JACKFRUIT!! Ranking of the top 25 things to do in Paris. France is a beautiful country but too often people don’t travel outside of Paris. When a lot of us think of France, we think of the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe: in short, we think of Paris. The River Garonne, which snakes through the town centre, has been the focal hub of the city for centuries, transporting goods in and out of the city. However, while a vineyard tour should definitely be on the agenda, this beguiling region has plenty of other treats to entice visitors. 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! Between the fairytale villages of Alsace and the beaches of Cannes and Nice, there's an ideal vacation spot for everyone. #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. Discover Paris attractions outside of the city centre - there's so much more to be explored. The pleasant waterfront town of Sète, with its seaside corniche and atmospheric canals, is one of the best places in France to sample the catch of the day. Explore the Alsace region  – Book your tour here. 10. 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. There is so much more to France, than Paris – the only problem is fitting it all in! See our full disclosure here. History looms large here, and the region is redolent with memories of the brutal wars and occupations of the 19th and 20th centuries. Picture-perfect medieval villages such as Venasque, Uzès and Gordes offer ample opportunity for exploration, featuring cobbled streets, golden stone architecture, and green, mountainous backdrops. The Dordogne River snakes and weaves its way from the high mountains of the Auvergne, down to some of the finest countryside that France has to offer. This wild, sprawling castle continues to delight visitors and is thought to have been inspired by sketches by Leonardo da Vinci. A New Zealand-native now ensconced in the Provence countryside. Le Long Weekend showcases the dreamiest destinations with inspiring guides and itineraries. 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. In particular, the Château de Chenonceau conjures images of fairy tales, with its elegant arches and towers, and a well-kept garden maze. The Loire is France’s last untamed river, a 1000-mile-long, meandering natural habitat that humans have never quite managed to subdue. The Languedoc covers the southwest corner of France, a vast, sprawling region crammed full of fabulous treasures. ... • "Bucket List Travel: Top 10 Places In The World And Top 29 In The U.S." Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Enjoy this stunning region by booking a day tour from Bayeux. As always, Le Long Weekend maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. 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. 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. Hi Nadine! All are very much worth the visit. Visiting Paris, however, doesn’t mean you’ve seen all that France … 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. These are some of the best day trips from Paris—scroll down to see which places outside … 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. 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. The vintage is 1472, and it has survived the ravages of two world wars and countless fires. #AllAboutFrance. This wild coast is home to fabulous sea life and many species of birds, making it an ideal spot for nature observation. 17 Charming French Spots Prove the Best of France Is Outside of Paris. The Loire and its tributaries irrigate this fertile landscape, allowing it to bear some of the finest natural produce that France has to offer. Nearly all of France and much of Europe are within a few hours by train from the transportation hub Paris. Of all the cities near Paris, Chartres is one of the top places to visit. 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. Port Grimaud, the Venice of the Riviera, is characterised by its canals, waterways, and vibrantly painted houses. Traversing the Dordogne and Lot involves, by necessity, an encounter with a very ancient past. 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. 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. Provence is also home to an abundance of wildlife, supported by its diverse range of natural habitats. The overwhelming majority of people who visit France visit Paris, and only Paris. Ahhhh, Bordeaux! It’s small wonder that artists and poets alike have found inspiration in this enchanting region; a visit to Giverny, where Monet painted his famous water lilies, is surely enough to see why. 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. The city is a cultural hub, and visitors come here for the exceptional art galleries and museums, and renowned dining scene. Provence, the delightful region that envelops the Côte d’Azur, is a heady assault on the senses. 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. Among other things, how about visiting the Notre-Dame d’Amiens Cathedral, as it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. From the German-influence infiltrating the eastern border, to the Mediterranean flavour of the French Riviera, and the idyllic islands at a tickling distance of the country’s western shores, France is as complex as it is compelling. Beautiful post about one of the most beautiful countries out there. The well illuminated building, sizzling music and romantic décor makes it one of the best places to go in Paris at night. Here are five places where you can travel outside of Paris. Several interesting and entertaining destinations, including chateaus, natural parks, and medieval fortifications, are within close reach of the city. 