France is as diverse as any country can be, with its Mediterranean coast to the south, its mountainous eastern regions across the Alps to the south-western French Basque Country, France has it all. I wanted to showcase some of my favourite destinations that should be included on every trip to France this year. I have intentionally left out Paris from this post as I wanted to explore some of the lesser known, but spectacularly impressive regions that often get overlooked.
1.) Bayonne: Capital of the French Basque Country in the South of France. Don’t forget to visit the beautifully crafted, Cathédrale Ste-Marie
2.) Saint-Malo: A historic walled city in the Brittany region of northwestern France. Walking through the beautifully preserved cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town feels truly beautiful.
3.) Verdon Gorge: A sight to behold! This natural landscape has been shaped by thousands of years and has still somehow managed to stay of any mainstream tourism radars.
4.) Grenoble: Snuggled between the snow capped mountains, Grenoble is a city unlike many others. It’s steep in history and a perfect place to explore!
5.) Nimes: When I visited Nimes, I loved how well preserved the historic centre of the town is. Make sure to check out the Roman Arena while your there… its one of the largest left in the world!
6.) Ussel: This hilltop community of Ussel is in the Massif central on the plateau de Millevaches – beautifully remote!
7.) Isola: Ski to your hearts content in this little talked about French town!
8.) Bastia: A Corsican coastal town that thrives on its heritage as a trade centre for the north of the island. A great place to eat truly fresh fish!
9.) Calvi: Explore the City that has is truly preserved.
10.) La Rochelle: Situated on the Bay of Biscay, La Rochelle is home to the historic Vieux Port and the famous Towers of La Rochelle, which are a must see!
11.) Ushant: See the most powerful lighthouse in all the world, on this tiny little island.
12.) La Bresse: One of the best places to ski in France
13.) Mont Saint Michel, Normandy: Located 1km in the sea, this tiny little mountain/Island is a photographer and explorers dream! Picturesque doesn’t even cut it!
14.) Kayersberg: Return to a quaint France in this small town that has not lost any of its rustic charms!
15.) Mont Aiguille, Isère: A world away from our normal idea of what France is… Mont Aiguille is a truly spectacular sight, situated deep within the Vercors Regional Natural Park and the birthplace of mountaineering (nearly 600 years ago)!