FOUR BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS IN FRANCE FOR A PICTURESQUE ESCAPADE

BAIE DE SOMME

The Bay of the Somme is located on the coast of Picardy in France. This exceptional destination away from the crowds gives a feeling of being at the other end of the world with its cliffs, sands, dunes, pebbles and marshes. Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme offers you the opportunity to discover the railway heritage of the region by traveling on board of historical trains, on the former “Réseau des Bains de Mer”. This line opened in 1887 and has been entirely preserved by the Association since 1971.

Traveling onboard these trains means diving back into the “Belle-Epoque” atmosphere, at a rate of 25 km per hour to discover a collection of railway equipment restored over the years by a team of enthusiasts. This itinerary crosses a variety of breathtaking landscapes that differ according to the season.

The paths you can choose from are:

  • Le Crotoy < > Saint-Valery (Entre Terre & Mer)
  • Saint Valery < > Cayeux-sur-Mer (Les Bas-Champs)
  • Le Crotoy < > Cayeux-sur-Mer (Le Grand Large)

Among the offers, you can have a tour with a guide sharing the history of the railroad along the way, a day of immersion with their team, in the driving cab of a steam locomotive, or a dinner at sunset in a real steam train. Find the offers here.

ILE DE PORQUEROLLES

If you are looking to escape the excess of the Côte d’Azur, Ile de Porquerolles is exactly what you need. This island is the largest of the three French Golden Islands. It is located in the Mediterranean, offshore the city of Hyères-les-Palmiers, in the department of Var. This site is a real sanctuary of nature, as it is part of the Port-Cros National Park, one of the eleven national centers for the protection of nature and biodiversity in France.

Since cars are not allowed on the island, the best way to get around is by bike. Whether you want to take a stroll in the town, have a picnic by the dreamy turquoise water, visit the historic 84 meters lighthouse built in 1830, live a wine tasting experience in one of its three exceptional wine domains, have a boat day or a beach day…

Porquerolles definitely has it all! For a gourmet pause, head to L’Olivier, one of the fine restaurants of the hotel Le Mas du Langoustier, where Chef Gabriel Perona and his team will make you discover their tasty and delicate cuisine with southern accents – and the benefit of a heavenly view.

CHATEAU D’OLÉRON

As the historical capital of the French island of Oléron, located at the south-eastern end of the island, Le Château d’Oléron boasts a very rich heritage and history. One of its emblematic spots is its citadel: Richelieu ordered its construction in 1630 on the remains of the old medieval castle. Bombed during the Second World War, it was only rebuilt in the 80’s and is now totally rehabilitated.

The Château d’Oléron is above all a place of culture that celebrates visual arts. In the heart of the old town, about thirty artists and craftsmen welcome you in their multicolored ateliers. You will encounter unique universes, a wide variety of crafts and materials, and above all, passionate people with many skills: painting, sculpture, ceramics or cutlery, among others. You can also enjoy a walk on the ramparts along the waterfront to unwind in this exceptional place.

We highly recommend heading to Au Gré Du Vin for refined cuisine with fresh seafood products and wine pairing.

—COLMAR—

Nicknamed “Little Venice” of France, Colmar is a canalside city located in the center of Alsace, between the two other major industrial centers of Strasbourg and Mulhouse. It was apparently the inspiration for the village in the Disney film Beauty and the Beast, and when you wander through its colorful streets, you’ll definitely understand why.

The Unterlinden Museum, dedicated to Rhenish art, is one of the city’s must-see places. Exhibiting paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, this former Dominican convent also houses the famous Issenheim altarpiece, a work by Mathias Grünewald. The old district, with its old half-timbered houses and facades decorated with old wrought iron signs, as well as the small bridges decorated with flowers, highly contributes to the charm of the city. Colmar is also in the heart of the Alsace wine road (“Route des vins d’Alsace“).

It is nicknamed the “capital of Alsace wines“, and this is why numerous wine domains are accessible only 20 minutes away by car. Among them, you can visit the Mann domain.


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