With a capital like Paris, it’s really no wonder that France is filled with gorgeous towns, perfect for romantic getaways. From Normandy’s dramatic coastline to the glittering French Riviera, here are our top picks.
Hilltop towns don’t get more charming or alluring than Èze. With a view of the Mediterranean that you could stare at for days, and colourful facades flanking pretty cobbled streets, it is surely one of the most romantic pockets of France. It helps that you can stay in one of the country’s most romantic, ornate hotels here, too: Château Eza.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
If you feel like exploring more beautiful cities near Èze – including Monaco – browse through our guide on how to take the perfect summer road trip along the French Riviera.
Mont Saint-Michel had to make the list: this island village in Normandy looks like it’s been plucked straight from a fairytale. One of the best – and most romantic – views this Unesco World Heritage site has to offer is from the approach, the jetty walk; a 760m-long (2,493ft) bridge leading out from the coastline of northern France to the commune.
Here’s everything you need to know before visiting Mont Saint-Michel.
The alpine town of Annecy lies east of Lyon in southeastern France, at the head of Lac d’Annecy (or Lake Annecy). Here, the Alps provide a magical backdrop to one of the prettiest old towns in France. Canals weave their way through its centre and, with colourful buildings looking down onto the pathways and bridges, it’s easy to see why it’s known as the Venice of France. It’s a truly romantic town.
The mesmerising village of Roussillon could only exist in Provence, and it’s no surprise that it finds itself listed as one of France’s most charming villages time and time again. The ochre-coloured streets are perfect for ambling, hand in hand – with the Mediterranean sun almost always high in the sky and the cafe tables serving great food and local wine all year round.
Make the most of your time here with our guide to the best things to do in Roussillon.
The Loire Valley is home to plenty of romantic towns and villages, but Blois has to be among the best. It’s a hillside city, offering incredible views over the Loire River, with its royal château punctuating the sky. From here, it’s less than a 30-minute drive to Château de Chambord, arguably the most romantic château in France.
There are many more magical châteaux and castles to explore in the Loire Valley, and many more reasons why you should visit this lovely region.
You couldn’t ask for a prettier or more lovey-dovey town than Cassis. Just a stone’s throw from Marseille, set on the edge of Calanques National Park, this harbour town is a pure delight. The waterfront restaurants and picturesque pebble beach are the perfect foundation for romance, especially on a long, sunny Mediterranean day.
Looking to spend some time in Marseille, too? Take a look at the best hotels in the city.
The medieval city of Albi, not far from Toulouse, is known as the “red town” thanks to its brick foundations. The imposing Cathedral Sainte Cécile is just one of the monuments listed as a Unesco World Heritage site here, and its scale is truly breathtaking. The bridges, pretty streets and incredible views combine to make Albi one of the most endearing places to visit.
If you’re making your way to Toulouse, check out these amazing things to see and do in the city.
The town of Josselin in Brittany is super-romantic for two reasons. Firstly, its 12th-century château, perched on the River Oust, is a real-life fairytale castle – one that seems almost out of place on the edge of the quaint town. Secondly, the market town itself is gorgeous, with cute squares and small cafes that are tailor-made for two.
Josselin is only one of the many hidden gems in France. These lesser-known French villages also deserve a visit.
You will find the pretty port town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré on the island Île de Ré, just off the coast of France from the city of La Rochelle. It manages to retain its charm while still offering everything you’d need on a romantic break – from scenic trails for leisurely cycling to harbour-side eateries for late-night, candlelit dinners for two.
Once you’ve explored Île de Ré, consider these amazing day trips to take from La Rochelle by boat.
It would be impossible not to include Étretat, on the coast of Normandy, in this loved-up list. Here, you’ll find some of the most striking cliff faces and rock formations in Europe, including the famous L’Aiguille (the Needle). The best way to explore the area is to get onto one of the many coastal paths and hike: the views are incredible, not to mention romantic.
Spending some time in Normandy? Give these awesome things a go; they’re free.
You’re sure to fall in love with Aix-en-Provence. Every street and every square here seems to be more attractive than the last, making it an ideal city to explore on foot with your loved one, stopping at cafes every couple of hours. Be sure to visit the Pavillon de Vendôme and pause for an aperitif at the bustling Place des Cardeurs.
There are plenty more lovely towns in the Provence region. These are the most beautiful ones.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.