Touring rural France is nothing short of magical. There are plenty of areas to choose from and there are some great destinations in all parts of the country.
Provence is by far the most popular rural area. You can fly into the coastal city of Marseille and within an hour, you will be in the heart of France’s wine and agriculture area. The old city of Avignon, where the Papacy briefly located itself during an outbreak of the plague, is a joy to visit and is within easy driving distance of all the beautiful towns in the area.
With the stone houses and terracotta tiled roofs, you will be blown away by the beauty of these retreats.
As soon as you enter the periphery of the villages, you will notice that time almost stands still and the pace of life is slower than the rest of the country. If you come from a buzzing city, then the difference will be even more marked. No one hurries here, so do not be surprised if you are driving through the back streets and someone will simply stop their car and get out to buy some bread, leaving you waiting behind the car. They love to have a chat too, so if it seems like the person in front of you at the bakery is telling the person behind the counter their life story, that is probably what they are doing.
The French also love to nap in the afternoon and in most rural villages, shopkeepers will pull down the shutters for a few hours to take a break and recharge their batteries. This leads to them sleeping much later at night and some families will sit down for dinner at 9pm or even later. Add a coupled of glasses of red wine into the mix and you might find yourself chatting into the wee hours of the morning.