Almost every region in France has something interesting to discover – quiet villages, stunning scenery, historical buildings lost in the countryside, beaches…
…so before rushing to visit the most popular regions why not think about somewhere else for a change? You can avoid the crowds and still have a great time discovering the ‘real’ France!
Plan your visit
To help you better plan which part of the country you would like to visit there are several ways below to start exploring:
- choose one of the regions below
- enter any place name in the dropdown box
- see French towns and villages for highlights in every region and department
Brittany: tourism and sightseeing
Visit Brittany, France
Brittany has an exceptional coastline with many beaches, fishing villages and islands, a remarkable historical heritage to be seen in the towns and villages and some of the finest prehistoric landmarks in the world – just a few of the reasons why so many people visit Brittany year after year!
Brittany is situated in north-west France with the English channel to the north, the Bay of Biscay to the south, and Rennes as region capital.
With 2000 kilometres of coast, numerous islands and beaches, ports and historical towns there is a great deal to discover – much more than you can expect to visit in a fortnight! For the most popular coastal destinations in the region see Brittany beaches and resorts.
Dordogne: tourism and sightseeing
Visit Dordogne, France
The Dordogne has stunning medieval castles, historical villages and towns, and the famous prehistoric caves of the UNESCO listed Vezere Valley to enjoy, each of them set in the attractive landscapes of the region, with rivers, forests and beautiful countryside, so it is no surprise that the Dordogne is one of the most popular destinations in France!
The Dordogne is one of our favourite departments in France, and because there is so much variety the main challenge is knowing where to start when describing the highlights – and for you to decide where to stay when you visit!
Note that the Dordogne area is quite large, perhaps two hours drive from north to south and a similar distance east to west, even more if the places are not close to the larger roads, so you are unlikely to see everything in one visit – no problem though, because you will certainly want to come back again!
Cote d’Azur: tourism and sightseeing
Visit Cote d’Azur, France
The Cote d’Azur (or French Riviera) has long been one of the great attractions for visitors to France, for the glamour, sunshine, beaches and sophistication of resorts such as Nice, Saint-Tropez and Cannes – a reputation that is well deserved. The Cote d’Azur is a lovely region to explore, with many less known gems to discover among the more famous.
Cote d’Azur tourism
The Cote d’Azur is the region of south-east France that follows the Mediterranean coast from Bandol, west of Toulon, to Menton and the Italian border in the east. It is part of Provence and includes the coastal regions of the Bouches-du-Rhone, Var and Alpes-Maritimes departments.
The names Cote d’Azur and French riviera are often used interchangeably, although more usually it is the coastline closest to Italy that is known as the French Riviera.
This section of the Mediterranean coast includes such famous resorts as Nice, Antibes, Saint-Tropez and Cannes, which are rich, exclusive, sophisticated – and often rather crowded – and many other less ‘famous’ resorts and areas of great natural beauty.
There are many smaller villages and towns along the coast and also in the hills slightly inland waiting to be explored if the beaches and sunshine, the shopping and crowds, all become a bit tiring.