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5 Places to visit in France that aren’t Paris

It’s hard not to fall in love with the City of Lights and the sparkling Eiffel Tower. But if you don’t see further than the French capital, you’d be missing out. From world-famous vineyards to jaw-dropping castles, France is a country that excites the senses. 

Here are five of the best place in France to add to your travel plans:


Loire Valley

"Chambord, France - July 31, 2009: Great panoramic of Chambord Chateau reflected in the canal in a summer day with blue sky. There are some unrecognizable people in the balconies"
JoseIgnacioSoto | iStock

For a scene straight from a fairytale, head to the Loire Valley. Southwest of the French capital, the area is famous for the grand chateaux fit for a Disney movie. The main attraction is Chateau de Chambord, whose architecture as luxurious as the Palace of Versailles. Other majestic buildings include Chateau de Clemenceau, Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau, and Chateau d’Usse.


Walls and towers of medieval castle of Carcassonne, France
Sokol25 | iStock

Have you played the board game Carcassonne? It’s named after a famous medieval city in France’s Occitanie region that you can visit on an Insight Vacations tour. The hilltop area feels like travelling back in time. Within the fortified city, you can see the castle with a drawbridge, climb the ramparts that provide an excellent view over the city and explore cobblestone alleys lined with shops and restaurants.


landscape view of Saint Emilion village in Bordeaux region in France
OceanProd | iStock

If you love to sip a glass of full-bodied red wine amidst sun-drenched vineyards, Bordeaux is the holy grail. The area in the South of France is a world-famous wine-growing regionthat you can explore on an AmaWaterways river cruise. Or you can start your journey at the fun and interactive Cité du Vin museum, then tour some of the chateaux around St. Emilion to explorethe grapevines and see how wine is made.

Cote d’Azur

Luxury resort of Villefranche sur Mer. French Riviera, Cote d'Azur, France
Bareta | iStock
Also known as the French Riviera, the beautiful Cote d’Azur is a popular destination for tourists and celebrities. It has some of the world’s most famous beaches, like Monaco, Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez. When visiting, you’ll want to take a dip in the glistening turquoise waters that stretch along the Mediterranean coast. While relaxing on the beach, you might even spot a famous face or two.


Woman running on a lavender field in Provence, France
Bymuratdeniz | iStock

The area is renowned for breathtaking fields of lavender and quaint villages. But the flowers don’t bloom all year, so the best time to visit is from the end of June to the start of August.

During the lavender season, you can stroll between the rows bursting with fragrant flowers as far as the eye can see.It is a peaceful spot and relax (lavender is known as a stress-reliever), and purchase lavender lotions and bath products to pamper yourself at home.

Visit these places in France

Ready for your next big adventure? Speak to a CAA Travel Consultant for help with all your vacation planning needs. Visit us online or call 1-800-267-8713 for expert travel advice.

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