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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 on 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!"

These are the Plus Beaux Detours of France.


Alsace Region, Department 67 Bas-Rhin
Obernai 25 km southwest of Strasbourg. [area map]
Strasbourg Eastern France, beside the Rhine on the German border. [area map]
Alsace Region, Department 68 Haut-Rhin
Thann 15 km west of Mulhouse. [area map]
Aquitaine Region, Department 24 Dordogne
Brantôme 27 km north of Périgueux. [area map]
Aquitaine Region, Department 64 Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Orthez On the Pau, 30 km southeast of Dax; 10 km east of Salles-de-Béarn. [area map]
Auvergne Region, Department 15 Cantal
Mauriac 40 km north of Aurillac; 40 km west of the Plomb du Cantal; at the edge of the Volcans d'Auvergne. [area map]
Saint Flour East of the Plomb du Cantal and the Volcans d'Avergne. [area map]
Auvergne Region, Department 43 Haut-Loire
Brioude 60 km south of Clermont-Ferrand. 15 km east of Blesle, 7 km northwest of Lavaudieu (two of the Plus Beaux Villages de France). [area map]
Auvergne Region, Department 63 Puy-de-Dôme
Ambert 25 km southwest of Montbrison. [area map]
Issoire 30 km southeast of Clermont-Ferrand. [area map]
Bourgogne Region, Department 21 Côte-d'Or
Châtillon-sur-Seine 70 km southeast of Troyes; 50 km southwest of Chaumont. [area map]
Bourgogne Region, Department 71 Saône-et-Loire
Autun 70 km southwest of Dijon, 40 km west of Beaune. [area map]
Louhans 30 km southeast of Chalon-sur-Saôn; 30 km west of Lons-le-Saunier. [area map]
Bourgogne Region, Department 89 Yonne
Joigny 20 km north of Auxerre; 30 km south of Sens, on the Yonne. [area map]
Britanny Region, Department 22 Côtes-d'Armor
Dinan 20 km south of St Malo and Dinard; 50 km northwest of Rennes. [area map]
Britanny Region, Department 29 Finistère
Saint Renan 10 km northwest of Brest. [area map]
Center Region, Department 18 Cher
Mehun-sur-Yèvre 15 km west of Bourges; 15 km southeast of Vierzon. [area map]
Saint Amand-Montrond 40 km south of Bourges; 9 km southeast of Bruère-Allichamps (the geographical center of France). [area map]
Sancerre On the upper Loire, 90 km SE of Orleans, 45 km NW of Nevers. [area map]
Center Region, Department 28 Eure-et-Loir
Châteaudun 40 km northwest of Orléans. [area map]
Nogent-le-Rotrou 60 km northeast of Le Mans; 50 km west of Chartres. [area map]
Center Region, Department 36 Indre
La Châtre 30 km southeast of Chateauroux. [area map]
Center Region, Department 37 Indre-et-Loire
Loches 40 km southeast of Tours; 30 km south of Ambois, and 25 km south of the lovely chateau of Chenoncdaux. [area map]
Center Region, Department 45 Loiret
Beaugency On the Loire, 20 km southwest of Orleans, 30 km northeast of Blois; in the Loire Valley. [area map]
Champagne Region, Department 52 Haute-Marne
Langres 30 km southeast of Chaumont. [area map]
Franche-Comté Region, Department 25 Doubs
Pontarlier 60 km southeast of Besançon; 60 km north of Lausanne (Switzerland) [area map]
Franche-Comté Region, Department 39 Jura
Salins-les-Bains 20 km northeast of Poligny; 40 km southeast of Dole. [area map]
Franche-Comté Region, Department 70 Haute-Saône
Luxeuil-les-Bains 40 km northwest of Belfort, 40 km south of Epinal. [area map]
Ile-de-France Region, Department 77 Seine-et-Marne
Moret-sur-Loing 10 km southeast of Fontainebleau, at the edge of the Fontainbleau Forest. [area map]
Provins 80 km southeast of Paris; 15 km northwest of Nogent-sur-Seine. [area map]
Ile-de-France Region, Department 95 Val-d'Oise
L' Isle-Adam 30 km north of Paris; 10 km northeast of Pontoise; 5 km southwest of Beaumont-sur-Oise. [area map]
Languedoc Region, Department 30 Gard
Beaucaire Across the river from Tarascon; midway between Avignon (27 km), Nimes (22 km) and Arles (22 km). [area map]
Languedoc Region, Department 34 Hérault
Lodève 50 km north of Béziers; 50 km northwest of Montpellier. [area map]
Pézenas 20 km northeast of Béziers. [area map]
Languedoc Region, Department 48 Lozère
Marvejols 20 km west of Mende; 60 km northeast of Rodez. [area map]
Mende 20 km east of Marvejols; 30 km north of Florac. [area map]
Languedoc Region, Department 66 Pyrénées-Orientales
