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Five Secret Gems of France

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Fabulous France: Five Secret Gems

France is well known across the globe for its world famous cultural institutions, its city of love, as well as its produce, including cheese and wine. What you may not know is that there are still plenty of undiscovered gems in France for explorers to discover! Here are five hidden spots in France you have to check out!

Cote d’ Argent, Bordeaux

Set along 200 km of golden sands in western France, Côte d’ Argent is a hidden gem within the region. There’s so much to explore in the area away from the coast, such as the expansive sand dunes and Les Landes, one of the biggest forests in Europe. They’re ideal for hiking and mountain biking. The closest airport is Bordeaux, so you’ll need to make your way to Côte d’ Argent from there. The region is off the typical tourist track so expect to find lots of open space and rustic charm during your explorations.

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Besancon

With bags to do, like the notable Musée des Beaux Arts, you won’t be bored if you visit this lesser known town in Eastern France. With all the food that’s available, you’ll be spoilt for choice, but it’s the wines that will have you excited. You’ll find examples of the Arbois style in the white wine section at Tesco, but nothing will quite compare to the satisfying feeling of enjoying it at the source.

Vineyards in Montmartre, Paris

If you’re in Paris but wish to escape the buzz of the city, there’s nowhere like the vineyards of Montmarte, and you won’t be disappointed with the culinary delights of the region. While there is an annual five-day festival the Fête des Vendanges held in October, you may want to visit at another point in the year to enjoy the local white wines on offer!

hidden gems of france vineyard

Le Palais Idéal, Hauterives, Rhône-Alpes

The “palace of stones” is a monument that was built over 30 years by a local postman called Ferdinand Cherval who dedicated a substantial part of his life to creating the building. It has received wide recognition in the art world, with endorsements from the likes of Pablo Picasso, and was declared a cultural landmark by the state. The monument is based in the Hauterives commune, in the south east of France, and those looking to see something unique in France should not miss the chance to take in the Palais in all its glory.

Rocamadour, Midi-Pyrenees

Set in the mountains of south western France Rocamadour is an area of natural beauty. The medieval city juts out of the cliffs, making it an impressive sight to take in. Climb the steps to the top of the village to get views across the region and see the famous chateau, built in times gone by to protect the area. In Rocamadour there’s a lot for historians and culture vultures to enjoy, such as the St Rocamadour and St Saveur churches, which house examples of art and articles of historic importance.

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Images by Rob124 and dynamosquito, used under Creative Commons license

 

After reading this list, you’re sure to have picked up the travel bug and have many secret gems of France to discover! Now you should get out there and unearth the beauty that France offers for yourself. 

Have you ever heard of these secret gems? Do you know of a place in France that might be considered a hidden gem! Tell us about it! 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Five Secret Gems of France

  1. Zoe

    Monmartre is one of my favorite areas of Paris, I always think of Amélie whenever I go! I lived in Normandy for a while, and I think those beaches and especially Mont Saint-Michel are definite gems of France!

  2. Stefan

    One other gem I’d add to the list is Lyon. It’s totally underestimated, but it’s the gastronomic capital of the country and is an incredibly beautiful city to explore.

    Where was your favourite place for the best wine/cheese from your travels in France out of interest?

  3. Mar

    Loving this, especially the vineyards of Montmarte, who doesn’t like some vineyards. Rocamadour looks very quaint, pretty medieval place. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. Meg Jerrard

    Thanks for these, I will have to admit I hadn’t heard of any of them. Rocamadour, Midi-Pyrenees looks impressive for sure! I would love to be able to take in that view for myself!

  5. Christine

    Great list Bobbi. I am French and I agree with every place you mentioned. Some are out of the tourist track and they are all really cool to visit. Bravo!

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