Paris is everywhere. And yet it is not the most beautiful place France has to show. This country is so beloved that many of us are already planning to visit France on our first getaway to Europe when we can travel safely again. But you shouldn’t just visit Paris. Stretching from the Atlantic to the Cote d’Azur, and from the Alps to the Channel Islands, here are 5 enchanting places away from Paris that deserve your attention and that, perhaps, will make you reconsider your love for the French capital.
In the capital of Burgundy, it is almost mandatory to leave aside the famous wine of the region and replace it with some other French magic: mustard. The best bulk and packaged mustard are sold at the corner boutique Maille with a wood-lined shop window, according to the recipe invented in 1747 by Antoine Maille.
Dijon is one of the places away from Paris that was favored by Maille thanks to its location on the Spice Road in Roman times. In addition, its inhabitants have a tradition of spicy food. Therefore, the city soon turned into today’s paradise for gourmets everywhere!
Dijon is pretty far away from the French capital. However, this can be one of the most enjoyable day trips if you take the TGV from the Paris Gare de Lyon. You’ll arrive in this charming town in just 1.5 hours!
It’s only 90 minutes from Paris, but here champagne is not a luxury. The whole area is paved with endless vineyards waiting to hand over their harvest to be transported to the cool cellars of medieval towers and sparkling wine houses. They also say that in the Champagne region the air has a sweet “taste”.
Large brands and small producers who learned the art from their grandparents make the most famous sparkling wine at almost always low temperatures. A bottle opens, and the bubbles tickle the palate while the roasted trout and wild mushrooms become the perfect companions to the makeshift parties in wineries.
One of the Paris train trips I recommend is to Champagne. And one of the best train trips will take you on a picturesque tour of this famous wine region.
Parisians leave the capital in the summer to stay in the cottages of Saint-Malo, which they’ve built in the former infamous pirate base. The port city is located in northwestern France, in Brittany, and it opens on the English Channel.
Today, the area is famous for the natural phenomenon of low tide, but also for the best oysters. Although the old town looks really ancient, most of it was destroyed during World War II and restored after the Germans left, maintaining the 17th – 18th-century style.
Saint-Malo is also a popular option when looking for Paris day trips. It’s actually one of the best day trips you can book from the French capital.
The first Winter Olympics were held here in 1924, while the legendary Chamonix, in the shadow of Mont Blanc, has attracted dedicated skiers and alpinists for more than a century. The daring skiers speak with humility and respect for the steep slopes of the Grand-Montets in Argentiere and praise the “cruise” on the icy Vallee Blanche (necessarily with a guide). The White Valley, as it is called, is the longest freeway in the world.
Chamonix retains its 19th-century elegance and collides with neighboring Gstaad just an hour from Geneva. If you want to spend your precious vacation time in this truly enchanting place, you can turn to the company Erna Low, which offers complete accommodation packages at the most incredible prices, creating holiday programs that meet your needs exclusively.
5. Saint Tropez
The once major commercial port of all of France gained worldwide fame in the early 1950s thanks to Brigitte Bardot. Today, blue-bloods and celebrities mingle with common mortals and walk side by side through the city’s narrow medieval streets, in one of the poshest places away from Paris. Its emblem is none other than the Byblos Hotel, which, since 1967 when the explosive Bridget Bardot inaugurated it, is the good society’s favorite destination.
Everyone has walked the old town’s narrow alleys, from Picasso and Coco Chanel to Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse. The breeze musks jasmine and refreshes the senses, while impressive fountains cool the squares.
During the warmer months, enjoy some of the best weekend trips on a sailboat leaving from Saint Tropez. The French legislation doesn’t require a permit for renting a sailboat. However, I strongly advise going out at sea with someone who has some experience sailing, because the rigging isn’t really a piece of cake.
There you have it! Now you have five more places away from Paris to discover.