BY: Maria Valencia
Visiting underrated places in France offers a unique and authentic experience that goes beyond typical tourist destinations. These lesser-known places reveal the true essence of French culture, history and natural beauty. Exploring hidden gems allows travelers to escape the crowds and discover charming villages, picturesque landscapes and hidden historical sites off the beaten path.
You’ll have the opportunity to interact with locals, enjoy regional cuisine and immerse yourself in France’s rich traditions and customs. From hidden castles to undiscovered vineyards, these gems provide a sense of discovery and create lasting memories that showcase the hidden treasures of this enchanting country.
1. Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany
The northern French commune of Rochefort-en-Terre comes to mind when you imagine the ideal French community. This charming village will impress you. It is located on a mountaintop overlooking the valley of Arz and is dotted with historic buildings, restaurants, and art galleries.
2. Haut-Kœnigsbourg, Alsace
Although France is home to many castles, Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle is perhaps one of France’s best-kept secrets!
Haut-Knigsbourg Castle was first mentioned in writing in 1147. Castrum Estuphin was the earlier name of the castle. This fortress was well situated above the Alsatian plain, to keep an eye on the trade routes.
3. Nevers, Burgundy
One of those undiscovered French beauties that never ceases to amaze is Nevers. The Chapelle St. Marie, the church of St. Etienne, and the church of St. Bernadette du Banlay are notable churches here. You can also learn about the history of ceramic art (and visit traditional workshops).
4. Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux
One of these undiscovered jewels, aimed exclusively at wine lovers, is Saint-Emilion! This medieval village is one of many that offer wine-tasting opportunities in the Bordeaux region of France.
5. Aigues-Mortes, Provence
The salt flats are undoubtedly the main draw in this area, which you can explore on foot, by bike or by train (the “petit train”). For an extra adventure, you can book a boat trip on the beautiful Camargue rivers that surround this undiscovered jewel.
6. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Midi-Pyrenees
This settlement is special because it is part of the Parc Naturel Régional des Causses du Quercy, a UNESCO Global Geopark. It is hardly surprising that this undiscovered treasure of a village has been named one of France’s most beautiful communities.
7. Collioure, Languedoc-Roussillon
Notre-Dame-des-Anges Cathedral and the Château Royal de Collioure are just two of the many sights in the area.
Even if you are not a fan of history, you can enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, boating, or even dancing in the main square.
8. La Baule, Brittany
La Baule is praised as one of the most beautiful undiscovered secrets of France, mainly because of its beautiful bay and the longest beach in Europe. Undoubtedly, this city is praised for its beaches, but once you are in the city, there is still a lot to see and do.
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