Forget Paris! Explore France's Wine Country and Hidden Gems with this $10 Rail Pass

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Paris may be an iconic city, but there are plenty of reasons not to visit one of the world's most famous cities this year.

It's always tempting to jet off to Europe and see all the places you've always dreamed of, and Paris might seem like a prime candidate.

But that won't be the case in 2024.

Happy female tourist on a trainHappy female tourist on a train

Paris is already one of the world's most visited cities and visitor numbers are expected to rise as the city will host the ever-popular Summer Olympics.

But that’s ok, because apart from the City of Light, France has so many amazing places to explore, especially by train.

We've all experienced the pain of inflation, and $10 is no longer enough to buy even a cup of coffee in America.

The $10 Occitanie Rail Tour Pass in France is a bargain and definitely one of the best travel deals this summer.

Where can tourists go?

The Occitanie region is home to some of France's finest cities, including: Montpellier, Nimes, Toulouse.

You may be wondering what all these cities have in common.

The answer is… wine!

Montpellier train at nightMontpellier train at night

Well, that's the most important part of the equation anyway: this side of France is well known for its fruit production, which of course is a key factor in winemaking.

Europe is world-famous for its wine and food, but perhaps no country is more popular when it comes to its selection of the finest wines than France.

This year, say 'Forget Paris!' and head to this charming region full of stunning historic cities, picturesque vineyards and fantastic bars and restaurants.

Toulouse is one of the few major destinations on this train line, and let's be honest, it's one of the most underrated cities in France, so if you get off here, you might not want to get back on.

People walking along the historic streets of ToulousePeople walking along the historic streets of Toulouse

All of French culture, overshadowed by the huge shadow of the Olympics this summer, is present in this beautiful and historic city.

Plus, Toulouse is definitely the place for drinkers, with top-notch bars like Le 5 Wine Bar and vast, scenic vineyards nearby.

explore France's hidden gems

As the most popular country in the world, it may seem like there are few hidden gems, but that's not necessarily the case.

Vineyards with the medieval castle of Carcassonne in the backgroundVineyards with the medieval castle of Carcassonne in the background

With new destinations with overtourism issues popping up every week, there may never have been a better time to explore the road less traveled – in this case, by rail.

While Paris and the Côte d'Azur tend to get all the attention, there's still plenty left to discover in France.

Occitanie Railway Tour Pass now on sale 19 Stops Local TER services provide easy access to lesser known sites such as the medieval city of Carcassonne, dotted with magnificent castles and vast vineyards.

Or how about the fairytale town of Narbonne, a secret hideaway on the French coast?

There are seemingly endless ways to escape the hustle and bustle and explore France's hinterland, and discover the beauty and flavours of Occitanie.

Gothic Cathedral of NarbonneGothic Cathedral of Narbonne

What are the pitfalls?

$10 may seem too good to be true, so you might be a little wary before even considering planning a trip.

It's always good to be cautious, and in this case, the deal was as good as it seemed, though there are always fine print.

The path is really $10 per dayHowever, there are certainly some limitations, but they are not too severe.

Firstly, this pass cannot be used on high-speed TGV trains, InterCity or night trains.

Male traveler waiting for a trainMale traveler waiting for a train

Secondly, there may be a destination on your radar that's a bit out of reach, in which case you can simply pay a few extra dollars to connect on the liO bus in that area.

Lastly, the pass is valid for unlimited travel for 2-6 days.

Regional trains don't have reserved seats, so there's no need to rush to book your trip, which means you'll likely be able to buy a pass at the last minute.

There are more 150 Stations With fine wines, stunning scenery and an incredible coastline, you can choose from endless adventures.

Inside a train in Toulouse, FranceInside a train in Toulouse, France

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The opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and not of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline or any other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the entities included in the post.

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