France is a fairly large country (by European standards) and for the uninitiated, it can be a little tricky trying to visualise where everything is. But, as intoxicating as the capital city is, there’s more to France than Paris alone . Outside the cities and towns, the luscious green landscape is the ideal place to retreat from the world. Book your Dordogne tour from Sarlat here. Explore the Alsace region  – Book your tour here. Épernay, the regional capital, is the perfect base from which to set out into the vineyards; just be prepared to return with heavy bags and an empty wallet! Check out my website. Getty. I would also definitely add Brittany and the Basque coast to the list and one of my favourite places île de Ré. Ophorus guides lead the pack when it comes to delivering meaningful encounters; their expert and in-depth knowledge, delivered in a professional yet approachable manner, has earned them the highest praise from past tour attendees. In stark contrast to the glitzy image that surrounds the Champagne wines, this is a region of peace, calm and simple pleasures, where artisans and winemakers use traditional processes dating back centuries. Come in the quieter months and you’ll enjoy the warm sunshine, empty beaches, and turquoise seas: it’s easy to see why visitors return to the Côte d’Azur again and again. You can also visit … Nevertheless, despite the importance of the past in defining Alsatian culture and identity, this is a forward-looking, optimistic, and utterly unique part of France that will leave you wanting much, much more. The city’s colourful markets bring together the very best of Provençal produce, in a vivid display that is sure to whet your appetite. Explore the villages of the French Riviera with a tour. These diverse influences have produced a rich and distinctive culture, making this one of France’s most rewarding regions for curious travellers. The same coastline is home to an abundance of picturesque ports and fishing towns, such as the beautiful Honfleur, arguably the prettiest harbour in the whole of France. The fertile rolling hills of this green region offer perfect conditions for growing grapes, and vineyard tours and wine tastings are on offer wherever you go. Ahhhh, Bordeaux! Over time, the settlement developed into an important religious centre, and it’s possible to get a little closer to this rich history today by exploring the caves underneath the village. Provence, the delightful region that envelops the Côte d’Azur, is a heady assault on the senses. 10. Today, some of the vast, expansive beaches of the Norman coast are places of pilgrimage, preserved as a memorial to the many men who lost their lives during the D-Day landings of 1944. Provence is also home to an abundance of wildlife, supported by its diverse range of natural habitats. The vintage is 1472, and it has survived the ravages of two world wars and countless fires. This region is littered with incredible rock formations, formed over millions of years, with stalactites and stalagmites that have merged into epic pillars, creating natural, subterranean cathedrals of sparkling rock. ... Top 10 attractions outside Paris … Discover Paris attractions outside of the city centre - there's so much more to be explored. Some of the places you have mentioned I hadn’t even heard of and yes, there is so much more to France than just Paris. I, SURF, YOGA AND VEGAN FOOD! The Catalan area around Perpignan….I better stop! This wild coast is home to fabulous sea life and many species of birds, making it an ideal spot for nature observation. Versailles. Although they remain rooted in traditional winemaking, the producers of Alsace wines are also industry pioneers, and it was here that some of the first biodynamic vineyards were established. Saint-Paul de Vence, for example, is known for its maze of labyrinthine streets, and vibrant artistic culture. The region is also dotted with impressive castles, many of which are set in marvellous gardens, overlooking small rivers. Sending you all love, p. THIS IS WHY I'M LIVING IN COSTA RICA! The list below covers ten sites of exceptional interest in France, outside Paris and the Paris region. The Renaissance streets of Strasbourg and Colmar, with their painted timbered buildings and cobbled paving stones, offer charm in abundance, particularly at Christmas, when they are dressed in lights and filled with festive markets. This is the ideal place to toss out the maps and get lost – you never know what you might discover. Outside the city, vineyards dominate the landscape, but Saint-Emilion, in the heart of the Bordeaux region, is an attractive spot for a day trip. This article may contain affiliate links. From Paris to Provence and from northerly Normandy to the beaches of the French Riviera, here are dozens of our best France travel tips for families. Money Back Guarantee. The pace of life here follows the river, slow and relaxed, with seasonal bursts of activity. Nancy, Nantes, Marseilles and the Camargue. Another highlight is the Château de Chambord, an immense structure that was built as a hunting lodge for the French king Francois I, set in grounds filled with deer and wild boar. 7. The Abbey dates back to the 8th century when, the legend goes, the archangel Michael appeared to Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, prompting him to found a monastery. Rivalled only by the Champagne region, Bordeaux is one of France’s most important wine-producing provinces. Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Paris; 2. Love this list! I experienced the charm of small town France during a recent visit to Switzerland when we crossed over and went to Evian and almost to Ivoire. However, Provence’s most enticing charms are found outside the main urban hubs, in the countryside. The ‘pink city’ of Toulouse, so named for the terracotta bricks used in its construction, offers bustling markets and a vibrant music scene and is an ideal jumping-off point for the rest of the region. I also agree that going on a tour with a guide would be helpful to discover your first-visit place. Of course, France’s wine capital is a must-visit for food and wine connoisseurs – but don’t worry if that’s not your thing. *This post has been bought to you in partnership with Ophorus. The below map plots out our suggestions of places to see in France, so that you can get your bearings easily. HOW OFTEN DO YOU DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU? Long stretches of golden sand, bordered by undulating dunes, also offer plenty of opportunities for summer fun, and families flock here in the summer months to relax, play games and dip a toe in the Channel. But honestly I could go on and on…Lyon, the Pyrennes, the Alps, Jura and volcanoes of Auvergne. Why Mont Tremblant is the Perfect Babymoon Destination, Improve Your Relationship with a Winter Weekend Getaway, 10 Outdoor Winter Activities to Do with Kids in Ontario and Quebec, The Perfect Autumn Day in South Georgian Bay, How Envision Festival 2020 Changed My Life, Iceland with Kids: One-Week Winter Road Trip Itinerary, 5 Very Affordable Budget Travel Destinations for 2019, The Best Way to Explore a New Destination. This wild, sprawling castle continues to delight visitors and is thought to have been inspired by sketches by Leonardo da Vinci. In the southwest corner of the region, the green hills drop away to a vast wetland in the Rhône delta. Located in the Eure-et-Loire department of France, the city is best … This delightful village is one of the best places to visit in France for inspiring … Norman history has always been tied to the sea, from the earliest Viking raids and the conquest of England in 1066, right through to the darkest moments of the Second World War. I h, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! The fortified city of Carcassonne, once the stronghold of the Cathar heretics who rebelled against the king, is truly breathtaking and not to be missed. But the jewel in this region’s crown has to be Mont-Saint-Michel, the iconic abbey perched on a craggy rock high over the shimmering sands of the Couesnon estuary. Two of my favourite places in France … ... if during your visit you run into Daenerys and … The Camargue National Park includes herds of wild, white horses, roaming bulls and flocks of startling pink flamingos. To know France is to love France. My favourite city in the west and one of the places to visit in France that I can go back again and again. The city is a cultural hub, and visitors come here for the exceptional art galleries and museums, and renowned dining scene. For walkers, the magnificent Morvan National Park provides over 1000 square kilometres of unspoilt countryside, filled with lakes, waterfalls, and atmospheric woodland. Discover the delights of the Languedoc on a guided tour. More ancient still, however, are the glittering caves and grottos that may be found deeper beneath the ground. Louvre Museum ... as an extension of court life outside of Paris. Passing by dramatic fortified castles, perched precariously on high cliffs, the river continues through Bergerac until it meets the Garonne River at Bordeaux. I feel so privileged to be able to live in such a beautiful country. Thanks Nadine for your insights. These picturesque villages and fortified chateaux, constructed in golden stone, are set within glorious natural scenery, with abundant wildlife and birdlife. These are some of the best day trips from Paris—scroll down to see which places outside … It offers an ideal place for an afternoon stroll, lined with attractive cafes and restaurants offering refreshments for weary travellers. Book a day trip to discover the gems of the Loire Valley here. Sure, spend a few days eyeing up the Iron Lady, sipping café noir in a quintessential curbside bistro, and learning the art of flaneur… But then drive, train or bus to another corner of l’hexagone to discover another world. I’d like to explore more of Alsace, I’ve really only scratched the surface. The regional capital, Reims, is a triumph of Gothic architecture, and its breath-taking cathedral was once the site where the kings of France were crowned and anointed. Built from 1220 to 1288, it is one of the tallest Gothic churches in France. Visiting Paris, however, doesn’t mean you’ve seen all that France … 10 Best Places to Visit in France Last updated on October 1, 2020 in France 16 Comments For more than two decades, France has reigned as the world’s most popular tourist … The area around Bordeaux is best explored on foot or by bike, and this lush, sun-soaked region certainly won’t disappoint. Between the fairytale villages of Alsace and the beaches of Cannes and Nice, there's an ideal vacation spot for everyone. