Gastronomy, culture, nature: 9 weekend ideas for the May bank holidays

The month of May offers many opportunities to enjoy a long weekend and discover the riches of France.

Between gastronomy, culture and nature, the possibilities are numerous. In this article, we offer 9 weekend ideas for the May bank holidays, to help you plan your next getaway.

    For your information, the May bridges in 2023 are generous: most of them follow weekends:

  • Monday May 1, 2023: Labor Day
  • Monday May 8, 2023: Armi
    stice 1945
  • Thursday May 18, 2023: Ascension
  • Monday May 29, 2023: Whit Monday

In the mood for a gastronomic weekend?

Discover Basque cuisine in Biarritz!

Photos du Pays Basque et des pinchos

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If you’re looking for an authentic and original gastronomic experience during your next extended weekend in France, the town of Biarritz and its Basque cuisine are definitely worth adding to your itinerary. As well as tantalizing your taste buds with traditional dishes such as Basque chicken, piperade or local tapas known as « pintxos », you’ll be amazed by the magnificent Basque landscape, which offers a breathtaking spectacle combining ocean and mountains.

Visit the vineyards of Champagne!

Photo de Reims et d'une cave à champagne

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Are you a wine lover looking for a unique experience for your extended weekend during the May bank holidays? The Reims region of Champagne is the perfect place for you. You can visit the magnificent Champagne vineyards, where the chalky soil gives the grapes their distinctive flavor and the vines have been carefully tended for centuries. You can also discover the region’s champagne cellars. Here, bottles are stored in optimal conditions, a guarantee of their quality.

The region’s champagne houses offer fascinating guided tours and tastings that allow you to discover the different types of champagne, from the driest to the sweetest. Learn more about the history of this legendary beverage and taste some of the world’s finest cuvées! If you’re looking for a unique and exciting travel experience during the May bank holidays, then an extended weekend in the Champagne region of Reims is the perfect choice.

Make your taste buds tingle for a weekend in Lyon

Photo d'un bouchon lyonnais et d'un plat

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The city of Lyon is a must-see destination for food lovers. Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the city is renowned for its traditional cuisine, including charcuterie dishes such as saucisson and tripe, as well as local cheeses such as Tomme de Savoie and Saint-Marcellin. What’s more, the town boasts a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, offering unforgettable culinary experiences.

To top it all off, the city is also renowned for its food markets and bouchons, typical restaurants where you can enjoy traditional dishes accompanied by a glass of local wine. If you’re looking for an authentic culinary experience for your next long weekend, Lyon is a destination not to be missed!

Looking for a cultural weekend?

Visit the châteaux of the Loire Valley

Photo d'un chateau de la Loire

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If you’re looking for an unforgettable cultural experience during the May bridges, the Loire castles are an ideal destination. Located in the Loire Valley, these impressive châteaux offer a glimpse into France’s royal history. You can explore the magnificent formal gardens, admire the incredibly detailed architecture and discover the fascinating history of each château. Among the Loire’s most famous châteaux are Chambord, Chenonceau and Amboise, each offering a unique experience.

Embrace a weekend in Avignon to discover its rich cultural heritage

Photos d'Avignon et ses paysages

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Looking for history? Avignon is a city rich in history and culture, making it an ideal destination for an extended weekend. The city is best known for its famous bridge, the Pont d’Avignon. But there are plenty of other gems to see and discover. You can visit the Palais des Papes, an impressive Gothic palace built in the 14th century, which served as the residence of the popes for almost a century. And don’t forget to sample the local cuisine, including specialties such as ratatouille and papeton d’eggplants.

Explore Strasbourg and its architectural heritage

Photos de Strabourg

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If you want to discover a rich architectural heritage, Strasbourg is a city not to be missed. The city is best known for its Gothic cathedral, a masterpiece of medieval architecture with a spire over 140 meters high. But the town also boasts many other historic buildings, such as the Maison Kammerzell, a former merchant’s house dating back to the 15th century, and Petite France, a picturesque district with half-timbered houses dating back to the 16th century. Finally, the Musée de l’Alsace in Strasbourg is a real immersion in Alsatian culture through the centuries: a must-see.

Looking for a weekend in the great outdoors?

Organize a hike in the Gorges du Verdon

Photo d'une randonnée dans les gorges du Verdon

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The Verdon is one of Europe’s largest canyons, with cliffs over 700 meters high and crystal-clear turquoise water flowing through the gorge. Here you can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, climbing and paragliding. You can also discover the region’s picturesque villages, such as Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, famous for its handmade pottery, or Castellane, home to a 12th-century church and a lively Saturday morning market.

Discover the Camargue

Photos de la Camargue

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The region is famous for its vast wilderness, salt marshes, pink flamingos and wild horses. You canexplore the unspoilt nature of the Camargue on foot, on horseback or by bike, and discover a rich and varied flora and fauna. Birdwatchers will be delighted to observe rare species such as the Little Tern and the Ring-necked Plover. And don’t miss the region’s picturesque towns, such as Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, famous for its gypsy festival in May, or Aigues-Mortes, with its impressive medieval ramparts.

Explore the Cévennes National Park for a weekend

Photo du parc national des Cévennes

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Combining hiking trails, waterfalls, caves and magnificent natural landscapes, you’ll discover a unique mountainous region in the south of France. The Cévennes National Park is a must-see destination for all nature lovers. It offers a spectacular variety of landscapes: from vast limestone plateaus to deep gorges and dense forests.

You can explore the region on foot, mountain bike or horseback, and discover a rich and varied flora and fauna. The region is also rich in cultural heritage, with picturesque villages, medieval castles and prehistoric sites. Take a break and savor local specialties such as dry sausage, cured ham, frita or Cévennes pélardon.

The bridges of May 2023 offer an ideal opportunity to explore the gastronomic, cultural and natural riches of France. The nine weekend ideas suggested in this article offer a variety of options to suit all tastes and interests, whether to sample local specialities, discover historic monuments, stroll through nature parks or relax in picturesque villages.