Champdieu, Marols, Montarcher, Saint-Bonnet-le-Château, Sauvain…As you walk through the century old passageways, you understand why each of them has earned an award title. At the turn of the cobbled streets the architectural treasures await. Old medieval strongholds, high places of Romanesque art, breathtaking panoramas: come and bear witness to the rich heritage of the Loire.


Come and discover our 5 picturesque villages in the Forez :

Champdieu : Between hills and lowland in the heart of the Forez area, 5 km from Montbrison, Champdieu offers a rich and varied heritage testifying to over a thousand years of history. Its magnificent Benedictine priory has preserved its cloister and Romanesque church and crypt.

Marols : Located in the Forez mountains, Marols is a thousand-year-old city built around its hamlets. Facing a majestic panorama, the fortified church now marks the center of a land of encounters, between traditions, modernity and the sweetness of life.
Marols is a thousand-year old town built around a number of hamlets. Between its fortified church in the heart of the town and the recently magnificently renovated Domaine de Valinches lie 15 sq km of lovely countryside for local inhabitants and visitors to enjoy. With this remarkable heritage it was one of the first villages in the Department to earn the coveted title of “village of character”.

Montarcher : Montarcher lies between the Velay and Forez Mounts, and the Livradois Mountains. This village, perched at 1160 metres above sea level, offers an uninterrupted 360° view from the mound of the old fort.

Saint-Bonnet-le-Château : Walk through the cobbled streets of the historic district and discover its 15th and 16th century bourgeois houses, then climb up to the Collegiate Church to admire an exceptional panorama; from the plain of Forez to the Massif Central, the Pilat and the Alps.

Sauvain : Built in the heart of a preserved and authentic territory, this fortified medieval village, extends to the high point of Forez mounts : Pierre-sur-Haute (1634 m). Here, heritage rhymes with landscape.






Perched on their rocky outcrop, often set with their ramparts and majestic dungeons, the Villages de Caractère en Loire lead you
to the crossroads of the history of our department.

Go hiking

Bring your mobile phone to discover our picturesque villages in a fun way by following Coline and Capucine in a digital treasure hunt to share with the whole family.