If you think you’ve seen everything France has to offer, think again! Beyond the well-known landmarks, this country is filled with hidden treasures just waiting to be explored by the daring traveler. And with the spring/summer season just around the corner, there’s no better time to pack your bags and set out to discover these off-the-beaten-path destinations.
From charming villages to breathtaking landscapes, here are your summer’s must-visit destinations that are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
BAIE DE SOMME
Welcome to one of France’s top hidden gems, Baie de Somme, a land of endless possibilities and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered! If you’re looking for a weekend getaway filled with adventure, relaxation, and breathtaking scenery, look no further than this charming region in northern France.
At the Pointe du Hourdel, get ready to be amazed by the playful seals that populate the area. Watch them sunbathe on the rocks or swim in the crystal-clear waters of the bay, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a magical world. And speaking of magical worlds, a visit to Saint Valéry sur Somme will transport you back in time to the medieval era with its charming architecture and narrow streets.
For a luxurious treat, head to Spa Samaris and indulge in a pampering session with stunning views of the bay. If you’re looking for some natural wonders, head to the cliffs of Ault and marvel at their majestic beauty.
Stroll along the seafront of Mers les Bains and soak up the lively atmosphere of this charming town, or take a walk on the Dunes of Fort Mahon beach and feel the sand between your toes. And if you’re a history buff or a train enthusiast, don’t miss the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme, where you can take a journey through time on board historical trains that have been lovingly restored by a team of dedicated enthusiasts.
But that’s not all – the Baie de Somme has, even more, to offer for those who want to stay longer and explore the region further. From quaint villages and charming towns to natural reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, there’s something for everyone in this breathtaking corner of France.
ILE DE PORQUEROLLES
Escape the crowds and indulge in the beauty of nature at Ile de Porquerolles, the largest of the three French Golden Islands. Located in the Mediterranean and part of the Port-Cros National Park, this island is a real sanctuary for nature lovers. Bikes are the best way to get around the island, as cars are not allowed. You can stroll in the town, have a picnic by the dreamy turquoise water, visit the historic 84 meters lighthouse, explore exceptional diving sites, or visit Fort Saint Agathe and the Moulin du Bonheur. Porquerolles has it all!
For a gourmet pause, head to L’Olivier, one of the fine restaurants of the hotel Le Mas du Langoustier. Chef Gabriel Perona and his team will make you discover their tasty and delicate cuisine with southern accents – all while enjoying a heavenly view.
Discover the most beautiful beaches of the Var, such as Argent beach and Notre Dame beach. Explore the Mediterranean National Botanical Conservatory and the Maison du Parc, and browse the impressive collection of contemporary art of the Villa Carmignac, Re-opening this April 29th with the L’ÎLE INTÉRIEURE Exhibition. Don’t forget to taste the vintages of the wine estates of the island “Domain de l’Ile“.
Wine and viticulture have been part of the DNA of Porquerolles since its acquisition by François-Joseph Fournier in 1911. The island is home to two wine estates, the Domaine de l’île and La Courtade. The terroir of Porquerolles, shimmering with thousand-year-old and so special schists, gives the wine a delicious taste.
Make your crossing to Porquerolles today and experience the island’s rich culture, heritage, and cuisine!
Step into a world of culture and creativity at the Château d’Oléron, where visual arts take center stage. Wander through the old town and discover a village of creators unlike any other. Here, oyster farmers and artisans come together to showcase their talents in over thirty multicolored ateliers.
Open all year round, these workshops offer a permanent hub of artistic and tourist entertainment. Take a stroll along the charming canals and watch the barges filled with oyster bags glide by, before stepping into the vibrant ateliers to explore the unique universes of passionate artists and craftsmen. From painting and sculpture to ceramics and cutlery, the variety of trades and materials will leave you in awe.
After a day of exploring, head to Au Gré Du Vin for some refined cuisine featuring fresh seafood products and expert wine pairing. And for history buffs, the citadel of the Château d’Oléron is an essential site to visit. Originally constructed by Richelieu in 1630, the citadel has undergone various modifications and expansions over the years. Today, completely rehabilitated and open for year-round visits, it offers breathtaking viewpoints of the oyster port and the stunning Pertuis Charentais, as well as temporary exhibitions in the powder keg and the arsenal house during the summer.
From oyster huts to artists’ huts, the Château d’Oléron is a hidden gem that offers a wealth of history, culture, and artistic inspiration. So come and discover the beauty and creativity of this exceptional place for yourself!
Welcome to Colmar, the charming canalside city located in the heart of Alsace, France, between Strasbourg and Mulhouse. This city is often referred to as the “Little Venice” of France, and it’s not hard to see why. Strolling through the colorful streets and alongside the canals, you’ll be transported to a magical world that inspired the village in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
When you’re in Colmar, make sure to visit the Unterlinden Museum. This former Dominican convent is now a must-see destination for art lovers, with its impressive collection of Rhenish art, including paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Don’t miss the famous Issenheim altarpiece by Mathias Grünewald, housed within the museum.
Explore the old district of Colmar, where you’ll find picturesque half-timbered houses and facades adorned with wrought iron signs, adding to the city’s charm. The small bridges adorned with flowers are also a highlight of the city. Colmar is also situated in the heart of the Alsace wine road, known as the “Route des vins d’Alsace,” and is considered the “capital of Alsace wines.”
There are numerous wine domains to visit just 20 minutes away by car, including the Mann domain. You’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the best wines in the region and learn about the wine-making process from the locals. Colmar is truly a hidden gem of France, waiting to be discovered by those seeking a unique and enchanting experience.
For more on luxury lifestyle, travel, and news follow our Instagram and subscribe to our VIP network to access special invites, discounts, and upgrades.