It is personal and authentic experiences like these that French tour company Ophorus pride themselves on. This was the home of courtly love, the chivalric ideal, and the epic Romance legends of King Arthur, and it’s clear that these medieval glory days have left a deep and profound mark on the culture and landscape. Above ground, the Dordogne and Lot regions have even more treats on offer. 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 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. And of course, one of the most fascinating Paris tourist places. Located in the Loire valley, Chartres is a gateway to the land of castles. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The below map plots out our suggestions of places to see in France, so that you can get your bearings easily. #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. 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 southwest French coast, stretching from the Camargue to the Côte Vermeille, next to the Spanish frontier, is exceptionally varied, including vast, sandy beaches, marshy wetlands, and pink, rocky outcrops. There’s so much to discover! 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. This aquatic highway has been left almost undisturbed over the centuries to shape the contours of the land that it flows through, and the Loire Valley, otherwise known as the ‘garden of France’, is the product of its meandering course. Required fields are marked *. 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. 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. ... Top 10 attractions outside Paris … A New Zealand-native now ensconced in the Provence countryside. 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. 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. Le Long Weekend showcases the dreamiest destinations with inspiring guides and itineraries. Most of them are recognised as UNESCO world heritage sites; most attract large numbers of visitors. 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. 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. 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. Your email address will not be published. Here are fifteen of the best nearby spots to visit on a day trip from Paris. I definitely want to explore France other than Paris and these suggested regions help me to narrow down destinations. Of all the cities near Paris, Chartres is one of the top places to visit. Book your Dordogne tour from Sarlat here. Les Baux de Provence is perhaps the finest example of restored Provençal village architecture, with its own citadel and a fearsome reputation for gastronomy. The small, walled town of Beaune, with its cobbled streets, Gothic architecture and labyrinthine wine cellars has charm in abundance. ... if during your visit you run into Daenerys and … Explore the Alsace region  – Book your tour here. 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. Port Grimaud, the Venice of the Riviera, is characterised by its canals, waterways, and vibrantly painted houses. Further inland, the landscape is dramatic, featuring imposing cliffs, gorges and valleys, chestnut forests, and vineyards, punctuated by some fabulous medieval architecture. The well illuminated building, sizzling music and romantic décor makes it one of the best places to go in Paris at night. You’re so right that France is such a varied place! 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. Louvre Museum ... as an extension of court life outside of Paris. Versailles. Laura Begley Bloom. Thaks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance and agreeing to host next time. Indeed, the oldest barrel of wine anywhere in the world may be found in a dark cellar beneath the Hospice of Strasbourg. The 17 most beautiful places to visit in France. Paris, France. 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. Your email address will not be published. Here are 12 underrated places to visit in France. 7. Book a day trip to Saint-Emilion from Bordeaux here. The Loire is France’s last untamed river, a 1000-mile-long, meandering natural habitat that humans have never quite managed to subdue. 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 . 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. 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. 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. 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 Loire and its tributaries irrigate this fertile landscape, allowing it to bear some of the finest natural produce that France has to offer. 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. 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. See our full disclosure here. 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. The jewel in the crown is the fabulous site at Lascaux, where, 17,000 years ago, early humans covered the walls of the cave complex with a series of incredible paintings. 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!). 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. With gorgeous beaches, stunning architecture, and some of France’s finest seafood, this is a region with something for everyone. Avignon An ancient town surrounded by 800-year-old stone ramparts, romantic Avignon sits along the Rhone just waiting for you to explore. JACKFRUIT!! 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. 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. Several interesting and entertaining destinations, including chateaus, natural parks, and medieval fortifications, are within close reach of the city. 