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French village suggestions

I will be in southeast France the last week of September and wanted suggestions for a quaint, historical smaller town to visit for 3 days not too far from the TGV Barcelona to Paris route as it will be a stopoff point (Perpignan). I would like to see the "real" France and experience a walkable town and countryside as I will be on foot.

Posted by
396 posts

Do you want a town or a village? And do you mean in the south-east or the south-west? I would call Perpignan south-west. In the south-west, both accessible from Toulouse (which is more of a city, and on your TGV route), my favourite places would be the "perched villages" Puycelsi and Cordes-sur-ciel.
In the south-east, accessible from either Aix-en-Provence or Avignon (both on TGV route), I really liked Forcalquier (small town) and Reillane (more of a village). I've just returned from a walking holiday in that area with InnTravel, so PM me if you want more info.

Posted by
2843 posts

In Rick's guidebook, he suggests the small village of Cucugnan as a back door experience. About 44 km northwest of Perpignan, it's a charming little Eden with nice hotels, great restaurants and even a working windmill with a bakery in its base that uses it to grind its flour. Beautiful countryside, tasty cassoulet.

Posted by
3346 posts

Since you mention Perpignan, which is quite far west, I'll suggest Pezenas. Beautiful old town with lots of winding street to explore. They offer price-reduced shop space to artists and craftspeople so the stores are interesting! Many vineyards and wineries around...great little place to unwind!