thank the Virgin for his recovery.
The Rocamadour is a small cheese «pure goat» (AOC), manufactured exclusively from raw milk on the Quercy.
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