The Plus Beaux Détours de France
It was at the end of 1998, on the initiative of Mr Jean-Jacques Descamps and the town of Loches, that 32 small towns got together to form this network of the Most Beautiful Detours of France. The aim was to offer a coherent range of tourist attractions that would enable visitors to discover the diversity of the French territory, particularly if they knew how to get away from the main communication routes.
Today, the association includes 107 towns in all regions of France and in 72 departments. These small towns are subject to specific specifications and are audited every four years to evaluate their performance and to share best practices among the members of the network. More than a label, the "Plus Beaux Détours" brand is a controlled appellation that strives to guarantee the visitor that the diversions is worthwhile.
Although these pretty little towns are obviously diverse in what they offer to discover, they have common characteristics that make the network coherent: number of inhabitants between 2,000 and 20,000, interest in both architectural and intangible heritage, liveliness of the town, artisanal and gastronomic identity, capacity to welcome visitors, development and planning dynamics, and the general atmosphere of the town and its historic or commercial centre.
With the expertise of Michelin, the association publishes the tourist guide with the largest national circulation, with 180,000 copies in 2022.
Photo: Sunset on the Crest Tower (Drôme) © Florent Debaud.
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