France is one of the world’s most beloved and romantic destinations, but what if you want to get off the beaten track? If that’s the case, then we’ve got exactly what you need – ten absolutely stunning yet hidden gems in France, all waiting to be discovered.
From remote villages on the French Riviera to the incredible French Basque Country in Southwestern France, these hidden hideaways offer an unforgettable experience.
So stick your evasive answerphone message on at work and set sail for exploration as we take a trip through some of France’s best-kept secrets.
French Basque Country
The true hidden gems of France lie in the enchanting French Basque Country. From the picturesque fishing village at Espelette to Ainhoa’s 16th-century Gothic church, any traveler has plenty of reasons to be captivated by its charms.
For an unforgettable experience, you must take a trip to Guéthary — home to breathtaking views, delicious seafood restaurants, and access to some beautiful trails for the more adventurous visitor.
It is the perfect coastal town for a romantic getaway and sure to leave an indelible mark. For those looking for secret places off-the-beaten-path in France, the Basque Country offer just that.
As a yoga lover, the best way to discover the French Basque Country is by taking SwellWomen’s wonderful yoga retreat. On this retreat, we will not only take you to stunning places but also start the day with a spiritual yoga session, go on different surf spots, and eat some of the healthiest meals you could imagine.
Menton, Cote d’Azur
A visit to France isn’t complete without exploring some hidden gems that travelers often overlook. One must-see location is Menton on the French Riviera or Cote d’Azur.
Here, you can discover breathtaking coastlines, impossibly clear waters, and quaint cobblestone streets for a truly dazzling experience. Feeling inspired by all this beauty? You can even take a stroll through the city’s best markets, where you can bartend with locals and dine on succulent seafood dishes to get an authentic French taste.
And if you’re willing to spend a day roaming around the French Riviera, you could take a day trip from Nice to Monaco for a luxurious moment away.
Don’t let this unique and vibrant city go unnoticed – explore it for yourself soon and get lost amongst its secrets!
If you’re looking to get off the beaten track while exploring all France has to offer, Eguisheim in Alsace should be at the top of your list.
This charming village is a dream come true for any traveler; with its traditional houses made of red sandstone, picturesque cobbled lanes, and medieval clock tower, it looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.
The local restaurants serve up some delicious regional dishes – the ideal way to experience Alsace’s unique blend of French and German cuisine. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll along one of Eguisheim’s vineyards and enjoy the idyllic countryside views, complete with rolling green hills and mountains in the distance.
For those seeking adventure during their stay in France, there are numerous exciting activities nearby, like kayaking along the Marne River or taking part in a historic tour via horse carriage.
It goes without saying that a visit to Eguisheim is sure to provide you with memories that last a lifetime!
Lavender Fields in Provence
While it’s popular among the local French community, the lavender fields in Provence aren’t as popular among the international community.
And exploring the beautiful French countryside can be an utterly enchanting experience, and none more so than in Provence. Famous for its stunning lavender fields, this is a landscape of vibrant colors, fragrances, and flavors that captivate the senses.
As you stretch out along the valleys between quaint villages, it’s easy to get lost in the rolling cycle of nature as the insects buzz, birds sing, and the sun rises over majestic mountaintops.
You’ll find endless corners of joy and surprises amid these rolling lavender hills, from ancient vineyards to forgotten monasteries perched atop high cliffs – discover them for yourself on your journey.
To get a taste of the most beautiful hidden gems in France, start your journey in the small seaside town of Cancale in Brittany. Just walking the narrow cobblestone roads gives the feel of going back in time when fishing was among neighbors’ pastimes and croissants were daily indulgences.
Enjoy the fresh sea air while having a crêpe served with cider made from local apples – it’s an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss!
Make sure to check out hidden landmarks such as Notre-Dame de la Gueriniere Church and even a mid-17th century lighthouse, offering tremendous views of the harbor.
Journey through this magnificent seaside treasure and find yourself coming back for more.
Exploring the hidden gems in France is like discovering a secret treasure trove of culture and art. One such noteworthy spot is Troyes, in the Grand-Est region.
This city holds many marvelous things to behold, from its cobblestone streets lined with charming timber-framed houses to its vibrant marketplaces showcasing regional delicacies from honey cake to wine. Not to mention its awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral.
Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this delightful destination for a truly enriching experience that will leave you feeling enchanted and enlightened.
Plus, Troyes, as opposed to other cities in the region like Reims, doesn’t receive many tourists during the summer, which is an added bonus.
Saint-Paul de Vence, Alpes-Maritimes
Whether it’s for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or just a brief respite from everyday life, there is no denying the undeniable charm of France.
But rather than settling for clichéd locations, why not explore hidden gems of France, like Saint-Paul de Vence in Alpes-Maritimes, for example?
This quaint Provençal town blends breathtaking natural beauty with plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture.
With its secret alleyways and hidden streets, you can spend hours uncovering treasures that you couldn’t have imagined before. While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by the Folon Chapel, a stunning chapel worth visiting.
And before having a quick coffee break, you can check out the Esperon tower, a stunning piece of architecture in town.
Esterel Massif, Var
Esterel Massif in Var is one of France’s best-kept secrets. A land of deep red rock formations, vibrant colors, and soul-stirring sunsets – Esterel is heaven on Earth for the nature lover.
The area boasts some of the most spectacular coastal views you can experience without even leaving the mainland. The characteristic red ‘burned’ rocks make Esterel feel almost otherworldly, magical; imagine walking through here at sunset as shafts of gorgeous golden light beam down from between the rocks.
Whether you choose a guided tour or opt for a solo journey, venturing to this little-known region is a must if you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track French experience.
Metz, located in the French region of Grand-Est, is another hidden gem that should not be overlooked. From the imposing Notre Dame de Metz Cathedral to the tranquil Musee de la Cour d’Or, Metz has something for everyone.
Bordering Germany and Luxembourg, it’s heavily influenced by German culture while remaining very much French. Tourists looking to explore can visit a host of interesting sites, such as La Luciole Monument or Les Trinitaires Music Hall, or get lost in the beauty of Parc de la Seille.
Whatever your preference, an incredible time awaits in Metz; be sure to check it out when planning your next big trip to France.
Few experiences can be as romantic as visiting Besançon, France’s hidden gem in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. With its gorgeous structures and beautiful landscapes, it’s no surprise travelers are drawn to the city from all over the world.
The impressive Citadel of Besançon offers a view of the glorious hills surrounding it, while other notable sites like Saint-Jean Cathedral are not to be missed.
Add to that a ton supply of quaint bistros and sidewalk eateries offering French cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients and you have yourself the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.
France has so much to offer travelers, and with this list of hidden gems, you will be sure to have an unforgettable trip.
From the stunning beaches of the French Basque Country to the lavender fields of Provence, we’re confident you’ll find your happy place here.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or simply want to explore someplace new, France offers plenty of unique experiences that are just waiting to be discovered.
About the Author – Travel Guide by Stefan | Tricks, and Trips
Stefan is a full-time European traveler that lived in 6 countries and has been working online for the past 4 years. He started his blog in 2018 to share photos, moments, and trips to make the most of your travels.
Currently, on Tricks and Trips, he covers the places he visited as well as some tricks to make a living on the road. His favorite places to travel to are Europe and Southeast Asia. Check him out!