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. What To Eat In Japan: 10 Must-Try Japanese Food Experiences. We are currently planning our trip and this kind of knowledge is exactly what we were after! With gorgeous beaches, stunning architecture, and some of France’s finest seafood, this is a region with something for everyone. History looms large here, and the region is redolent with memories of the brutal wars and occupations of the 19th and 20th centuries. The company’s commitment to excellence has also awarded them a coveted spot in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for 5 years running! Don’t despair if your wallet doesn’t stretch to long nights on the town in the fashionable resorts of St Tropez and Antibes or the casinos of Monte Carlo. By Laurent ... French places that you can go to instead of Paris. What’s more, this corner of France is castle country, and there are many imposing, impressive reminders of the region’s medieval past in the ruins of Hohlandsbourg and Fleckenstein. Away from the wine trail, the Champagne region exudes old-world charm, and wandering through its beautiful villages and towns often feels like a step back in time. The beautiful medieval settlements of Rocamadour, La Roque-Gageac and Sarlat-la-Canéda are well worth a visit, as are the castles at Beynac and Castelnaud. This verdant region takes its name from the Viking conquerors that settled here in the 9th century (the name itself comes from ‘north men’ in Old Norse), and although the Normans have kept their fearsome reputation, visitors will always find a warm welcome. #AllAboutFrance. But, like any country, France … Of all the cities near Paris, Chartres is one of the top places to visit. I encourage you to explore further than the top France attractions, to discover the country that has inspired so many. Coastal creeks, heavenly hilltops, truly charming châteaux: this is our pick of the most beautiful places to visit in France right now As may be expected for a place-between-worlds, Alsace has forged its own unique culture and identity, neither totally French, nor completely German, but always, absolutely Alsatian. But to truly get to know a destination, I usually recommend taking at least one tour with a guide who is genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about the area. #30 in World's Best Places to Visit A spectacular cluster of three waterfalls, Niagara Falls is a must-see if you want a glimpse of some of North America's best sites. The Languedoc covers the southwest corner of France, a vast, sprawling region crammed full of fabulous treasures. Towards the foothills of the Pyrenees, the sanctuary of Lourdes, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in 1858, attracts millions of pilgrims every year. France is a beautiful country but too often people don’t travel outside of Paris. Over 800 years later, Saint-Emilion still stands as one of the most important wine-producing areas in France. Your email address will not be published. In particular, the Château de Chenonceau conjures images of fairy tales, with its elegant arches and towers, and a well-kept garden maze. Aaaah les châteaux de la Loire! The French Riviera – summer retreat of the jet-set – immediately conjures images of glamour, sophistication and style. With historical monuments, gourmet wining and dining, and plenty of little markets, there’s something for everyone at Bordeaux. Located in the Loire valley, Chartres is a gateway to the land of castles. Or wandering through ancient city lanes, pausing to examine archaic art etched into walls that you would have otherwise overlooked. Site by: Quest Creative. This is the place to hire a bike and spend the day weaving through the vineyards or drift lazily through the countryside in a canal boat, admiring the view. So after reading the list of top 10 places to visit in France, you will be ready to plan your trip to France. ... 10 Things We Hate About Paris: The Big, the Bad, and the Ugly The Top 32 Things to Do in Paris: Our Ultimate Bucketlist How to Avoid a Snobby Experience in France How to Avoid Looking Like a Tourist in France Clearly, Paris holds a special allure that brings people to France in their droves. As always, Le Long Weekend maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. All the way along the coastline, beech forests and gardens of olives cloak the hillsides, making this an excellent spot for hiking or mountain biking. Avignon An ancient town surrounded by 800-year-old stone ramparts, romantic Avignon sits along the Rhone just waiting for you to explore. JACKFRUIT!! And most importantly after reading this, you will get to know that not only Paris but there are plenty of places in France to visit. Book direct and get 10% off all packages with the code HAPPYESCAPE2020, France is a magically diverse country, full of surprises and closely held secrets. The region’s fine produce is always on show here, and the fabulous Friday market at Les Halles is not to be missed, featuring local specialities such as Epoisses cheese, escargots (snails), and of course, the famous beef bourguignon. Absolutely – me too! Port Grimaud, the Venice of the Riviera, is characterised by its canals, waterways, and vibrantly painted houses. In the Vézère Valley, over 200 separate Palaeolithic sites have been identified, and it seems that the prehistoric inhabitants of this beautiful region were attracted by the natural protection afforded by its limestone caves. Alsace is a quintessential frontier zone, part of that northern French hinterland that has changed hands between France and Germany so often over the centuries. Travelers favorites include #1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris), #2 Musée du Louvre and more. Here, it’s also possible to hire bikes, and set off to enjoy the slow beauty of the Loire Valley on two wheels, at your own pace. Imagine being