In this article, you will read about the 10 most beautiful villages and towns in Auvergne Rhone Alpes. The Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region is a vast territory full of medieval cities, ancient abbeys, remains of ramparts, ruined castles, and hilltop villages offering magnificent panoramas of mountains, fields, vineyards, banks of the Ardèche or the banks of Lake Geneva. Lovers of old stones, history, rural crafts, rustic cuisine, and rural landscapes, here is a region to explore from villages to hamlets, through a preserved picturesque heritage. What a better way to discover this region. Take time to stroll through our list of 10 most beautiful villages, towns in Auvergne Rhone Alpes.
1. Bonneval Sur Arc
A small mountain village which is located at the bottom of the Iseran pass, which still makes this small village the highest in the Maurienne valley. The Vanoise Park will ensure you a peaceful break because it is protected to protect the local fauna and flora. This village is classified among the most beautiful in France, well beyond the framework of the region. If you love board sports and thrills, don’t hesitate to go there in winter to hit the slopes.
Summer offers you beautiful panoramas for your hikes or hikes in the countryside, but you can also practice other outdoor sports such as canyoning or climbing. To get there, there’s nothing better than renting a small gîte, there are many of them in the village. However, be careful, prices tend to rise during the winter school holidays.
Moreover, if you are passing through at this time of year when snow is the queen of the place, do not hesitate to take part in La Grande Odyssée, an international long-distance sled dog race that has taken place in the village for 15 years now.
The medieval city of Pérouges is inimitable with its round pebbles and its fortifications which bear witness to its rich history. The charm of the old cobbled streets of Pérouges immediately suspends time. It must be said that the magical decor is well-maintained and has even served as a backdrop for several films. The best thing is to get lost in this medieval maze and discover its vestiges by surprise. Then finally, we arrive in the heart of the village to taste the famous local sugar cake.
Vieux Pérouges is perched on a hill in the Ain, 36 km northeast of Lyon. This ancient weavers’ town is guarded by a double ring of ramparts and the fortress church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. Follow the cobbled streets that run past the cut stone houses of the 15th and 16th centuries. Here, almost all the streets lead to the main square, Place du Tilleul.
In the residence of the Dukes of Savoy, known as “the house of the Princes”, the local museum is located. From its watchtower, you can admire the view over the village roofs and the Dombes plateau. Don’t leave without tasting the famous Perouges galette: a delicious sugar brioche tart.
Perched on its cliff overlooking the Ardèche, the former stronghold of the “Lords of Balazuc” has kept many traces of its medieval past. Let yourself be surprised by an impressive maze of winding streets, vaulted passages, the castle, or the Romanesque church of Sainte Madeleine.
You cannot miss the picturesque hamlet of Viel Audon which offers products made at the farm all year round. village: goat cheeses, syrups, honey. Perched on a limestone cliff near Montélimar, less than 200 km from Lyon, Balazuc dominates a loop of the Ardèche River. Its medieval past shines through the stone ramps, the ramparts, and its castle. It is a maze of winding streets, arched passages, and cobblestones. The village also has a 12th-century Romanesque church and beautiful shops.
Above all, it offers an incredible panorama of the Ardèche. A natural history museum brings together original fossils which remind us that the region is rich in numerous traces of ancient life on Earth. After wandering around the village, go back down to the banks of the Ardèche to cool off. In summer you can swim there and rent canoes.
This characterful town is one of the essential villages to visit in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes. Vogüé turns its back on a cliff and borders the Ardèche River. Just when you arrive, the spectacle is magnificent.
This medieval village, with shimmering colors and roofs of round tiles, invites you to stroll. Let yourself be seduced by its castle, its towers, and its Rue des Puces: the narrowest street in France. Suffice it to say that the parenthesis is total and idyllic.
The old village of Vogüé is built like an amphitheater on the cliff on the edge of the Ardèche. The castle dominates the village and its hanging gardens offer a sublime panorama. This town is recommended by us as one of the 10 most beautiful villages and towns in Auvergne Rhone Alpes Villages.
