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My best holiday is to end up in a small but perfectly delightful destination – and that you get plenty of in France. Our choice destinations in France for today should whet your appetite to plan the next dream vacation.
Population: Less than 5,000.
The gorgeous village of Grimaud lies perched above the French Riviera. I just love how the boats and the houses become one. In addition, it was an absolute treat to meander through the clean streets of the village and contemplate what a peaceful lifestyle I could have living in perfectly delightful Port Grimaud. I was way too happy to just breathe Port Grimaud that I never got to do the tourist thing, which is sailing the canals aboard a “water coach” (or you can go for an electric boat if you wish).
Port Grimaud is connected to Grimaud by canals and a range of enchanting small bridges – all of which were built in 1964. For this reason, it was listed in 2002 as a 20th-century village. The architect François Spoerry is recognized for creating this lake city with private funding.
Grimaud has historical links to Back in AD 973 Gibelin de Grimaldi helped William the Good to drive the Saracens of Fraxinet out of the area. And that’s how it came that the Grimaldi family has historical links to Grimaud because Gibelin de Grimaldi was rewarded with the land in return for his help.
Grimaud is one of those destinations in France that is worth seeing.
Inhabitants: Less than 5,000.
Nearest city: It’s only 68 km from Nice, and a great weekend get-away.
The nearest airport is Toulon-Hyères (toulon-hyeres.aeroport.fr). After that, the best is to catch a taxi for the 50-minute drive to Saint Tropez.
If you’re looking for a cheaper form of transport to get to Saint Tropez, you can catch a bus from the airport.
Arrive in style if you have the financial means, book a helicopter transfer.
In my view renting a car is not an option because of the traffic. Once you’ve arrived at Saint Tropez the best way to explore is by foot, or call a taxi.
Last but not least, hop on the 3003 bus at the airport and take a ferry (duration 1 hour) from St Raphaël’s Old Port to Saint Tropez.
Inhabitants: Less than 50.
Mont St. Michel is one of those destinations in France that movies are made from. The castle was used for the Hogwarts scenes in all of the Harry Potter movies. So, with such few inhabitants, including the monks and nuns that reside in the Abbey, there is by far more tourists than residents!
It is an ideal day excursion from Paris. It is also a great setting for a wedding!
Population: Less than 1,500.
I stumbled upon Châtel on a ski-run from Torgon in Switzerland into France, and one of the villages was this gorgeous small-town ski resort. Like so many other villages, they also have a free ski-bus to the ski-lifts. In addition, Châtel is part of the largest international linked ski area (Portes du Soleil) in the world with just more than 650 km of skiing between various French and Swiss ski resorts. Only a few kilometers from Avoriaz, it truly is a skier’s dream. Similarly, it is also a family ski-holiday dream because the slopes are of different levels of difficulty. In other words, there is something to ski for everybody.
The towering mountains are also a favorite in summer months with activities such as paragliding, climbing, mountain biking, and climbing.
The nearest airport is Geneva (GVA).
I suggest you reserve a taxi ahead of time for the approximately 90-minute drive (131.3 km) from the airport to Châtel.
There is no train service to Châtel. Should you want to take a train from Geneva Airport you will reach Aigle as your end destination. After that, you need to travel by car to Châtel, which is about a 29-minute drive (30.1 km).
Inhabitants: Less than 600.
Region: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in south-eastern France.
So, ONE of the many things we do is playing treasure-hunt… finding those hidden gems! Simiane-La-Rotonde is our last stop for today’s choice of destinations in France.
With such few inhabitants, you will agree we’ve once again nailed it.
*Photos resourced from Wikimedia
In conclusion, this is our pick for today of small-town destinations in France worth seeing. I hope you had as much fun reading about it, as I had to put it together!