Silver Travel Book Club

September 2022 – The Most Beautiful Villages of France

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.

We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Le Boat – is reading The Most Beautiful Villages of France.

From the medieval fortress of Montrésor in the Loire Valley to the lavender fields that surround the hilltop village of Gordes in the Luberon, this illustrated guide unveils the beauty of rural France, providing complete visitor’s information for these exceptionally preserved villages.

Carefully selected each year, the French villages featured in this official guide are replete with historical, architectural, and natural riches.

A brief history of each village is accompanied by recommendations for monuments, museums, and other places to visit, accommodation options ranging from hotels to campsites, restaurants, markets, artisanal produce and local specialties.

Details on leisure activities include festivals, events, and excursions that encourage visitors to explore the surrounding area on foot or on a boating holiday as offered by Le Boat, the No 1 provider of boating holidays in the UK and Europe’s beautiful inland waterways.

Le Boat’s top recommendation for a boating holiday in France

Le Boat has the world’s largest fleet of self-drive boats to hire and the widest choice of fabulous boating destinations to choose from!

Le Boat offers something unlike any other holiday. When Le Boating, all hands are on deck! From plotting out the route, collecting the morning croissants, to operating locks and mooring – there is no licence needed and no experience required. After a quick boat briefing you are ready to set sail and discover the towns and waterways together! Discover the waterways of France and their surrounding villages and countryside, from the unique perspective of your private sundeck.

Le Boat operate in 9 different regions in France and we’ve picked out the Canal du Midi easily accessible by ferry, train or plane to tell you more: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, best explored by boat, you’ll take a wonderful journey through the sun-drenched vineyards and pretty villages of the Languedoc – France’s most prolific wine producing region. Try cycling along the flat banks of the canal, or explore the ancient fortress city of Carcassonne to soak up some history.

To find out more, take a look at these videos:

For more information visit Le Boat and call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678 to book.

How to win a copy of The Most Beautiful Villages of France

France is one of the most popular destinations with UK holidaymakers.  We’re pretty sure many of you have been!

Comment below to tell us where your favourite village was and what made it special. Or is there a place in France you’d like to visit? Let us know where it is and why you’d like to go there.

A winner will be chosen in early October 2022.
The competition closes on 30 September 2022.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Book Club reads.

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33 Responses

  1. I first visited Gordes in 1980 and have returned many times at different times of the year. A must see on a visit to Provence. Once visited never forgotten. People watching whilst having an expression at the cafe in the square and visiting in July to see the lavender field in front of the nearby abbey are musts.

  2. I would love to visit Carcassonne in France, not really a village but since I saw a photo of it as a child it has been a destination I would love to visit, along with the waterways by boat. An ambition to be fulfilled.

  3. Many years ago we were introduced to Collanges la Rouge by our daughters French exchange family who we had met up with on one of our many French travels. I still remember this beautiful village with its red buildings and attractive shops and restaurants. It’s like something out of a fairytale and every step through the village gives a photo opportunity

  4. Not a village, but we simply loved Arles where we disembarked from our Rhone cruise in June 22. Arles is often overlooked as most tourists tend to head for the better known city of Avignon just a few miles up the river, but we were very fortunate in staying an extra day in Arles before getting our train home. Arles was great to explore on foot, with cobbled streets, Van Gogh’s yellow cafe, multiple Roman sites, a brilliant museum of Provence culture and great restaurants serving local produce.

  5. Always wanted to visit France especially the amazing rivers. Love watching James Martin and his journeys through France inspiring.

  6. Montcocu near to Eguzon-Chantome. We used to own a home in Eguzon and would visit the river beach at Montcocu almost daily with our then 4 young children. It was idyllic – happy memories.

  7. I would love to go anywhere in France only been to albert with a friend many years ago, we lost touch unfortunately.😢

  8. Colmar is a beautiful town in Alsace with cobbled streets, half-timbered buildings and delightful floral displays. I visited Colmar on a tour with my elderly mother a few years ago and would love to re-visit this super French town without the need to push a wheelchair over those pesky cobbles!

  9. We have been visit8ng France for nearly 50 years so we have seen many delightful areas. Next year we are taking a cruise from Lyon along the Rhone and are hoping to see yet more amazing places. My favourite villages so far are in the Dordogne area.

