France is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered beyond the bustling cityscapes and renowned landmarks. Venture off the beaten path and explore these ten destinations for an authentic French experience.
Eguisheim: A Fairytale Village
Situated just south of Colmar, Eguisheim holds the prestigious title of “One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France”. Moreover, Eguisheim is also a local favourite, in 2013 the village got the title “France’s Favourite Village”, acclaimed on a television program hosted by Stéphane Bern.
This medieval haven captivates visitors with its unassuming size, distinctive architecture, and a burst of vibrant flowers during the summer season. Yet, its allure doesn’t cease during the festive period. Eguisheim beckons with an authentic charm during Christmas, boasting of activities surrounding and a charming Christmas market.
This is how a visitr describes Eguisheim
“Eguisheim is one of the most beautiful villages in Alsace. Entering the town during summer feels like stepping into a forecourt of paradise. It’s quaint, authentic, and Carefully embellished with flowers. On the village’s orientation board stands ‘Berceau du vin d’Alsace, a very fitting epithet”
Cassis: Where Beauty Meets the Sea
The charming fishing village of Cassis, nestled in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, boasts stunning calanques that paint a breathtaking coastal landscape. Indulge in fresh seafood, explore the quaint port, and discover the raw beauty of Calanques National Park. Read more about the national park.
Annecy: The Venice of the Alps
Annecy, situated in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, captivates visitors with its pristine lake and canal-laden old town. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the lakefront or rent a boat to marvel at the picturesque surroundings.
Colmar: A Palette of Colors
In the Grand Est region, Colmar mesmerizes with its vividly colored houses and canals reminiscent of a painting. Dive into Alsatian cuisine and explore the historical richness of this charming town.
Étretat: Nature’s Masterpiece
Along the Normandy coast, Étretat’s dramatic cliffs and natural arches create a mesmerizing vista. Hike the cliffs or relax on the beach while marveling at these unique rock formations.
Gordes: A Hilltop Marvel
Perched in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur’s Luberon region, Gordes offers panoramic views and a maze of narrow streets to wander. Explore its Renaissance castle and immerse yourself in its timeless allure.
Dinan: Step Back in Time
Brittany’s Dinan exudes medieval charm with its well-preserved ramparts and timber-framed houses. Stroll through its historic center and savor the tranquility along the Rance River.
Riquewihr: Medieval Splendor
In the Grand Est region, Riquewihr’s medieval architecture and vineyards create an idyllic setting. Sample local wines and wander through its enchanting streets.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie: Pottery and Panoramas
Nestled in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur’s Verdon Regional Natural Park, this village is renowned for its tin-glazed pottery. Take in the views of nearby cliffs and visit the Notre-Dame de Beauvoir chapel.
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie: Cliffside Wonder
Overlooking the Lot River in Occitanie, this cliffside village offers a glimpse into medieval times. Wander its steep streets and revel in the sweeping valley views.
Each of these hidden gems in France promises an authentic and captivating experience, inviting travelers to delve into the country’s diverse landscapes, history, and cultural richness. Explore these off-the-beaten-path destinations for an unforgettable journey through the heart of France.