10 Best Villages In France For A Relaxing Vacation

When you think about traveling through Europe, France is always on everyone’s list and deservedly so! But if you are looking for a peaceful European vacation , the major cities are the last place you would want to go. Sure they have their Eiffel Towers, but sometimes don’t you want to just relax and enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine and no honking and screeching of cars? If your answer is yes then we have an exciting list of towns and villages in France you should visit to see the real Europe. With ancient castles to delicious wine yards we have you covered!
 
 

1) Ars-en-Re

 

Image Source: Guillaume Cattiaux/flickr

It is said all good things come in tiny packages, and Ars-en-Re just proves it right. Located on the western coast of France, this small village has been attracting tourists from all over the world. With its beautiful streets that host a good amount of delicious restaurants to pristine beaches, Ars-en-Re has everything you would expect in a classic European village
 
Nearest city: Saint-Martin-de-Re
 
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2) Annecy 

 

Image Source: Kosala Bandara/flickr  

This next entry on our list might be something straight out of a fairy tale. It is located in the Upper Savoy region of eastern France and consists some of the most picturesque locations in entire Europe. That may sound like a bold statement to make but when you see the famous Palais de I’Isle, a 12th century castle located in this very village in France. Apart from a beautiful castle Annecy also has some of the prettiest canals in Europe. Now who wouldn’t like that combination?
 
Nearest City: Geneva
 
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3) Colmar

 

Image Source: Flavio Ensiki/flickr

When someone thinks about traditional European villages we are sure they think about this village, and why wouldn’t they? With colorful homes to beautiful canals, Colmar ticks every box in the list.  But that’s not the only highlight of this town. Almost every year tourists and travelers from all over the world flood the streets of Colmar for the canoe trip on the canals.  If you are not a canoe-ing person we suggest you visit the famous cafes and just take in the beauty of Europe. 

Nearest City: Freiburg
 
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4) Eguisheim

 

Image Source: Tambako The Jaguar/flickr

This next village on our list sounds and looks like a city from the Middle Earth. From old castles to traditional French houses, this small village in France is known for its architectural beauty. Apart from that this town has a huge collection of wine cellars and wine bars whose sole purpose is to serve you delicious French wine. It was also voted as the best French village in 2013. If sipping wine and taking a stroll through Rivendell has been on your list you know where to come now.

Nearby City: Haut-Rhin
 
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5) Beynac-et-Cazenac

   
 Image Source: Ben Salter/flickr

We are pretty sure Bob Ross got his inspiration from this place, and why wouldn’t he? From its medieval architecture to a beautiful county, this place has everything that you will need for a peaceful frence gateway.  It is highly recommended to visit the antique shops in the town, and while you are at it, don’t forget to check out the amazing wine cellars there. For a perfect evening catch the sunset on the cliff with a bottle of wine.

Nearest City: Dordogne
 
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6) Etretat

 

Image Source: Cristian Bortes/flickr  

Often known as the crown of Normandy, Etretat is a picturesque and very lively French town. On the streets you will find many souvenir shops and huge markets, but if you do not want to be a typical tourist we recommend you hike the famous cliffs with the three arches and catch the sunset. On your way up you might also want to stop by the church of Notre Dame de la Grade and offer your prayer for a safe passage. 

Nearest City: Beauvais-Tille
 
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7) Gordes

 

Image Source:momo/flickr

It will be a sin if we do not include the towns of Provence in this list. Like the rest of Provence, Gordes is unimaginably beautiful, but what separate it from the rest are its sheer charm and a much laid back vibe. This rare combination isn’t the only highlight of this Roman era town, as it also covered with fields of valleys and cliffs. If watching a sunset over lavender valley isn’t on your list, you are missing out on something very special. 

Nearest City: Marseille
 
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8) Lourmarin

 

Image Source: Guillaume Baviere/flickr

As mentioned earlier Provence have some of the prettiest towns in France, but Lourmarin just might be best of the bunch. If you don’t believe us just ask the thousands of people who travel across the country to visit this place. What’s so special about this place? Well, everything from its history to the sheer beauty it offers. The streets are always filled with modern art galleries and scent of lavender. Doesn’t it sound like a perfect place for a Christmas holiday?

Nearest City: Aix-en-Provence
 
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9) Riquewihr 

 

Image Source: Pug Girl/flickr

Riquewihr is a stunning 16th century town located on the Alsatian Wine Route. As you stroll through the streets you will notice the colorful wooden houses that are a trademark of French architecture and pathways entirely made up of cobblestones. But the main attraction of this town is of course the world-renowned Alsatian wine which is in abundance here. You can visit the wine yards located in the countryside and pick up a bottle or two for your journey back home. While you are there, who is stopping you from sipping some delicious Alsatian Wine in the Alsatian region itself?

Nearest City: Provence
 
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10) Rochefort-en-Terre 

  
Image Source: Francis Theveneau/flickr

This medieval era town will take you right back to the Renaissance era France. It wouldn’t be very surprising if you get lost admiring the ancient mansions and castles. The streets are filled with scent of red geranium and beautiful antique shops which showcases the finest works of many French artists over the century. It is a small town but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people visiting this place every year. 

Nearest City: Brittany
 
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People always say the real beauty of Europe lies in its villages and towns. If you don’t believe them, why don’t you go ahead and try to prove them wrong? After all traveling to France can never be a bad idea, right? 
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NIRAJ KAKADE NIRAJ KAKADE

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