Medieval. Winding alleyways. Breathtaking views. Uncover the “Most Beautiful Villages of France” in the Rhone Valley.

1.Aigueze

The pretty little village of Aigueze sits high on a cliff affording terrific views of Ardèche River on one side, and the famed Côtes du Rhône vineyards on the other. The town is home to a number of treasures that can’t be missed: an 11th-century church with its brightly colored frescoes, an old olive oil mill, its Sarrazine tower, an ancient vaulted passageway, and the quaint square in the heart of the village.

Oingt

Perched on the hill by lush vineyards of the Beaujolais is the pleasant village of Oingt. It climbs uphill along narrow streets to the church and tower at the top. Oingt is home to gorgeous honey-colored stone buildings and key monuments such as the castle's chapel, the tower with the dungeon and the fortified door of Nizy.

2.Balazuc

Clinging to a rocky outcrop stands the medieval village of Balazuc. In the yesteryear, the “Lords of Balazuc” made the village into a fortified place, and today signs of its medieval past live powerfully. Get lost in its intricate winding alleys and arched paths and visit the 11th-century castle, fortified roman church, and outer gates.

3.La Garde-Adhémar

Beaming with vivacious character, the charming village of La Garde-Adhémar is one of the best-preserved medieval villages in the region. Affording breathtaking views of the Rhone Valley, it retains parts of its ramparts Highlights of the town include the 12th century Church of Saint-Michel; botanic gardens with its medicinal plants; and the Valley of the Nymphs, which hosts stunning roman style architecture at the priory.

4.La Roque-sur-Cèze

Built on rock peak facing the Cèze, the beautiful village of La Roque-sur-Cèze offers brilliant views of the Cascades du Sautadet, listed as an extraordinary natural site. The village with its unique houses made with pale stones and ornamental tiling, and magnificent castle and 11th-century chapel deserve an excursion.

5.Le Poët-Laval

Nestled amid aromatic lavender and lush fields on a craggy hill in the Jabron Valley is Le Poët-Laval, an impressive fortified town. The village takes visitors back to the medieval times with its castle, ruins of the Romanesque chapel of Saint-Jean des Commandeurs and ramparts. Mirmande Small and peaceful, Mirmande is a charming ramparted medieval village set among picturesque orchards and open fruit meadows. The town is famous for its fruit growing and tiny cottages which contain beautiful stone facades and old doors.

6.Pérouges

Pérouges is a medieval walled town overlooking the Ain River valley. Evidence of its medieval past can be found around every corner: the fortress church, century-old houses, and the house of the Princes of Savoy with a recreation of a 13th-century garden. There is always something interesting to discover around every corner.

7.Vogüé

Vogüé epitomizes Southern France – warm colors and round-tiled roofs on its houses and buildings. The Castle of the Lords dominates the village, and its labyrinth of alleys and stairways give way to discovering something new at every corner.

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Author's Bio: 

Jean is a Co-Founder and Owner of France Cruises, Inc. and Wlcvacations, Llc