On the occasion of the prize-giving ceremony for Villes et Villages Fleuris 2019 (French Towns and Villages in Bloom), we thought it would be good to tell you more about this accreditation, the pride and joy of many parishes around the Eure. You’ll no doubt have noticed the distinctive yellow and green panels with flower(s) featured at the entrance to many places. Maybe you’ll stay in a parish boasting such panels. So, what do they signify?

Which are the accredited Eure towns and villages in bloom to visit? 

The Eure is a county that has always been deeply involved in the scheme. It has been awarded the accreditation of a Département fleuri (County in Bloom) since 2011. It’s the only Normandy county to have gained this distinction. The Eure, at time of writing, counts 96 accredited Villes et Villages Fleuris. For the record, the first place in the Eure to receive the award was Évreux, back in 1987.

Label Villes et Villages Fleuris, Lyons-la-Forêt © ADT27

A history of the “Villes et Villages Fleuris” accreditation

The Villes et Villages Fleuris accreditation has existed since 1959. The competition consists in parishes trying to win a series of ‘‘Flowers’’ corresponding to certain criteria. Initially created to reward efforts to add colourful floral displays, the competition Villes et Villages Fleuris has gradually widened its criteria. Today, the accreditation takes into account ecological approaches. Villes et Villages Fleuris also rewards parishes that strive to improve their inhabitants’ environment, such as giving importance to plants in public spaces, respecting the environment (managing natural resources and preserving biodiversity), developing the local economy, improving the tourist appeal of the place and encouraging social cohesion.

In addition, the label encourages visitors to come and explore the beautiful accredited towns and villages around our lovely areas. On a weekend in the Eure, discover some of our parishes in bloom. Whether they’ve been awarded one Flower or four, go wandering around them to appreciate them. You’re sure to fall under their spell!

Plus Beaux Villages de France as well as Villages in Bloom!

Lyons-la-Forêt and Le Bec-Hellouin

Lyons-la-Forêt and Le Bec-Hellouin are two Eure villages that sum up Normandy’s authentic charms. The first hides in the heart of France’s most beautiful beech forest, the second nestles in the Bec Valley. The floral displays around the two enhance the beauty of their peaceful lanes lined with colourful timber-frame houses. Our tip – take the time to enjoy a drink at a café terrace to appreciate to the full their typically Norman settings! 

Pont-Audemer, with a hint of Venice in the Eure

Built beside the Risle River, this historic town located just 20 minutes from the famed port of Honfleur is a joy to discover on foot. The waterways and façades of the houses are greatly enhanced by colourful, original floral displays. In Pont-Audemer, the atmosphere is intimate, the character of the place strong. Wander down the medieval lanes and cross the stone bridges to take in all the riches of this historic town. Not far off, also explore the very pretty parish of Cormeilles, as well as historic Bernay, a town designated a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire given its cultural riches.

Évreux, a lively little city full of surprises

The town of Évreux was the first parish in the Eure to be awarded the accreditation, back in 1987. Since then, things have evolved. Today, the capital of the county of Eure proudly displays three Flowers on its panel. The François Mitterrand Garden, the lovely path beside the Iton, the sumptuous cathedral, the views from the St Michel slopes… all these elements in Évreux delight visitors. 

Verneuil-d’Avre-et-d’Iton, a Plus Beau Détour de France and a Town in Bloom!

Part of the association of Les 100 Plus Beaux Détours de France, the town of Verneuil has also received accreditation as a Town in Bloom. Located one hour from Paris, this picturesque place in the south of the Eure is packed with art and history, boasting amazing medieval architecture.

Pause à Verneuil sur Avre © Max Coquart, Best Jobers
Vue sur la tour de l’église Sainte-Madeleine

Vernon and Giverny – Impressionism and flowers!

Not far from Paris, the village of Giverny is a dreamy place in which to immerse yourself in the colours and sweet scent of flowers. The old houses, cute gardens and pretty lanes all teem with plants and flowers, reminding visitors how Claude Monet, Master of Impressionism, settled here. Opposite Giverny, on the Seine’s south bank, also explore Vernon, a town with a fine medieval heart. 

Maison du Temps Jadis, Vernon © AdobeStock, Philippe Prudhomme - Chateau des Tourelles © CD27