France might be famous for its exquisite cuisine and iconic landmarks, but it also boasts a plethora of little-known locations that are waiting to be discovered. Beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, the north region of the country features charming towns, breathtaking landscapes and historical wonders. 

While exploring by car allows you to visit a wealth of locations on your trip, the area’s charm and beauty lends itself to cycling holidays, where you can adventure through the narrow streets and really immerse yourself in the region’s culture. 

Saint-Malo, BrittanySaint-Malo, Brittany

Saint-Malo, Brittany

A beautiful port city on the north coast of Brittany, Saint-Malo offers a taste of medieval France, with cobbled streets and a historic harbour. As well as visiting the city’s wall, you can explore the mighty Fort National, a 17th-century fortress accessible by causeway during low tide. 

The bustling markets offer opportunities for sampling fresh seafood, including plump oysters, succulent mussels and an array of just-caught fish. In the evening, you can enjoy sipping on a glass of Breton cider in a harbourside café as you take in the vibrant atmosphere.

Eguisheim, AlsaceEguisheim, Alsace

Eguisheim, Alsace

Named one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" (Most Beautiful Villages of France), this charming village boasts a picture-perfect setting. Colourful, half-timbered houses line the streets, all leading to a delightful central square. Here you can explore the local wineries and sample a glass of the region's popular Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer.

Foodies won’t be disappointed either with traditional Alsatian dishes such as flammekueche (a savoury tart with cheese, onions, and bacon) or hearty choucroute garnie (sauerkraut with sausages and potatoes). 

Monet's Garden in Giverny, NormandyMonet's Garden in Giverny, Normandy

Monet's Garden in Giverny, Normandy

Located in Normandy, a short distance from Paris, Giverny is where the artist, Claude Monet, spent the last decades of his life. You can explore the vibrant gardens that inspired his iconic water lily paintings and cross the famous Japanese bridge, a wooden structure spanning the pond. You’ll also discover Monet's pink-hued house which captures the artist’s life and creative process.

L'Île de Groix (Island of Groix), BrittanyL'Île de Groix (Island of Groix), Brittany

L'Île de Groix (Island of Groix), Brittany

This little island provides a rare car-free paradise and is filled with quaint villages and a rugged, scenic coastline. Enjoy a slower pace of life and uncover the island's beauty by bike, the perfect way to discover secluded coves with turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of chances to try kayaking or sailing and you can even tour the island on an organised motorboat excursion.  
However you choose to experience Northern France, there are a whole host of attractions and activities waiting to be uncovered off the beaten path, whether you’re seeking culture, history, adventure or simply some stunning landscapes. 



Do you have feedback, a comment or correction? Let us know