The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

© TripUSAFrance ©

© TripUSAFrance © TripUSAFrance Deep in the heart of the Aveyron department, southeast France, the little village of La Couvertoirade provides a glimpse into a long-gone past. It is one of the best preserved Templar Knights villages in France, and it’s a classified plus beaux village – officially one of the prettiest villages in France… La Couvertoirade is located in territory known as the Causses and Cevennes, a UNESCO classified World Heritage site, listed for its ‘agro-pastoral cultural landscape of the Mediterranean’. It’s a rather dry description of a stunningly beautiful area of France with exquisite countryside where villages in the valleys look as though they have been hung on the sides of the hills like baubles on a Christmas tree. The area touches on four departments: Aveyron and Lozère in the Midi-Pyrénées region, and Gard and Herault in Languedoc-Roussillon. La Couvertoirade looks out over the Larzac plateau, a land of fertile valleys and villages which seem to grow out of the rocks. In the 12th century, this area was considered the private fiefdom of the crusading Knights Templar and later the Knights Hospitaller. And in La Couvertoirade you’ll find the only castle built by the Knights Templar in France. There’s plenty to see and fall in love with as you wander the narrow cobbled alleyways lined with ancient houses. The atmospheric 14th century church of Saint Christophe is reached by steps cut into the rock. The 14th century Windmill of Le Rédounel is the only restored windmill in Aveyron, from its hilly position you have fabulous views over the village. The wonderfully well preserved Templar castle was built at the end of the 12th century and last updated in the 15th century. It sit atop a rocky spur, dominating the town with its imposing high walls. 44 | The Good Life France

© TripUSAFrance “It’s so extraordinary that when you walk around the medieval ramparts, you know that these walls are original. It’s easy to imagine that the Knights Templar and generations of people since have walked here and looked out at the astonishing views for hundreds of years” says Julia Girard-Gervois of TripUSAFrance. “It never ceases to amaze me just how absolutely gorgeous this village is with its cobbled streets, beautiful grey stone houses and flowers and vines everywhere. It’s been likened to a miniature Carcassonne and it really is incredibly pretty.” Just an hour’s drive from the city of Montpellier and close to the beautiful village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, La Couvertoirade has an epic history. “This is no museum town though” says Julia “it’s brimming with history and vibrant with artisans, potters, wool spinners and more. It’s not hard to imagine it how it was in the days of the Templars. There’s even a communal bread oven at the windmill which has been restored and once a week you can taste bread and other local specialities.” This little village certainly lives up to its Plus Beaux Village award… The Good Life France | 45

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