Where to travel in France this summer

While France is the top tourist destination in the world, many of its regions remain unexplored by the majority of travellers. Whether cultural, active, or relaxing, all types of vacations are possible in France, and at low cost! Here are 3 regions to be discovered in France that fit any plan.

Summer in the Midi-Pyrénées: culture and fresh air

The south of France is ideal for travellers looking for culture and fresh air. Whether 7 or 77, you’ll enjoy the sunny climate and unique lifestyle of this region.

When to go? This region is the sunniest in France with over 2,000 hours of sunshine. Springtime, from April to June, is the perfect time for hiking and outdoor activities as the weather is warm and the mountains are still capped with snow.

Summer temperatures in Midi-Pyrénées: July and August are naturally some of the hottest months with strong sun and intense heat. The temperature is around 75° F midday.

1. Toulouse: a friendly and welcoming city

Toulouse, France - GuestToGuest home exchange

Activities in ToulousecultureBag

  • Cultural activities: Stop by the famous “ville rose” and visit Saint-Sernin’s Basilica, located next to the Saint Raymond museum, the ancestral musuem of Toulouse.
  • After your visit, take advantage of pleasant walks around the city, the most commercial streets are rue de Rome, rue Alsace Lorraine, and of course the Capitole Square.
  • Nightlife: In the evening, dine in one of the many restaurants and bars in the city to discover the uniquely vibrant student life.

Finding accommodation for less:

Toulouse - GuestToGuest home exchange

A visit to Toulouse is not complete without a visit to the surrounding areas rich in picturesque villages and unique open air venues. Why not experience life inside one of these villages firsthand with home exchange?

Béatrice offers her home for exchange on GuestToGuest. “Our beautiful farmhouse consists of 3,000 square feet and 7 rooms. It is close to the small village of d’Auterive where you can find all the necessary conveniences. The region is crossed by the river “L’Ariège” where you can go canoeing, and we are only 20 minutes by train from Toulouse”.

Our homes in Toulouse

2. Albi, reminiscent of ancient French history

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Activities in Albibikeswimmingpoolkayakculture

Less than an hour away from Toulouse, explore Albi, a small village of Tarn famous for the Sainte Cécile Cathedral.

  • Cultural activities: Enjoy a walk along the calm and sunny city streets to discover the musuem of famous painter Toulouse Lautrec.
  • Active excursions: For especially warm days, you can explore the entire episcopal city by water in a canoe or kayak.

Where to stay for less: 

To visit the region of Toulouse and the South of France, spend your holidays in Sandrine’s home in the village of Gauré.”In the middle of the countryside, but only 18km from Toulouse, this welcoming home is ideal for the whole family or a group of friends. What you’ll love: it’s completely quiet except for the chirping of the birds. The location is ideal for bike rides and there’s a golf course just 15 minutes from the house.”

Our homes in the Midi-Pyrénées

3. Ariège, hiking in the Pyrénées for an active vacation

lake-399802_1280.jpgThis chain of moutains is just as enjoyable in the summer as it is in winter. Hiking is the ideal activiy for a family vacation on a budget and plenty of fresh air.

Activities in the region: hike

  • Active excursions: There are hikes suited for all levels from several villages in the region. For the “must-see” routes we advise that you choose the route of Gavarnie, the pedestrian routes that depart from Cautererts, Luchon or Aix-les-Thermes.
  • Take advantage of your proximity to Spain and Andorra for a quick trip. It should be no more than 2 hours to drive to most large tourist sites.
  • Relaxing activities: Relax in Aix-les-Thermes in Ariège where you will find thermal baths to reward yourselves after a long day outside.

Finding accommodation:

Ariège - GuestToGuest home exchange

Lieve’s home situated in Castelnau-Durban is perfect for relaxation in the Pyrénées. “Nature is at the heart of our lives here: the region is super green and mountainous, ideal for nature walks and hikes”

Our homes in Ariège

4. Gers: The French capital of gastronomy!

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Foie-gras, a specialty of French gastronomy finds its roots in Gers. This sunny region has much to offer throughout the year.

Activities in the region: hikeswimmingpool

  • Cultural activities: During your stay you can visit cities such as Auch, Condom, or even Sarrant. During summer, find your way to Viella, the center of wine, and refresh yourself with a swim in one of the many waterways of Samatan or Gondrin.

