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Léa & Azélie ©️Paroles de Patrimoines

Paroles de Patrimoines is the media for heritage in the Massif Central! Above all, it’s a community of enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals from the heritage, cultural and tourism sectors. Through our various communications media, we share a new approach of our territories and their heritage: young and dynamic, but most of all, more responsible, closer to humanity and planet Earth.

Sustainable tourism is our main philosophy. We encourage our followers to take a look at what’s lurking just around the corner, to be curious, to go and meet what you think you know…because travel isn’t just on the other side of the world! In this article, we’re going to share with you a little piece of our story, our view of sustainable tourism, but above all, we’ll give you a few tips to help you practice this responsible approach to discovering your territory.

1/ Travel outside the high season

We all agree that when it’s too crowded, sightseeing isn’t very pleasant? The first tip to avoid this is not to “do like everyone else” and to discover places that aren’t too touristy…but also, to change your exploration dates!

South of France is crowded in summer, but it takes on a whole new face in spring and autumn! As well as avoiding the crowds, you’ll be able to take the time to better appreciate the local heritage, with weather more favorable to walks and hikes.

Traveling in peace and quiet is much more enjoyable! You will discover the destination in a more intimate way, as it really is and not as it is animated by the mass tourism.

We’re talking about the South of France because it’s the most obvious example. A summer vacation in the mountains is also a good way to discover France, with different activities and landscapes! Take advantage of the opportunity to try mountain biking instead of skiing, or go for a ride on an electric bike? Depending on the season, the landscape takes on a whole new look, and there are plenty of other activities on offer, so let yourself be tempted!

2/ Make your territory a map to discover, with nooks and crannies to unlock!

Who hasn’t wanted to go on an adventure as a child? Exploring what’s hidden around the corner is the best way to satisfy young and old alike. It couldn’t be easier! Print out a map of your area to any scale you like (or visit your local tourist office to pick one up free of charge), buy a guide book of your region, wear a pair of good shoes, don’t forget water, your best backpack and let’s go!

Like a game, have fun exploring new places. Open your guide book at a random page to discover the destination of the day. Annotate your map and guidebook with anecdotes, memories and your own discoveries. It’ll become your local travel diary.

Geocaching with Paroles de Patrimoine with a pen
Geocaching with Paroles de Patrimoines

Our recommendation for this adventure: geocaching! You can download the application of the same name to discover routes near you, or search for the application specific to your region. For example, Terra Aventura in Nouvelle-Aquitaine or Pepit’03 in Allier.

What is Geocaching? It is a a life-size treasure hunt where your have to find “caches”, little secret boxes in which a roll of paper is hidden to mark your passage. You can find geocaching all over the world.

Bonus !

With Terra Aventura and Pepit’03 you can earn badges to mark your discoveries and learn more about the local heritage thanks to anecdotes along the way.

Enjoy the exploration!

3 / Go out of the beaten tracks

Think of your journey from point A to point B as an exploration, not a path whose only discovery is upon arrival. Instead of taking the highway, look at parallel routes and compare whether it might be worth taking a little detour and stopping to discover a new place, test a new address for a meal.

Heritage is everywhere, especially where you least expect it! What’s more, you’ll save money on your journey… and for the planet, that’s essential!

with your car, go out of the beaten tracks
©️Paroles de Patrimoines

Our tip to help you experiment: Google maps is your friend! When planning your trip, take a look at what’s nearby. It’s often a good reference for recommending nearby places.

For level up, you can use My Maps, a component of Google Maps that lets you create your own map and add the points of interest you want.

As you go along, add the points you’ve seen, the ones you want to see… Get inspiration from guidebooks, Instagram, blogs. Once you’re on the road, see which places are nearby and take the opportunity to make a few stops to add to your checklist!

4 / Let yourself be guided and curious

create your own heritage map
©️Paroles de Patrimoines

Let yourself be carried along as you discover new places to explore. Follow the brown signs to nearby places of interest. As you go, stop off at places that inspire you and pique your curiosity, even if they’re not necessarily where you’d planned to go.

You’ll be amazed to see how many points of interest are hiding right next door that you’ve never taken the time to discover!

Creative tip!

Get a map of your area and trace the routes you’ve taken. Try to change the routes, annotate them and add pictures. Create your own exploration map to complement your travel guide.

5 / Try out unusual tours to rediscover your region

guided tour about Auvergne Heritage
Guided Tour with Janette from Auvergne Slow ©️Paroles de Patrimoines

Last but not least, we recommend you to try out some unusual tours to discover your home region in a different way. There are many possibilities! Tastings of local products to discover your gastronomic heritage (Volcano Heritage), historical tours with a guide specialized in a particular theme,

heritage aperitif to end the day on a high note (Auvergne Slow). And don’t forget to visit with an inhabitant (Greeters)… or on your own. There’s something for every taste and every form of heritage!

Our recommendation

Tourist offices are developing a good offer. You can also find unusual experiences on travel blogs to give you ideas and to vary your discoveries.

For example, learn how to make a bivouac in the wilderness with arverne bushcraft or Time on Target, discover edible plants with herbulathêkê, play a historical escape game (Les Arcanes de la Cité in Clermont-Ferrand, Mond Arvene’s itinerant escape game)*.

*Yes, we’re a bit chauvinistic about the Auvergne in our examples hihi 😉

It’s your turn to play!

Ps : si vous n’avez toujours pas écouté l’épisode du podcast Le Vert à Moitié Flockeo X Paroles de Patrimoines, il est temps de se rattraper ! Le podcast est disponible sur toutes les plateformes de streaming alors vous n’avez pas d’excuses !

Léa & Azélie.

Do not miss any opportunity

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