France has many pretty villages throughout its regions and there are many of these scattered around the Nice & Beyond region.
There are some which have something special, however, and deserve the term ‘beautiful’. For this reason in 1981 Charles Ceyrac, the then mayor of Collonges-la-Rouge in the Corrèze, came up with an idea to promote this concept and together with 66 of his mayoral colleagues throughout France formed an association which eventually included 155 villages. Known as ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France‘, the aim was not to create ‘theme parks’ but to attract tourists to ‘living’ villages and helping to conserve them as such.
There are three villages classified as Plus Beaux in the Nice & Beyond region. At an altitude of 650 metres, just outside the Mercantour National Park, is the so-called ‘sunshine village’ of Coaraze. Even higher at 800 metres, but with a fine view of the Mediterranean, is the charming perched village of Sainte Agnès. Slightly further to the west above Grasse,and almost as high as Ste Agnès, is Gourdon which featured in the movie ‘To Catch a Thief’