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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995

spcFrance's Plus Beaux Detours association has listed 80 towns and villages as "well worth a detour" for, among other things, their beauty and historical interest. Excluding one town in French Guyana, we've listed here the 79 Plus Beaux Detours in France.

The Plus Beaux Detours association, created in 1998, lists interesting towns all over France of a "managable size", with populations of 2,000 to 20,000. These places have agreed to be a part of the Plus Beaux Detours, offering the art of tourism for brief visits and longer stays. They will have an authentic historical past, gastronomic tradition, local markets and festivals

The approaches to a Plus Beaux Detours town will be signposted with the logo shown here: "a link road wanders from the highway to become the stem of a flower blossoming out as a rosette and a firework... a rewarding detour!"

Below are the Plus Beaux Detours of France with pages in ProvenceBeyond.

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A very popular and picturesque Medieval village on a hilltop just 4 km from the Cote d'Azur seaside, with a 2500 year history.

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Gourdon (Lot)

A Medieval village located on a small hill overlooking the surrounding countryside of the Lot deparment, with old village streets arranged in a circle around the ancient center.

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A Roman town, with the mineral hot springs still a popular attraction, pretty much continuously since the Romans built them. Beside the lower Verdon river and near the pretty Lac d'Esparron.

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Medieval perched village overlooking the bright blue bay of the Golfe de Saint Tropez, dominated by the striking ruins of an 11th-century chateau.

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A large, lovely and festive town on the Aude, 20 km south of Carcassonne, with unique museums and sparkling wines.

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A Medieval town set in a pretty river valley, with a 14th-century arched bridge, long vaulted streets and an active center including water park.

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A lovely Medieval fortified town, with 14th-16th-c defensive walls, "portes" and a well defined Medieval center; over thirty 18th-c fountains.

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Roman era fishing village, now seaside resort, alleged landing site of the Christian Maries, annual Gypsy gatherings, bullfights, Camargue safaris.

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A pre-Roman town with imposing citadel overlooking the old streets and picturesque buildings, and guarding a narrow gap on the Durance river

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A 2000-year-old town with a Roman bridge still in use, picturesque ruins, and popular summertime festivals.