7 Breathtaking Towns in France You Don’t Always Hear About—From Canal Cities To Mountain Villages

France is dotted with beautiful cities and cities all throughout its dreamy panorama, from fairy-tale castles, to lavender fields, to alpine views and turquoise seas. We’ve chosen eight stunning cities under that embody the sweetness and variety of France, from the Alps to the coast.

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Honfleur, a harbor in Normandy, was widespread with Impressionist painters like Monet and Boudin. They discovered its altering gentle and picturesque quays inspiring—and even as we speak, in case you return to the identical spot each day to take a photograph, you’ll discover no two are the identical. On Saturday, go to the city’s energetic market and top off on native cheese.

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Colmar is a photographer’s dream, with its labyrinth of cobbled lanes, flower-lined canals, and timber-framed homes painted in a rainbow of pastel hues. It’s the quintessential Alsatian city, brimming with conventional eating places and surrounded by vineyards and medieval castles.

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Romance is the lifeblood of Annecy, a city within the Rhone-Alpes area of southeast France that’s replete with castles and cathedrals and softly curving structure. Stroll hand in hand along with your paramour throughout Pont des Amours (the lover’s bridge) earlier than taking within the Imperial Palace and the baroque Cathedral of Saint-Pierre. A stroll down the Rue Royale will probably be rewarded with prime purchasing, eating and people-watching, particularly on the fountain of Saint Jean.

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As host of the primary Winter Olympics in 1924, Chamonix will all the time have a spot within the historical past books. Its fundamental sights are Mont-Blanc (Western Europe’s tallest mountain) and the numerous ski areas that face the Chamonix Valley. Steep slopes and excessive climate circumstances swimsuit superior skiers finest, however there are additionally runs for inexperienced persons. Simply be certain everybody in your social gathering is aware of a inexperienced circle from a black diamond. Oh, and one other notice for the historical past books—Pierce Brosnan was right here (filming a James Bond film, The World Is Not Sufficient).

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Dominated by its colossal 13th-century cathedral and located close by the Battle of the Somme memorials, Amiens pairs historic monuments with the youthful vitality of a college city. Les Hortillonnages d’Amiens (floating market gardens), Jules Verne Home, and the bars and eating places of Quartier St-Leu add to its attraction.

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Surrounded by golden sands, oyster-filled lagoons, and historical salt flats, the Mediterranean port city of Sete gives a tranquil change of tempo from the busy resorts of the Languedoc. Effortlessly photogenic, the picturesque canals are lined with fishing boats, conventional markets, and seafood eating places.

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The gorgeous cliffs of Etretat are world-famous for his or her naturally-formed archways. Snap some photographs of those geological wonders (you gained’t be the primary) as you ramble alongside the coastal path. Historic chateaus and chapels pepper the panorama, and a spread of annual festivals infuse this provincial seaside city with revelry.

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