The Most Beautiful Villages in France
The aptly named village of Veules-les-Roses has sweetly scented blooms around every corner. Its thatched cottages line the streets leading to the seafront, famous for its oysters and the spot where the smallest river in France enters the sea.
Stroll the riverside path and pass a number of traditional water mills which powered the successful weaving trade here in the 18th & 19th centuries. Arrive at the ruins of the 16th century church of St Nicholas and take in the beautiful views across the sea.
For dinner why not sample the famous Verneuil oysters, cultivated beneath the rocky cliffs of Veules les Roses?
Lyons la Forêt
Nestled in the heart of the forest, Lyons-la-Forêt is an oasis of peace. Immerse yourself in nature and take a walk through the towering beech trees of the 11,000 hectare woodland. Explore the forest on bikes or horseback and see if you can spot stags, wild boars and several species of birds which call the area home.
Back in the village, pass the brick pink houses and browse the village market for local produce before heading to the home of the famous composer, Maurice Ravel. As evening falls, head to the town square for quaint cafes and restaurants offering authentic French cuisine. Bon Appétit!
Saint Céneri Le Gérei
The village of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei was founded in the 7th century by its namesake Saint Céneri.
Overlooking a meander of the Sarthe river, the cobbled streets, stone houses and colourful flowers of the village have inspired painters throughout the centuries and continue to do so. You may still spot a painter with their easel down by the river as you take a stroll.
Along the river is the small chapel of Saint Céneri which is said to be the site of many miracles, and according to legend, has healing waters nearby.
Stroll the flower lined streets to see beautifully manicured gardens at Jardins de la Mansonière and delight in the scents and sights of this horticultural marvel.
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