Shhh – It’s a secret- C’est un secret

Do crowds of people appeal to you ??   Some of the top tourist destinations have become so crowded and busy especially during the high season, that it’s not an enjoyable relaxing experience and people are looking for more off the beaten track destinations to travel to and want to enjoy the “essence” of a country.
I don’t know about you, but if someone says “it’s a secret” I want to know more.  Isn’t there something really appealing about having “insider” info ??
Of course, we all want to see the famous places and attractions in other countries and we like to sprinkle each travel experience with those (if desired) and some other local “secret” experiences.
For example – mention France and most people think of Paris, Versailles, Normandy, and other large tourist cities or destinations.  There are so many beautiful regions of France that are off the beaten path.
Here are a few:
Colmar – “La Petite Venice” Alsace Region
Did you know you can visit Venice while in France ??  This little town of Colmar in the Alsace region  (Northeast France bordering Germany & Switzerland) is called “Little Venice”  Cute little picturesque houses, beautiful trees and shrubbery line the waterway that runs through this town.   Stroll around, visit the markets, take a little boat ride along the waterway and so much more.  Situated in the Alsace wine region that specializes in Reisling and Gewürztraminer wines, this is a little gem.  Only a 3-hour train ride from Paris – this could be the next stop after your city stay.
Loire Valley – like wine ???
The Loire Valley, is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France.  The Loire valley is a famous wine-producing region known for dry whites such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.  It is also famous for the many chateaux in this region.  The city of Orléans is famed for the Gothic Sainte-Croix Cathedral. associated with Joan of Arc. The region’s capital, Tours is a busy university town with a medieval quarter.  Another rich experience in France, it’s about 1 1/2 hour train ride from Paris.
Provence – Lavender ???
Provence, a region in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its diverse landscapes, from the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to rolling vineyards, olive groves, pine forests, and lavender fields.  Some of the more well-known towns include: Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, Lyon & Cannes
The best time to see the famous lavender fields is between June and July.  Vincent Van Gogh lived in Arles at one time and some of his famous works are on display there.  There are many festivals during the summer months too.

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