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Top vacation destinations in France for 2021

With the sun coming out and health restrictions easing, you’re probably getting a serious case of wanderlust! Get inspired with our guide to the best vacation destinations in France for 2021.

7 min read

With the sun coming out and health restrictions easing, you’re probably getting a serious case of wanderlust! Yet with border re-openings remaining uncertain, going on vacation in France is probably still the safest option. All out of ideas? Get inspired with our guide to the best vacation destinations in France for 2021.

Where to go on vacation in France

After months of being confined at home, you’ve likely been dreaming of summer vacation even more than usual. So make the most of your time off this year! Whether you want to regroup with your family, spend unforgettable moments with friends, or relax with your other half, we’ve put together a special guide to vacations in France. In this article, you’ll find ideas for: 

- seaside vacations - mountain vacations - sporty vacations - creative vacations

So pack your bags and discover where to go on vacation in France this summer with our list of nearly 20 summer destinations in every corner of the country. 

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Vacations in France—head for the islands

Planning to cross the globe to enjoy the edge-of-the-world atmosphere of island life? Did you know that the French coasts are home to more than 1,000 islands and islets? Here, we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful French islands, so you can hit the beach during your seaside stay. 

Île de Ré—for bohemian seafarers

Easily accessible via the bridge that connects it to La Rochelle in Charente-Maritime, Île de Ré offers a bohemian atmosphere perfect for seafaring folk—white houses with blue shutters, hollyhock-covered walls, long sandy beaches, and cycling paths as far as the eye can see. Don’t miss the view from the Baleines lighthouse, the village of Ars-en-Ré and the magnificent Conche des Baleines beach.

Noirmoutier—the salty savannah

Wilder than its neighbor in Charente and a stone’s throw away from Nantes, the Vendée island of Noirmoutier will appeal to lovers of wide open, wind-whipped spaces. With its very own microclimate, Noirmoutier offers contrasting landscapes of salt marshes, mimosas, dunes, and holm oak forests. The Passage du Gois, village of Noirmoutier-en-Île, and Butterfly Island are among the local must-sees.

The Breton islands—tropical vibes

Looking for a vacation in paradise? Then head to Brittany! The land of cider and pancakes is also full of islands with a mild climate and unique flora and fauna. Here’s our selection of the most beautiful Breton islands to visit:

  • The Glénan archipelago 

With its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches just off the coast of Concarneau, the eight islands that make up the Glénan look like a tropical paradise! Be sure to try your hand at sailing at the highly renowned local sailing school.

  • Île de Groix

Located off Lorient, Groix boasts colorful architecture, but it’s also home to the only convex beach in Europe—Les Grands-Sables.

  • Île-de-Bréhat

Between Saint-Brieuc and Lannion, the “island of flowers” promises to take you on a journey with its eucalyptus, fig trees, and other hydrangeas!

Corsica—a road trip to paradise

The “Isle of Beauty” is a must-see for summer vacations in France! Between Cap Corse and its steep coast, the achingly chic Saint-Florent, the medieval citadel of Bonifacio, and the paradise beaches of Porto-Vecchio, there's truly something for everyone. Seabed lovers can explore the depths of the UNESCO-listed Gulf of Porto, while families can show their kids around with a road trip of the island.

Wondering where to go in France with a baby? Less crowded than the French Riviera, Corsica is an ideal destination with one or more young children. Another option is the beaches of Languedoc, which are less populated than their neighbors to the South East.

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Where to go on vacation in the mountains

Are you a nature lover who doesn’t like to see the words “vacation” and “relaxation” in the same sentence? Then the summer charm of the mountains is for you! If you’re not sure where to go on vacation in France in August, you might like the mountains as somewhere a little less frequented than the coast. If your heart swings between the Alps and the Pyrenees, find a gem from our recommended destinations in these two massifs for a stay in the mountains that will tick every box.

Destinations in and around the Alps

If you’re hesitating between a seaside or mountain holiday, enjoy the best of both worlds by visiting the Pays de Gavot in Haute-Savoie. This region overlooks Lake Geneva and offers breathtaking views of this inland sea, which you can gaze out over while hiking to the top of the Dent d’Oche.

