From lush vineyards and rumbling canyons to massive sand dunes and breathtaking villages, we’ve compiled a list of the most stunning places to see in France.
There’s the reason France is considered to be the most traveled country in the world. It’s not just that it has many of the beautiful wineries and food on the planet and is also one of the most breathtaking places. In fact, wherever you go within the borders of l’Hexagone you will find a myriad of sights that will blow your mind away. From rolling vineyards to plunging canyons to massive sand dunes and magnificent villages, there is plenty to please the most avid travelers.
There is many things to do and see selecting which destinations to explore in France may be daunting. Therefore, to help reduce your choices, here are our top suggestions to help you create your bucket list.
- 1. Champagne: home of Dom Pérignon
- 2. Provence: land of lavender
- 3. Gorges du Verdon: the Grand Canyon of France
- 4. Mont Saint-Michel: the real Rapunzel’s Tower
- 5. Dune du Pilat: Europe’s tallest sand dune
- 6. Saint-Tropez: land of luxury
- 7. Rocamadour: the sacred hilltop pilgrimage
- 8. The Loire Valley: the garden of France
- 9. Auvergne: the land that time forgot
- 10. Corsica: the island of beauty
1. Champagne: home of Dom Pérignon
We’ll admit it, an overview of the top destinations to visit in France would not be incomplete without including the home of bubbly. The region is located in the northeast of France and just 1.5 hour drive away from Paris and the Champagne area is a must-see for those who love drinking bubbles. Watching the sun set over the beautiful lush vineyards and enchanting landscape is enough reason to go to the region. But those who wish to taste the bounty of the soil are able to go on a tour at one of famous Champagne houses. This is certain to be a memorable experience, but perhaps not if they opt to indulge!
Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Taittinger, and Dom Perignon are among the houses with a reputation for opening their doors for the general public. The latter is perhaps most well recognized for its name; the Benedictine monk, who became a major quality pioneer of Champagne wine. Contrary to the popular opinion However, Dom Perignon did not invent the famed wine. This is only one of the many details you’ll learn when visiting his cellar and his final resting place within the Abbey of Hautvillers.
2. Provence: land of lavender
Each summer, the seemingly endless fields of lavender creates Provence an extremely beautiful as well as aromatic – destinations to visit in France. The fragrant and delicious plant can be found virtually everywhere throughout the region during this season. It is true that among the most picturesque locations to experience it include those of the Valensole Plateau, the Sault Plateau as well as The Luberon Valley. For the best postcard shots however, there is nothing better than the fields of flowers that surround those of Notre-Dame de Senanque Abbey. In the quiet countryside, close to the village Gordes The stunning church dates back to the 12th century and is surrounded by an ocean of pink every summer and in July.
In addition to the honeybees of the area These beautiful fields of lavender are lovingly maintained by monks who live at the monastery. Visitors are welcome to be a part of them and enjoy an idyllic meditation retreat. If you’d prefer to limit the trip to a day excursion However, the fields are open from 09:30 in the summer months; and from at 13:00 Sundays. Keep in mind that the charm of the place is the reason it gets very busy during this time. So, be sure to arrive early and take part in on the tour that starts around 10:30.
3. Gorges du Verdon: the Grand Canyon of France
If visiting the Grand Canyon in Arizona feels as if it’s a bit of a long distance, then you can opt for a French equivalent. It is located in the Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur region in southeastern France The 700-meter deep Gorges of Verdon is an awe-inspiring experience to see. It was carved through the Verdon River, the soaring limestone canyon is one of the biggest in Europe. It’s also a hotspot for adrenaline-inducing watersports and other activities.
A cruise along the 25km long stretch of mesmerizing turquoise water that run to the natural Lac de Sainte-Croix is a memorable experience. For those who are more adventurous may opt for white-water rafting through the rapids. A more relaxed day could be spent hiking along the 100km rim canyon, or riding on horses and weaving across the limestone cliffs that rise vertically. However, whatever you choose to do ensure you’ve got your camera on hand. In the end, this is among the most stunning destinations to visit in France.
4. Mont Saint-Michel: the real Rapunzel’s Tower
France has a variety of stunning villages. But none are as captivating and unique like Mont Saint-Michel with its magnificent abbey. High up on the rock-strewn island of Mont Saint-Michel, some 600 meters from the coastline of Normandy The striking medieval abbey looks like something straight out of an epic child’s fairytale. It’s made more captivating by the winding narrow roads and charming timbered-framed homes which lead to the castle. The stunning landscape actually inspired Rapunzel’s tower as well as The Kingdom of Corona in Disney’s Tangled film.
The imposing island village was a major Christian pilgrimage spot to the time of the eighth century. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws more than 3 million visitors each year. Naturally, it is still an extremely visited destinations to visit in France in the outside of Paris. However, the huge sandy beach and ocean surrounding the island make it look less attractive.
Its nature of the island becoming totally isolated when the tides are extremely high only adds to the mystery. However, the majority of tourists today can access the island via the bridge of 2,500 feet. If they’re seeking adventure they can walk across the treacherous mudflats as the ocean recedes at low tide.
5. Dune du Pilat: Europe’s tallest sand dune
Nature lovers will definitely be enthralled by the stunning 360-degree panoramas from the top of Dune du Pilat the highest sand dune in Europe. It is located at La Teste-de-Buch in the Arcachon Bay region, the stunning natural wonder is among the most famous places for a visit to France. Every the year more than a million visitors take up the wooden steps that lead to the top of the mountain and take a walk through the 2.7km-long mountain ridge.
