The 16 Most Beautiful Villages of New Aquitaine


Last Updated on 10/01/2023 by Alfred

Discover the villages that whisper in the ears of history, art, and culture enthusiasts. Here are the 16 most beautiful villages of Nouvelle Aquitaine.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine encompasses departments competing with exceptional beauties and natural phenomena such as the Gironde, the Landes, or the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Their identity is multiple, and they proudly display many specialties. Nevertheless, the villages of Nouvelle Aquitaine – which scatter along the roads – have one thing in common: they are full of charms.

Let yourself be surprised by the richness of these cultural and historical nuggets. Their architectural quality and their intact heritage will reveal to you, without modesty, a true art of living and a great authenticity. Go in search of the 16 most beautiful villages of New Aquitaine.

1. Collonges-la-Rouge

The small medieval village of Collonges-la-Rouge is a flamboyant treasure. Ranked among the most beautiful places to visit in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, it owes its place to its incredible palette of colors. The red sandstone lines the medieval monuments, themselves topped with anthracite lauze roofs: what a prodigious spectacle!

Lose yourself in the narrow streets and discover the harmony of this atypical place.

2. Beynac and Cazenac

Beynac-et-Cazenac is breathtakingly beautiful; between its cobbled streets and its exceptional panoramas, it is even a muse for many artists. Hoisted to the top of a valley, the village embraces castles. The houses seem to hang in the void above the cliffs.

In the historic heart, the alleys testify to a massive and elegant architectural style at the same time. The castle of Beynac-et-Cazenac overlooks this maze and stands unwaveringly against the castle of Castelnaud.

3. Brantome

Set in the heart of a hill and crowned by the River Dronne, Brantôme is nicknamed the “Venice of Périgord”. In addition to the sparkling meanders of the waters, spanned by delightful bridges, this must-see village to visit in New Aquitaine bears witness to all eras. From Prehistory to the Renaissance, through Romanesque, Brantôme has all kinds of vestiges. However, this cosmopolitan architecture is endowed with fascinating harmony.

4. Domme

Domme is one of the most beautiful bastides in New Aquitaine. “The Acropolis of Périgord” dominates the Dordogne valley. It also bears witness to an exceptional site inherited from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Its cobbled streets hurtle down the slopes and, every spring, pour out a delicious smell of rose. Coquetry and authenticity are found in every stone of this village of character.

5. La Roque-Gageac

Upon arrival on La Roque-Gageac, the overview is spectacular. Here, the sun floods the exotic garden and the high cliff pricked with holm oaks. Houses with anthracite slate roofs or tiles nestle under a real limestone wall.

Depending on the time, this village leaning against the cliff sparkles in the river. The small stone houses of La Roche-Gageac flourish at the foot of the castle and the ramparts.

6. Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion is surrounded by vineyards that give birth to world-renowned wines. The medieval architecture of Saint-Emilion is discovered through contemplative strolls.

From the Cardinal Palace to the Cloister, through the great walls or the monolithic church, your walk is punctuated by spectacular historical monuments. Then embark on an exceptional oenological stay in front of the small whitewashed houses with pastel roofs.

7. Saint-Macaire

This beautiful village to visit in New Aquitaine looks like a real postcard. The restored facades, the warmly colored frescoes and the whispers that escape from the balconies: there are so many surprises waiting for you in Saint-Macaire.

This ancient village and its belt of ramparts also offer one of the most beautiful medieval squares. With its stone arches in the colors of wheat and its Renaissance ornamentations, it is to die for.

8. Monflanquin

Bastide of the Lot-et-Garonne, Montflanquin is one of the most beautiful villages of New Aquitaine. Put down your suitcases and stop in the heart of its Gothic church, in the meanders of its streets or in the House of the Black Prince.

Monflanquin also offers a fascinating country atmosphere in the middle of peaceful countryside. In this old medieval bastide, the houses with round tiled roofs stick together and project you several centuries back.

9. Ainhoa

This typical bastide village, often immortalized by great painters, borders the ocean and the Spanish border. It can be proud of the label of the most beautiful spot to visit in New Aquitaine. Ainhoa invites you to sit down at a beautiful table and have a few strolls at the artisans and in the city center.

Straight and lined with brightly colored half-timbered houses, the city of Ainhoa transports back in time. But it is also its Basque authenticity that seduces visitors.

10. La Bastide-Clairence

This jewel of the Basque Country stands out with its adorable red and white houses and medieval monuments. The gabled and half-timbered houses, pierced by mullioned windows and engraved lintels, are even reminiscent of a cartoon décor.

The Bastide-Clairence also charms with its large square that climbs to the church. A haunt of artists to visit in New Aquitaine for all those who also love crafts.

11. Espelette

Your taste buds are thrilled just by evoking the name of this village one of the most beautiful and gourmet to visit in New Aquitaine. Espelette is indeed the cradle of the famous chili pepper that deliciously enhances your dishes. However, there is not only for gourmets.

History buffs will be delighted by a stroll through the winding streets. They descend the village in a sparkling labyrinth. From September, admire the garlands of peppers that dry on the walls of picturesque corbelled houses.

12. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Pilgrims who finish the mythical Camino de Compostela disembark in this village and open their eyes in amazement. And this is not surprising. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is in the mountains, at the foot of the port of Roncesvalles.

This pleasant and peaceful city offers a splendid and bright setting thanks to its pink sandstone houses and shimmering waters. Not to mention its medieval streets and cascading gardens that give it the air of a fairytale village.

13. Belvès

Belvès, perched on a promontory on the site of a Gallo-Roman castrum and an ancient medieval city, is a real journey back in time. Here, the valleys are littered with chestnut, walnut and oak woods that tumble under the sun.

The vast forests are thus gridded with paths that will delight hikers. In the heart of the village, the houses of the old Belvès slide between a few troglodyte houses long inhabited. Wander the shopping streets that abound beautifully with craft shops and breweries.

14. Monpazier

Among the most beautiful villages in New Aquitaine, Monpazier is the exemplary embodiment of medieval architecture. More than thirty Historical Monuments still stand, intact. Then, in the heart of the village, the square is surrounded by picturesque houses. Pass under its magnificent arcades that also host the colorful and local market. The bastide of Monpazier Bastide is the most famous and best preserved of the Périgord.

If you gain height, you will realize that this city forms a quadrilateral delimited by fortified gates.

15. Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Still want to visit New Aquitaine to the rhythm of its past? Discover Castelnaud-la-Chapelle: a real medieval fortress with gilded stone facades that emerges from the ground in a green setting.

Its medieval machicolation installations and its majestically detached castle offer a splendid panorama of the surrounding valleys. Here, the history and art of war are told at every window.

16. Sauveterre-de-Béarn

Last, but not least, of our most beautiful villages to visit in New Aquitaine: Sauveterre-de-Béarn. Open to the Pyrenean foothills and the valley carved with shining water points, it testifies to an incredible sweetness of life.

Perched on its rocky promontory, the medieval city also intoxicates with its harmonious ensembles. Jewels to contemplate without moderation from the picturesque Bridge of Legend. Monréal tower, church bell tower and the ramparts watch over you.

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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