The home of what some call “the language of love”, France has a lot of visual credentials to match its reputation around the world. From charming villages to historic cities, and a food and drink scene to die for — there’s just no escaping the romance of this European country. While Paris steals the limelight, there are many other destinations in France that can make your heart skip a beat. For the next time you decide on a trip to France, here are 6 romantic destinations in France that are not Paris.
Nicknamed ‘Venice of the Alps,’ Annecy is a lakeside destination in southeastern France surrounded by snow-capped mountains. This charming old town, which actually dates back to the Ancient Roman era, is a gorgeous warren of canals lined by colorful townhouses decorated with flowers tumbling from their balconies.
Annecy is a year-round destination. Winter brings a selection of nearby ski resorts, while summer is romantic with its boat trips and hiking opportunities. The town’s Medieval vieille ville (old town) is awash with interesting sights — such as the iconic 12th-century Palais de l’Isle, situated on an island — history, and pedestrianized streets to lose yourself along.
More info about Annecy, one of the most romantic destinations in France:
Eze is a town on the French Riviera that could very easily win your heart. It spans from a long, slender beach on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the top of a 427-meter-tall cliff with suitably stunning sea views.
Eze can trace its history back to 2000 BC. As a result, there are a lot of beautiful old buildings and cobbled lanes to explore with your partner. The oldest building, the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, dates back to 1306. There are numerous art galleries, shops, and, of course, hotels and eateries, making it rightly popular with honeymooners.
More info about Eze, one of the most romantic destinations in France:
Champagne is often used to celebrate romance. When you finally see where it comes from, the association makes more sense. Epernay, the unofficial wine capital of France, is grand but also intimate. Surrounded by vineyards and miles of wine cellars beneath its streets, it is home to some of the most renowned champagne houses in the world. While going for a champagne tasting is a must-do activity in France, the experience is rather special when you are doing it with your partner. After all it is not just the sparkling wine that is romantic, it is the milieu of charming villages, endless vineyards and nature that does the magic.
More info about Epernay, one of the most romantic destinations in France:
- Check out the Tourist Board of Epernay
Like something from the pages of a fairytale, Colmar captivates courting couples with its old timber frame and Renaissance buildings. The city sits in the Alsace region of eastern France close to the border with Germany and was, once upon a time, German.
It’s the old town of Colmar, situated along the River Lauch, that draws the crowds here. Wandering around is like stepping through a portal to a fantasy novel. The Maison Pfister, for example, is a centuries-old home and one the most impressive in town. Wine-loving couples will be happy to learn that Colmar is the capital of the Alsatian wine region.
More info about Colmar, one of the most romantic destinations in France:
Architecture and eating: two reasons why Lyon is very much one of the romantic destinations in France. This city, the third-largest in the country, boasts a whole lot of heritage sights. So much so that its historic core has been recognized by UNESCO. The famous, centuries-old traboules – covered passageways that connect the city – make exploring Lyon equally romantic and exciting.
Lyon is also famous for its food. It has been dubbed “the gastronomic capital of the world” more than once in the past and is replete with dining and drinking options. Foodie couples should try machons: local charcuterie paired with red wine.
More info about Lyon, one of the most romantic destinations in France:
Looking for a chance to laze around on a beach, but also hoping to lap up character and culture? Then Calvi might be for you. Set on the northwest coast of the Mediterranean island of Corsica, Calvi has a crescent-shaped bay full of boats backed by burnt orange buildings hosting eateries and high scale hotspots.
Calvi has been popular since the 1920s as a tourist destination, something that has left its mark in the classy, upmarket atmosphere ever since. Further from the beaches, however, there’s more history in its streets and old watchtowers. Rumor even has it Christopher Columbus was born here.
More info about Calvi, one of the most romantic destinations in France:
The best romantic destinations in France besides Paris
Away from the touristy sights of Paris, there is a world of romance awaiting you and your partner throughout France.
Explore Medieval passageways, go on boat trips on tranquil lakes, walk on beaches hand in hand — all while staying in hotel rooms that feel like they’re straight from film sets.
From the Alps to the French Riviera, couples looking for a honeymoon destination or that perfect summer getaway will find plenty of romantic destinations in France that will suit them.
Inspired by the romantic destinations in France? Pin it for later!
This article was published in partnership with Bookmundi.