One of the most popular European tourist destinations, France is well-known for its world-class cuisine, fine wines, and picturesque landmarks. Besides staying at that hostel in Paris that is definitely worth visiting, there are many amazing countryside destinations in France that you should check out on your next French countryside vacation.
From charming villages and picture-perfect towns to lovely medieval towns with cobblestone streets, here are our top picks for the best places to visit in France.
Located in the heart of Normandy, Veules-les-Roses is a small coastal village that is famous for its natural scenery and rugged coastline. It’s an ideal place to see in France for visitors who are looking to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
Veules-les-Roses is also home to the smallest river in France, the popular Veules that stretches for three-quarters of a mile. Some of the must-see attractions here include the ancient post house on the Grand Rue, the village watering hole, and Champs Elysee’s path.
A medieval village surrounded by oak trees, St-Guilhem-le-Désert is a perfect place to spend your French countryside vacation. This UNESC0-listed village is located just a short drive from Montpellier in the narrow valley of the Gellone River, which makes it easily reachable for many tourists.
Expect to find dozens of amber stone houses, as well as an ancient tower which overlooks the mountains. The biggest attraction in the village is Abbaye de Gellone, a French church which was almost destroyed during the Reformation. In case you get hungry, grab lunch at Le Pavillon or O’bistrot Restaurant.
8. Vézelay, Burgundy
There is no shortage of excellent countryside destinations in France and Vézelay is one of them. This tiny hilltop village is a Unesco World Heritage Site that houses dozens of charming vineyards, picturesque sunflower fields, and gorgeous alleyways.
The village is located just 50 km south of Auxerre and its main attraction is the lovely Vezelay Basilica of St Mary Magdalene. Inside of the church, you will have an opportunity to see several Roman-style sculptures and carved capital stones.
Looking for an easily reachable place to see in France? The good news is that the town of Amiens is located just a one-hour drive away from Paris. Famous for its Gothic Amiens Cathedral and canals, Amiens is also home to many floating market gardens which are accessible with small boats.
The city is so picturesque that many call it the Venice of the North. Have coffee at one of the canal-side cages or take a long walk on one of the many cobblestone streets. Some of the attractions worth visiting include Maison de Jules Verne, Parc Zoologique, and Parc Saint-Pierre.
Every nature-lover will tell you that Autorie is one of the best places to visit in France. The best time to visit this beautiful village is in spring when the colorful flowers are in bloom. This is a time when the village comes alive and when the main streets are dotted with gardens full of flowers.
There are several hiking trails and one of them will lead you to the village’s waterfall where you can admire the natural beauty of this place. If you wish to try the local cuisine, Mediterranean specialties are served at Auberge de La Fontaine restaurant.