Hidden Gems of the French Countryside You Need to Visit

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

Most tourists single out Paris as their only stop in France. However, this is the worst way to experience the best that France has to offer. In fact, plenty of hidden gems are tucked in small areas of France, waiting to be discovered by you.

Follow our list of the best places to visit in France besides Paris. Discover the unique history and supreme wonders that the countryside has to offer.


Cassis France
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There’s a reason why the south of France is so popular with the rich and famous. This Mediterranean town is well-known for its craggy cliffs that offer a stunning view of the bright blue ocean.

The beaches in Cassis are a stunning destination. Consider grabbing a classic French sandwich and bottle of wine to bring to the beach to eat in the best sunny destination in Europe.


Menton France
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Sitting on the French Riviera, Menton is a small town known for its beaches and stunning gardens with rare and unique lilies.

The town’s architecture dates back to the 15th Century with strong medieval influences. Visit the Basilique Saint-Micheal to see stunning pieces of 18th-century art and Gothic architecture.


Giverny France
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Giverny is an art lover’s dream. Home to the garden where Monet painted his infamous water lilies. Although this is a humble town close to Normandy, it’s a must on anyone’s Northern French itinerary.

Take a tour of the Claude Monet Museum to see the gardens where the artist lived and painted. Another museum nearby celebrates the impressionists of the same era.


Riquewihr France
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This picturesque and colorful town sits on the Alsace Wine Route in the east of France. Although this town might look like a cottage town from Germany, Riquewihr is famous for its wine-making.

Activities here include participating in several wine tastings and visiting the 14th-century prison, Tour des Voleurs, where they still have instruments used in medieval times.


Eze France
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Situated in southeastern France, Éze is a town that combines the best of the French Alps and Riviera views.

The best thing to see in this small town is the Chateau de la Chevre d’Or, a castle carved into the side of a mountain. The view from this stunning Chateau is remarkable and will certainly put any view in Paris to shame.


Albi France
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Albi is located on the Tarn River in southern France and hosts a stunning 13th-century red-brick Gothic Cathedral right on the water.

This unique attraction is well worth the visit to this small town. The dramatic frescoes are a breathtaking experience that everyone should be able to experience.

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