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Are These 10 the Most Underrated Towns in France?

The French affectionately call their beloved homeland “L’Hexagone ” because of its distinct six-sided shape. Every corner of France has its own unique Charm and the beautiful and greenish French Alps. These are the 9 most underrated towns in France.

10. Nimes

Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash

Visiting the south of France is always a good idea right? Nimes is a moderate-sized city, with a rich history but even then you can hope to see most of its major landmarks in 24 hours.

Must see attractions in Nimes

1. Nimes Arena

Nimes Arena is similar in look to Rome’s Colosseum and Pula’s Arena, a massive Roman amphitheater stands out among the rest of the city.

2. La Tour Magne

Among the other impressive Roman remains is La Tour Magne. In English, as the “Great Tower” this tower is the last remnant of the Roman city walls built under Augustus Caesar. Situated on Mont Cavalier, this 18m-high stone tower was one of 14 towers built in 15 BC to defend the increasingly important Roman city.

3. Les Jardins de la Fontaine

Flowing down the slope of Mont Cavalier back into the city is the almost palatial Les Jardins de la Fontaine. You might even see people playing petanque, a French variant of boules.

4. Temple of Diana

Off to the side in the Les Jardins de la Fontaine you’ll find the open-air ruins of the Temple of Diana.

5. Maison Carrée

One look at the Maison Carrée Roman temple of Nimes and you’re sure to be impressed and a little surprised by its sudden appearance. The third of Nimes’ trinity of Roman monuments, the temple was built around the year 2 AD and is said to be one of the best-preserved Roman temples in existence. The temple’s windowless interior is now used as a cinema of-sorts to show a film on the history of Nîmes. Entrance to the Maison Carrée costs 6€ but is also included in the “Nîmes romaine” pass.

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9. Etretat

Etretat, Underrated Towns in France
Photo by Rafael Garcin on Unsplash

Famous for its iconic white cliffs and arches, Étretat is has everything you could want from a small coastal town in France: charm, breathtaking vistas, intimate bed & breakfasts, and of course, plenty of great food. It is considered to be one of the most underrated towns in France.

Or, if you’re “old school” there’s a good chance you’ve seen paintings of Étretat by the master Impressionists such as Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet in a gallery.

Have you visited Étretat, France? What did you think of the town? Do anything cool there, or was it a relaxed, seaside vacation? Any tips or thoughts to add? If you haven’t visited, is Étretat a place that interests you?

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8. Dijon

Dijon, Underrated Towns in France
Photo by Nico Meier on Unsplash

Dijon is located southeast of Paris, France, less than two hours away by TGV train. The population of Dijon itself is about 155,000 people. There are almost 250,000 people in the greater Dijon area. It is considered one of the most underrated towns in France.

Dijon has one of the best-preserved medieval centers in France. It is easy to walk and see the sites, with lots of pedestrian walking streets. You’ll sample some of France’s finest cuisine and drink great Burgundy wines at dinner or at one of the many wine bars in town. Dijon offers many cultural activities, including a wealth of museums and annual festivals to keep the tourist busy, including the L’Été Musical (Musical Summer), a classical music festival in June.

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7. Annecy

Photo by Artur D. on Unsplash

Annecy, also known as ‘the Venice of the Alps’, is a picturesque town offering many things to do. Tucked away in southeastern France, Annecy sits at the tip of the picturesque Lake Annecy and overlooks snow-capped mountains.

Must see attractions in Annecy

  • Spectacular views of Lake Annecy
  • Superb watersports
  • Lake Annecy’s beaches
  • Annecy’s old town
  • Annecy farmer’s market
  • Pont des Amours
  • Palais de l’Île.

6. Colmar 

Colmar, Underrated Towns in France
Photo by Linda Gerbec on Unsplash

Located on the border of France and Germany, near Switzerland, Colmar is a fairytale French town that offers a mesmerizing insight into the last 1,000 years of European history.

Colmar is an extremely gorgeous little town in the heart of Alsace, a French region famously known for its vineyards and wonderful wines.

Top sights to visit in Colmar

  • Stroll around the Colmar Old Town
  • Check out the Little Venice in Colmar
  • St. Martin’s Church
  • Pfister House
  • Tourist Trains
  • Colmar’s Covered Market

5. Arles

Arles, Underrated Towns in France
Photo by isaac . on Unsplash

In Roman times Arles was one of Gaul’s most venerated and underrated towns in cities, home to more than 30,000 people and furnished with monuments that remain in place today. On a multi-site pass, you can quench your thirst for Roman wonders and then be amazed by the works of art they left behind at the city’s museum.

Top sights in Arles

  • Amphitheatre
  • Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antiques
  • Van Gogh Heritage
  • Church of St. Trophime
  • Thermes de Constantin.

4. Corsica

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

If you are a beach lover, then Corsica is the place for you to vacation. Located north of Sardinia, off the Western coast of Italy, this French territory is perfect for both divers and hikers. Travel to Corsica to enjoy sparkling waters full of sea life and an island with mountains, bays, beaches, valleys, tiny seaside villages, dense forests, and hilltop chalets.

Places to visit in Corsica

Visit the Fesch Museum. Enjoy the beach, and • Take a drive to Calvi. Corsica has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot. Winters are moderate, dry, and clear. Because of differences in altitude, Corsica’s climate varies from mountain to valley and coastlines. The North is hotter than the South; the East is wetter than the West. July and August are peak tourist times in Corsica. April, May, June, September, and October tend to be less crowded.

3. Biarritz

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The French Riviera meets Surf City USA, Biarritz is the jewel of France’s Atlantic coast. Once a playground of the royals of the 19th century who partied their summers away in the swanky villas and palaces, the glitzy stars of old Hollywood like Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth followed suit at high society parties. Now Biarritz is considered to be super underrated Towns in France.

Whether you’re waxing down your surfboard, basking in the Basque sun, soothing yourself at the spa, teeing off for a round of golf, or gorging yourself on the gastronomy, there’s a little something for everyone. Pop down on the train from Paris or Bordeaux and don’t miss these top things to do in Biarritz for the perfect 3-day getaway in this relaxed beach town.

2. Le Puy-en-Velay

Le Puy-en-Velay
Photo by Faure Alban on Unsplash

The Puy-en-Velay Area is no stranger to France’s glorious past. The architectural heritage is highly diverse, with a predominance of medieval architecture formed under a variety of influences: Byzantine and oriental styles in the Cathedral and Cloister of Puy-en-Velay, Romanesque Auvergne in Saint-Julien de Brioudeare just too beautiful and among one of the underrated towns in France.

Must see attractions in Le Puy-en-Velay

  • Rocher St. Michel D’Aiguilhe
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame-du-Puy
  • Musée Crozatier
  • Statue de Notre-Dame de France
  • Henri Vinay Garden
  • Le Camino

1. Lyon

Photo by Lucas Gallone on Unsplash

Lyon is the capital of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region in the southeast of France. Lyon is convenient to most of Central Europe. As a business center, Lyon’s extensive transportation options can get you to other tourist destinations quickly and easily. The urban sprawl of Lyon makes it the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris with over 1.6 million people.

What to Do and See in Lyon

  • Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
  • Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • L’Atelier de Soierie Tucked
  • Institut Lumière

Feel free to tell us your favourite Towns from France.

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