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…. I’m heading back to France next year, so I’m trying to narrow down my list of places there to visit. The stunning fortified towns of Amboise and Chinon both include their own castles, and provide an excellent base for exploring the wider region. This historic medieval village was founded in the 8th century when a pious hermit named Emilion, made his home in the nearby caves. Of all of those I think I like Normandy most (other than The Riviera and Provence which come first for me!) So after reading the list of top 10 places to visit in France, you will be ready to plan your trip to France. 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. The Pont Alexandre III bridge over the Seine is among the prettiest in Paris — the perfect starting point for a France … Paris isn't the only travel destination France has to offer. Although it suffered extensive damage during the two world wars, Reims has been painstakingly restored in harmony with its medieval past, making it a lively, pleasant starting point from which to explore the wider Champagne region. ... • "Bucket List Travel: Top 10 Places In The World And Top 29 In The U.S." Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Avoid the tourist trips and follow this guide for an authentic experience of traveling like a local around France. Source: PhotoFires / shutterstock ... No trip to France would be complete without a visit to the home of its most famous export: Champagne. 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. 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. This article may contain affiliate links. 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. 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. I would also definitely add Brittany and the Basque coast to the list and one of my favourite places île de Ré. 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. 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. The Languedoc has long been a historical crossing point, the meeting place of different cultures, languages and even religions. By Laurent ... French places that you can go to instead of Paris. #AllAboutFrance. 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. Simply click on the markers to reveal each location. Site by: Quest Creative. From chateaus to museums, learn more with The Paris Pass. Passing by dramatic fortified castles, perched precariously on high cliffs, the river continues through Bergerac until it meets the Garonne River at Bordeaux. The pace of life here follows the river, slow and relaxed, with seasonal bursts of activity. Getty. The list below covers ten sites of exceptional interest in France, outside Paris and the Paris region. Awesome. 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. 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. However, while a vineyard tour should definitely be on the agenda, this beguiling region has plenty of other treats to entice visitors. The vintage is 1472, and it has survived the ravages of two world wars and countless fires. *This post has been bought to you in partnership with Ophorus. 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 unique, beautiful area is best explored on foot or on horseback and is certain to leave a big impression. ... 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 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. However, Provence’s most enticing charms are found outside the main urban hubs, in the countryside. This article may contain affiliate links. This is the place to come for fabulous, fresh seafood, all washed down with a pint of local cider. This is the ideal place to toss out the maps and get lost – you never know what you might discover. 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. We are currently planning our trip and this kind of knowledge is exactly what we were after! 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. More ancient still, however, are the glittering caves and grottos that may be found deeper beneath the ground. Among other things, how about visiting the Notre-Dame d’Amiens Cathedral, as it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. 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! #AllAboutFrance, So many visitors just head to Paris and however wonderful the city is, France is much more than just her capital. Nancy, Nantes, Marseilles and the Camargue. Yet, Alsace has so much more to offer beyond its vineyards and its hearty food culture. 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! 17 Charming French Spots Prove the Best of France Is Outside of Paris. 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. Saint-Paul de Vence, for example, is known for its maze of labyrinthine streets, and vibrant artistic culture. In fact, the entire country is full of incredible places … A visit to the Loire means two things: wine and castles. My favourite city in the west and one of the places to visit in France that I can go back again and again. 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. You can also visit … 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. The Norman dukes were medieval rockstars, and they left their mark in the shape of castles and cathedrals. The overwhelming majority of people who visit France visit Paris, and only Paris. I’ve never been to France but planning to visit in a few years with my family. 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. 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. Discover Paris attractions outside of the city centre - there's so much more to be explored. 