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 post has been bought to you in partnership with Ophorus. 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. The region is also dotted with impressive castles, many of which are set in marvellous gardens, overlooking small rivers. ... Top 10 attractions outside Paris … Book a day trip to Saint-Emilion from Bordeaux here. 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. 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. The Avignon popes set about building a lavish palace, which stands to this day, complete with magnificent frescos. Travelers favorites include #1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris), #2 Musée du Louvre and more. 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. 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. 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. Founded by me, Nadine. 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. This stunning village offers exceptional views of the coast and is a haven for photographers. 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. I’d like to explore more of Alsace, I’ve really only scratched the surface. Oysters and mussels are the local specialities, and in season, you can eat them directly on the beach: seafood doesn’t come fresher than this. Outside the city, the countryside is littered with fabulous medieval monasteries, castles, and some of France’s most beautiful villages. Simply click on the markers to reveal each location. Great post and really happy to see you added Normandy – we have guests to our gite who come back more than once as there is just so much to see and do here! 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. The small, walled town of Beaune, with its cobbled streets, Gothic architecture and labyrinthine wine cellars has charm in abundance. HOW OFTEN DO YOU DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU? 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. Thanks Nadine for your insights. For walkers, the magnificent Morvan National Park provides over 1000 square kilometres of unspoilt countryside, filled with lakes, waterfalls, and atmospheric woodland. 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. What To Eat In Japan: 10 Must-Try Japanese Food Experiences. 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. 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. During the summer months, French holidaymakers, along with an international crowd of celebrities and millionaires, flock to the Côte d’Azur, to dangle a toe in the Mediterranean and let their hair down in Monaco, San Tropez, Nice or Cannes. 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…. This is the best place … Avignon An ancient town surrounded by 800-year-old stone ramparts, romantic Avignon sits along the Rhone just waiting for you to explore. I’m heading back to France next year, so I’m trying to narrow down my list of places there to visit. You’ve picked a great choice of regions to visit. From chateaus to museums, learn more with The Paris Pass. 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. Source: PhotoFires / shutterstock ... No trip to France would be complete without a visit to the home of its most famous export: Champagne. 7. 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. There’s plenty here to keep active families occupied, with hiking, climbing, cycling and canoeing on offer throughout the valley. Stretching from the Rhine to the dramatic hills of the Vosges, the Alsace is a natural treasure, and there’s plenty to keep nature-lovers occupied. Your email address will not be published. This article may contain affiliate links. Whether you’re an aficionado of Bordeaux wines or not, this marvellous region has plenty to offer to visitors. 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. Saint-Paul de Vence, for example, is known for its maze of labyrinthine streets, and vibrant artistic culture. 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. Site by: Quest Creative. Passing by dramatic fortified castles, perched precariously on high cliffs, the river continues through Bergerac until it meets the Garonne River at Bordeaux. Thanks a lot! Finally, Èze, a charming medieval village perched on a high, rocky outcrop, offers the very best of the Côte d’Azur: exotic gardens, a medieval castle, and fabulous views of the Mediterranean. I h, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! 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. Your email address will not be published. This unique, beautiful area is best explored on foot or on horseback and is certain to leave a big impression. Versailles. It offers an ideal place for an afternoon stroll, lined with attractive cafes and restaurants offering refreshments for weary travellers. 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. Louvre Museum ... as an extension of court life outside of Paris. The cities of the Languedoc, including Toulouse and Montpelier, are known for their pleasant boulevards and squares and laid back atmosphere. Fiercely independent, with a weighty history and a rugged charm, Normandy is often considered within France as a place apart. The city also features several excellent museums, the famous Pont d’Avignon, and an annual arts and theatre festival that attracts an international crowd. The city of Bordeaux is a pleasant destination for a city break, with its wide boulevards, 18th-century architecture, and riverside street culture. Explore Burgundy with a day trip from Beaune or Dijon. Haha yes, Provence will always come first for me too – but I’m just a little bit biased , Some fantastic suggestions here, some I have visited but others are on the list! In the southwest corner of the region, the green hills drop away to a vast wetland in the Rhône delta. 