  10. St-Cirq-Lapopie I have treasured memories of visiting here for the day with my late Dad, we walked along banks of the Lot river then climbed up to the view point in the village. My parents moved to France & Dad loved to take us to little villages & show us around, he was so proud, St-Cirq-Lapopie is one of many he took me to

  11. I fell in love with Lyon during a short break earlier this year and would like to spend time in the surrounding area particularly on either the Rhone & Saone Rivers.

  12. Carteret on the west Normandy coast is a lovely seaside location. it has a wonderful sandy beach with fishing and sailing boats coming and going. it is also great for walking around the area and there is even a boat service to the Channel Islands.

  13. I’d love to go back to Carteret – I went on a school trip (many, many years ago) – my first trip abroad without parents – and have such fond memories of this being such a beautiful place. It would be wonderful to revisit.

  14. So difficult to choose just 1 place! Love St Paul de Vence & all of the Cote D azur But real favourite is Pezenas….the old town is like a film set from years gone by , lovely old houses and wrought iron work.Beautiful in the sunshine 🌞

  15. I would like to go to Alsace for two reasons – its beauty and my husband’s ancestral connections. We’ve never been but pictures of villages with their half-timbered houses with colourful window boxes, canals lined with floral displays and vineyards sloping down to the Rhine make it look like an inviting, if small, French destination. My husband’s ancestor settled in England from the Haut-Rhin area in 1792 so it would be interesting to see that area in particular and, of course, sample the local wines.

  16. Without a doubt Giverny, the village where Monet lived. Where he created his wonderful garden and where he painted. Apart from visiting his home and garden the village is itself well worth an explore. Flowers are not confined to Monet and neither are interesting and picturesque buildings. I have been twice and each time was delightful. Think it is time to go again.

  17. Any of the little villages around Nancy would be lovely. My late wife lived there for a while before we were married and I’d love to see the area where she lived in her late teens and early 20’s! Thanks for including me.

  18. Years ago a friend bought a ‘hamlet’ in Gers, including a dilapidated château, renovated the very small number of houses, then sold it all, moved on and opened a wine business in England. But that’s a story for another time.

    We were fortunate to visit on a number of occasions and enjoy the picturesque scenery, wine and food of the region. Sunflower and garlic fields abound and the pretty town of Fleurance is nearby. It is one of several French Gascon bastide towns in the region. It’s a typical bastide town layout – a grid of streets around a large open square with a market hall in the centre. The open air Tuesday market where farmers bring their produce each week is a gastronomic delight.

    Another interesting place (but definitely not a village) is Condom, a quaint city on the route of the Way of St James (Camino de Santiago) with its golden stone cathedral dedicated to St Peter. At the back of the choir is a 14th century chapel consecrated to the Virgin.

    This is a delightful area of France peppered with interesting villages and small towns. Some off the beaten track, others more popular but all worthy of further exploration. A particular favourite is Larressingle with its Romanesque church, ramparts, towers and general air of medieval times.

    The Good Life France website in an article by Janine Marsh captures the essence of the area … “When you go to the Gers, prepare to be surprised. To fall in love with its beauty and its friendly folk. To be irresistibly tempted by the gastronomy. You’ll be fed and watered like royals and fall head over heels for this secret and totally enchanting part of France which the locals call God’s country…”

    Now who could argue with that?

    So, dust off your passports, buy your euros, jump in the car and head to La belle France!

  19. Chinon. Has an amazing castle and river we stayed in a house on the river bank with the castle lit up every night was the view from the windows and one evening a spectacle was a hot air balloon flying over infront of the castle at night.

  20. Locronan in Brittany is beautiful and has so much history. It has been used often for film sets – the Chappell de Penity is amazing and the history of weaving there is so interesting

  21. Lots of places here that are new to me and loving all your comments. I tend to mostly go to France to ski but once cycled the Canal de Midi but looking at the images, I think it will be much more comfortable to do on Le Boat ! I’ve recently visited Le Sable d’Olonne in the Vendee region of France which was a pleasant surprise, the ocean racing capital of the world with an enormous beach and interesting nearby salt marshes.

  22. Along with friends, we stayed at La Maugerie, a gite in the Normandy village of Saint-Vigor-des-Monts. Although small, it had a bar for beers and the local farm supplied vegetables, honey and eggs. My young goddaughter became friends with Nog the Dog and the ‘moo cows’, which had to be visited nightly before bed. In the nearby town of Villedieu-les-Poêles, we marvelled at their famous copper and brass pots as though we’d never seen them before. We barbecued in the rain and joked that in seven years, we only had seven minutes of sunshine. Simple pleasures, happy memories.

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