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  • Culture  /  Voyage

    9 little-known, Instagram-worthy places to visit in France

    03 November 2019

    Versailles, the Louvre, Mont Saint-Michel, Château de Chenonceau. The list of France’s top attractions is impressive, but so can be the throngs of tourists who flock to them in their millions every year, flooding our social media feeds in the process. Sick of the same sights? We got you.

     

    Whether you’ve entered our Road Trip to France Competition (If not, what are you waiting for?!) or just planning a trip away, here are nine of the most Instagram-worthy (and little-known) attractions away from the crowds to add to your must-visit list!

     

    OG Versailles 

    For sumptuous surroundings without the queues head to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17th century palace that served as inspiration for Versailles just 55km from Paris. The furnished chateau is part of a private estate – the largest in France.

     

    Fairytale castle

    In Brittany the beguiling Josselin Castle stands tall over the River Oust, which reflects the charming 14th century towers in a scene fit for a fairytale. The castle and gardens are open from April until October, with a medieval festival in July.

     

    International masterpiece tucked away in Paris 

    The French Communist Party Headquarters on Place Colonel Fabien, 19th arrondissement, tends to only attract pilgrims with an eye for modern architecture. Opened in the 1970s, the striking building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, one of the architects behind the UN headquarters in New York.

     

    Venice of Provence

    With canals and waterwheels befitting of a postcard, the town of L’Isle Sur la Sorgue bursts with colour under the Provencal sun. Around 25km southeast of Avignon, the town is also home to a host of antique stores along whimsical streets.

     

    Feast for the eyes

    La Colombe d’Or restaurant in Saint Paul de Vence is renowned for being a favourite of A-listers, but bagging a table here gets you more than a posh meal. The restaurant is home to a private art collection that includes works by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, who left sketches and paintings in lieu of meals and accommodation.

     

    Step back in time

    One of France’s best-preserved small towns, Dinan’s cobbled streets and half-timbered homes are the definition of quaint. It’s easy to imagine a Disney Prince Charming riding to the rescue through the walled town, which is found on the Breton coast.

     

    Automotive art on the Cote D’Azur

    Whether it’s a classic Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar or Renault like Brigitte Bardot’s, a Riviera road-trip in a mid-century motor is what dreams are made of. Rent A Classic Car in Nice has a collection to make any petrol head cry ‘ooh la la’ and worth a visit even if it’s just to fawn over the iconic designs.

     

    Railway station where delays are welcome

    The terminal of Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry soars over passengers making their way to and from the airport. The striking design, resembling a bird in flight, was created by Santiago Calatrava – the Spanish architect behind the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Valencia and New York’s Oculus.

     

    Otherworldly underground

    Vast caverns, enchanting pools and beguiling prehistoric wall paintings make the cave of Saint Marcel d’Ardeche a unique visit. The cave is part of a 57km network of tunnels and halls, 600m of which are open to the public.

     

    Win your own road trip to France for two, thanks to Renault!
    Two people, ten days, nine nights, four cities, twenty hours of language lessons and one chic Renault car: a specially curated adventure of French culture, food and wine could be yours.

     

    Enter here: https://www.sofrenchysochic.com/road-trip/