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Unpsoilt places to visit in France for travel snobs

Unpsoilt places to visit in France for travel snobs

Considering its chic culture, natural beauty and unarguably great food, it’s not surprising that France is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Yet there’s no reason to battle the beach crowds while your staying in Nice or your St Tropez Villas, or fight for table space in a Parisian restaurant. There are plenty of beautiful places to visit in France worth discovering. Here are our favourite quiet, peaceful and unspoilt places to visit in France perfect for travel snobs everywhere…

1. Dijon – an ancient, relaxed, and architecturally rich capital of the Burgundy 

Dijon, places to visit in France on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Most visitors come to Dijon for its famous gourmet mustards but are then drawn into the sights of this enchanting old city. This picture-postcard town centre is a haven for classic architecture; two highlights are the Grand Ducal Palace and the beautifully gothic Dijon Cathedral.

2. Arles, Provence – a charming city in the South of France which makes a quiet and very relaxing city break

Arles, Provence

Arles is a city of creative flair, and in fact, many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings, such as Café Terrace at Night, were inspired by the laid-back charm of this pretty town. Open-air markets and art festivals occur regularly, offering visitors a taste of the local culture.

3. Epernay, Champagne – a wine capital, is surrounded by vines and makes a tranquil untouristy place to visit in France


In the heart of the Champagne district, among the rolling green hills and vineyards lies peaceful Epernay. This historic town is the perfect place to stop and ignore the clock for a while. Major Champagne houses have their headquarters here, housed within grand villas, most of which offer guided cellar tours and tastings.

4. Saint Malo – a beautiful and unspoilt historic French port in Brittany

Saint Malo in France

Saint Malo is famed for its many seafood restaurants, and oysters are its specialty. Visitors should spend a day in the small village of Cancale to taste this popular delicacy. Taking a stroll along the coastal path towards Pointe du Grouin offers peaceful scenery and great views of Mont St Michel.

5. Saumur – a beautiful city near the Loire river perfect for a peaceful French holiday

Saumur, places to visit in France on GlobalGrasshopper.com Photo

Perched between the Loire and Thouet rivers is the historic town of Saumur, in a region which is home to some of France’s best wineries. The chateaus and rolling vineyards provide a magical backdrop to the beautiful town centre, much of which is constructed from local Tuffeau stone.

6. Dieppe – a peaceful coastal community to visit in Franch which has a very important place in history

Dieppe, places to visit in France on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This sleepy port town sits on the edge of the English Channel, where visitors can take a tour of the breath-taking castle, Chateau de Dieppe, or enjoy the local scallops for which Dieppe is famous. The town also has historic ties to WW2 and there is a rather moving War Cemetery and monument south of the town centre.

7. Grasse – a quiet town located in the hills north of Nice which is synonymous with perfumery

Grasse, places to visit in France on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Considered the world capital of perfume, the pretty little hilltop town of Grasse produces over two-thirds of France’s natural fragrances. Visitors can stroll through the local perfumeries, take a guided tour, or visit the International Museum of Perfume.

8. Pau – the capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region and a quiet and unspoiled place to stay in France

Pau, places to visit in France on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Pau is perched on the northern edge of the Pyrenees. Its scenic walking trails and a funicular railway, which links Pau to the Gave de Pau valley, provide perfect opportunities to take advantage of the views. The Chateau de Pau, which has ties to Henry IV, Napoleon and Marie Antoinette, is the town’s most prominent monument.

9. Cognac – a peaceful French town located on the Charente River which is famous for its brandy

Cognac, places to visit in France on GlobalGrasshopper.com

The riverside town of Cognac is as laid back and classic as the brandy it shares its name with. The spirit cognac is of course produced here, and visitors can tour the process at one of the many cognac houses, as well as visit the six local vineyards which contribute to this famous drink.

10. Paris – a place where it’s possible to escape the crowds if you try hard enough

Moulin Rouge, Paris on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Yes, Paris can be peaceful too! Most visitors think the only chance to escape the crowds is to head back to their Paris hotels, but not so. The lively French capital has plenty of places where you can find some peace – one example, the UNESCO Peace Gardens, offers this in abundance. These Japanese gardens provide a beautiful, tranquil space to stop and unwind.

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With itchy feet, an inquisitive nature and an ardent wanderlust, Emma Clair has always been a traveller at heart. Hailing from the Emerald Isle she calls a tiny coastal town near Dublin home, but has lived in a few countries including Saigon, Vietnam where she resided for over a year. She counts supping on Bloody Marys on a rooftop in Manhattan, downing Singapore slings at the Raffles Hotel, daring a paraglide on the Grand Cayman, spending an exotic Christmas in Malaysia and exploring the Angkor Wat Tomb Raider-style as her all time favourite travel moments. Although, she’ll always have a special place in her heart for the city where she makes her annual pilgrimages – Paris, her true city of lights.


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    Katie Martin

    16 March, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I have never been to France, or Europe in fact, but this post made me want to hop on a plane right away! Like a few others said, the pictures are simply gorgeous. If you took them, bravo! If someone else did, good job finding them. Haha. I think Arles and Paris sound the most interesting to me, but probably only because I am not a huge fan of alcohol or seafood. Going to an open air market in Arles sounds perfectly lovely.
    Have you been to France a lot, or just a couple times and was able to see a lot of the country? Which is your favorite?

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    2 August, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Have you taken these photos? I have seen so many on your website, and they are just breathtaking and stunning if I can say so myself. France is very much an interesting place, particularly if you are looking to get away in some sort of romantic way. However, I would agree that the major tourist destinations like Paris can really deteriorate that sensation of love; because it is loud, busy, and there is not nearly as much peace there as one would expect. Escaping into the countrysides and so on is just a wonderful idea.

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    29 July, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Arles and Saint Malo are two of my favorite towns in France. Thanks for sharing and as usual I love the photos!!

    Kathryn @Travelfusion

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    Dharmendra Kr Rai

    28 July, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I like your travel stories and guides. A good collection of travel photos and great content taken from around the world, thanks!


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