Waves of fragrant lavender surround this picture-perfect Rhone-Alpes village near Provence. Grignan, which dates back to the 11th century, was made famous by letters Madame de Sevigne wrote to her daughter, who lived here in the 17th century. A marble stone in front of the altar in the collegiate church marks the sealed entrance to Madame de Sevigne's tomb. There's also a fountain and a garden dedicated to her memory. The most impressive Grignan sight, though, is the majestic Renaissance castle, now a museum, sheltered behind high walls at the village's core. The ancient homes around it have been converted to hotels and B&Bs.
If You Go: See the altar, the grave marker, and the beautiful Gothic rose window at Collegiate Church of the Holy Saviour. Inside the Grignan castle, explore the museum or attend a jazz concert. Savor truffles, wines, cheeses, and other regional specialties at Grignan's restaurants and farmers' markets.
Getting There: Grignan is 102 miles north of Marseille and 109 miles south of Lyon, about a two-hour drive either way.