led through a landscape laced with vineyards, to learn the intricacies of winemaking direct from the source. Here are 12 underrated places to visit in France. Book a day trip to Saint-Emilion from Bordeaux here. Paris, France. Fiercely independent, with a weighty history and a rugged charm, Normandy is often considered within France as a place apart. This is a region with its own dialect, a rich and distinctive gastronomic culture, and an extremely long history of winemaking: people have been producing wine here since the 2nd century. Aix-en-Provence, the elegant regional city, brings a touch of this rural sensuality to an urban setting, combining leafy courtyards, sculpted stone buildings, and wide boulevards strewn with terraces where visitors can while away the hours and watch the world go by. The city also features several excellent museums, the famous Pont d’Avignon, and an annual arts and theatre festival that attracts an international crowd. Thanks a lot! There’s so much to discover! This stunning village offers exceptional views of the coast and is a haven for photographers. I have absolutely been won over by the diverse nature of France’s landscapes, so today I’m sharing some of my recommendations for the best places to go in France, besides Paris…. Burgundy’s vineyards are so important they have even been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, in a nod to the richness and diversity of this significant wine-producing region. This is the region that gives its name to those delicious, sparkling wines that have become an international marker of class and sophistication, and it’s impossible to come here without sampling a glass or two. This unique, beautiful area is best explored on foot or on horseback and is certain to leave a big impression. Source: PhotoFires / shutterstock ... No trip to France would be complete without a visit to the home of its most famous export: Champagne. France is a fairly large country (by European standards) and for the uninitiated, it can be a little tricky trying to visualise where everything is. The ‘langue d’oc’, literally means the ‘language of yes’, and refers to a medieval French dialect that fostered a rich literary and poetic culture during the Middle Ages. Throughout the summer, a swathe of festivals and food markets crop up along the wine route, making Alsace an extremely attractive prospect for a summer road trip. Required fields are marked *. The below map plots out our suggestions of places to see in France… How to Survive Europe on a Vegan Gluten-Free Diet, Why Group Tours Are Better Than Planning Your Own Travel Itinerary, The Ultimate One Week Manitoulin Island Road Trip Guide, 8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Burgundy, France, Food Porn: The Best Chocolate and Pastry in Paris, http://sandrineboutry.com/visiting-mont-st-michel-in-july/, http://sandrineboutry.com/a-roadtrip-to-salers-in-the-cantal-area/, Once You Have a Baby, You’ll Have to Stop Traveling, What You Can Do In Canada’s Newest National Park. More prehistoric remains have been found here than in any other part of France, providing a unique glimpse of the earliest origins of human society. A trip here is an escape into some of the country’s most idyllic countryside, featuring rolling green hills covered in orderly vineyards, bright, yellow mustard fields, and tranquil canals. Above ground, the Dordogne and Lot regions have even more treats on offer. French teacher, Carol Beth L. shares eight wonderful places to visit in France outside of Paris… Chances are the “City of Light” is one of the top places to visit on your travel itinerary. Outside the city, the countryside is littered with fabulous medieval monasteries, castles, and some of France’s most beautiful villages. I could spend weeks in each region. Enjoy this stunning region by booking a day tour from Bayeux. The Avignon popes set about building a lavish palace, which stands to this day, complete with magnificent frescos. Rolling fields of bright, purple lavender, rows of vines stretching into the horizon, and gorgeous groves of twisted olive trees mark out Provence as a true garden of delights. ... • "Bucket List Travel: Top 10 Places In The World And Top 29 In The U.S." Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Traversing the Dordogne and Lot involves, by necessity, an encounter with a very ancient past. However, Carcassonne was not the only stronghold left behind by the Cathars, and it’s still possible to visit the dramatic ruined vestiges of Montségur, Quéribus and Peyrepertuse for an atmospheric evocation of the medieval past. This is undoubtedly the French countryside at its finest. Troyes, an important settlement since the Roman period, features stunning medieval architecture, historic churches, and traditional timbered buildings lining its narrow streets. The stunning fortified towns of Amboise and Chinon both include their own castles, and provide an excellent base for exploring the wider region. Wine production has been important here ever since King John of England established the Jurade, a wine-makers brotherhood committed to developing the industry in Saint-Emilion. Here are fifteen of the best nearby spots to visit on a day trip from Paris. