8 places in the French countryside that you must visit

Talking about a vacation in France, the gorgeous Paris, Cannes, Lyon, and Versailles flash in our minds.  If your soul and eyes are weary of the urban ambiance, look for a few days break in the charming French countryside to infuse a fresh dose of life in your veins. Do not get disillusioned by the tongue-twisting names of these small villages. Honestly speaking, to explore France thoroughly, one should have a glimpse of its countryside wonders.

Vienne:

Vienne

Just an 18-minute train journey from Lyon and you enter a real French paradise. Revisit the ancient historical era by exploring the Roman ruins and the amphitheater. The dainty cafes surrounding the ruins offer tasty wines much to the tourists’ delight.

Take a stroll along the river bank to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the church and do not miss out on a visit to the park nearby. For some exclusive shopping, surf the adjoining craft shops and boutiques.

Annecy:

This small lake-side town unravels an unexpected beauty of this country. Known as the Venice of Alps for its canals and cobblestoned streets, this small town offers wonderful sights all around.

Whether you enjoy a picnic in the European Gardens beside the lake or take a plunge in its crystal clear water, it is sheer enjoyment. The pastel houses and tiny flower boxes are luring enough for the shutterbugs. Lastly, you won’t like to miss the Sunday Market – one of the best in this country – and get delighted by the delicacies and pleasant surprises spread before you.

Bourg-en-Bresse:

Bourg-en-Bresse

A 40-minute train ride from Lyon would take you to this small dainty town in the Bourgogne region.  A relaxed ambiance awaits you, where you chill out with friends and folks. The town may have some oldish vibes, but the cool shops reveal that it not far away from modernity.

The stunning churches and buildings, though blended into modern forms, still give off the classic European feel. Time flies off in a whisk while relaxing in the main square sipping the choicest beverage and appreciating the gorgeous water structure located right at the center.

French Riviera:

The countryside dotting the Riviera is a much sought after retreat by the tourists tired of hectic sightseeing trips. High-end accommodations, alongside the wallet-friendly ones, are widely available in the local towns. Tourists enjoy a gala time mainly in Cannes, Antibes, St. Tropez, La Turbie and Nice.

Avignon:

Avignon

You can name it as the museum of ancient history. One of the World Heritage sites, Avignon houses the Victor Hugo famous Notre-Dame des Doms Cathedral along with many other historical attractions. Pope’s Palace, the Avignon Bridge, City Hall, Hotel des Monnaies, and the Ramparts are top attractions here.

Music lovers can have a good time enjoying live music and entertainment at Place du Palais.  The Collection Lambert Avignon, a popular museum of contemporary art always buzzes with the gathering the art lovers. Shopaholics can unwind in Avignon’s fifth avenue and Place des Carmes. Avignon’s central market offers the top choices for a memorable gastronomic venture.

Beuvron-en-Auge, Calvados, Normandy:

A quaint village located amidst the luxuriant meadows dotted by ancient half-timbered houses beckons the nature lovers. It would be tough to find a better countryside than this hidden gem displaying a grand range of colors in the natural vegetation. A sumptuous restaurant in the magnificent old market provides the ultimate satisfaction.

Arles:

Arles

Known as the Little Rome since the Roman colonial days, this neat countryside is just a few steps away from Avignon. Ancient Roman ruins form the main attraction, which includes a Roman Theater, a Roman bathhouse, the Elysian fields, and St. Trophime Church. You can enjoy a bullfight or any other show in the preserved Amphitheater d’Arles and get fascinated by the brilliant picturesque view of the Arles from the top.

Arles is popular for Van Gogh, whose artistic soul found solace in this sunny countryside. Art lovers would be delighted to walk down the Van Gogh trail and visit the yellow Van Gogh café and the hospital that sheltered him for some time.

Flavigny, Cote-d’Or, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte:

You may have difficulty in reading out the name, but the pleasant scenery will remind you of school day drawings of houses with perfect isosceles and equilateral triangle shaped roofs. It seems an artist’s immaculate drawing has set up this wonderful village.

Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp favored the undulations of this land to enhance their portrayal of on-screen characters. Two millennia ago, it was chosen by Julius Caesar as the base camp. Caesar, or maybe other Romans introduced anis plant in this land. Since then, anis-based sweets have been spreading their delicious aroma admired by the modern day travelers as well.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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