Verdon Gorge, France

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The stunning Verdon Gorge is a river canyon in the southeastern section of France. The gorge is home to the Verdon River, known for its starling turquoise waters.

The Verdon Gorge is a limestone canyon over 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and up to 2,297 feet (700 meters) deep. The canyon is a popular rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and sight-seeing destination.

Either side of Verdon Gorge is easily accessed, and a car ride around the rim is a lovely way to spend a day.

The largest nearby towns with the most services and accommodations are Grasse and Aix-en-Provence, with several other smaller towns in the vicinity.

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Jura, France

View of the picturesque medieval village in valley

Concealed by Alpine peaks and rolling, wooded hills, Jura—France’s smallest wine region—has long been shielded from the swarms that descend upon Burgundy to the west and Switzerland to the east. But in recent years, the Jura’s highly idiosyncratic, oxidative wines have generated explosive interest, with bottles making regular appearances on sommelier lists at U.S. restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and the French Laundry. Thanks to the newfound attention, the secret of Franche-Comté’s remote gem—a medieval-era region perfect for gourmands and nature-lovers—is out at last. Oenophiles will want to visit buzzy vineyards like Domaine André & Mirielle Tissot; co-owner Stéphane Tissot is a dynamic, progressive vintner who produces one of Jura’s famous sherry-like vin jaunes. Pair them with the Jura’s rich, rustic cuisine and the regional specialty, wheels of raw-milk Comté cheese. Burn off the calories hiking, cycling, or skiing the miles of quiet trails that arc around steep mountain ridges, shimmering lakes, and primordial waterfalls. For lodgings, turn to Les Jardins sur Glantine, a charming B&B that also produces superb natural wines. —Christopher Ross

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