When we were putting together our travel plan for France, our eyes were opened to many beautiful cities, towns and villages.
France has become a familiar travel destination.
Initially, our travel plan for France was focused on seeing Paris and then venturing south to Lyon and Nice.
And the result?
Our travel plan for France grew exponentially.
We started getting recommendations from locals of the best destinations to visit in France.
Of course, the suggestions were for places near to where we were staying. Or for regions we would be seeing next on our itinerary.
This is why we have seen some amazing destinations which we can now share with you.
We have put together 25 destinations in France. All have a small snippet of information to help you with your travel plan in France.
25 Destinations for your travel plan to France
We have covered a lot of France.
From north to south, west to east and lots in between. We love our road trips around France.
Terry loves creating our travel plan for France from the recommendations we get from locals or read in blogs.
But, yes, there’s a but.
We haven’t listed all the places we have visited below.
Instead, we’ve chosen the places we found interesting, beautiful, and worth a stop on your itinerary of France. We have listed our favourites.
These destinations of France are great places to stay, spend a day, a half-day or a few hours.
And it will give you ideas to create your travel plan for France.
They are in no particular order, but we have listed the region for you. Allowing you to pick a region to explore.
Oh, and the constant theme is a medieval old town and cobblestone streets.
How do I plan a perfect trip to France?
Create your Travel Plan for France
And if you are travelling the south coast of France or staying in Paris. Make sure you check out these blogs.
1. Pérouges Cite Medievale – Region: Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France
One of our favourites and one of the best preserved medieval villages in France is Pérouges.
You feel transported back in time with a short walk up to one of the old medieval gates. This preserved village with stone-cobbled streets is one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Wander the old streets of Artisan artist studios or enjoy a cafe or wine in the village centre.
2. Honfleur – Region: Normandy
The old Honfleur harbour on the Seine River estuary is charming and quaint.
Stop at one of the many restaurants dotted around the harbour basin. The narrow 16th-18th century narrow houses extend upwards to the street behind. Here you can browse delightful shops or visit St. Catherine’s Church, built entirely of wood in the 15th century.
Definitely a must for your travel plan for France.
Tourism Website: Honfleur
3. Mont St Michel – Region: Normandy
Rising out of the sea, Mont St Michel is a fairytale village.
The cobbled streets lead up to the Abbey of Mont St Michel as you browse shops and cafes along the way.
Book a stay in the village or one of the bigger hotels before walking out to the tidal island.
4. Troyes – Region: Grand Est
Troyes old town is easy to explore on foot and perfect for an overnight stay.
It is located within the Champagne region and, during the middle ages, became an important trading town.
The local tourist office walking guide will cover the historical places of the old town.
5. St Malo – Region: Brittany
Don’t be put off by the grey drab stone of St Malo. This fortress is impressive. The ramparts enclose the old town of beautiful early-century homes, businesses, and daily life.
Take a walk around the ramparts with views of the English Channel. Then find a table to taste Galettes, savoury crepes with delicious fillings.
We combined our stay at St Malo with Mont St Michel.
6. Carcassonne – Region: Occitania
Travelling from Montpellier to Toulouse, the rising view of Carcassonne will have you making a detour. This incredible fortress from the 12th century is a must-see place in France.
Enter through one of two medieval gates to the Château Comtal within its walls.
Browse shops or relax at one of the many restaurants to try the local dish, Cassoulet of sausage and beans.
7. Angers – Region: Pays de la Loire
The Château d’Angers overlooking the Maine river is the gateway to the Loire Valley. Angers was where The House of Plantagenet originated.
You can follow the blue line in the old town to see half-timbered houses, the cathedral and the chateau. The city of Angers is worth stopping if on your way to Brittany.
8. Uzès – Region: Occitania
Ducal castle towers above the medieval old town. The Duché was built for the first Dukedom of France.
Find a table at Place aux Herbes under the shade of the trees for the pure enjoyment of being in France.
Add Uzès to your travel plan to France and the nearby small village of Sommieres.
9. Bordeaux – Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Bordeaux is a vibrant city only two hours by train from Paris.
Nestled in the wine region, Bordeaux sits along the Garonne River. The 18th and 19th-century architecture was built from the wealth of the Bordeaux trade. Its access to the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean.
There is plenty to see in Bordeaux with a three-night stay, including a visit to nearby Saint Emilion for wine tasting.
10. Sarlat-la-Canéda – Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
For many English ex-pats, the Dordogne region is popular for its green spaces and scenery.
And one place to visit is Sarlat-la-Canéda, a medieval village with the largest number of historical buildings per sqm in France.
We enjoyed a half-day visit, especially the panoramic view of the valley.
11. Dijon – Region: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Yes, it’s the home to mustard. And we discovered the reason why.
The best mustard is made with wine. No surprises there; we are in France.
But besides the mustard, Dijon has a lovely old town to explore.
Here’s our free walking guide to Dijon.
12. Dinan – Region: Brittany
If you love sweet treats, then Dinan has the best Kouign Amann to taste. Oh, and an amazing medieval town.
