- The Federation comprises around 700 villages in 8 countries with specific characteristics and history, which have been certified for their beauty and excellence
- The Most Beautiful Villages of the World network encourages travelling while respecting sustainable tourism
30th April 2019 – Rural tourism is on the rise. Every year, there are more travelers who choose the magic and escape offered by a holiday in breathtaking natural environments. A great option for the summer is to discover the selection of the Most Beautiful Villages of the World where visitors could enjoy fascinating nature, local cuisine, picturesque landscapes and the legacy of history through the architectural heritage placed in a magical setting.
Hence why this summer holidays The Federation of the Most Beautiful Villages of the World (Les Plus Beaux Villages de la Terre) invites everybody, from adults to children, to discover the places of welcome and emotion in the heart of rural and cultural areas, where “high quality” is preserved in all of its forms. The Federation integrates different associations in several countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Quebec, Japan and Wallonia, and Russia and Switzerland as observers. All those (and the best villages of each country) have been carefully chosen to widely share their beauty, whether natural, artistic, cultural or culinary.
The federation gathers around 700 villages with specific characteristics and history, all certified for their uniqueness and excellence. This federation represents all this values, ensuring the protection and enhancement of this immense heritage.
In those 700 villages, the traveler can find a wide range of activities as adventure journeys to disconnect from the daily routine, cuisine or cultural routes, sea, tours around natural lakes or mountain paradises, all while learning from the past with the architectural and cultural heritage. Natural and pure destinations to visit with one’s partner, family or friends. Small but great places of excellence where culture, art and landscape blend with quality of life and traditions dating back to thousands of years: a wide choice of destinations for an unforgettable travel experience.
The pleasure of discovering the cultural richness and natural resources of these “small jewels”, often set in the most remote corners of our planet, also becomes a journey towards the awareness that their preservation and enhancement are irreplaceable elements for an economic and social growth.
“By traveling through the villages of our international federation, the visitor can discover the most beautiful and the most authentic of our countries while having the opportunity to enjoy the best cuisine, folklore and especially, the people”, explains Francisco Mestre, president of the Federation.
The importance of choosing sustainability when travelling
Sustainable development is clearly the goal of the Federation, for villages challenged by a globalized way of life and the erosion of time.
“Many of our villages have played a crucial role in the past and it is our obligation to protect that heritage, and the legacy of our ancestors”, explains Francisco Mestre, president of the Federation.
Sustainable tourism is the key concept of visiting a place as a tourist to try to make a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. The Federation strongly encourages sustainable tourism, ensuring that travelling and consuming in those villages promotes rural life and economy in those punished areas where the unemployment and impoverishment is the most important issue that needs to be tackled. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping.
“We strive to make the best for the economy of rural areas, assisting, promoting our villages, protecting its heritage, culture and traditions. Magnificent beauty is the differentiating factor that set us apart from the rest of the villages surrounding us”, concludes Francisco Mestre.
- France: 158 villages. Founded in: 1982
- Walonia (Belgium): 31 villages. Founded in: 1994
- Quebec (Canada): 40 villages. Founded in: 1997
- Italy: 281 Founded in: 2001
- Japan: 56 Founded in: 2005
- Spain: 79 Founded in: 2011
- Switzerland: 36 Founded in: 2015
- Russia: 11 Founded in: 2016
About the Federation
In 2012, the National Associations of The Most Beautiful Villages of France, Japan, Italy, Quebec (Canada) and Wallonia (Belgium), have decided to share a project of international cooperation with the creation of the International Federation of Les Plus Beaux Villages de la Terre The Most Beautiful Villages of the World. They decided to federate internationally the Associations in order to strengthen and spread all over the world the principles and values that are the basis of their association articles.
Today, Spain, France, Italy, Quebec, Japan and Wallonia are part of the Federation, and it also includes Russia and Switzerland, which participate as observers and are awaiting to be admitted into the International Federation. The Federation The Most Beautiful Villages of the World consist nowadays in over 700 villages becoming a world referent in sustainable tourism and cultural heritage preservation.
To be part of the Federation, a national association of villages with similar objectives is available upon request to the president through a formal form, the Association should fulfil a number of criteria such as being operational a minimum of 5 years and have at least 10 villages certified as the most beautiful from the country.
This year, the general assembly of the Most Beautiful Villages will be held in Celles (Belgium) where they will decide together if more members will join the project.0