Getting out of Paris, part II
The Merits of… the French Countryside Vacation
Next up on the list of vacations in France that are NOT Paris – the French countryside!
The countryside in France is SO CHARMING. I don’t know if I can emphasize this enough. Quaint little villages that make you feel like you’re walking on a movie set, authentic farms where producers take enormous amounts of pride in their trade, bustling markets… The best way to experience these smaller towns is to rent a home out in the countryside. You and your family can adopt a French lifestyle for a couple days!
With a little searching, you can find homes that offer enough to keep everyone happy without leaving the property much. We stayed at a little gem in the Loire Valley that boasted a pool, zip line, trampoline, a gigantic working fireplace (needed on a chilly evening, even in August!), BBQ, pond with a rowboat… There were also apple, pear and plums trees loaded down with fruit ripe for picking, and – the highlight for the kids – two chickens roaming around that laid fresh eggs every morning! Basically, for a brief period of time, we got to offer our kids the childhood I sometimes wish they had – romping around in nature, picking fresh fruit, being outside all day long and getting dirty…
Should you enjoy cooking, the homes are usually outfitted with a nice big kitchen to cook up all the local delicacies from the local market.
Also, if you are into antiquing, the French countryside is the mecca of incredible finds.
This kind of stay can really complement time spent in a bigger French city – it will offer a relaxing counterpart to the more hectic time in Paris, for example, and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and having seen a very different French lifestyle.
A couple things to consider… This really only works if you are willing to drive – public transportation and trains won’t get you out to the farms and country homes! Also – when choosing a place to stay, I would make sure it is located near a couple larger cities or attractions for convenient outings, should you get your fill of swimming and relaxing at home.
Trust me - You won’t regret adding a couple days in the French countryside to your next vacation in France!