France is the world’s most visited country. Millions of tourists visit Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille, and other French cities each year. Unpopular to many but its little towns are charming and lovely, with cobblestone pathways dating back centuries, stone houses and castles, and cascading geraniums.
Here is a list of the top little known spots to visit in France, – the most gorgeous secret locations in the country.
1. Collonges-la-Rouge, Dordogne
Collonges-la-Rouge may have given birth to the moniker “most beautiful village in France.” It’s quite lovely. The entire settlement was designated as a historical monument in 1942.Collonges is a rust-red stone town surrounded by lush greenery. The red comes from the Limousin sandstone plateau. Collonges is known as the “City of 25 Towers” because of its many magnificent castles, mansions, and modest villages.
2. Dijon in Burgundy
Dijon is famous for its mustard, but the city, which was formerly the capital of Burgundy, celebrates its aristocratic past under the powerful and legendary Dukes. The Ducal palace is a complex of structures with gold accents, painted ceilings, and pomp and circumstance. The Banqueting Hall has an extraordinary number of elaborate tombs. There are excellent museums and parks, as well as historical sites.
Dijon is tiny, with restaurants, pubs, and cafés packed in the center, serving local staples like boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin. The famed mustard, pain d’épice, and attractively wrapped confectionary entice you into shops that opened in the late 18th century.
Although Dijon is not as well-known as neighbouring Beaune, with its excellent, internationally recognized Hospices de Beaune, it is less congested, seems more local, and is well worth a long stay.
3. Menton, Cote d’Azur
This quaint, peaceful village on the Cote d’Azur’s outskirts provides the full travel experience and will undoubtedly win your heart. However, I’m not sure why Menton attracts so few visitors. Beautiful beaches, incredible architecture, one of France’s most stunning ancient towns, and delectable cuisine can all be found in this city. The city may lack the party scene of St. Tropez or the glamour of Cannes, but that only adds to its old-fashioned charm.
Despite being less well-known than Nice or Cannes, Menton has become one of the most well-known tourist destinations on the Côte d’Azur. Menton is a great place to visit for a multi-day vacation or a day excursion because it is only 50 minutes from Nice Airport.
Menton, on the Italian border, is one of France’s most colorful resorts. This little hamlet of 30 000 people is one of France’s best-kept secrets
4. Cancale, Brittany
Cancale is one of France’s best-kept secrets, within an hour’s drive from both Saint-Brieuc and Rennes airports.
The North of Brittany is synonymous with seafood. Cancale is a charming coastal town with beautiful scenery known for its ‘oyster culture.’ Cancale is known as the world’s oyster capital. Some of the top seafood restaurants in Europe and the globe may be found in the town. That’s why Louis XIV had his oysters transported from Cancale to Versailles. So, if you’re a foodie who hasn’t heard of Cancale, now is an excellent moment to add it to your food bucket list. Cancale is also a wonderful starting point for touring the United Kingdom and Ireland because of its convenient position.
Every year, tourists from all over the world go to this small town of 5,000 people to sample its wild oysters, swim in its turquoise waters, and relax on its beautiful beaches. Le Mont Saint-Michel is about 50 minutes away from Cancale.
5. Colmar, Alsace
Colmar is neither a secret nor an undiscovered place, but it is full of hidden jewels that you will enjoy. This lovely, picturesque city has become one of France’s most popular tourist destinations throughout the years. It is no coincidence that tourists from all over the world choose Colmar as their vacation destination. They also named the city the “Best Spring Destination.”
This is without a doubt my favorite French city. Figeac is a bustling, historic, and maintained city with amazing food and breathtaking scenery. This town embodies the ideals of La Belle France. Amazing food, delectable wine, bustling street markets where you can smell fresh cheese, quaint tiny streets, stunning architecture, and an unforgettable environment. Figeac is also an excellent starting point for exploring the two valleys that surround the city: Lot and Célé.
Beaujolais is a historical province and wine-producing region in northern Burgundy that encompasses 39 villages. This is possibly France’s most well-known undiscovered region. We’ve all heard of Burgundy’s great wine, but we haven’t heard of many people actually visiting the region. Big blunder. Beaujolais is a gorgeous country of rolling hills, picturesque villages, gothic architecture, and spectacular vineyards that will take your breath away.
Dinan is one of France’s few walled cities, located along the Rance River. It’s a lovely town surrounded by medieval houses and castles that have withstood the test of time. Surprisingly, the majority of Dinan’s residents are highly proud of their Breton roots. As a result, the Breton language is extensively spoken across the city. It is well worth a visit to wander around Dinan’s small alleyways and see the city’s magnificent architecture. Finally, I’m confident that if this village received greater online exposure, it would quickly become overrun with tourists.
9. Estérel Massif, Golden Island – Var
This massive volcanic mountain range is one among France’s most amazing natural beauties. The Massif de l’Esterel is in the Var region, which is famed for its beautiful landscapes and beaches, which have been voted among the best in Europe.
Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Raphal are two of the Var’s sunniest and authentic locations. Hiking is the ideal way to take in these sights. You might encounter deer, wild boar, or turtles, and the fragrances of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and mimosa may overpower you.
Sète is one of the most beautiful seaside towns in the south of France, famous for its stunning beaches and for hosting one of the world’s biggest water jousting tournaments. This small coastal town has some stunning canals that will make you feel like you’re in Venice. The laid-back, authentic atmosphere sure is refreshing, and honestly a bit different than the other built-up tourist towns on the Languedoc coast. Another plus is that Sete is also only 45 miles away from the wetlands where you can see the famous Camargue flamingos.