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Amazing place. Trying to experience the best of France on your own can be a fun and rewarding experience. See our full disclosure here. Ranking of the top 25 things to do in Paris. Map of the top places to visit in France. The sublime Gothic churches of Rouen, Coutances and Caen are fitting monuments to this glorious past, as is the unique Bayeux tapestry, the first battle narrative to be told entirely in thread. Check out the Palais des Papes, the … Your email address will not be published. Can You Solo Travel While in a Relationship? This is the best place … Further inland, the landscape is dramatic, featuring imposing cliffs, gorges and valleys, chestnut forests, and vineyards, punctuated by some fabulous medieval architecture. Several interesting and entertaining destinations, including chateaus, natural parks, and medieval fortifications, are within close reach of the city. It is personal and authentic experiences like these that French tour company Ophorus pride themselves on. Laura Begley Bloom. The Languedoc coast, unlike its Provençal neighbour, feels wild and unkempt and offers countless opportunities for exploration. Avignon, one of Provence’s main cities, also offers visitors plenty of things to see and do. Avoid the tourist trips and follow this guide for an authentic experience of traveling like a local around France. This article may contain affiliate links. There’s more to explore here than many people realise, and this part of the French coastline is a natural paradise, filled with stunning hidden villages, nestled in the mountains that rise up from the sea. This is the place to come for fabulous, fresh seafood, all washed down with a pint of local cider. Burgundy, known internationally for its rich, full-bodied wines, is one of France’s lesser-visited regions. #AllAboutFrance, So many visitors just head to Paris and however wonderful the city is, France is much more than just her capital. For the better part of the 14th century, the papal court was based at Avignon, and in this period, popes were not known for their restraint. Places to visit in France outside of Paris include this place. The city of Bordeaux is a pleasant destination for a city break, with its wide boulevards, 18th-century architecture, and riverside street culture. Pilgrims of a different kind arrive at the small town of Rennes-le-Chateau, seeking answers to a conspiracy theory that has raged for decades. 17 Charming French Spots Prove the Best of France Is Outside of Paris. This is one of France’s most popular holiday destinations, and with good reason: the Côte d’Azur is truly stunning, comprising sandy beaches, vibrant markets, picturesque towns, coastal walking trails, and blazing red cliffs. I’ve never been to France but planning to visit in a few years with my family. Beautiful post about one of the most beautiful countries out there. 10 Best Places to Visit in France – Outside of Paris! The Alsace wine route boasts more than 800 vineyards over a distance of 105 miles and offers a host of treats for lovers of viticulture. This profuse, laid-back region offers plenty of activities for nature lovers. The small, walled town of Beaune, with its cobbled streets, Gothic architecture and labyrinthine wine cellars has charm in abundance. Here are five places where you can travel outside of Paris. If you don’t go for a trip in the other regions of France after your stay in Paris, it is really the best way to have an insight of what France is all about, more generally than Paris . One that is sure to seduce you with its intoxicating charm and universally appealing lifestyle. 1. From chateaus to museums, learn more with The Paris Pass. This is really informative post. Also, if you’re looking for unusual places to visit in Paris, France, this might top … The overwhelming majority of people who visit France visit Paris, and only Paris. Just a stone’s throw from the capital, yet half a world away: the green, lush region of Champagne is one of France’s most iconic spots. You’ve picked a great choice of regions to visit. A New Zealand-native now ensconced in the Provence countryside. There is so much to see and do in France, that choosing ten "must see" sights is really an impossible task. I’m heading back to France next year, so I’m trying to narrow down my list of places there to visit. In fact, the entire country is full of incredible places … The Norman dukes were medieval rockstars, and they left their mark in the shape of castles and cathedrals. Finding things to do outside Paris is the easiest way to see what the whole country looks like. Dijon, the regional capital, was once the home of the Burgundian dukes, and their influence may still be felt in the stunning medieval and Renaissance architecture that makes up the city. 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So privileged to be able top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris live in such a varied place regions me... Alsace top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris so much more to France than Paris – the only problem is fitting it in... Most of them are recognised as UNESCO world heritage sites ; most attract numbers. – book top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris tour here place to toss out the maps and get lost – you never know you... – you never know what you might discover laid back atmosphere Provence ’ s to! Been a historical crossing point, the green hills drop away to a conspiracy that. Their pleasant boulevards and squares and laid back atmosphere unlike its Provençal,. Characterised by its canals, waterways, and vibrantly painted houses of Cannes and,! Paris Visite travel card included with all passes to learn the intricacies of winemaking from!

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