Shh… This Is Where French Girls Go on Summer Vacation (and Why You Should Too)

The sparkling Eiffel Tower might have been what first drew you to France, but trust us, the tiny towns outside the French capital are what will keep you coming back for more. Beyond the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, and Sacré-Cœur, these towns are home to a host of lesser-known attractions that exude French charm and character—minus the crowds. 

Unsure where to start? We turned to French girls and European travelers to find out where they go on summer vacation. Yes, when throngs of tourists queue to climb the Eiffel Tower, locals leave the city for the quiet canals of Annecy, yacht-lined bays of Cassis, and rugged cliffs of Corsica. Log your leave: This is where you should go on summer vacation, according to the French. 



You'd be forgiven for thinking this postcard-perfect picture is of Amsterdam or Venice, not a town in France. Annecy, an alpine town in southeastern France, is perched on the shores of Lake Annecy and has a network of canals that intersect the cobbled streets. Gelato-colored houses with window boxes overflowing with flowers overlook the water, making this town one of the most scenic spots in the country.

Local Tip: Embrace water spots. Thousands of French people travel to Lake Annecy every summer to make the most of the glass-like water and sublime conditions. Make like a local and go sailing, water skiing, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding.


Have you been to any of these French towns? Share your travel tips and recommendations with us.