Hi friends! I hope you all are well 💛
I thought I’d do something a bit different today, a kind of blog post that, hopefully, will give you some much needed escape and wanderlust from it all, too.
A little earlier this month, I mentioned some things I’d love to read more of in YA books and turned half of it into a rant about books set in France being 99,9% of the time, set in the capital city, Paris. I asked, and a number of you mentioned they’d be interested in hearing about some beautiful places in my country, so here it is!
I hope these places will inspire you, both to put these on your bucket list, to give you an escape and make you dreamy for some beautiful places and maybe even write or get ideas for some new story settings, too. (hey. I’m allowed to dream, right.)
All photographs used in this post are from unsplash.com.
🌍 10 places in France to write about
🔍 Why it’s a great place: Because I live there? 😳 I am so completely biaised here, but I think that my little corner of France deserves much love and many, many stories, too. I mean, doesn’t it look dreamy? There are little villages and bigger cities, beautiful half-timbering houses, gigantic vineyards and great food. In the summer, it’s hot and lush and beautiful, in winter we get some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the world.
I am so biaised here.
Some cities and villages: Strasbourg, Colmar, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé…
📝 The kind of story I’d write: Oh I think I could write all the contemporary stories here, the ones filled with romance and walking down the paved streets, with friendships and late-nights out laughing. I don’t know. Happy books, I guess.
🔍 Why it’s a great place: I’m a little biaised here too, because I consider this city to be kind of a home, too, since I studied there for 3 years. There’s something about the little red brick houses, the charm of the little streets in the city center…I just really like it okay. Also, it’s really close to Belgium, a short train ride away from London and from Paris.
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I kind of want to write a story about college here. University years in the vibrant city, finding your people and your crowd and yourself, too?
🔍 Why it’s a great place: I first visited Bordeaux a couple years ago and fell in love with this city. It’s nicknamed “Paris of the South“, because it shares a lot of the same Parisian architecture, while sharing some of the Southern paved streets and architecture, too. I loved this city, its streets, the Garonne River crossing it.
It is not in the city of Bordeaux, but a couple miles away from there is a wonderful place I dream of going to, the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe.
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I don’t know why, but the city of Bordeaux makes me think of friendships. Like, the dream squad of friends walking aroud the city on the evenings, rushing to the beach and sand dune in the summer, breaking hearts and themselves and putting themselves back together again. Like a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants kind of story.
🔍 Why it’s a great place: I have been to Bretagne (Brittany, in English, Bretagne is the French equivalent) once or twice when I was younger, but I definitely want to go back. The region is stunning, with its beautiful, vibrant ocean side, small and bigger towns, I don’t know, it gives me magical vibes.
Some cities and villages: Rennes, Saint-Malo, Quimper, Brest…
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I asked my sister and she actually had a fantastic suggestion for that one: a magical realism story. It would perfectly fit this eerie, beautiful region of France, something magical about the Atlantic Ocean maybe? Sort of a Summer of Salt-feels kind of story.
Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur, France
🔍 Why it’s a great place: There’s something kind of nostalgic to me about the south of France. I spent a whole lot of summers there as a kid and I don’t know. The crowded beaches, the southern architecture, the fields and heat and long, endless summer nights… It is a beautiful place. Best experiences NOT in the summer, because CROWDS, but well.
Some cities and villages: Nice, Marseille, Avignon, Aix en Provence…
📝 The kind of story I’d write: A summer contemporary romance would be incredible for this setting!!
🔍 Why it’s a great place: Annecy is one of the most popular, touristic spot in ALL of France and… well, I mean, look at this, you get it? I get it. Cobbled streets, the canal going through the old town, the gigantic and beautiful Annecy lake… it’s a perfect spot to get away and get lost for a little while.
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I don’t know why, but I’d see a good contemporary mystery set in this town. the chase through the little streets, the lake and its mountains towering below… I feel like it’d be a very atmospheric, thrilling mystery read.
🔍 Why it’s a great place: Lyon is a stunning city and I love it, because it feels like SO many different cities all at once. The modernity of the city center, the old Roman Amphitheater, the river, the little streets and passageways hidden in the city, the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière… There’s so much to see and do and a little of everything for everyone.
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I’m definitely seeing, for some reason, some kind of historical story…. maybe a historical fantasy of some kind, or something based on mythology? I’m rambling here, and this is not my writing area of expertise, but, I mean: the architecture, the old Roman Amphitheatre and everything else I mentioned above screams that.
🔍 Why it’s a great place: Normandy is a region in France high, very high on my bucket list. There are just so many beautiful cities and little hidden gems (and tourists spots) there, it’s filled with world and French history alike and, look at it. It looks so stunning.
Some cities and places: Saint Malo, Etretat, Mont Saint. Michel…
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I kind of see a fantasy story happening in these streets. Something vibrant with sirens and kings and I don’t know, I’m rambling, but it feels like a fantasy kind of place.
🔍 Why it’s a great place: The region of Auvergne feels like a place you’d go to get lost, like, really. It’s mostly rural and has loads and loads of mountains, skiing, dormant volcanoes and stunning views, too.
📝 The kind of story I’d write: I don’t know why, but this place makes me want to write about explorers in the mountains. Road trips, hiking, discovering the world, something like that. Maybe a contemporary with a group of people away from the real world, getting lost in the mountains? Or that could turn into something fantasy-like, maybe….
La Vallée de la Loire, France
🔍 Why it’s a great place: La Vallée de la Loire (The Loire Valley, in English), in the middle of the Loire River, is known for its gorgeous architecture and LOTS of stunning castles (like, more than 300…. aerm). I mean, no words necessary here, just look at this stunning place.
📝 The kind of story I’d write: ALL. THE. ROYALTY. I mean, look at these stunning castles and outdoor spaces. This screams American Royals.
☂️ You might also be interested in: 10 things I want to read more of in YA books
What do you think of this post? Did you discover some new places to put on your travel bucket-list?
Do you think any of these places would inspire great stories? Do you have any cities, countries or places in mind you’d LOVE people to write more about? Let me know in comments!