With an enthralling view of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and lush green pine forests to the other the effort is worth it. The imposing dunes offer one of the most stunning natural views of Europe. Dune du Pilat is also popular with paragliders and other outdoor sports fans. The five campsites nearby are what attract campers. If you’re looking to cool off after your triumphant climb, Corniche Beach offers a cool spot to relax in a pool. The beach is situated at the base of the dunes and is accessible from the main entry point.
6. Saint-Tropez: land of luxury
If you’re looking for the opulent lifestyle or trying to get your feet in it, visiting Saint-Tropez can be necessary. This gorgeous sun-soaked coastal resort located on the French Riviera is – after all, renowned for its designer stores and stunning beaches as well as yacht-hopping celebrities. It was originally a small fishing village situated on the Cote d’Azur, the small town grew into a thriving area of luxury in the latter part of the 19th century because of Impressionist painting master Paul Signac and other notable artists such as Henri Matisse and Albert Marquet.
It was not that until Hollywood starlet Brigette Bardot came onto the scene in the 1950s she gained not only international recognition but also recognition. The resort was the location of her film Et Dieu Crea la Femme ( And God Created Woman). Despite its image as an area for the rich However, the town has managed to keep its beauty, particularly in the summer season. In addition to the glamour and splendor, the old people continue to play ball at the Place des Lices. Some, however take a sip of coffee au lait in the beautiful harbor. If you’d like to lounge on the famed Pampelonne Beach, discover the charming villages along the rocky Saint-Tropez peninsula or take in amazing views from the town on the hill that is Ramatuelle there is plenty to do in your day.
7. Rocamadour: the sacred hilltop pilgrimage
There’s a reason the charming hilltop village of the Rocamadour hilltop village is the 2nd most popular tourist destination in France in the country, just behind Mont-Saint-Michel. The village is located high on the side of the limestone mountain, overlooking the Alzou canyon within the Dordogne region, the holy village is magnificent. The UNESCO-listed medieval city was once a significant tourist destination and is well-known for its sacred sites. It also has a 15th century monument of the Black Madonna which is located in the Chapel of Notre Dame.
The chapel is open to visitors and seven other buildings of the church following those 216 steps ( Le Grand Escalier) to the top of the square. Amazingly, they were once climbs by pilgrims who walked on their knees! From the summit of the village your views over Rocamadour as well as the Alzou canyon as well as the unspoiled and wild scenery below are unbeatable. They are worth sweating for. If you’re able to spare, you could also go onto a boat trip within the close Gouffre in Padirac. Gigantic rocks, pools in the underground massive stalagmites and stalactites make this amazing underground cave system to life.
8. The Loire Valley: the garden of France
Often described as”The Garden of France The Loire Valley was previously the home of French nobles and royalty. Nowadays, however, it is among the most famous places you can visit within France and is open to everyone. It is because of the chateaux’s elaborate architecture that have been in existence since the 9th century. It is not surprising that many of them are designated in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Although all are well-maintained and each has its own stories, some are more coveted than others.
With its breathtaking French architecture and its deer-filled park Chateau de Chambord for instance is considered to be among the most beautiful structures in the valley. The Chateau of Chenonceau is another, and is renowned for its distinctive combination with Gothic as well as Renaissance architecture that stretches above the Cher River. It also has the fairytale-like Chateau de Sully-sur Loire which has been the home of many famous historical figures , including Joan of Arc and Louis XIV is a more romantic beauty.
9. Auvergne: the land that time forgot
Naturally, with so many stunning chateaux to discover it is possible to shake things up by visiting any of the many vineyards across the region. In the end, the valley is known for its premium wines with many local winemakers welcoming visitors to explore the cellars and taste their wines.
The park is located in the heart of central France In central France, the auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park is the biggest volcanic group in Europe and is a relic from the prehistoric era. With 395,000 hectares of land The park is home to four volcanoes massifs. With an elevation of 1,465 meters, Puy de Dome is the highest of the volcanoes within the area. People from all over world flock to view the sleeping giants, which are dormant for a number of many thousands of years. The peaks are also a popular destination for mountain biking, hiking and hot-air ballooning.
The volcanoes of the past are host to natural hot springs as well as mineral waters, which makes them a sought-after thermal spa resort. It is the region where Vichy, Badoit, and Volvic water originate from. In addition it is also home to many cities of the medieval age abbeys, abbeys, and castle ruins in the region. This makes this an ideal location to spend a relaxing time in France.
10. Corsica: the island of beauty
Take a stroll on the gorgeous Mediterranean island Corsica as it is possible that you will forget the country you’re in. Its unique position within France and Italy is a sign that it has the best of both of their cultures.. The well-known place of birth for Napoleon certainly does live up to its title”Island of Beauty and Beauty. Modern coastal towns, granite peaks of rocky cliffs and lush forests provide it with a stunning and wild appearance. With more than 1,000 km of beautiful blue-green coastline It is also popular in the world of snorkeling and diving. For those who would rather lay on the beach, however, are able to enjoy it on one of the many idyllic beaches.
Despite its international fame and popularity, the idyllic island of Corsica is able to keep its own unique charm and culture. It is possible to be able to experience some of it as you listen to an old-fashioned polyphonic tune like, for instance or during an annual village celebration or religious procession. Don’t be too surprised to see an animal or two exploring the countryside. This island has a variety of wild animals that roam free such as goats, cows, pigs and sheep. However there aren’t any dangerous snakes!
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