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. Visit the Place de la Bourse, check out the Water Mirror, go to th… But, like any country, France … 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. The company’s commitment to excellence has also awarded them a coveted spot in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for 5 years running! However, Provence’s most enticing charms are found outside the main urban hubs, in the countryside. These diverse influences have produced a rich and distinctive culture, making this one of France’s most rewarding regions for curious travellers. The area around Bordeaux is best explored on foot or by bike, and this lush, sun-soaked region certainly won’t disappoint. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Imagine being led through a landscape laced with vineyards, to learn the intricacies of winemaking direct from the source. Here are 5 little towns you should visit. The Pont Alexandre III bridge over the Seine is among the prettiest in Paris — the perfect starting point for a France … But how do you get to know a country as intricate as France? The 17 most beautiful places to visit in France. Love this list! Coastal creeks, heavenly hilltops, truly charming châteaux: this is our pick of the most beautiful places to visit in France right now In between, the green and fertile lands that make up the Dordogne Valley offer a treasure trove of delights for visitors, both above and below the ground. There are so many beautiful towns, cities and regions outside of Paris and they all have their own unique character and identity (and food specialty!). 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. The below map plots out our suggestions of places to see in France, so that you can get your bearings easily. 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. Thaks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance and agreeing to host next time. 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. Required fields are marked *. I feel especially lucky to have been able to spend months living in & getting to know several areas really well – but still so much more to discover! With gorgeous beaches, stunning architecture, and some of France’s finest seafood, this is a region with something for everyone. The Ultimate Road Trip Essentials Checklist, 8 Places to Find Free Overnight RV Camping. There’s so much to discover! 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. Indeed, the oldest barrel of wine anywhere in the world may be found in a dark cellar beneath the Hospice of Strasbourg. This profuse, laid-back region offers plenty of activities for nature lovers. Aaaah les châteaux de la Loire! 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. I mostly spent time in Paris so I have much to catch up to. Over 800 years later, Saint-Emilion still stands as one of the most important wine-producing areas in France. Further inland, the landscape is dramatic, featuring imposing cliffs, gorges and valleys, chestnut forests, and vineyards, punctuated by some fabulous medieval architecture. Book your day trip from Aix-en-Provence here. Outside the cities and towns, the luscious green landscape is the ideal place to retreat from the world. 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 delightful village is one of the best places to visit in France for inspiring … Map of the top places to visit in France. There is so much to see and do in France, that choosing ten "must see" sights is really an impossible task. Avignon, one of Provence’s main cities, also offers visitors plenty of things to see and do. 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. Two of my favourite places in France … Can You Solo Travel While in a Relationship? You can also visit … By Laurent ... French places that you can go to instead of Paris. Avoid the tourist trips and follow this guide for an authentic experience of traveling like a local around France. Home to over 6,000 vineyards, this profuse and fertile region offers some of the world’s finest wines, building on an ancient culture that goes back nearly 2000 years. Places to visit in France outside of Paris include this place. 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. The Norman dukes were medieval rockstars, and they left their mark in the shape of castles and cathedrals. 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. See our full disclosure here. Nancy, Nantes, Marseilles and the Camargue. 15 Best Airbnbs in Marseille, France – Seaside Escapes to Inner-City Lofts, Free & Cheap Things to do in Kaikoura, New Zealand, A Guide to Portovenere Italy – Liguria’s Lesser-Known Jewel. Les Baux de Provence is perhaps the finest example of restored Provençal village architecture, with its own citadel and a fearsome reputation for gastronomy. Paris, France. 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 . Explore the villages of the French Riviera with a tour. 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. Your email address will not be published. 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. These picturesque villages and fortified chateaux, constructed in golden stone, are set within glorious natural scenery, with abundant wildlife and birdlife. 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. Check out my website. 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. 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