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Charming Quaint Towns in France

por: Cityseeker
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France is home to many beautiful small towns, often with cobbled streets, picturesque squares, and historic architecture. Many of these towns are surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and lush countryside, making them ideal for a peaceful getaway. Many of these towns also offer a variety of activities, from shopping and dining to outdoor activities and cultural attractions.


Cassis

The village of Cassis is the very essence of Provence. A former fishing port, the town is now largely supported by tourism as well as its vineyards. The picturesque little streets here lead you to the array of boutiques lining them. Many a traveler is seen taking a leisurely stroll around the port, between the restaurant terraces and the luxurious boats. As you make your way towards the two beaches, the sandy la Grande Mer and the pebbled le Bestouan, pause for a game of pétanque, Marseilles’ much loved game of bowls. If you find yourself tempted to take a guided tour of the Calanques by sea then jump right in. The walks around the Calanques in Cassis are truly unforgettable.

Cassis, Cassis, França, 13260
Rochefort-en-Terre

This lovely commune, bordered by verdant greenery, thrives on tourism owing to its time-honored streets and striking historic structures, which draw visitors in droves. Rochefort-en-Terre's vibrant tapestry is woven with an array of quaint buildings, winding cobblestone lanes and charming shops, which exemplify its cultural and artistic heritage. Some of the unmissable, notable landmarks of the village include the defining medieval Château de Rochefort-en-Terre, the Collégiale Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye and history buffs’ haven, the Naïa Museum. Experience an offbeat French sojourn in the picturesque environs of Rochefort-en-Terre.

Rochefort-en-Terre, Rochefort-en-Terre, França
Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Unfurling along the coast of the Bay of Biscay, this idyllic commune is characterized by 17th-century Basque buildings and time-honored landmarks, which define its heritage. Saint-Jean-de-Luz is where Louis XIV was wed to Maria Theresa of Spain, and this historic event continues to be a defining element of the town. Visitors can stroll along the promenade at Port de Saint-Jean-de-Luz or explore the Old Town to learn about the history and traditions of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. The Jardin botanique littoral de Saint-Jean-de-Luz with its sublime beauty and the Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste with its stunning architecture are unmissable attractions too. Do plan an enriching sojourn in the inviting landscape of Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, França, 64500
Eguisheim

The award-winning sublime commune of Eguisheim is renowned for its many breathtaking vistas. Famously dubbed as “France's Favorite Village”, the commune boasts a bevy of picture-perfect sights, structures and more. Adding to its old-school charm is the ensemble of striking architectural marvels that adorn the streets of this commune. Looking straight out of a fairytale is the ethereal Vieille ville d'Eguisheim, while the modest façade of the Église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul d'Eguisheim packs unmatched heritage within. In addition to the breathtaking beauty of the environs, Eguisheim gained fame as the place of origin of the popular Alsatian wine. Developed to its current glory by the Duke of Alsace, Eguisheim is a must-visit destination.

Eguisheim, Eguisheim, França, 68420
Hunspach

Situated within the Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park, Hunspach is a quintessential forest side village in Alsace, reflecting the harmonious coexistence of man and nature. The lush, rolling hills and forests lend a phenomenal vista to the village, while the centuries-old, ivory-hued half-timbered houses exude old-world charm. Counted among the most picturesque villages of the country, this settlement is located close to the German border. Its sparse population renders a sequestered, yet heartwarming allure to the village. The magnificent Fort De Schoenenbourg is a prominent attraction of the village, luring a steady stream of history buffs to the picturesque hamlet.

