Les Plus Beaux Villages de France marks 40th anniversary PLUS win copy of the latest guide

Collonges-la-Rouge, red bricked town in France

Collonges-les-Rouges, where the idea for Les Plus Beaux Villages de France began - Credit: Xantana/Getty

It all began in the early 1980s in the village of Collonges-la-Rouge, a triumph of red sandstone in deepest Corrèze. The rural exodus and threat of destruction to the village’s rich heritage gave mayor Charles Ceyrac a headache: How could Collonges’ fortunes be revived?  

 Inspiration lay in a book edited by Sélection du Reader’s Digest which Ceyrac spotted in a shop window, which had his village on the front cover along with the headline ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ (France’s Most Beautiful Villages). With the assistance of 66 other councils from around France, he founded Les Plus Beaux Village de France association in Salers, Cantal, in 1982, giving villages like Collonges another shot at survival. 

Half-timbered medieval houses decorated with flowers in Eguisheim village along the wine route in Al

Eguisheim in Alsace is another of the Plus Beaux Villages de France - Credit: Xantana/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The organisation has gone from strength to strength and today there are 164 villages across France who proudly hold the Plus Beau Village title. 2022 marks its 40th anniversary and to celebrate, we’re running a special competition. 

You can find the ultimate guide to each of the villages in Flammarion EditionsThe Most Beautiful Villages of France: The Official Guide (£16.95), which comes in English and French editions. Each village is accompanied by a handy map plus recommendations for the best things to see and do, plus where to eat and stay. The book is released on 22 March 2022 – enter our competition below for your chance to win!  

Saint-Veran an Alpine village on a sunny day

There are Plus Beaux Villages across France, including in the Alps like Saint-Véran - Credit: Thierry Llansades/Flickr NC ND 2.0

Fill out my online form.