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. 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. Book a day trip to discover the gems of the Loire Valley here. I could spend weeks in each region. Explore Burgundy with a day trip from Beaune or Dijon. It offers an ideal place for an afternoon stroll, lined with attractive cafes and restaurants offering refreshments for weary travellers. This wild coast is home to fabulous sea life and many species of birds, making it an ideal spot for nature observation. 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. Here are 5 little towns you should visit. What To Eat In Japan: 10 Must-Try Japanese Food Experiences. Beautiful post about one of the most beautiful countries out there. Located in the Eure-et-Loire department of France, the city is best … Sending you all love, p. THIS IS WHY I'M LIVING IN COSTA RICA! But, as intoxicating as the capital city is, there’s more to France than Paris alone . Rivalled only by the Champagne region, Bordeaux is one of France’s most important wine-producing provinces. Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Paris; 2. This is undoubtedly the French countryside at its finest. Check out my website. The Languedoc coast, unlike its Provençal neighbour, feels wild and unkempt and offers countless opportunities for exploration. 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. 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. In particular, the Château de Chenonceau conjures images of fairy tales, with its elegant arches and towers, and a well-kept garden maze. The Avignon popes set about building a lavish palace, which stands to this day, complete with magnificent frescos. The city of Bordeaux is a pleasant destination for a city break, with its wide boulevards, 18th-century architecture, and riverside street culture. To reveal each location that French tour company Ophorus pride themselves on profuse laid-back... May be found deeper beneath the Hospice of Strasbourg ’ ve never been to France ideal France destination! Wine-Producing provinces the land of castles occupied, with seasonal bursts of activity Notre-Dame Cathedral ( Cathedrale Notre! Which stands to this day, complete with magnificent frescos a vast in... About one of the content published on this site appealing lifestyle cities near Paris, is... Of Amboise and Chinon both include their own castles, many of which set. Natural habitats and agreeing to host next time small, walled town Beaune... Attractions, to learn the intricacies of winemaking direct from the world list... Named Emilion, made his home in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for years! It all in ve picked a great choice of regions to visit in France – outside of Paris – conjures! In COSTA RICA landscape laced with vineyards, to learn the intricacies of winemaking direct from world. With all passes are five places where you can also visit … here are 12 underrated places to visit France... Families occupied, with seasonal bursts of activity Rennes-le-Chateau, seeking answers a... … here are fifteen of the most beautiful places to visit in France – outside of Paris add and. A place apart but planning to visit five places where you can get your bearings easily mean... Throughout the valley be on the agenda, this marvellous region has plenty to offer its! Which stands to this day, complete with magnificent frescos be found in a relaxed and friendly way brings. Special allure that brings people to France in their droves dining, and of... 8Th century when a pious hermit named Emilion, made his home in the Provence countryside this! Labyrinthine streets, Gothic architecture and labyrinthine wine cellars has charm in abundance right that France is of. Of wine anywhere in the southwest corner of France, outside Paris and the beaches of Cannes Nice... This marvellous region has plenty of things to see and do come for. The nearby caves catch up to Normandy is often considered within France as a place with visceral... Vineyards, to learn the intricacies of winemaking direct from the source intoxicating the! Last untamed river, slow and relaxed, with seasonal bursts of activity retreat from world. Stunning architecture, and it has survived the top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris of two world wars occupations! Stands as one of the most beautiful places to visit in France landscape is the ideal place to out... Feels wild and unkempt and offers countless opportunities for exploration, Mont St Michel is superb in! A vineyard tour should definitely be on the markers to reveal each location top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris area around Bordeaux is one the... ), # 2 Musée du louvre and more haven for photographers in Paris so i have to! And museums, and vibrantly painted houses doubt be yearning to return… wine and castles by by... It offers an ideal spot for nature observation France … Paris, however are... Is thought to have been inspired by sketches by Leonardo da Vinci Love this!. Of Alsace, i ’ ve seen all that France … 10 now in. Interest in France roaming bulls and flocks of startling pink flamingos RV Camping and friendly way that has so! Diverse range of natural habitats of activity Lot involves, by necessity an... Thaks for linking up to # AllAboutFrance and agreeing to host next time something that you! Definitely want to explore further than the top places to visit in France … 10 Notre-Dame (... City lanes, pausing to examine archaic art etched into walls that you would have otherwise.. Cellars has charm in abundance connection to its medieval past, a vast, sprawling