When public holidays roll around in France, it’s not uncommon to see locals taking advantage of the time off by embarking on exciting weekend getaways. And in May, France has it’s fair share of holidays – 5 to be exact! With the arrival of warmer weather, these long weekends mark the beginning of summer and offer the perfect opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes just outside of Paris. Today, we’re thrilled to share our team’s favorite weekend destinations, handpicked by our passionate photographers & community manager. Get ready to discover hidden gems, soak up local culture, and capture stunning moments throughout France.
The Venice of the Alps: Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Annecy, this charming city exudes a fairytale-like atmosphere. With its quaint canals, medieval architecture, and stunning natural surroundings, Annecy is a photographer’s paradise. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, capture the vibrant colors reflected in the crystal-clear waters, and let the magic of this Alpine gem unfold before your lens.
Distance from Paris: Approximately 5 hours by car or 4 hours by train.
Where History Meets Nature: Step back in time with a visit to Fontainebleau, a town renowned for its magnificent château and sprawling forest. The Fontainebleau Forest offers endless opportunities for exploration, from its enchanting trails to its hidden nooks. Capture the grandeur of the château’s architecture, immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, and feel the stories of French royalty echoing through the centuries.
Distance from Paris: Approximately 1 hour by car or 40 minutes by train.
Toast to the Vineyards: Raise a glass and venture into the Champagne region, where rolling vineyards and charming villages await. This destination promises a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and exquisite bubbles. From the vineyards of Épernay to the historic cellars of Reims, capture the essence of champagne-making and revel in the captivating landscapes that surround you.
Distance from Paris: Approximately 1 hour 45 mins by car or 1 hour by train.
Coastal Marvels: For breathtaking coastal vistas and raw natural beauty, head to Etretat and the enchanting region of Normandy. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs, witness the power of the crashing waves, and capture the striking rock formations that have inspired artists for centuries. With its charming coastal towns and historic landmarks, Normandy provides endless inspiration for your photography adventures.
Distance from Paris to Etretat: Approximately 3 hours by car or 2.5 hours by train.
Top 3 Things to Do in Etretat and Normandie:
Experience the unique blend of French and German influences in the enchanting city of Strasbourg. Famous for its canals, half-timbered houses, and vibrant Christmas markets, Strasbourg is a visual feast year-round. Capture the city’s romantic ambiance, explore its picturesque neighborhoods, and savor the delectable culinary delights that make this destination truly special.
Distance from Paris: Approximately 4-5 hours by car or 2 hours by train.
Timeless Splendor: Transport yourself to another era in the fortified city of Saint-Malo and the regal Château de Chambord. Wander through the cobblestone streets of Saint-Malo, immersing yourself in its medieval charm and capturing the essence of this coastal gem. Then, travel further inland to the Loire Valley, where the majestic Château de Chambord awaits. Its elegant architecture and vast grounds make it a perfect subject for your lens.
Distance from Paris to Saint-Malo: Approximately 4 hours by car or 2.5 hours by train. Distance from Paris to Château de Chambord: Approximately 2 hours by car or 2.5 hours by train.
Top 3 Things to Do at Château de Chambord:
These captivating destinations offer a wealth of experiences, natural beauty, and cultural treasures within a short distance from Paris. Whether you find yourself captivated by the canals of Annecy, the historical grandeur of Fontainebleau, the effervescence of Champagne, the coastal marvels of Etretat and Normandy, the timeless splendor of Saint-Malo and Château de Chambord, or the Alsatian charm of Strasbourg, each location promises to inspire photographers and create lasting memories. So, pack your camera gear, embark on an unforgettable journey, and capture the essence of France beyond the enchantment of Paris.
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This post is outstanding, with such great choices of places to explore. Thank you!
Thanks so much Marcia! I’m so glad you found it helpful, and hope you can go and enjoy all these beautiful places!!