The allure of France’s cities and countryside in the summer cannot be overstated, and there’s a reason that tourists arrive in droves in the warmer months. However, the beauty of France endures all year long, and the winter is no exception.
Want to take advantage of the smaller tourist crowds and experience France in a way few get to? Then here are your five top French destinations to visit this winter...
For a French winter wonderland like no other, Megève is the place to add to your travel itinerary.
Nestled in the French Alps, this small ski resort village is something of a hidden gem. It was quite the popular ski destination for the rich and famous in the 1920s, but these days, it boasts relatively small crowds and queues on the slopes, as well as excellent dining options and an old-fashioned medieval village centre. The latter is complete with cobbled streets and horse-drawn sleighs.
Voted France’s favourite village back in 2013, Eguisheim features colourful architecture with a unique and charming medieval flair, as well as winding concentric streets built around a historical castle, ideal for a casual wander.
Whilst on your winter outing here, you won’t want to miss Eguisheim’s quaint but authentic Christmas market. The picturesque setting, combined with the food and craft huts on the cobbled streets, will make you feel like you’ve been transported into a fairy tale.
Provence is most known for its gorgeous lavender fields, but this French region has so much to offer even in the wintertime.
From olive picking and truffle hunting to chocolate tours and wine tasting, there are various activities here for the foodies to enjoy. You can also explore the scenic Luberon Valley, view the snow-covered lavender fields in Gordes or enjoy the many Christmas markets and winter festivals all throughout the Provençal region.
Lyon is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason, with plenty of museums where you can warm up indoors in the winter while enjoying the rich art, fascinating culture and long history of this iconic city. Lyon also bears the title of the French capital of gastronomy, thanks to its hearty traditional dishes that only become more comforting in the wintertime.
In addition to food and culture, in early December you can partake in the popular Festival of Lights, which sees the wintry landscape of Lyon illuminated by colourful, festive lights.
We couldn’t resist ending this list with another spot in the French Alps. Chambéry is an Alpine town combining modernity with rich cultural history and a faint Italian atmosphere, all for an experience truly like no other.
Dip your toes in history by visiting the medieval castle of the Dukes of Savoy, or enjoy the local Savoie wine. If you prefer outdoor activities, you can bike and hike around nearby Lac du Bourget, as well as ski in the resorts near Chambéry.
Ready for your winter getaway in France? Don’t forget to come prepared with some cosy French-inspired attire!
Until next time…