Over recent year, France has really come into its own as one of the world’s top holiday destinations, especially for UK tourists. This of course comes largely down to the frankly brilliant transport connections to the continent which are being refined and stepped up year after year, but more so than ease of access to the country, Brits and others are just beginning to find out about so many of France’s long-time hidden haunts.

So, if you’ve been thinking of heading over to France this year and would like something a little off the overly-beaten path, you simply cannot go wrong with any of the following five idyllic areas in France:

Midi-Pyrénées Camping

In the summertime at least, the Midi-Pyrénées is the place to head for the very best weather in all of France and guaranteed sunshine. Well, almost guaranteed! It’s an area that’s bursting at every seam with incredible mountains, valleys and gorges which come together to present some of the most spectacular cycling, walking and camping opportunities anywhere in Europe. A true haven especially for the families, it can also be surprisingly cheap to rent a delightful hut for the week, or better yet bring along your own tents for further savings!

Auvergne Volcanic Adventures

One of France’s best-kept secrets is undoubtedly the country’s central Auvergne region, which presents no less than 80 volcanic peaks and boasts some truly spectacular landscapes. You’ll be able to explore the peaks of ancient volcanoes and climb the country’s largest for incredibly views – the Puy de Dôme.

Brittany Beach Life

Of course, few places in France can promise quite the same quintessentially French experience as Brittany. Spend your days unwinding on the beaches or bring along the bikes and head out on an adventure – you’ll be spoilt for choice! What’s great for UK travelers is that Brittany Ferries are right now offering some great holidays with ferry travel included. Visit their website as they are currently offering 20% off holidays during school holidays.

Argeles-sur-Mer Seaside Treats

When it comes to the blending the bliss of the beach with the most astounding natural wonders in France, nowhere does it better than Argeles-sur-Mer. Here’s where you’ll see the Pyrenees finally giving way to the ocean, with a six-mile stretch of beach the likes of which is absolutely drenched in sunshine for the whole of the summer.

Menton’s Old World Charms

Last but not least, for a heady blend of the best elements of the Côte-d’Azur without the clichés and the unnecessarily high prices, Menton is the place to head. Again blessed with stunning natural beauty and all the thrills you’d expect from any high-class coastal resort, Menton just doesn’t have that kind of snootiness you’d find if you holidayed a little further to the west. Instead, it’s all about family-friendliness, wonderful old-town streets to explore and that genuine feeling of discovery you just do not get from the more obvious French holiday hotspots.

Photo by leshaines123 on Flickr under CC