France is a beautiful place (not biased at. all.), with very varied landscapes, but Paris is so, so famous, that sometimes the rest of the country is forgotten by travelers. I wanted to put things to right, and introduce you to my 10 favorite beautiful places in France.
Of course, these are only the places that fit my natural taste, meaning they’re wild, beautiful and you can be in harmony with nature there, but there’s still a lot of other things worth seeing in the city and town department (might write about that later).
Prepare yourself to pick up your jaw.
1 – BRETAGNE
The sea, the wild coast, and crepes full of salted butter. That’s Brittany. Widely recommended for hikers. The extreme west point of France is my favorite, you can see why :
2 – THE LOIRE VALLEY
The Loire Valley castles are world famous, but the Loire itself is already a source of beauty. A good base to explore everything would be the town of Amboise.
3 – THE ALPS AND THE MERCANTOUR NATIONAL PARK
The Mercantour National Park is nestled in the Alps between France and Italy, and is a hikers paradise. The “Vallée des Merveilles” (Valley of Wonders) is both beautifully wild and historically interesting because of the prehistoric art that you can see there!
4 – CAMARGUE
The Camargue region in the south of Provence is a bit of a weirdo, there’s no other place looking remotely like that in France. It’s a swampland where horses run wild and pink flamingos fly around. No, you’re not dreaming.
5 – AUVERGNE AND VOLCANOES REGIONAL PARK
Green volcanoes everywhere. Two iconic places for me : the top of the Puy-de-Dôme (after a steep climb), from which you have a view on the whole “Chaîne des Puys” around you, and the Meandre de Queuille.
6 – JURA
The Jura is a french department full of mountains, not far from the Switzerland border. The place is also popular for skiing in winter!
7 – GORGES DU VERDON
Its waters are fabulously turquoise, and there’s plenty of activities to do around the Gorges du Verdon. So much so, that it’s not a place I would recommend in high season, when the water is constantly overcrowded with kayaks.
8 – THE PYRENEES
I know that saying “The Pyrenees” is a bit broad, but there’s so much to see there that I didn’t know how to choose. There’s the fantastic mountain sceneries, the hiking, the little southern towns, the “Cirque de Gavarnie” (an ancient glacier now full of waterfalls) and the Orgues d’Ille-sur-Têt, weird rock formations that throw me back to a certain Cappadocia valley.
9 – GORGES DE L’ARDECHE
This one is more of an under the radar destination, even for french people who sometimes forget there’s something more than cows and farmers living there. But, ah, surprise.
10 – ETRETAT
Last but not least, this one is a favorite of the french : the Etretat Cliffs in the north, easily accessible from Paris!
Who’s still planning to stay in Paris for their entire stay now?
Read next: Top 10 most beautiful cities in France!
Tell me, did you already know any of those places?