Are you a big fan of Champagne? Or perhaps, after a hard day at work, you prefer to reward your palate with a slice of blue cheese? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, then traveling to France is a no brainer. Although France isn’t that small of a country, the amount of tourists that visit it each year is truly shocking. It means that if you want to find a place that will not be bustling with tourists, you’ll have to be smart. Luckily, in just a few moments, you’ll learn what the lesser-known gems of France that are worth visiting are. Let’s go!
This small village, with about 700 inhabitants, lies next to a limestone cliff, whereas the village itself is built on platform terraces. Above the picturesque houses, there hangs a star suspended on a large chain. According to the myth, a French knight, Bozon de Blacas, who took part in the Crusades, was captured by the Saracens. He made a vow that if he lived to return to his homeland, he’d hang a golden star over his home village. Only a mere legend, or perhaps something more – no one knows. What is known, though, is that the star isn’t centuries old – there are historical accounts of the star being replaced. The current star has been hanging over the city for 50 years.
If you consider yourself a film connoisseur, then you should absolutely visit La Ciotat. Sure, this harbor town in southern France has beautiful beaches, and there’s a national park nearby, but that’s not the main reason to visit La Ciotat. In 1895, the first-ever movie – “Arrival of a Train in the Station of La Ciotat” was made here. Apart from being a place where the Lumières brothers changed our understanding of entertainment forever, there is also the oldest movie theater – the Eden World.
Although it is no longer a port city, you’ll find a lot of yachts here. You can take part in numerous water activities and sports, not troubled by anything, especially not by cold water – of which there is none. If you get tired, just visit the uninhabited island nearby and relax.
If visiting France is something that you’ve always wanted to do, but you are not big on blue cheeses, you can visit Cancale, and taste oysters prepared in hundreds of different ways. Given the fact that this town is famous for its oyster culture, it is not an exaggeration. The oysters aren’t the only thing to be found here – if you want to try any kind of seafood, the visit to Cancale should be an obligatory part of your trip to France. It is located in Brittany, which is more rugged than the majority of France. If you would like to spend your vacations actively, instead of just laying around, and you’ve enjoyed at least one 19th century gothic novel, then the meadows of Brittany await!
The city of Dinan is full of medieval buildings; if being in France is not enough for you, and you want to feel additional magic, your journey should end here. Picturesque streets, walls around the city, a sense of magic – you’ll find all of this here! Just as is the case with the previous location, Dinan is a Breton town. If you feel that the only way to escape depression is to get enough sun, there are parts of France that would be better suited for your needs. Although, you should consider whether some magic is not a passable replacement for some sun-rays!
Puy de Dôme
Okay, you may have previously heard about this place, but that’s just because volcanoes aren’t known for their stealth. It’s difficult to blame them; they are huge. This one is one of the youngest volcanoes in Europe, but it’s quite big. Don’t worry, though, that you’ll have to halt your stroll suddenly – the volcano is dormant, and it poses absolutely no danger to anyone. The worst thing that can happen is you can break your leg because your attention will be focused on the beautiful scenery. Remember to be careful – dying on a dormant volcano won’t grant you entry to Valhalla. If you get lost in thoughts often, you should consider renting a car. If this option seems safer, check this website to find more info.
Each one of these places in France that won’t be filled to the brim with tourists is wonderful in its own way. Now that you know more about them, it’s time for you to decide which one to visit!