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Some 158 French villages belong to an elite club: those deemed the most beautiful in France. In the heart of the hilly Auvergne region, in the centre of the country, the village of Usson clings to a volcanic peak at an altitude of 600 metres. Meanwhile, in the heart of the southern Aveyron region, Cantobre is a real eagle’s nest. Only 15 inhabitants live on this cliff shaped by centuries of erosion. Further east, in Provence, the peaceful village of Cotignac is nestled at the foot of a spectacular rock. This village was originally built on a river.