Where do French people travel in France? Cote d’Azur Burgundy Brittany

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Worldwide vacationers could prioritize visits to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre after they go to France.    

However French residents produce other concepts.

Border restrictions in the course of the pandemic largely gave locals the prospect to discover their nation with out international vacationers, which in 2019 numbered some 90 million.

The French didn’t squander the chance. Greater than two-thirds of French residents traveled in 2021, with 84% of France’s metropolitan residents selecting to remain throughout the nation, in keeping with the French tourism advertising and marketing analysis agency Raffour Interactif.

High locations

As the will for nature and outside actions grew in the course of the pandemic, a number of areas emerged as prime locations amongst native vacationers, mentioned Maud Bailly, the CEO of southern Europe for the multinational hospitality firm Accor, which has greater than 1,600 inns in France.  

Home vacationers have been drawn to the coasts of Brittany — or Bretagne in French — due to the “the ocean [and] the wideness of the panorama,” she mentioned. The northwest province is house to charming seaside cities, reminiscent of Cancale and the walled port metropolis of Saint-Malo, well-known for its gastronomy and historical past.  

The place the French journey in France

Area Locality For
Brittany Saint-Malo, Cancale, Quiberon gastronomy, large open areas
Nouvelle Aquitaine Biarritz seaside resorts, Basque tradition
Cote d’Azur (French Riviera) Cannes, Good nature, outside experiences, energetic holidays
Burgundy Dijon, Beaune, Macon gastronomy, wine
Supply: Accor

Supply: Accor

On the southern aspect of the nation, the famed French Riviera — notably the stylish coastal areas close to Cannes and Good — attracted native guests for a similar causes, she mentioned.

Whereas Covid pummeled tourism in French Polynesia, some islands nearer to the mainland drew many native vacationers, mentioned Bailly. Ile de Re, off France’s west coast, fared nicely due to its proximity to Paris — it is lower than 5 hours away by automobile, she mentioned — whereas guests additionally went to the “tremendous well-known, incredible” island of Belle Ile within the north, in addition to Corsica within the south.

“When persons are going to Corsica … they’re texting me [saying] ‘it is no use going to Maldives as a result of the water appears to be like the identical,” she mentioned. She spoke to CNBC from the Resort Molitor Paris-MGallery the place, she mentioned, many Parisians have been having fun with staycations.

The Sofitel Golfe d’Ajaccio Thalassa Sea and Spa resort, situated in southern Corsica.

Supply: Accor

From skiing in the Pyrenees to diving within the Mediterranean, it is the range of landscapes and experiences in France — which is about twice the dimensions of Colorado — that make it so in style, mentioned Bailly.

“I imagine that the richness of this small nation, with so many various prospects of leisure and vacation in just one place — is a bit distinctive,” she mentioned.  

Secrets and techniques and ‘little gems’

Most locations beloved by the French ultimately grow to be in style with international vacationers too, mentioned Bailly.

However one exception, not less than for now, is the Alsace wine route.

“You may simply go to Strasbourg after which begin by automobile, leaping from a village to a different one and simply tasting and discovering the wine, the castles … the landscapes,” she mentioned. “It is fairly secret.”

The small village of Dambach-la-ville, alongside the Alsace wine route.

Alexander Sorokopud | Second | Getty Photos

The key is out on locations reminiscent of Beaune and Macon within the world-renowned wine area of Burgundy. Each have been in style with home vacationers final 12 months, she mentioned.  

Earlier than the pandemic, almost 60% of France’s wine vacationers have been home vacationers, mentioned Martin Lhuillier, head of wine tourism at Atout France, the nation’s tourism improvement company.

Certainly one of his prime “insider ideas” is to go to Jura, one of many smallest wine areas in France, to go to the village of Chateau-Chalon, he mentioned. There, guests can attempt the world’s “coronary heart and soul” — its vin jaune, or yellow wine.  

Bailly and Lhuillier each suggest the French division of Dordogne. Situated between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees, it has “unspoilt pure jewels” like Bergerac and Duras, mentioned Lhuillier.

Learn extra about journey in France and Italy

Although it is much less stylish than different components of France, Dordogne is a spot “the place you possibly can actually get pleasure from French artwork de vivre, gastronomy and nature,” mentioned Bailly.

France’s “artwork de vivre” — actually “the artwork of residing” — is a part of the rationale that France has for many years been among the many hottest locations for worldwide vacationers. The emphasis on having fun with life is omnipresent — alongside boulevards of Paris, throughout the rooms of the Palace of Versailles and contained in the nation’s eating places, which collectively have extra Michelin stars than every other nation on this planet.

However Bailly mentioned it is within the “extra secret, discreet locations” that vacationers can actually “relaxation and reconnect to the French way of life.”

The ‘most lovely’ villages

One other place in Dordogne, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, is among the latest villages on the listing of the “most beautiful villages in France.”

The listing, which began 40 years in the past, names 168 villages of outstanding heritage and sweetness. Every is evaluated on 30 standards, together with heritage websites and structure in addition to smaller particulars reminiscent of hidden electrical wires. There’s lower than a 1-in-5 likelihood of constructing the listing, in keeping with the listing’s web site.

Southern France has the best focus of those villages, with greater than 75% situated in provinces like Nouvelle Aquitaine, Occitanie and Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur.

The tv present “Le Village Prefere des Francais” — or “The Favourite Village of the French” — additionally attracts guests to lesser-known spots within the nation. Fourteen villages are shortlisted every year — one in every area in France — with the winner topped by public vote.

Last year’s winner drew more tourists: the tiny hilltop city of Sancerre, which is among the most recognizable appellations for French Sauvignon Blanc.

The identical will doubtless occur for Bergheim, a village alongside the Alsace Wine Route, which was topped this 12 months’s winner on Wednesday.

Home tourism to Sancerre elevated in 2021, after it was voted probably the most lovely village in France.

Julian Elliott Pictures | Stone | Getty Photos

Bailly mentioned vacationers can construct a complete journey round these villages.

“It is a extra non-public, home, cultural manner of taking a look at France,” she mentioned. “It is not Saint-Tropez, it isn’t Mont Saint-Michel or Eiffel Tower, nevertheless it’s additionally France with the richness of its historical past.”

 

 



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