France is one of the most visited countries in the world, with millions of tourists flocking to Paris, Nice, and Lyon each year. While those destinations are certainly worth exploring, there are many other hidden gems in France that are not as well-known to the outside world. From charming small towns to stunning natural landscapes, France has so much to offer beyond its most popular cities. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best hidden gems in France that are definitely worth a visit.
Located in eastern France, Colmar is a picturesque town that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. Located in the Alsace region, Colmar has a distinct Germanic influence in its architecture and culture. The town center is filled with quaint half-timbered buildings, narrow streets, and canals that make you feel like you’re in a different time. Additionally, Colmar is the perfect base for exploring the nearby Strasbourg and the Route des Vins d’Alsace (Alsace Wine Route).
2. Gorge du Verdon
For nature lovers, Gorge du Verdon is a must-see destination in France. Located in southeastern France, this stunning canyon is known as the “Grand Canyon of Europe” for its dramatic views and turquoise waters. You can hike, kayak or swim here, taking in the serenity of the breathtaking surroundings. Make sure you don’t miss the Point Sublime viewpoint which offers unparalleled panoramic views of the canyon.
Located in the Dordogne region of France, Sarlat-la-Canéda is a town that exudes the charm of the French countryside. It is famous for its well-preserved medieval architecture, narrow streets, and quaint little cafes. The town is a great base for exploring the stunning Dordogne countryside, with numerous castles, vineyards, and caves to visit.
Just a short drive from Nice, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a charming hilltop village that epitomizes the enchanting beauty of Provence. The town is famous for its picturesque stone houses, narrow cobbled streets, and stunning views of the Mediterranean. The town has been a haven for artists for many years because of its incredible light quality. Spend a day wandering around, admiring the art galleries and enjoying the delicious regional French cuisine.
Porquerolles is a tiny island that is a hidden gem in the south of France. Located a few miles off the coast of Hyères, Porquerolles is known for its unspoiled sandy beaches, crystal clear water and stunning natural landscapes. Car-free Island, you can either rent bicycles to discover the island or simply walk around the many designated paths to reach the different beaches.
6. Mont Saint-Michel
Located in Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel is a stunning island village that is surrounded by quicksand and is only accessible by foot or horse carriage, making it one of the most unique attractions in France. At the top of the village is the stunning Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, which is one of the most impressive examples of medieval architecture in Europe. Spend a day exploring the village and the surrounding bay, taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
7. Les Calanques
Located on the coast between Marseille and Cassis, Les Calanques is a series of stunning limestone cliffs that are surrounded by shimmering turquoise water. The area is known for its unique flora and fauna, including a number of endangered species. You can hike, swim or kayak here, and explore the numerous hidden coves that are nestled between the cliffs.
In conclusion, France has so many hidden gems beyond its well-known cities. From charming small towns to stunning natural landscapes, France has something for every type of traveler. So, next time you visit France, make sure to explore some of these hidden gems, and you might just discover your new favorite travel destination!