TRADITIONAL VILLAGES AND TOWNS
In Occitania, an exceptional heritage
The "Most Beautiful Villages in France", "Towns and Villages in Bloom", Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire ("Towns and Lands of Art and History"): Occitania overflows with a wealth of incredible treasure. Our ever-so charming villages, fortified and medieval towns invite you to discover their history, their beauty, their authenticity. They forge our region's character and you'll definitely fall in love with them.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN FRANCE
You'll be wowed by them all
Loubressac, Carennac, Minerve, Belcastel,…: their names ring out and delight. Around 40 have now been granted the "Plus Beau Village de France" label: which just goes to show that our region is one of the most exquisite.
Red and ochre sandstone, hazelnut-coloured shale, white and golden limestone, a myriad of shades and materials across the land. Craftspeople, boutiques, cafés and restaurants animate their winding streets.
If you love the patina of old stones, the picturesque scenescapes of alleyways, the spice of history, then Occitania is the place to be!
Fortified towns are our speciality! Montauban, Marciac, Mirepoix, to name but a few... there are more than 300 in Occitania! These towns were established between the 12th and 14th centuries, built on regular plans around a central square where the local market would be held.
LES VILLES ET PAYS D’ART ET D’HISTOIRE
They perpetuate our heritage
In Occitania, heritage is an adventurewaiting for you around every corner, wowing you as you stroll along. Discover our numerous Towns of Art and History (Auch, Carcassonne, Uzès, …) as well as our Lands of Art and History (Pays de Pézenas, Cathar Pyrenees, …).
Their heritage is so unique that they deserve this national label and, with their incredible will to share, they invite you to get to know them.
Visits with tour guides, exhibitions and entertainmentare waiting for you throughout the year.
"Circulades" are circular-shaped villages built around a castle or a church, like Fourcès (Gers), Gruissan (Aude) and St-Pons-de-Mauchiens (Hérault). Yes, yet another of Occitania's specialities.
Les Villes et Villages Fleuris
They welcome you with flowers
If they've been granted this world-famous label, it means they are committed to welcoming you to their wondrous, delightful atmosphere where plants and blossoms reign supreme. Biodiversity, colours and fragrances in all their splendour!
Some villages and towns have been granted the highest rating with 4 Flowers, as green spaces and blossoms are part of the essence of their quality of life. So, come on, en route to discover Alès and Nîmes (Gard), Blaziert, Lectoure and Ordan Larroque (Gers), Fraisse-sur-Agoût (Hérault), Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrénées), Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) as well as Albi (Tarn) and Cayriech (Tarn-et-Garonne).
Follow the labels
- Plus beau village de France : ("Most Beautiful Villages in France") a highly-sought-after national label which protects and promotes the incredible heritage of French villages.
- Ville et Pays d’art et d’histoire : ("Town and Land of Art and History") a label granted by the French Ministry for Culture to promote access to our heritage's great wealth.
- Villes et Villages Fleuris : ("Towns and Villages in Bloom") a national label for supporting municipalities which are devoted to quality of life and biodiversity.
In Occitania you'll also have a chance to visit Petites cités de caractère ("Small Picturesque Towns") (a national label) andVillages de caractère ("Picturesque Villages") (a label created by the Gard Department).
In our region over 220 municipalities showcase one or more little red flowers on their town and village entrance signs designating the "Towns and Villages in Bloom" label.
Mystery in La Couvertoirade
On the Causse du Larzac (Aveyron), La Couvertoirade is labelled as the Most Beautiful Village in France. It is also the only one in Europe not located close to a source. The Knights Templar who built it back in the 12th century came up with extraordinary tactics for remedying this water issue.
Vidéo © Arte.
- By car: the region has a large number of motorways (A9, A20, A61, A75, …).
- By plane: it has several airports, including the international airports of Toulouse, Montpellier and Lourdes.
- By train: Occitania is accessible from all the major cities of France and European capitals.