Explore France: Immerse yourself in la vie francaise
France, with its sparkling capital Paris, is one of the most visited countries in Europe and one of the top destinations worldwide. But it's not only tourists that like France—the French themselves also prefer to spend their vacation time in their own country. In addition to one of the most romantic cities in the world, the country offers its visitors diverse coasts, imposing mountains, rolling hills, colorful river valleys, historic medieval towns, vast wine landscapes, beautiful Mediterranean beaches, and interesting museums.
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Paris: the French capital
The capital city of Paris is full of iconic landmarks. Absolute must-sees are the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Champs-Elysée, the Center Pompidou, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Montmartre.
Disneyland, the Palace of Versailles, or the modern district of La Défense just outside the capital are also worth a visit. If you don't want to stray far afield, the best way to explore the city of light and love is by metro and on foot. If you're pressed for time you may want to book a city tour or a boat tour on the Seine.
Experience contemporary history
In addition to thousand-year-old churches and magnificent castles, the memorials, museums, and monuments to the First and Second World Wars have become the most visited places in France. Amongst others, the ones most worth seeing are:
- Verdun: The most impressive attraction is l'Ossuaire de Douaumont. The ossuary contains the remains of German and French soldiers who could not be identified after the Battle of Verdun.
- The beaches of Normandy: The liberation of Europe began here on June 6, 1944. Don't miss the American military cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.
- Oradour-sur-Glane: This town was completely destroyed on June 10th, 1944 by the Waffen-SS. The remains of the city were left in place as a memorial to the many that died there.
The Verdon Gorge: the Grand Canyon of France
Looking for an insider tip for your vacation in the South of France? Plan a trip to the "Gorges du Verdon", next to the Tara Canyon in Montenegro. Colloquially known as the Grand Canyon of France, this imposing and breathtaking ravine with a length of 20km length and a depth of 700m is one of the largest canyons in Europe!
Surrounded by high rock walls reaching nearly 250m, the canyon opens into the famous Lac de St. Croix. Particularly impressive are the turquoise waters of the river and the reservoir, which, along with the rock walls, provide a unique panorama. For a unique experience, book a kayaking tour or plan a hike at this stunning natural spectacle near Nice.
Looking for even more natural beauty? In the Camargue, a unique river delta on the Mediterranean, you can watch the famous Camargue wild horses roam free. Flamingos and other species of waterfowl also make their home in the Rhône Delta.
The châteaux of the Loire Valley
The châteaux (castles) of the Loire Valley are a sight to behold. Nowhere else in the world will you find so many castles in such a limited space. There are more than a hundred castles on the banks of the Loire and its tributaries. The most important buildings are the Amboise, Blois, Chambord, and Cenonceau. The gardens of the castles are also definitely worth seeing—nature lovers will enjoy the rich flora and fauna of the Loire Valley.
The Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy
The commune island, complete with the monastery that gives it its name, is one of France's main attractions and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1979. The abbey and the small town are worth seeing, as well as the the enormous tidal range, the largest in Europe. The sea retreats at low tide and returns at high tide at the speed of a galloping horse. With the spring tide, Mont-Saint-Michel becomes an island once again—an incomparable natural spectacle.
Beach vacations in France
Home to some of the world's finest sandy beaches, a beach vacation in France is characterized by breathtaking Mediterranean scenery, stylish waterfront restaurants, and glitzy seaside resorts. The French Riviera on the southeastern French Mediterranean coast boasts famous beach resorts like Saint-Tropez, Biarritz, and Cannes.
- With its gorgeous sandy shores, cool ocean breezes, and strong waves, Biarritz offers a variety of beaches. Grand Plage, one of Biarritz's largest beaches, invites you to admire panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, stroll along the beach, or savor a meal at one of the beachfront cafés or restaurants.
- Pampelonne beach is the longest and most popular beach in Saint-Tropez, offering private beach clubs with fantastic waterfront restaurants. The beach also provides excellent amenities like showers, lounge chairs, cabanas, and well-maintained public toilets.
- Garoupe Beach in the Antibes is a small public beach known for its pretty shoreline and offers shower and restroom facilities. Also check out Juan-les-Pins, another popular Antibes beach. In addition to a range of water activities such as parasailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling, the beach also features trendy stores and several cafés.
Things to do on a vacation in Paris
Take a trip to Paris, the fashion capital of the world, and immerse yourself in style, elegance, and sophistication. The city is an ideal mix of history, artistic culture, and natural beauty.
- While in Paris, take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour to explore the city's major attractions including the Louvre, the Musée de l'Orangerie, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Don't miss the chance to check out the city's most iconic landmarks - the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
- Make sure to visit the fascinating province of Brittany, a fabulous holiday destination for nature lovers offering scenic bays, cozy seaside resorts, and numerous hiking trails. Some of the highlights worth seeing including the famous Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey, the Gulf of Morbihan, and Pointe du Raz.
- France produces some of the best wines in the world. Visit some of the famous wine regions such as Bordeaux, Champagne, and Burgundy to sample a varied range of local wines.