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The 5 Best Secret Places In France


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Eada Rios



France, known for its iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. While these popular attractions often steal the spotlight, there are also hidden gems scattered throughout the country waiting to be explored. In this article, we will unveil the five best secret places in France that are sure to captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression.


From the picturesque lavender fields of Provence to the awe-inspiring Mont Saint-Michel, these lesser-known destinations offer a glimpse into the diverse and enchanting landscapes that France has to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, these hidden gems are guaranteed to leave you in awe.


So, if you’re ready to venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden treasures of France, join us as we uncover the secrets of these remarkable places.


Secret Place #1: The Lavender Fields of Provence

When you think of Provence in France, images of vibrant purple fields stretching as far as the eye can see may come to mind. The lavender fields of Provence are a true hidden gem, offering a sensory and visual experience unlike any other. It is a place where the beauty of nature intertwines with the sweet scent of lavender.


Located in the southeastern region of France, the lavender fields bloom from June to August, transforming the countryside into a fragrant kaleidoscope of colors. Walking through these fields feels like stepping into a dream, with rows upon rows of lavender plants blending harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.


The lavender fields of Provence are not only a feast for the eyes but also a treat for the senses. As you wander through the fields, you’ll be greeted by the gentle breeze carrying the intoxicating aroma of lavender. The sight, sound, and smell of this enchanting place create a serene and unforgettable experience.


For the best views, head to the Plateau de Valensole, known as the heart of lavender country. Here, you’ll find expansive fields dotted with quaint villages and ancient farmhouses, providing a quintessential Provencal backdrop. Capture the beauty with your camera or simply immerse yourself in the calming atmosphere as you stroll along the fragrant pathways.


In addition to its natural beauty, the lavender fields of Provence also offer unique experiences for visitors. You can participate in lavender-themed workshops, where you’ll learn about the cultivation and distillation of lavender, as well as the production of essential oils and other lavender-based products. You can also indulge in lavender-infused culinary delights, such as lavender ice cream or lavender honey.


Whether you’re a lover of nature, photography, or simply seeking tranquility, the lavender fields of Provence are sure to capture your heart and create lasting memories. It’s a secret place in France that shouldn’t be missed.


Secret Place #2: Mont Saint-Michel

Perched on a rocky island off the coast of Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel is a true architectural masterpiece and one of France’s best-kept secrets. The sight of this medieval abbey rising majestically from the sea is nothing short of awe-inspiring.


Mont Saint-Michel has a rich history dating back to the 8th century when the first structures were built on the island. Over the centuries, it evolved into a fortified abbey, attracting pilgrims and visitors from far and wide. Today, it stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site, drawing tourists with its unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance.


Approaching Mont Saint-Michel is a magical experience in itself. During high tide, the island is surrounded by water, creating a mesmerizing reflection of the abbey. As you make your way across the causeway, you’ll feel transported back in time, surrounded by centuries-old architecture and winding cobbled streets.


Once inside the abbey, you’ll discover a world filled with intricate Gothic architecture, soaring spires, and captivating stained glass windows. Explore the abbey’s various levels, including the cloisters, refectory, and charming chapels. Each corner reveals hidden treasures, and the views from the top are simply breathtaking.


For a truly unforgettable experience, consider staying overnight on the island. As day-trippers depart, the island takes on a magical ambiance, enveloped in a quiet serenity. Walking through the narrow streets at night, illuminated by the warm glow of street lamps, feels like stepping into a fairytale.


Whether you visit during the day or spend a night on the island, Mont Saint-Michel is an extraordinary place that will transport you to another era. It’s a hidden gem that deserves to be explored and cherished.


Secret Place #3: The Pont du Gard

Tucked away in the picturesque region of Provence, the Pont du Gard is a hidden gem that will transport you back to the time of the Roman Empire. This impressive ancient aqueduct, built over 2,000 years ago, is a testament to the engineering prowess of the Romans and a testament to the rich history of the region.


The Pont du Gard is situated near the city of Nîmes and was built to transport water from a natural spring to the Roman city. Standing tall at three levels and towering over the Gardon River, it’s a remarkable feat of architecture that showcases the grandeur and ingenuity of the Roman Empire.


Visiting the Pont du Gard is like stepping back in time. As you approach the structure, you’ll be struck by the sheer scale and magnificence of it. The stones, meticulously stacked atop each other without the use of mortar, have withstood the test of time and remain an impressive marvel.


Take a leisurely stroll along the top level of the aqueduct and marvel at the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. As you walk, you’ll be able to appreciate the precision and craftsmanship that went into constructing this incredible structure. The lush greenery and the tranquil flow of the river below create a serene ambiance that adds to the allure of the place.


