A few long weekends are coming up with the arrival of the month of May. What if this was the time to go with family or friends to a place in France that you like or that you want to discover? With its vineyards, its varied landscapes, sea, mountain and its remarkable heritage, the Hexagon offers a multitude of possibilities and reveals destinations that correspond to all profiles. From North to South and from East to West, here are 10 destinations recommended by the Petit Futé, and where to spend a pleasant long weekend in May. The beautiful days are here, it's time to pack your bags and get some fresh air!
1- Collioure and its surroundings, Catalan atmosphere
In the Pyrénées-Orientales, Collioure offers an ideal setting for a relaxing weekend. Not only does the town have a beautiful heritage, the Notre-Dame-des-Anges church, the royal castle and the Saint-Elme fort are must-sees. But it is located in the heart of a beautiful natural environment, with the mountains behind and the beautiful Mediterranean at the foot of the houses and monuments. One should also not forget to stroll along its port, as well as in the colourful district of Mouré, in the footsteps of Fauvism. Around Collioure, beautiful walks take place in the hilly landscapes, and some superb villages await the curious: Castelnou or Villefranche-de-Conflent
2- The Gulf of Morbihan and its islands
After having taken the time to discover the beautiful city center of Vannes, a tour of the islands of the Gulf of Morbihan is a great opportunity to take the sea air. A cruise passes by the Ile aux Moines, which is suitable for hikers, including cyclists. Arz Island is another place to spend a peaceful day. More intimate, it is a pleasure to contemplate the beautiful Breton houses and to go to the beaches to sunbathe. On the mysterious island of Gavrinis, you can take a trip back in time to see the cairn, the Sistine Chapel of the Neolithic, with its fascinating ancestral engravings. Finally, take advantage of a trip to the Gulf of Morbihan to enjoy a good dose of seafood, including the unmissable oysters.
3- The Canal du Midi, for a bike ride
The Canal du Midi is certainly long, and a weekend is far from being enough to discover it from top to bottom, but everyone has the possibility of planning a part of the itinerary suitable for two or three days of rides and discoveries. The canal is pleasant in May, as it is less crowded than in the middle of summer, and the weather is so good that it is the perfect time to enjoy the banks of the canal and have a picnic, then relax at the foot of a tree. Cycling along the canal and watching the locks and boats is a great way to relax and get away from it all. Then, depending on your desires, you can also plan a detour to Carcassonne and its rich heritage or to Narbonne if you want to get closer to the Mediterranean.
4- Bandol, a Mediterranean getaway
Bandol is a destination of choice to enjoy the mildness of the Mediterranean coast during the beautiful days of May. This charming Provençal town has a very pretty marina to stroll around, and the beaches have azure blue waters, ideal for long, relaxing swims. In only a few minutes of crossing, you can also reach the island of Bendor to enjoy its beautiful preserved nature. And to still admire marine landscapes worthy of postcards, the path of the littoral awaits the hikers who will not be able to prevent themselves from taking out the cameras. Bandol, it is also its precious vineyard, the walks in the vines and the times of tasting. All in all, a lot of fun
5- The Creuse valley, land of impressionists
The Creuse is not the most talked about region in France, yet it is a beautiful area and a great opportunity to get closer to nature during a long weekend in May. In the course of its history, the Creuse has attracted many impressionist painters, who were captivated by the relief and colours of its nature, its waterways and its picturesque villages. The north of the Creuse valley offers lovers of natural environments and culture the opportunity to follow the Sentier des Peintres, leading to the viewpoints that have inspired so many great painters, Monet, Picabia and Guillaumin
6- The Somme Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world
It's not for nothing that the Baie de Somme is said to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world, next to names like Along Bay and San Francisco Bay. It's a perfect destination to stroll around for a few days, and vary the pleasures. You can start by putting your bags down in the medieval town of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme, to discover its marina, its fishermen's quarter and photograph its colourful houses. Then, at another time, how can you resist going to see the seals in their natural environment at the Pointe du Hourdel? A magical moment! The Baie de Somme is also all about the pleasures of the sea. For this, there's nothing like going to the seaside resort of Le Crotoy, whose beaches are perfect for sunbathing on the sand.
7- Colmar, canals and traditional houses
The city of Colmar is located in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards. There is nothing better than the sun and the mildness of the month of May to stroll from district to district. The Petite Venise district is crossed by the Lauch river, and splendid half-timbered and coloured houses line the river, making it so bucolic. The Quartier des Tanneurs is another authentic district where you can spend time admiring the buildings, each one more beautiful than the next. Because the heritage is simply exceptional in Colmar. There are some very nice religious buildings, such as the collegiate church of Saint-Martin, and the architecture of some of the houses is fascinating, such as the Maison des Têtes and the Maison Adolph, the oldest in the city. Colmar is also a city of culinary pleasures and good wines.
8- The Beaujolais for a wine tasting trip
The Beaujolais is a sublime territory for walking in the heart of green and hilly landscapes, punctuated with small villages of character. The Beaujolais Wine Route allows you to travel through a multitude of appellations, to stop and stroll through the vineyards and villages, and to meet people for wine tasting. On the way, a break is necessary at the top of the Brouilly mountain, to see the beautiful Notre-Dame-des-Raisins chapel, then enjoy a breathtaking 360° panorama. And as long as you're in the Beaujolais region for a beautiful weekend in May, you might as well take advantage of it to take a break in the golden stone villages. Ternand, Charnay and Oingts are architectural gems in the area
9- The Landes, between pines and beaches
As a preamble to what the summer has in store for us, and especially for those who are die-hard sea lovers, the Landes is a perfect territory to put down your suitcases and get intoxicated by the iodine and the smell of the pines. Hossegor, Biscarosse, are cities that are still more or less peaceful in the springtime, and in a snap of the fingers, you can find yourself on kilometers of beaches for a moment of idleness on the sand or to ride the waves on a board. The Landes are also a delight for cyclists, with miles of tracks that cross the forest of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park. At lunchtime and in the evening, foie gras, chicken, asparagus and Tursan wines can be enjoyed in good spirits
10- Porto-Vecchio, the beauty of southern Corsica
Situated on a vast rock at the foot of the Aiguilles de Bavella, Porto-Vecchio is a Corsican city whose old town has retained its charm of yesteryear, with its narrow streets and squares. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste church and the citadel are magnificent, and the marina is a pleasant place for a digestive stroll after a good meal. In May, the mild temperatures can be conducive to swimming, and in Porto-Vecchio, the beaches look like paradise with their fine white sand and translucent waters. Those of Palombaggia and Santa Giulia are a must. You can also vary the pleasures by visiting the prehistoric sites, the peaceful Ospedale lake and the Piscia di Gallu waterfall.