Off the Beaten Track: Regional France Experience

Hey guys! Today I have a guest post on France by Marie Nieves, a lifestyle blogger who is an avid lover of photography and regular author for several blogs. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.


Beauty is often hidden in most unexpected places and it just waits to be discovered. Since France certainly doesn’t lack in gorgeous beautiful vineyards, romantic villages and stunning cities, many of which remain undiscovered by tourists, it’s time for you to leave the regular tourist trails and follow your own path. Once you go off the beaten track, the real adventure starts, and all you have to do is sip wine, eat croissants and go with the flow.

Bordeaux, the Wine Capital

As the wine capital, Bordeaux is the place where you can taste the world’s most famous and finest wines. The UNESCO-listed city definitely lives up to its reputation with up to 60 versions of Bordeaux wines of different styles and countless vineyards where you can have a lovely picnic. Being also known as the City of Art and History, Bordeaux will delight you with its architectural monuments, such as the Basilica of St. Michael, the Saint-André Cathedral and the neo-classical Grand Theatre of Bordeaux, the oldest wooden framed opera house in Europe.

The Inspiring Region of Brittany

The hidden villages of Brittany that feature cobbled streets and authentic architecture are perfect for an off-the-beaten-track adventure. Explore the mysterious Paimpont and have a picnic in its ancient forest of Brocéliande which is believed to have been the home of King Arthur and Merlin the Wizard. Another hidden gem of Brittany, Locronan, is considered by many the most gorgeous village in France. The village looks as if it was frozen in time, since it’s not burdened by the modern trappings. While in the region, visit the monument of Mont Saint-Michel and its abbey, a UNESCO-listed site built on a huge rock, and taste its famous biscuits. Round up your trip to Brittany by visiting Cancale, a fishing village famous for its exquisite oysters which you must try over a glass of fine French wine.

Wine of the Loire Valley

Being famous for its exquisite wines, the Loire Valley will quench the thirst of any wine lover with its superb collection of every style of wine, from dry, sparkling and still too romantic red, elegant white and playful rosé. Numerous vineyards lie along the Loire River stretching over 300 miles and a walk through vines will make you want to have a glass right then and there. The region is also known for its medieval castles that were once homes of French royalty and that can match the ones in Tuscany. One of the most famous castles is located in Saumur, one of the five regions and the most picturesque city of the Loire Valley. Many underground tunnels that were once used as castle passages are now turned into wine cellars. For a different experience, you can explore the region by cruising along the Loire River and stopping for superb wine tastings.

Lavender of Provence

With its fine wine, lavender fields stretching for miles and evenings filled with the sounds of crickets, Provence will charm you in no time. The region also offers many gastronomic delights, such as the traditional Provençal ratatouille or lapin Provençal which you can not only try but also participate in making it by joining a cooking class as just one of many France tours. Of course, where there’s French cuisine, there’s also French wine, so you can visit Moulin de la Roque, a famous vineyard and taste the regional wine. You can also discover the beauties of Provence by train and visit its hilltop villages and the lavender capital, the Plateau de Sault where you can let its gentle scent seduce you.

Once you leave the ordinary tourist ways, you will quickly find yourself discovering the most beautiful sites in France. The land of fine wine and exquisite cuisine is just waiting to be explored.

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