Prades The Abbey Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa is beside; the Pic du Canigou and the Abbey de Saint-Martin are 10 km south. [area map]
Limousin Region, Department 19 Corrèze
Meymac 15 km west of Ussel. [area map]
Limousin Region, Department 23 Creuse
Aubusson 30 km southeast of Guéret. [area map]
Limousin Region, Department 87 Haute-Vienne
Saint Léonard-de-Noblat 20 km east of Limoges. [area map]
Loire Valley Region, Department 49 Maine-et-Loire
Montreuil-Bellay 15 km south of Saumur. [area map]
Loire Valley Region, Department 72 Sarthe
La Flèche On the Loire, 40 km southwest of Le Mans. [area map]
Loire Valley Region, Department 85 Vendée
Fontenay-le-Comte 40 km northeast of La rochelle; 30 km northwest of Noirt. [area map]
Lorraine Region, Department 55 Meuse
Bar-le-Duc 45 km south of Verdun; 75 km west of Nancy, 25 km northwest of Saint Dizier. [area map]
Lorraine Region, Department 57 Moselle
Bitche Beside the Northern Vosges Regional Park. [area map]
Nord/Calais Region, Department 59 Nord
Bergues 9 km southeast of Dunkerque. [area map]
Fourmies 15 km southeast of Avesnes-sur-Helpe; 20 km northeast of Vervins; near the German border. [area map]
Saint Amand-les-Eaux 30 km southeast of LIlle; 10 km northwest of Valenciennes. [area map]
Normandy-lower Region, Department 50 Manche
Granville Seaside town, 20 km north of Mont-Saint-Michel. [area map]
Normandy-lower Region, Department 61 Orne
Argentan 50 km southeast of Caen; 40 km north of Aalençon. [area map]
Domfront 20 km west of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne and La Ferté-Macé. [area map]
Normandy-upper Region, Department 27 Eure
Pont-Audemer 20 km east of Honfleur; 40 km west of Rouen. [area map]
Normandy-upper Region, Department 76 Seine-Maritime
Eu-le-Tréport Just east of Tréport; 30 km northeast of Dieppe; 30 km west of Abbeville. [area map]
Forges-les-Eaux 40 km northeast of Rouen; 40 km northwest of Beauvais. [area map]
Picardie Region, Department 80 Somme
Saint Valery-sur-Somme Seaside town at the mouth of the Canal de la Somme; 15 km northwest of Abbeville. [area map]
Poitou-Charentes Region, Department 86 Vienne
Chauvigny 20 km east of Potiers. [area map]
Provence-Cote d'Azur Region, Department 04 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Sisteron
Provence-Cote d'Azur Region, Department 05 Hautes-Alpes
L' Argentière-la-Bessée 15 km south of Briançon; SE end of Vallouise Valley. [area map]
Provence-Cote d'Azur Region, Department 83 Var
Grimaud Medieval perched village overlooking the bright blue bay of the Golfe de Saint Tropez, dominated by the striking ruins of an 11th-century chateau.
Ollioules
Provence-Cote d'Azur Region, Department 84 Vaucluse
Apt Provencal market town since Roman times, nearby lavender fields and perched villages.
Pernes-les-Fontaines 20 km east of Avignon, 6 km south of Carpentras.
La Tour-d'Aigues
Vaison-la-Romaine 30 km northeast of Orange.
Pyrenees Region, Department 31 Haute-Garonne
Revel 20 km north of Castelnaudary; 20 km southwest of Castres. [area map]
Pyrenees Region, Department 32 Gers
Lectoure 30 km south of Agen; 20 km east of Condom. [area map]
Pyrenees Region, Department 46 Lot
Gourdon (Lot) 35 km north of Cahors; 20 km west of Rocamadour.
Pyrenees Region, Department 81 Tarn
Gaillac 20 km west of Albi. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 01 Ain
Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne 15 km east of Belleville-sur-Saône; 40 km north of Lyon. [area map]
Trévoux 20 km north of Lyon; 10 km southeast of Villefranche-sur-Saône. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 07 Ardèche
Vals-les-Bains 5 km north of Aubenas. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 26 Drôme
Crest 30 km northeast of Montélimar. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 38 Isère
Crémieu 30 km east of Lyon; 10 km north of Isle-d'Abeau. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 42 Loire
Charlieu 15 km northeast of Roanne. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 73 Savoie
Albertville Home of the 1992 Winter Olympics. [area map]
Rhone-Alpes Region, Department 74 Haute-Savoie
La Roche-sur-Foron 20 km northeast of Annecy; 8 km west of Bonneville. [area map]