Do you long to travel to exotic destinations but don’t have the time or budget? Or perhaps you want to experience the European culture but aren’t ready to give up your exotic summer holiday? Luckily, France is home to some stunning locations, that are sure to make you feel more like you’re in the Caribbean than Europe. Check out these amazingly exotic destinations that we have discovered on our travels around France

Maubuisson and Lac d’Hourtin-Carcans


Lac d’Hourtin-Carcans is the largest freshwater lake in France and despite having miles of uninhabited waterfront, there are various different beaches, swimming spots and ‘resorts’ to hunt out; you won’t be hard pushed to find your own tropical paradise.

We discovered the resort of Maubuisson, on the lake’s south-western tip, quite by accident one year (lost whilst on the way to somewhere else) and loved it so much that we ended up returning for our family holiday the following two years.

With white sands, shallow clear water, pine trees and water sports, you wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking it for a Caribbean island! And with a small selection of cafes, bars, ice-cream parlours, fun fair rides and seaside type shops, it has a real holiday vibe about it.

Also venture to the north-west of the lake (either by car or hire boat) to Piqueyrot, a tiny spit where you will find more tropical scenes, a cafe, restaurant and water sports.



Lac de Sainte-Croix

Lac de Sainte-Croix is actually a man made lake in the Verdon area of France which was created when the Verdon river was dammed in the early 1970’s by Électricité De France. The result is this vast, beautifully turquoise lake with pretty villages and secluded beaches dotted along it’s shores.

For clear waters, water sports, cafes and restaurants, head to Baudeun, a village to the South-East of the lake. Hire a boat for the day and explore the lakes hidden gems.






For an unexpected taste of the jungle, take a walk from the tiny village of Sillans-la-Cascade and find this beautiful waterfall and its magnificent pools.

The walk starts on a flat, designated path but develops into a bit of an adventure if you want to make it down to the pools. But it is totally worth it, it really is like being transported from the French countryside to a tropical rainforest!





Cap Ferret

Pine trees, sand dunes and vast golden sandy beaches will greet you at Cap Ferret, which you will find just to the west of Bordeaux.

This beautifully sandy peninsula is a fairly exclusive French holiday destination yet it is wonderfully underdeveloped. With laid back restaurants (check out Chez Fred on the drive in),  fishing boats, oyster baskets and the warm waters of the Bay of Archachon on one side, you will feel a million miles away.





St Tropez

The whitewashed and pastel buildings, terracotta roofs and the old port make St-Tropez reminiscent of Greece or Grenada.

If you have the budget, and want to enjoy the clear waters and sandy beaches, you can spend the day at one of the private beaches. But there are a few small beaches around the old town which are well worth a visit and on a beautifully sunny day, you could feel transported much further afield.




Porquerolles is a small island in the south of France, between Marseille and Cannes, accessible via ferry. Mr DaisLikeThese visited many times as a child but it is still a bucket list desination for me.

Now, this place looks off the scale beautiful and definitely exotic! I can’t wait to check it out one day.




Have you visited any exotic places in France? I’d love to hear about them. And I will be sure to report back any further destinations that we come across.

Tin Box traveller

24 thoughts on “Finding Exotic Destinations in France

  1. Beautiful post and glad to see that all the places you mentioned are family friendly. Some of the ones you mentioned I was not even aware of although St. Tropez is quite iconic.

    We did discover a bit of France when we went to Switzerland this year and skipped over Lac Leman and explored Evain. Wanted to go to Iyvior (spelling?) as well but didn’t have time.

    Thanks and something I look forward to using when I plan french holiday


  2. All of those spots are unbelievably beautiful! We are going to be in France in May and might have to check one of them out. Are any of them more affordable than others, or are they all resort prices?


    1. St Tropez is generally very expensive, we travelled in for a day trip rather than staying there. But the other places will be more reasonable.

      One place not on my list, which I would definitely recommend, is the Ardeche region. You can kayak down the gorges, hike in the hills and canyon in the rocks. My husband’s family live there so we visit often and our kids love the adventure.
      We will be there in May too!

      Also it is definitely more reasonably priced there.
      Have an amazing visit!


  3. Thanks for sharing this story. I am sure the suggestions will come in handy as I travel across France next year. Following more stories on your blog now!


  4. Wow! With all the lovely photos displayed, France indeed can easily look like any of the Caribbeans. I’ve been to France but not any of them beaches. I reckon to check Benicassim in Valencia, Spain, pretty much looks like Maubuisson from your descriptions and photos.


  5. Beautiful destinations in France, but the food is still one of my favorite activities/attractions in the country. Those beaches do look pretty amazing, too.


  6. I didn’t realize France could look so exotic! Some of the photos even looked like Thailand 🙂 Will have to check out these destinations someday!


  7. Wow! I am amazed at the beauty of all these places. You are right! There is no needed to get outside the country when you have these beauties around! #MondayEscapes


  8. This has really opened my eyes to the exotic side of France. I’ve explored more of inland France than the coast but think I’m going to have to change that! I can’t believe these places aren’t in the Caribbean!! #MondayEscapes


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