Where to stay:

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Jean-Paul’s home in Gascogne is the perfect spot for a holiday of exploring the richness and diversity of the landscapes and Roman relics.

Our homes in Gers

The region of Poitou-Charentes: an Atlantic coastline ideal for outdoor activities

When to go? Thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic ocean, the region stays pleasantly warm without feeling hot and muggy in the summer. Rainfall is lowest in the summer and spring making them ideal travel times to explore the region.

Summer temperatures in Poitou-Charentes: From June to August the sun is abundant and temperatures range from 72°F to 78°F.

1. La Rochelle: where sea and cultural heritage are intertwined

la-rochelle-887448_1280This Atlantic city is a must-see when visiting the region of Poitou-Charentes. In the summer, the city is animated and the activities are abundant.

Activities in the region: cultureswimmingpoolbike

Things to do in La Rochelle:

  • Cultural activities: Dine on oyster and fish caught fresh from the region in any one of the restaurants in the Old Port, in either the Saint Nicolas or St. Jean du Pérot neighborhoods.
  • Children will appreciate the aquarium in the summer, while their parents can enjoy the castle of Terre-Neuve or the eco-museum of Cognac.
  • Active excursions: We recommend you discover one of the many small islands by bike to take it all in.
  • The islands of Oléron and Ré both offer activities perfect for vacations with children.
  • The Fort of Boyard, the citadels of Brouage on the Island of Oléron, the oyster farm of Ré, and the whale lighthouse are all good for cultural activities. Horses, jetskis, paddleboards, catamarans, and bicycle rentals… there are any number of ways to explorethe region!

Our homes in La Rochelle

Vineyards and beaches: a perfect summer in Gironde and Acquitaine

1. Bordeaux: experience the magic of quaint villages and vineyards

15389667170_71dc781ff3_z (1).jpgVenture outside the city of Bordeaux and discover the backcountry of the region: the countryside offers you a multitude of villages situated in Bordeaux’s many vineyards.

Activities in the region: bikeculturehike

Things to do around Bordeaux: 

  • Active excursions: Rent a bike to go on spontaneous excursions in the region. The temperate climate and numerous gastronomic and cultural stops will assure you will spend a wonderful day with the family or as a couple.
  • Cultural activities: The village of Saint-Emilion, famous for its wine, is an absolute must-see during your vacation to Bordeaux.
  • By bike or car, take advantage of your trip to visit the castles known around the world for the quality of their wines and to offer you a taste of their prestige.

Our homes in Bordeaux

2. Gironde: visits to French castles

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If you’d like to share a piece of French culture with your children, Gironde offers a quantity of ancient castles to visit.

Activities in the region: bikeculture

Things to do in Gironde: 

  • Cultural activities: Located just 25km from Bordeaux, the Castle of Vayres, is part of a number of exceptional sites: you can visit a true French medieval garden, stately rooms decorated in the style of Louis XIV, but also take advantage of the unique environment of rivers and forests.

3. Arcachon Bay: between sand and water

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This unique place contains small villages that are nice to visit in the summer and forests ideal for bicycle rides, but also all the advantages of the ocean.

Activities in Arcachon: bikeswimmingpoolkayak

  • Things to do in Arcachon: 
  • Active excursions: With family, take advantage of boat rides to visit the close Bird Island or hob aboard an oyster boat to teach your children the art of cultivating.
  •  Enjoy the sunset from the dunes of Pilat, the tallest in Europe. Looking for adrenaline-inducing activities? Try paragliding on the dunes and admire the incomparable views of the ocean.
  • Arcachon and its neighboring towns in Gironde are popular tourist destinations. This unique place brings together small lovely villages to visit in the summer, ideal pine forests for bicycle rides but also the benefits of the sea.
  • Take advantage of your stay in Aquitaine to walk in the estuary or observe the fisherman’s huts on stilts.

Here is an overview of destinations available on GuestToGuest in France. Our members offer their homes for exchange throughout the year in France or abroad, in the sun, by the ocean, or in the mountains. Thanks to our system of “GuestPoints” you can travel on reciprocal or non-reciprocal exchanges. You can travel to your host’s home by giving them GuestPoints and exchanging your home with other people.

Do you have questions about home exchange? Check out our blog post. Don’t hesitate to consult our testimonies page to hear from our members.

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