For those interested in the history and engineering behind the Pont du Gard, there is a visitor center that offers informative exhibits and displays. Learn about the intricate system of aqueducts that once supplied water to Nîmes, and gain insight into the daily life of the ancient Romans.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a tranquil spot to relax and soak in the beauty of nature, the Pont du Gard is a hidden treasure that deserves to be explored and admired.


Secret Place #4: The Verdon Gorge

Nestled in the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, the Verdon Gorge is a hidden gem that will take your breath away. Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Europe,” this stunning natural wonder is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


The Verdon Gorge is a dramatic river canyon carved out by the Verdon River over millions of years. The turquoise waters winding through the steep cliffs create a mesmerizing contrast against the rugged limestone walls. As you stand at the edge of the gorge and look down, you’ll be greeted by a sight that is both awe-inspiring and humbling.


Exploring the Verdon Gorge offers a range of activities for adventure seekers. Hiking trails meander along the edge of the canyon, providing breathtaking views at every turn. You can choose to trek the entire circumference of the gorge or embark on shorter hikes to the most scenic viewpoints.


For an adrenaline rush, try rock climbing on the imposing cliffs that rise above the river. The Verdon Gorge is renowned as a premier rock climbing destination, with routes suitable for climbers of all skill levels. The thrill of ascending the vertical walls while surrounded by the stunning natural beauty is an experience like no other.


Another popular activity in the Verdon Gorge is kayaking or canoeing. Rent a boat and navigate the crystal-clear waters, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the canyon. The river leads you through narrow passages and opens up to wider sections, allowing you to fully appreciate the grandeur of the gorge.


In addition to the outdoor adventures, the Verdon Gorge is also home to charming villages and towns dotted along its banks. Explore quaint Provençal villages like Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, with its picturesque setting between two cliffs, or Castellane, known for its historic center and scenic views of the gorge.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, serenity, or simply the chance to marvel at the wonders of nature, the Verdon Gorge is a hidden treasure that will leave you in awe. Its majestic beauty and the plethora of activities make it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast.


Secret Place #5: The Château de Chambord

Hidden within the lush Loire Valley, the Château de Chambord is a magnificent Renaissance castle that exemplifies the grandeur and opulence of French architecture. This enchanting palace, with its distinctive French Renaissance style, stands as a testament to the artistic prowess and cultural heritage of France.


The Château de Chambord is known for its stunning architectural features, including its intricate stone facade, elegant turrets, and the iconic double spiral staircase. As you approach the castle, you’ll be captivated by its imposing presence and the meticulous details that adorn its exterior.


Step inside the château, and you’ll be transported to a world of elegance and luxury. The interior boasts lavish furnishings, ornate tapestries, and intricate woodwork, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistic vision of the era. Explore the grand salons, the royal apartments, and the expansive gardens that surround the castle.


One of the highlights of the Château de Chambord is its sprawling parkland, encompassing over 13,000 acres of pristine forests, meadows, and lakes. Embark on a leisurely stroll through the park, and you’ll encounter an array of wildlife, including deer and wild boar. The picturesque landscape is perfect for picnics, bike rides, or simply immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature.


For a truly unique experience, consider taking a hot air balloon ride over the Château de Chambord and the surrounding countryside. Gain a bird’s-eye view of this architectural masterpiece and marvel at the breathtaking panorama that unfolds before your eyes.


The Château de Chambord also hosts various cultural events throughout the year, such as concerts, art exhibitions, and historical reenactments. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant cultural scene of France at this remarkable destination.


Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply seeking a taste of the royal lifestyle, the Château de Chambord is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked. Its unparalleled beauty and rich heritage make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the enchanting Loire Valley.



France is a country that never fails to mesmerize and inspire. Beyond the well-known landmarks and tourist hotspots, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From the lavender fields of Provence to the majestic Château de Chambord, these secret places offer a glimpse into the diverse beauty and rich history of France.


Exploring these hidden treasures allows you to immerse yourself in the natural wonders, cultural heritage, and architectural marvels that France has to offer. Whether you’re captivated by the sight and scent of lavender, marveling at ancient structures like Mont Saint-Michel and the Pont du Gard, or venturing into the breathtaking landscapes of the Verdon Gorge, each destination has its own unique charm and allure.


These hidden gems provide not only visual delights but also memorable experiences. Whether it’s hiking through lavender fields, climbing medieval walls, kayaking through turquoise waters, or getting lost in the grandeur of a Renaissance castle, each secret place offers a chance to create unforgettable memories.


So, when planning your next trip to France, venture off the beaten path and discover these hidden gems. Open your mind to the beauty and surprises that await, and let these secret places in France captivate your senses and leave you with a deep appreciation for the wonders of this extraordinary country.