Sheila's Guide for French Travel and Language Immersion Outside of Paris
There's more to France than Paris - explore these lesser known regions of the country.
Though Paris is a vibrant city full of life, it is not a place you can easily find alone time. In fact most people residing in France (who live outside of Paris) would not choose the city as an enriching vacation destination.
Luckily France has countryside, beaches, and places without masses of crowds. A number of the following cities are still established and not located completely off the map. However, if you want to combine your immersive language travel experience with more opportunities to escape into nature, check out the following programs that Langua Travel offers.
Find surfers galore in this Basque coastal town in the south of France. However don’t expect to discover the upscale atmosphere typical of cities like Cannes in friendly and easy-going Biarritz. Visit in the summer months and experience perfect 75 degree weather as well as a picturesque beach.
Photo Credits: Emmanuel DYAN
BMA Biarritz is Langua Travel's partner school. In addition to intensive language courses it encourages extracurricular activities, such as surfing, rafting, biking, and exploring the city, to create a well-rounded experience for students.
It's no wonder many famous impressionist painters such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Monet, and the like gathered inspiration from the idyllic scenes found in Aix-en-Provence. With greenery woven into the fabric of the city streets, the atmosphere is peaceful and tranquil.
Photo Credits: Lorena Torres Angelini
LT's partner school IS Aix-en-Provence welcomes students with open arms to this beautiful area.
Travel about an hour north and find yourself in the midst of the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon. Langua Travel's partner school CREA-Langues is situated in a historic monastery surrounded by lavender fields. The closest town is Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, considered by some to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Travelers wishing to escape into the blissful French countryside will not be disappointed to find lakes nestled among the gorgeous mountainsides of this region.
For those wanting to experience a more historic side of France, Rouen is the perfect place to visit. Most people think that the Seine predominantly flows through Paris but Rouen, further north, actually borders this river as well. In addition, the capital city of Normandy has a medieval feel, making it a truly unique destination.
Photo Credits: Frédéric BISSON
LT's partner school in this city is French in Normandy. Walk outside the grounds to find charming “Beauty and the Beast”-esque architecture without missing the perks of a larger city.
Travelers unaware of the beautiful beaches and climate found in Nice and the French Riviera will be pleasantly surprised. While it is the fifth most populous city in France (not ideal for those wanting to completely escape tourism), its Mediterranean culture is a far cry from the cosmopolitan vibes of Paris. There are hidden gems in this city, such as "Old Nice", botanic gardens, and an observatory, that can be explored while getting a great tan.
Photo Credits: Jonas Weckschmied
Another perk, you can study the French language at LT's accredited partner school Actilangue.
Each traveler has varied preferences and needs that contribute to their enjoyment of an immersive language travel experience. Especially if considering a longer trip, it is important to weigh significant factors such as size and atmosphere. Without a doubt each one of these cities has much to offer without being too overwhelming.
For tips on staying with a host family wherever you end up, check out this post.
...and if Paris is on your bucket list (like it was for me) check out this post on 5 great spots in the city of light!