If you are looking for a place to recharge your batteries, where you can have a good time in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and feel like you are in a small Provençal seaside village, go to Montbrun-les-Baths.
A mini-city that offers outdoor activities such as hiking, and mountain biking but also free flight attempts to meet the birds. The village, one of the most beautiful in France, is also known for its thermal spa offerings; numerous cures are organized for rejuvenating, invigorating, and good, even essential experiences for your health.
We can only recommend a short spa stay, with accommodation included, for a total disconnection from the worries of everyday life. For a slightly more historical and cultural stay, you will find the Aulan castle marked by sovereigns and in particular Napoleon III which is very close to there.
Oingt is a medieval village perched above the Azergues valley, about 30 km from Lyon. Today, it forms, with Bois-d’Oingt and Saint-Laurent-d’Oingt, the commune of Val d’Oingt. Pass through the fortified gate of Nizy to access this winegrowers’ hamlet, made up of a group of other stone houses.
On the heights, you find the Saint-Mathieu church. Climb its steps to admire the view of the valley and the Beaujolais vineyards. You can also visit the Tower, where a museum traces local history and at the top of which an orientation table explains the magnificent landscape before your eyes. A barrel organ festival is held there every year, in conjunction with the village’s astonishing Museum of Mechanical Music.
Between Valence and Montélimar, Mirmande offers a superb view of the Vivarais mountains. Take the time to stroll through its picturesque medieval streets and discover this listed village, which specializes in silkworm breeding before converting to fruit production, as evidenced by the orchards that occupy the surrounding hills.
The old Sainte-Foy church dating from the Middle Ages, today a place for exhibitions and concerts, culminates at the top of the village.
As you climb there, take a look at the old wooden doors decorated with stone houses and discover artists’ studios and local artisans. If you have a baby, choose the baby carrier, as the stroller is not practical in the steep streets.
This small town in Cantal belongs to the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park. Here, chlorophyll gushes out in all directions. The village is completely immersed in nature. Of course, Tournemire has other assets such as its medieval fortress which still whispers the stories of great battles.
The village stretches along a main street, littered with pretty little squares. The beautiful houses sleep under slate roofs and are adorned with small gardens and hanging vegetable gardens. You will be able to discover the Anjony castle, a testimony to the past and the struggle between the Tournemires and the Anjonys, the castle of the former was unfortunately destroyed but the fact remains that the building of yesterday’s enemies is worth discovering.
You will discover numerous hotels and tourist establishments on site to welcome you to the heart of the city’s heritage in accommodations with atypical slate roofs and period facades.
Yvoire, nicknamed “La Perle Du Lac”, is a medieval village overlooking Lake Geneva. His nickname is not an usurpation. The medieval village enjoys an exceptional location, a Remarkable Garden, and fortifications erected in a unique setting. Its castle, an unshakable symbol, watches over the stone houses with pretty wooden balconies.
This village to visit in Auvergne-Rhône Alpes offers a romantic atmosphere thanks to its flowered avenues. Imagine all this, dancing in a crystal clear mountain lake. We advise you to admire its square keep: one of the vestiges of Yvoire’s medieval past which is more than 700 years old.
You can also go to the Jardin des Cinq Sens, the Maison de l’Histoire, or the Domaine de Rovorée – La Châtaignière, where centuries-old chestnut trees shade the lake banks. It is an ideal place for a quick swim in the lake in midsummer.
At every turn, Arlempdes pulls out all the stops and puts on a real spectacle. Hoisted at the top of a rocky peak and surrounded by the Loire, this small village is notable for its castle and its period decorations. If it is among the most beautiful villages in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, it is also for its intimate setting and its views of the volcanic peaks. A place that appeals to nature lovers and history buffs alike.
Beautiful Villages and Towns in Auvergne Rhone Alpes
- Bonneval Sur Arc
- Oingt (Rhône)
- Mirmande (Drôme)