If you love adventure, head for the Vercors! This regional natural park not far from Grenoble offers a mid-mountain range landscape ideal for family holidays in France. Tip: be sure to visit Lake Monteynard and its famous Himalayan footbridges when you’re there.

And why not make the approach to Mont-Blanc while staying in Chamonix? In summer, you can admire the highest Alpine peaks in Europe by paragliding, heading to look out over the famous Mer de Glace, or visiting the Aiguille du Midi at an altitude of nearly 3,800 meters above sea level.

Ideas for destinations in the Pyrenees

Straddling France and Spain, the Pyrenees are the perfect playground for lovers of hiking and culture alike. For your next mountain vacation, visit the Val d’Azun, full of crystal-clear lakes like Suyen, Estaing, Gaube, and more. Admire the snow-capped peaks by visiting the Col du Soulor or Couraduque and stock up on local products as you stroll along the stalls of the Argelès-Gazost market.

Are you a fan of beautiful stone buildings? Then it’s time to visit Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port! The capital of Basse-Navarre, and just one hour from Biarritz and a few kilometers from the Spanish border, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Soak up the charm of the Basque hinterland and revel in the plentiful options for picturesque walks. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Stay in shape with a sporty vacation

Do you love working out or trying new sports? Make the most of your next vacation in France with our suggestions for sports-related trips in four corners of the country:

  • Learn to surf in the Landes 

This region’s sandbanks at Mimizan or Contis are perfect for beginners, as they're less crowded than the coves of the Basque Country. A Californian atmosphere is guaranteed!

  • Bike along the Atlantic coast 

Did you know you can travel the French west coast by biking along the Vélodyssée bike route? From Roscoff in Finistère to Hendaye in the Basque Country, choose the portion of this mythical cycle route for your next sporty vacation!

  • Explore the Verdon Gorge by canoe or kayak 

Take it all in as you travel through the striking Verdon Gorge, bathed in azure waters on par with the most gorgeous Thai islands.

  • Discover caves in the Gorges du Tarn 

Stay cool and enter an underground world with an introduction to caving. If you’re a beginner, the Clujade cave near Saint-Énimie en Lozère offers a gentle introduction to potholing.

Spice up your summer with a creative vacation!

Treat yourself to an unforgettable vacation by opting for novel accommodations or activities! Here are our recommendations to spice up your next vacation in France:

  • Sleep under the stars in a bubble 

The days of vacationing in the trees or a trailer are long gone—the new trend for off-the-beaten-path holidays in France is camping out in a transparent bubble. Enjoy a perfect view of the night sky while staying comfortable. With the concept growing in popularity, you can find bubbles all over France.

  • Go on a cruise on a traditional sailboat in Brittany 

Go back in time by boarding an old rig, and learn more about Brittany’s maritime history by booking a cruise in the Gulf of Morbihan, one of the most beautiful bays in the region!

  • Discover contemporary art between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire 

Need more culture in your life? Get your art fix on the 120km Estuaire contemporary art circuit. An open-air exhibition of 33 works of art punctuate this atypical route along the Loire.

  • Go wolf-spotting during a night visit to Gévaudan Park 

Add a little thrill to your vacation by going to see the wolves living in semi-wild conditions via a guided tour in the Gévaudan Park, in the heart of the Aubrac region. It’s a truly original way to learn more about this much-feared canine.

Dreaming of more exotic destinations? We’ve got you covered—discover the most popular vacation destinations according to N26 users.

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Plan your vacation budget with a little help from N26

Get organized for your next vacation in France with the smart features included in all premium bank accounts at N26. With the N26 Smart, You, and Metal accounts, you can manage your expenses easily with Spaces sub-accounts. These virtual piggy banks make it simpler for you to save for specific goals—like a summer vacation.

Want to make managing your finances simple? Make life easier by discovering effective ways to save money for your next vacation and stock up on tips for cheap holidays in France.

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