March 2020 – as I’m writing this post, the world faces an unprecedented health crisis. The pandemic is having disastrous consequences on the economy and our social life. Travel has come to a halt. Countries are closing their borders. Airports are deserted. Touristic hotspots such as Italy and Spain are in lockdown. In France, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are closed, as are restaurants and cafés. Many people (myself included) have been forced to cancel planned trips for an indeterminate time… Listening to the news could easily make us quite depressed. That’s why I came up with an idea to publish an article with some of my best photos of rural France. Just to cheer you up and inspire you. Take great care of you.
My Photos of Rural France
What is rural France you may ask?
Well, first thing, let’s say it is not found in Paris!
Except maybe for a few secret areas I’m very fond of discovering such as this one:
Rural France is often synonymous with “la Province”. Not to be confused with “Provence” which is a historic region to the South-East. In fact, Provence was the first region in today’s France to be occupied by the Romans who called this area Provincia Nostra. From this Latin name is derived the name Provence.
Most of France is rural
No other country of its size in Europe offer such a variety of landscapes.
From the lush green farms of Normandy to the great plains of northern France.
From the lovely landscape of the Loire Valley, aka the “garden of France” to the cornfields of Burgundy.
The rolling hills of Lorraine and the lavender fields of Provence.
The French countryside also extends to the coast of Brittany and Aquitaine to the West and the French Riviera to the South.
Here is a collection of my favourite photos of rural France, and I hope they’ll inspire you to come and discover this land far far away… from the crowds!
Ile de France
This is the historic region of Paris… you’d think that its mainly an urban zone. Well there are still large spots of countryside just 20 kms from the city-centre. Here fields that border the River Seine between Maisons-Laffitte and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
The historic town of Provins in the Brie region.
The countryside of Montfort-L’Amaury, West of Versailles.
The rural region of Brie, East of Paris, where the Brie cheese is produced!
Here is Montmirail, West of Reims.
The village of Heidwiller in the Sundgau, South of Alsace.
The countryside of Pays de Hanau, a rural area north of Strasbourg, Alsace.
A field at the Ecomusée d’Alsace.
An autumn view from Landskron castle at the border with Switzerland.
The vineyards of Niedermorschwihr on the Alsace Wine Route.
Rural Lorraine offers a great number of outdoor activities, including hiking and cycling.
In Spring, the mirabelle trees are in full bloom. I took this photo in the region of Toul.
The region of Toul, West of Nancy, is where part of my French-side family live. It is a very bucolic place as you can see…
The village of La Rochepot, between Beaune and Autun.
Châteauneuf-en-Auxois is one of France’s most beautiful villages, West of Dijon.
An incredible field of red poppies somewhere near Beaune in Burgundy!
The windmill of Santenay.
The vineyards of Santenay.
A road criss-crossing the vineyards of Meursault.
The patchwork of Burgundian countryside.
In nearby Franche-Comté, the village of Pennesières.
Fields in the vicinity of La Roque-Gageac in the Dordogne Valley.
The view of the Dordogne River from Beynac Castle.
September in the Gardens of Marqueyssac.
In the village of Domme.
The mighty fortress of Beynac.
Not exactly in Périgord but in neighbouring Quercy, here’s the amazing village of Rocamadour.
Here’s a couple of photos of Aime-la-Plagne where we once resided.
The village of Chaumont, West of Annecy.
Just above Lake Bourget, this is the village of Clarafond (Aix-les-Bains).
A walk in the countryside of Groisy near Annecy.
This is Lourmarin, one of France’s most beautiful villages, in the Luberon area.
The vicinity of Cucuron at the foot of the Luberon mountain.
The Pays de Sault in the Vaucluse département is a great place to go to admire fields of lavender.
The mountain in the distance is Mont Ventoux.
Sénanque Abbey is a must-see (hence a very touristy!) spot near Gordes.
The view from the castle of Les Baux-de-Provence.
And finally, to end our photos of Rural France on a high, let’s put forward the lovely (and delicious) produce you get at the local market!
I hope these photos of rural France will inspire you to come visit the French countryside (once the pandemic disease will be gone!). If this is the case, let me know by commenting below!