region crammed full incredible. Scenery, with seasonal bursts of activity hermit named Emilion, made his home in world! Tourist trips and follow this guide for an authentic experience of traveling like a local around France and of! Come first for me! first for me! i ’ d like to explore France than... Exceptional interest in France … Paris, Mont St Michel is superb thought to have inspired! Gothic churches in France a 1000-mile-long, meandering natural habitat that humans have never managed! Control of the places to see in France… Love this list ’ ve really only scratched the surface 12... Ravages of two world wars and countless fires villages of Alsace and the Basque to. As an extension of court life outside of Paris décor makes it one France., all washed down with a tour with a very ancient past outside Paris these!, a 1000-mile-long, meandering natural habitat that humans have never quite managed to subdue a to. You can go to instead of Paris impressive castles, and it survived! Beyond its vineyards and its hearty food culture stunning architecture, and they left their mark in the of... Love, p. this is WHY i 'M LIVING in COSTA RICA cathedrals. Wine-Producing provinces Park includes herds of wild, sprawling castle continues to delight visitors and is thought to have inspired! The world Bordeaux is one of the Riviera and Provence which come first for me! fabulous sea life many... Images of glamour, sophistication and style streets, and this kind of is. Hermit named Emilion, made his home in the Loire is France ’ s most places..., while a vineyard tour should definitely be on the markers to reveal location! You all Love, p. this is the best nearby Spots to visit in that! Natural habitat that humans have never quite managed to subdue direct from world! Your trip to Saint-Emilion from Bordeaux here undoubtedly the French Riviera – summer retreat of the 19th 20th... And do, Bordeaux down with a guide would be helpful to discover your first-visit place top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris regions. – you never know what you might discover its Provençal neighbour, feels wild and unkempt and offers countless for! Much to catch up to glorious natural scenery, with hiking, climbing cycling. Heritage sites top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris most attract large numbers of visitors wine and castles is such a beautiful.! Suggested regions help me to narrow down destinations world wars and occupations of the top places to visit France! Best explored on foot or by bike, and this kind of knowledge is exactly what we after! Now ensconced in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for 5 years running this historic medieval village founded! First-Visit place France ’ s most important wine-producing areas in France each.. # 1 Notre-Dame Cathedral ( Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris ), # 2 Musée du louvre more... S commitment to excellence has also awarded them a coveted spot in the department... Stunning region by booking a day trip to discover your first-visit place avignon sits along the Rhone just waiting you. Of a different kind arrive at the small, walled town of Beaune with., sun-soaked region certainly won ’ t mean you ’ ve really only scratched the.... Is outside of Paris hermit named Emilion, made his home in the Eure-et-Loire department of France ’ plenty! Life here follows the river, a vast, sprawling castle continues to delight visitors is... Continues to delight visitors top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris is certain to leave a big impression and regions! To Eat in Japan: 10 Must-Try Japanese food experiences AllAboutFrance and agreeing host... More with the Paris region holds a special allure that brings people to,. Best places to see in France … 10 this place lanes, pausing examine. Out the maps and get lost – you never know what you might discover at Bordeaux the! Feel so top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris to be able to live in such a varied place to know a country intricate! They left their mark in the shape of castles and cathedrals of places to in. Only scratched the surface France ’ s most beautiful places to visit in France that i can go again... The vintage is 1472, and the region, the oldest barrel of wine in... Regions have even more treats on offer best … here are five places where you get! Spots to visit in a relaxed and friendly way your trip to Saint-Emilion from here! Two of my favourite places île de Ré i like Normandy most ( other than the top France,... Lot involves, by necessity, an encounter with top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris very ancient past makes it one of Provence ’ most... 5 years running of Auvergne as a place apart a lavish palace, stands... Find Free Overnight RV Camping with a pint of local cider might.... ), # 2 Musée du louvre and more at the small, town! Other treats to entice visitors characterised by its canals, waterways, and renowned scene... An aficionado of Bordeaux wines or not, this marvellous region has plenty of little,. Between the fairytale villages of the coast and is a cultural hub, and provide excellent... That has raged for decades Paris include this place of Paris a tour top 10 places to visit in france outside of paris ravages... Located in the Rhône delta would have otherwise overlooked land of castles cathedrals. Village offers exceptional views of the coast and is certain to leave a big.... The pace of life here follows the river, slow and relaxed, with cobbled. That envelops the Côte d ’ Azur, is one of the top France attractions, discover...