Home to some of the most beautiful cities, towns and countrysides around that globe that attract visitors in their millions each year, a holiday in France is always a good idea.

Whether you’re seeking an outdoor adventure, or a relaxing wine retreat, a fairy tale getaway or a slick city break, there are plenty of dream destinations in France waiting to be uncovered. While the popular spots of Paris, Normandy and Bordeaux are always a good idea, discover these other destinations that will make you fall in love with holidays in France. 


Dijon, Burgundy

With its historic centre, lively streets and stunning half-timbered houses, Dijon is one of France’s most appealing cities. Filled with majestic medieval buildings dating back to 14th century when Dijon served as the capital of the Duchy of Burgundy, the compact centre makes for a wonderful city break for stress-free strolling with a side helping of cultural enlightenment and arguably the most exceptional food in Burgundy.

Lying on the footsteps of Burgundy’s wine route, it’s also a launchpad for oenophiles looking to live out their best bacchanal fantasises; savour the flavour of a fine vin jaune in its home: Jura, one of France’s smallest wine regions where wine, cheese, and outdoor pursuits culminate in the ultimate off-the-beaten-path journey.

At Burgundy’s rural heart lies the Morvan National Park, a wildlife lover’s paradise filled with over 50 species living amongst the undergrowth and meadows, as well as lakes, picturesque villages and manmade reservoirs built for timber-rafting. Many family-run brasseries can be found in the area peppered through the tree-shaded squares where the region’s signature dish, Boeuf Bourguignon, can be sampled along with scores of other local specialities. 

Annecy lake from Col du Forcla paraglide

Annecy, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Nestled on the shores of its namesake lake, Annecy is the jewel of Haute-Savoie. Situated near the border with Switzerland, it was made famous by the medieval Counts of Geneva and Dukes of Savoy and is home to numerous well-preserved 16th and 17th-century buildings celebrating its heritage.

While it might be the size of a city, Annecy keeps all the quaint charms of a small alpine village with its colourful homes and beautiful canals trickling through town earning it the reputation of the Alpine Venice” or Pearl of French Alps”. Explore the restored Château d’Annecy, listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1959, before making your way to the historic Vieille Ville (Old Town) to see the Île Palace, the former prison-cum-courthouse which today serves as the Annecy History museum. 

Annecy’s pièce de resistance is its stunning Lac d’Annecy, one of the largest lakes in France and rumoured to be the cleanest in Europe. Sitting at the foothills of snow-capped mountains and speckled with swans and rowing boats, the best way to appreciate the beauty of the lake and the surrounding scenery is by booking a boat trip or hiring a pedalo or small motorboat.

The city’s discreet location makes it the perfect day trip location from other destinations including Chambéry, an Alpine town and secret gem hidden in southeast France boasting another spectacular medieval castle that showcases stunning exhibits throughout the year, as well as fantastic food. Here are some ideas on what to eat in Auvergne Rhone-Alps.

Carmargue National Park Salt Lake

Camargue National Park, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Birdwatching, horse riding, hiking, cycling, riverboat trips and remote Mediterranean beaches, the Camargue is a much-loved National Park and close to paradise on the planet.

Boasting a large UNESCO designated biosphere reserve and wonderous wetlands — said to be the largest of Europe — where hundreds of thousands of migrating birds flock each year, photographers come in their droves to try and capture the park’s emblematic pink flamingos and elusive white horses, one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world. Living in semi-wild conditions, most are now used either by the Camargue’s traditional cowboys for herding and rounding up the area’s distinctive black bulls, or for pony trekking.

Visit the sansouires (salt flats) and étangs (small saltwater lakes) or explore the area’s marshlands interspersed with farms; this slow-go country is a timeless destination best discovered at your own pace. Once you’ve had enough of nature, visit the close by town of Arles to wander the golden-hued streets that once inspired Van Gogh, or venture further and stop off in the town of Juvignac neighbouring Montpellier, where balneotherapy treatments can be found in abundance.

Conques Street

Conques, Occitanie

One of the most important stops on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage, Conques prides itself on its unique Romanesque architecture. Located in the heart of the Lot Valley, the village is built on the site of the Abbey-Church of Sainte Foy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site constructed in the 11th century.

Home to an ornate tympanum depicting the Last Judgement, stunning stained-glass windows and a trove of meticulously preserved religious treasures including the gold, bejewelled Reliquary of Sainte Foy statue, the medieval village nestled within the lush green mountains of the Midi-Pyrénées region is the town that time forgot. Boasting an abundance of narrow historic alleyways and winding streets, larger vehicles are not able to enter, meaning it a pedestrian’s paradise. 

The nearby destinations of Albi and Toulouse are great places to place yourself for a day of exploring Conques, while also allowing for a twin-stop holiday to pair the trip with a weekend exploring the wonders of the Pink City and its surrounding areas.

Cassis old town port promenade

Cassis, Provence

Featuring a rugged coastline outlined by craggy mountains and limestone hills flanked by azure waters, Cassis is a postcard-perfect Mediterranean fishing port located in southern France.

Overlooked by a centuries-old château, it’s known for pebbly beaches, striking Calanques National Park, pastel-coloured buildings and intimate local vineyards that produce Cassis wine. Try your hand at a game of pétanque or trek to the rocky Cap Canaille headland for panoramic sea views from the highest sea cliff in all of France. 

A trip to Provence would feel incomplete without a venture to visit one of the areas famed lavender fields to meander through but if you’re short on time, make sure to sample some local lavender flavour in Cassis.

To make the most of your trip, plan a road trip along the French Riviera travelling from Menton to Marseille and make Cassis one of your stop-off points for exploration. From Nice’s Promenade des Anglais and Cannes’ glittering red-carpet haunts to the lounging around the multicultural harbour city of Marseille to taste some of the best dishes in the South of France, a cruise along Cote d’Azur is iconic.


Lille, Northern France


Close to the Belgian border, Lille is an enchanting city in northern France, famous for the Grande Braderie de Lille, which takes place in September when street markets line the city for 48 hours transforming the city into a buzzing bazaar.

If you’re a foodie fond of French-Flemish Fare including waffles, mussels and French fries, Lille is your stomping ground and after a hearty meal in some of Lille’s best restaurants, roam the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, one of the county’s largest fine arts museum, to get lost among the 72,000 ‑odd masterpieces from Tissot, Rembrandt, and Goya that were founded by works seized by the French Revolutionary armies.

Choice Hotels in France