France is an eternally charming destination, with distinct culture found in all parts of the country, from urban metropolises and wine regions to snow-capped mountains and beaches. But if you’d like to steal away to an under-the-radar town with a taste of the country’s culture and history, we suggest a quintessential French village like Dole. Here’s what you’ll find there:
Located two hours away from Paris by train, Dole is a small town on the banks of the Doubs River near Dijon and the Swiss border. The waterway is a defining part of the town, snaking its way across and around Dole and inspiring picturesque bridges and canals throughout.
Visitors can walk along the banks, cruise aboard a boat, and even dive into the waters alongside the locals.
The town’s population hovers near 30,000. The cobblestone streets are lined with bakeries, cafes, and other small shops and galleries that are free to wander into.
Its buildings date between the 15th and 18th century, with a few remnants from Roman times. A small stone bridge and an underground bathing channel are just two examples of the latter.
Dole is highly walkable — just about every attraction can be reached on foot. Smaller rural villages outside of town are reachable by car.