Paris is a mine of gems, stacked with so much beauty for a traveler to experience to keep them nostalgic for life for the City Of Light. But before you immediately book your trip to Paris, consider this! The charming small towns of France are truly magical. Today, we want to spotlight five of the most quaint and delightful small towns in France for you to add to your travel itineraries!
What we love most about including this small towns into your travel plans is that it gives you a deeper, more authentic look into French lifestyle and culture. It’s important to travel for historic sights, it’s true! But, we believe seeing a varied glimpse into a place and its people is enlightening and educational.
An alpine town in the south of France, where Lake Annecy empties into the Thiou River. The old town (named Vieille Ville) of Annecy touts such a charming landscape, with cobble stoned streets, winding canals banking the brightly colored, slightly wonky homes. And just north, overlooking the city below, the former home of the Counts of Geneva houses a fantastic museum. Annecy is like the opening scene of Beauty & The Beast come to life. Each little quaint detail will be sure to appeal to any fairytale loving traveler’s dreams.
Just off the banks of the Herault gorge, the Medieval village of St-Guilhem-le-Désert awaits. Filled with burnt umber stone houses, ancient towers, opulent churches from ages ago, St-Guilhem-le-Désert feels like a relic of the past. This UNESCO jewel is the perfect spot for any traveler who wants a taste of what it must have been alive during the European Renaissance.
A lush playground of historic relics, Strasbourg sits pretty in the northern corner of France, snuggled up to the Germany and Switzerland borders. Strasbourg is the capital city of the region and is the formal place of the European Parliament, but despite the metropolitan perks, it still holds true to its blended German and French influences in culture and architecture.
Peruse the medieval bridges, canals lined by half-timbered homes, the old town square and nosh on sausage and sauerkraut dishes in the traditional wine rooms. Strasbourg perfectly encapsulates the many influences of the many cultures it is surrounded by. It’s the best of both worlds for a traveler hoping to see a new side of French life.
A commune in the heartland of Provence, best known for its stunning, sweeping rows of lavender fields.
Gordes sits atop a plateau and is filled with homes made from gray stones, a castle and storied church. Gordes village is quaint as it is ancient. Find yourself leisurely walking through the local markets, winding alleys and admiring the beautiful old doorways, arcades and restored stonework.
No stop in Gordes is complete without a look at Sénanque Abbey, a 12th century abbey overlooking purple fields of fresh lavender in the summer time.
Art lovers and appreciators should flock to Giverny to pay homage to Claude Monet and the impressionist art movement that started in this village. Yes, Giverny is Monet’s former home and famous gardens, where his world-known water lily series stemmed from. The water gardens await travelers who hope to soak in the beauty that inspired the impressionists so long ago.