You can walk down to the river, passing by half-timbered houses and shops. Or walk around the ramparts.
13. Etretat – Region: Normandy
For a beautiful beach and coastal walk, Etretat offers both. The white chalk cliffs on either side of the town have stunning views.
While the town itself isn’t remarkable, taking in the sea air or a summer swim is ideal.
14. Reims – Region: Grand Est
The city of Reims is a favourite city we love. And not just for the Champagne houses.
The city is easily seen with a walking guide. And if you don’t have a car, you can still visit the champagne houses on foot within the city, like Tattingers.
Here in Reims, France’s kings were crowned at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Where Joan of Arc liberated the French from the English in 1429.
Get prepared with our Self-Guided City Walk of Reims.
15. Colmar – Region: Grant Est
Colmar is picturesque in any season. Seeing the pretty colourful houses along the canal is one of the reasons we have visited several times.
The Christmas market is a buzz, with mulled wine and nougat to enjoy.
You can also visit the nearby popular villages of Riquewhir and Eguisheim.
16. Marseilles – Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Marseille city is a blend of cultures and has a history dating to the Greeks. With access to the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille has a maritime history.
The basin-shaped Vieux-Port (Old Port) is lined with restaurants and cafes.
Overlooking the port is the famous Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard. The walk-up is steep, but the views are breathtaking.
But for us, it was the Byzantine Cathédrale La Major that had us in awe.
Make it easy for yourself with our Self-Guided City Walk of Marseille.
17. Riquewhir – Region: Grand Est
Like Colmar, Riquewhir is another Alsace village. You can’t help but have a smile on your face as you wander the cobblestone streets.
You can taste the wine from the Alsace region in one of the many tasting rooms.
18: Château de Chambord – Region: Centre-Val de Loire
This amazing chateau is within the Loire Valley UNESCO Heritage Site.
The renaissance architecture is one of the most photographed chateaus in the Loire Valley. It was constructed by Francis I and used as a hunting lodge.
You can wander the outside free of charge.
19: Eguisheim – Region: Grand Est
The medieval village of Eguisheim is a must-see when visiting the Alsace region.
Half-timbered houses, narrow cobblestoned streets, and Château Saint-Léon make Eguisheim a village to visit.
20. Montpellier –Region: Occitania
Montpellier is another of our favourite cities.
The old town is pedestrian-friendly. You can wander amongst the old courier lanes to find a small square for a coffee or lunch. Stopping at one of the many boutique shops to browse.
To learn more: How to See the Best of Montpellier like a Local
Get prepared with our Self-Guided City Walk of Montpellier.
21. Avignon – Region: Provence
We loved our three-night stay in Avignon to explore the old town and Villeneuve-les-Avignon across the river.
We got to sing “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” on Avignon Bridge but got strange looks from bystanders. And we got lost in the Palace of the Popes several times trying to find the exit.
Ensure you have a jacket outside the summer season, as the Mistral wind blows.
22. Nancy – Region: Grant Est
We think it’s the gilded gates of Nancy that bring us back to this lovely old city.
The Place Stanislas, a royal square, is UNESCO listed site. You can enter the square through Arc Héré, a triumphal arch from 1755.
And a three-minute walk from Place Stanislas is Porte de la Craffe, an impressive old city defence gate near the Ducal Palace.
Or it could be the Quiche Lorraine we love to eat bringing us back to Nancy.
Either way, Nancy can be added to your travel plan for France.
23. Le Château de Villandry – Region: Centre-Val de Loire
The renaissance gardens of Chateau de Villandry are exquisite.
The gardens are a mixture of flower and vegetable gardens laid out in patterns using box hedges.
It is a tranquil setting, and easy to lose time as you meander the various beds.
24. Annecy – Region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
France has many medieval old towns to visit. But what makes Annecy’s old town (La Vieille Ville) popular is the canals through the old town winding their way to Lake Annecy.
The day we visited was a market day Tuesday. It seemed every street had a stall of produce, craft and delicious foods. And the streets were packed with shoppers.
Annecy market day is held every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning from 8 am.
You can visit the Château d’Annecy overlooking the old town or wander the cobblestoned streets to the lake.
25. Rocamadour – Region: Occitania
If you are visiting the Dordogne valley, Rocamadour is a stunning village to visit.
Sitting above the gorge overlooking the River Dordogne is the village of Rocamadour built into the rock.
You can visit the church at the top of the village or walk the streets below. This way, you can see the incredible engineering of the houses built into the rock.
Destinations for your Travel Plan to France
As you can see from this small snippet of destinations in France to visit, planning your French itinerary just got more interesting.
France is a popular travel destination; choosing what to see in France is always better with a recommendation.
We suggest using a city as a base to explore, like Montpellier. Or a village Like Colmar, close to other impressive villages within a region of Grand Est.
This way, you’ll see some amazing destinations when you travel to France.
Oh, and we’ll update with more destinations as there is always more to see in France.