France is a beautiful and varied country to explore. The landscape varies from metropolitan Paris to the snowcapped peaks of the Alps and the blazing sun of the South. Each area of the country has its particular charms and attractions that have drawn and inspired many great names in the past. Here are some of the locations in France that everyone should visit at some point in their lives.
We’ll start with the obvious choice. Paris is internationally renowned for its incredible architecture and rich history. It is widely thought of as the most romantic city going, and it is easy to see why.
One of the greatest things to do when visiting Paris is to explore the multitude of galleries, churches, and museums to get a feel for the city’s heritage. The city is host to the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the iconic Seine.
Despite being steeped in history, it remains a dynamic and vibrant city to explore, with plenty of options for excitement in the outskirts. Paris is the ideal place for a weekend getaway from the UK, as it is reasonably close and the transport links are excellent. It is a city unlike no other that everyone should experience during their lifetime.
>>Aldo Read: Is Paris Worth Visiting?
The city of Carcassonne has to be seen to be believed. It resembles a mythical medieval refuge that you could only imagine in stories. The walled city conjures up mental images of knights and kings with its high walls and castle-like features. In fact, the town was initially built for precisely this. Carcassonne has 52 towers linked by hulking walls that helped protect the French inhabitants from the Spanish hundreds of years ago.
A lot of work was done in the 19th century to restore the town to its former glory, as it was in a dire state. These restorations left Carcassonne as one of the finest historical cities on the continent. It is vibrant and filled with great places to eat and plenty of shops to find the perfect souvenir. If you are in the South West of France, you should definitely plan a trip to the town.
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This region of the French Riviera snakes from St Tropez down to the border with Italy and is one of the country’s most picturesque regions. It is an area of colorful buildings, blue skies, and crystal clear seas. Its beauty has inspired many artists in the past, but probably the region’s biggest draw is the stunning beaches and the relentless sun.
Possibly the best way to experience the Côte d’Azur is by boat. Chartering or buying a sailboat means you can drift down the coastline at a leisurely pace, experiencing all it has to offer along the way. If a summer of sun and luxury is what you have planned, then there are few better places than the Riviera. By the way, if you’re looking to invest in a yacht that you can make the most of every time you travel here, visit TheYachtMarket to see if there are boats for sale in the area that would be perfect for such a trip.
If land-based activities are more your thing, then the Côte d’Azur still has a lot to offer. Nice, the capital of the region, is a stunning city. Located right on the waterfront, this bustling and vibrant city encapsulates everything you want to see in a Mediterranean town. It is a cultured city and has a fun and playful side with its Provençal markets and local food. It is an experience that no visitor to France should miss.
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There is no other place in Europe that rivals the beauty and lushness of Provence. It is a thriving tourist hotspot that has retained its Provençal roots of farming and small familial communities.
Since Roman times, Provence has been a desirable destination when Popes would flee Rome to enjoy the region’s vices. It remains a spiritual and intimate region to this day and encapsulates the romanticism that is so often associated with France. Provence is home to many attractions like the colorful markets, canoeing trips and ancient, yet beautiful villages. It is a quintessentially French experience that should not be missed.
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France is renowned for many things, and wine is one of them. The region of Burgandy is one of the leading reasons for this. Small villages like Chablis or Nuits-St-Georges have international acclaim thanks to their exports, but there is more to the area than just vineyards.
Burgandy is steeped in history. The region is home to medieval abbeys, many chateaux, and walled medieval villages. The heritage of Burgandy is closely associated with the Roman occupation of the area, and the designs of the period are still on show today.
The villages perched on the top of hills and market towns are idyllic, but the surrounding countryside is also a massive asset for Burgandy. The Morvan National Park lies in the heart of the region and is littered with picturesque villages and fine cuisine. Burgandy is not often touted as the premier tourist destination in the country, but it is one of the more beautiful areas in Europe.
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The North of France also has a lot to offer. Normandy is often compared to Devon, and it is easy to see why. The overall feeling that Normandy inspires is one of tranquillity and gentleness, with its rolling countryside and luscious meadows. It is a region characterized by farmland and long low dune beaches that sit on the English Channel.
One of the primary appeals of the region is its food. The wide range of fresh produce like apples and cheeses make this a food lover’s heaven, and indulging in local cuisines is an amazingly relaxing experience on a laid-back holiday. The coast is lined by beautiful ports and seaside towns, all displaying the unmistakable influence of the Normans.
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The experience of Marseille is an iconic one. The bustling coastal city is what you would expect from a town with a large port. It is atmospheric and changeable, and the city has always been at the forefront of culture. It is a real mixing pot that everyone should visit at least once.
There is much to explore, from the old port to Le Panier, and there’s a near-constant barrage of contrasting cultures and influences throughout. Marseille was nominated as the European city of culture in 2013. This proved an important stage in the town’s development, as it provided a platform to consolidate the myriad influences that have made Marseille what it is.
It is a constantly evolving landscape, with new museums and galleries springing up and the recent renovations to the football stadium in the city. As a result, Marseille offers a cultural experience unlike anywhere else in the country and, therefore, should be on the bucket list of anyone looking to explore France.
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The locations mentioned above are far from the only places worth visiting in France. In reality, the rich history and culture of the different regions in the country make almost all areas you visit a new and exciting experience. Exploring France is a brilliant option for British people as just a few miles of water separate the country. The amount that is on offer can often provide more stunning vistas and memorable experiences than places further afield. Therefore, if you are planning your next holiday, you should not overlook France.