Hunspach, Hunspach, França, 67250
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is in many respects the cradle of skiing, best known for its mountaineering and extreme pistes. The Verte des Houches course has also played host to the Men's Downhill and Slalom World Cup for most years since it hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics. It is a popular destination for winter sports along with mountaineering. The mountain is abuzz with activity even during summer months and visitors can indulge in adventure parks, rock climbing, paragliding, canoeing and many more adventurous activities. After an adventurous day, visitors can relax in one of the many restaurants and cafes in the city.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, França, 74400
Saint-Émilion

The rocks of Saint Émilion retell the tales of its colorful past. This stunning medieval village occupies the heart of the renowned Bordeaux region of France. Famous among discerning travelers for the bevy of superlative wineries, fine wine and ensemble of stunning architecture, the village is a riveting destination. The legend about the origins of this village hint at a monk who fled his hometown and sought refuge in the natural caves found here. The monk, Emilion, went on to live an enigmatic life here, filled with miracles and disciples. Such was his legacy that after his death, his followers christened the hamlet after him. Some of the unmissable attractions of the village include Monolithic Church of Saint-Emilion, Cordeliers Cloister and Château Cantenac.

Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion, França
Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer is a bustling seaside commune and a part of the French Riviera. Its harbor is among the deepest as well as the busiest in the region. Skirted by a range of lush mountains, this sleepy village attracts a multitude of visitors, especially those looking to engage in exhilarating water sports. Luring a steady stream of discerning tourists, the commune is teeming with luxurious accommodations aplenty. Some of the must-visit attractions of Villefranche-sur-Mer include Église Saint-Michel de Villefranche-sur-Mer, Chapelle Saint-Pierre and Plage de Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Villefranche-sur-Mer, Villefranche-sur-Mer, França
Èze

This quaint hilltop town overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and offers stunning vistas. Èze, as records suggest, dates back to 2000 BCE and is perched so high that it is often dubbed an Eagle's Nest. The stunning Jardin botanique d'Èze is a premier attraction of the town, along with Galimard. For outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers Nietzsche path and Èze-sur-Mer Beach are must-visit attractions. Given the spectacular sights enveloping the town, it is no surprise that Èze draws hordes of tourists including newlyweds every year.

Èze, Èze, França, 06360
Giverny

Most well-known for being the inspiration behind French impressionist Claude Monet's iconic series Water Lilies, the idyllic commune of Giverny exists quietly along the banks of the Seine. A charmingly rural vibe surrounds this village in Normandy, where misty mornings shroud Medieval churches, and a canopy of weeping willows and drooping flowers adorn the unforgettable bridge from Monet's masterpiece. The highlight of the village culminates at the Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet, the house that served as the artist's residence from 1883, until his death in 1926. Hundreds of impressionism aficionados flock to the crumbling mansion and its surrounding floral gardens for a glimpse of this once-thriving art colony. While Giverny's genteel landscape stirred the strings of Monet's artistic heart, it also encouraged a bevy of American impressionists like Willard Metcalf and Louis Ritman to visit this French commune for inspiration. The Museum of Impressionism that opened in 1992 is another main attraction in town, and traces the beginnings of this 19th-century art movement. Giverny thrives on tourism that surrounds its impressionist origins.

Giverny, Giverny, França
Rocamadour

The pilgrimage town of Rocamadour has a suitably majestic presence rising vertically against a limestone cliff. Overlooked by a historic chateau, the town is a haven for those looking to bring in an offbeat vacation. A few prominent churches make up the picturesque sanctuary that pilgrims reach by navigating hundreds of stairs. The UNESCO-listed Basilique Saint-Saveur, Notre-Dame Chapel with its 12th-century statue of the Black Virgin and the Saint-Michel chapel are unmissable attractions of the town.

Rocamadour, Rocamadour, França, 46500
Gordes

Perched atop a mountain, the quaint village of Gordes is enveloped with fortifications. This unique location has resulted in an almost magical landscape, replete with picturesque abodes and winding roads that cut through the rocks of the mountain. Adding to the fantastical environs here are stunning attractions such as Abbey of Senanque, Château de Gordes and Le Village de Bories. If the history buff inside you aches for more enriching spots, do head to Moulins de Bouillons Museum and the Glass and Stained-Glass Museum. Explore the historic treasures of Gordes, today.

Gordes, Gordes, França, 84220
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