If you are ever in Lyon, I highly recommend taking a day trip to the village of Pérouges, only 35 km from Lyon in the Rhone Alps. Said to be one of the most beautiful villages in France, it is a medieval walled town on a small hill overlooking the Ain River valley. It’s a charming village that developed in the 14th century around the weaving industry.
Pérouges boasts some of the best preserved medieval buildings in France, and still has intact fortress walls. It’s a pleasant stroll along the cobblestone streets through narrow alleys sandwiched between old stone houses. People still live in these original Middle Age stone houses, and it almost seems like one can turn the corner and run into Snow White and the seven dwarves.
The local specialty is a thin sugar crepe/cake called Galette du sucre or Galette de Pérouges. Place des Tilleuls is the centre of Pérouges with a 200 year old tree planted in commemoration of the French Revolution. There are a few restaurants and bars in the center square for when you need to rest those weary feet after walking on the uneven cobblestone streets. Wear comfortable shoes when visiting this village. My friend, who was wearing heels, was dying.
The day that we went, there were very few tourists. Only the sounds of chirping birds filled the air as we quietly immersed ourselves in this medieval world.
Random trivia: Did you know that Pérouges was the background village for ‘The 3 Musketeers’ movie?