5 French Towns to Discover this Summer

May 23, 2019

Early summer is one of the best time to travel to France. It is starting to be warm, but most tourists haven't arrived yet, and there's just something about discovering a town when you feel like you're the only one there! 

While I am sure you've heard of Cannes or Monaco, there are many other French towns worth a visit! Some are a bit off-the-beaten path, and I'm sure you've heard of others, but there are all equally inspiring, fun, and so authentic! Here are some of my very favorite places to visit:

1. Ajaccio, Corsica

Calanche Piana

Corsica is one of France's hidden treasures. This beautiful island off the coast of Italy is known for its extraordinary landscapes, and preserved nature. Not only are the beaches incredible, but there are many places to explore or hike through. Corsica is easily accessible via ferry from the French Riviera.

One of my favorite places to visit is the Calanques de Piana, located about one hour and a half from Ajaccio. Those are dramatic red rock formations standing tall from the sea. You can visit them by boat or hike, but either way your experience will be unforgettable. 

2. Antibes, French Riviera

Antibes France

Antibes is a resort town between Cannes and Nice, but it is quieter and perhaps, more family-friendly than its two neighbors. Its beaches just a few miles away are just as gorgeous though! It is also known for its historic old town enclosed by 16th century ramparts - so the beach is not the only activity there!

If you like Picasso, there is also an amazing Picasso museum well worth a visit if you're in the area.

3. Deauville, Normandy

Deauville Town

Deauville is sometimes known as the 21st arrondissement of Paris (Paris only has 20 arrondissements or neighborhoods) - and this has good and bad innuendos! 

This adorable coastal city is located only a 2 hour drive from Paris, making it an easy weekend destination for Paris longing to see the beach. It is known for its not-so-little town adorned by traditional Normandy-style houses, and its colorful beach umbrellas. 

I love going there for a short weekend getaway from Paris, but it can get really crowded during the holidays! Plan accordingly!

Deauville Beach

4. Giverny, Normandy

Claude Monet Giverny in France

Located just an hour and a half from Paris, Monet's home and gardens is well worth a visit, and you can easily devote an entire day (maybe two) to this world-famous town. 

In the late Spring and early Summer, you'll be able to transport yourself to the time when Claude Monet painted his famous water lilies series of painting. During Spring, the gardens light up from within and are truly mesmerizing. I recommend going during the week to avoid crowds.

5. Honfleur, Normandy

Honfleur Harbor

Honfleur is a coastal town in Normandy known for its incredibly picturesque harbor, characterized by houses with slate-covered fronts. This quaint town became famous in the 19th century when it became one of the meeting point, and inspiration for many Impressionist painters, such as Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet.

I love having a crêpe by the harbor, and day dream about what the town must have been like in the 19th century. It is a place easily walkable in about 1/2 a day, but you'll remember it for years.




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