October 28, 2016 2 min to read
France : Beyond the Tourist Traps
Category : Guides
Being as pretty as it is, it’s no surprise that France is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. However, being popular can come with its own downsides. For one, the popular tourist spots are often a sea of selfie stick-carrying, DSLR-slung, sunglasses wearing hordes. Fret not, coz we have handpicked the perfect spots in France where you can be far away from the maddening crowds and admire this beautiful country without losing your sanity.
Château de Vincennes
A slight eastward detour from Versailles will land you at the front-yard of the the Chateau de Vincennes. It lacks the grandeur of Versailles but makes up for it with a remarkable history which dates back to 12th century. The chateau predates Versailles by a some hundred years and boasts of a massive keep and chapel that are open to visitors. After the tour, you can stroll through the park, go boating in the adjacent lake, relax and enjoy the afternoon.
Lac de Sainte-Croix
Created in 1970, following the creation of a dam, Lac de Sainte-Croixis is the closest you’ll get to a Mediterranean paradise in France. The pristine blue lake is surrounded by sandy beaches and towering mountains as it meanders towards the stunning Gorges du Verdon.
Often hailed as the Green Venice, this beautiful canal network was constructed sometime in the seventh century by a group of monks who settled in the area. A rowboat ride through the green grid reveals one of France’s best-kept secret. Protip : Hire a guide to do the heavy rowing so you can focus on enjoying the scenery.
Le Gouffre de Padirac
Saying this is the most beautiful hole in the ground in France doesn’t do it justice. But that’s simply what it is – a massive chasm that is part of an underground cave and river formation. Spelunking enthusiasts who dare to descend to the depths are greeted by turquoise blue waters and unique rock formations.
La Cité Episcopale d’Albi
France is choke-full of churches but this one is a little different. This medieval complex dates back to the 10th century and comprises of several buildings including the cathedral of Saint Cécile. The red and rusty hues of the buildings offers a welcome break from the grey and pallid churches found throughout the country.
Camargue is France’s version of the Outback, sans the Kangaroos. Prepared to be transported into a Haruki Murakami novel as hordes of white horses gallop through purple flowerbeds and flamingos soar above crystal blue waters. The nature reserve is best reached by car but we recommend a bicycle to really appreciate the surreal beauty of the landscape.
La Cirque de Gavarnie
A cirque is basically any mountain feature carved by icebergs. The melting ice that created the La Cirque de Gavarnie eroded it in the shape of a natural amphitheater. And it fits the place perfectly – you get a bird’s-eye view of the snowy peaks, towering waterfalls and the jagged cliffs strung above deep valleys. Try to capture the troop of horses against the stunning backdrop for the picture perfect shot.
Explore our handpicked France holiday packages!