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The 10 most beautiful places to visit in France

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

These are some of the most stunning spots you can visit in France, and they range from towering dunes and magnificent towns to rolling vineyards and plunging gorges.


France is the country that receives the most tourists of any nation on the earth, and with good reason. Not only does it have some of the world's most magnificent wines and food, but it also has some of the most picturesque locations in the world. No matter where in l'Hexagone you find yourself, there are endless sights that will make you gasp for air. There is an abundance of things for interested tourists to see and do, from rolling vineyards and plunging valleys to towering dunes and magnificent towns.


However, since there is so much to see and do in France, it might be difficult to decide which parts of the country to visit. Therefore, to assist you in narrowing down your possibilities, we have compiled a list of our top choices to inspire your travel bucket list.


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1. Champagne: home of Dom Pérignon


There is no getting around the fact that a list of the finest locations to visit in France would not be complete without including the region that gave birth to champagne. A trip to the Champagne area of France, which is situated in the northeastern part of the country and is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital city of Paris, is an essential need for anybody who enjoys drinking champagne. A trip to this location would be worthwhile just for the experience of watching the sunset over the picturesque rolling vineyards and dreamlike environment. Having said that, those who are interested in tasting the local produce might participate in a tour of a renowned Champagne house if they are eager to do so. And without a doubt, this will make for a once-in-a-lifetime event; yet, if they decide to overindulge, this could not be the case.


There are several renowned houses, like Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Taittinger, and Dom Pérignon, that welcome visitors to their premises. The latter is likely most known for its namesake, a Benedictine monk who was an essential quality pioneer for Champagne wine. He is known as Dom Perignon. However, contrary to what is often believed, Dom Pérignon did not create the renowned wine that bears his name. While touring his cellar and the spot where he was laid to rest in the Abbey of Hautvillers, you will discover numerous interesting facts, such as the one above.


2. Provence: land of lavender


In the summer, Provence, which is located in southeastern France, is known for having a seemingly endless ocean of lavender fields that make it one of the most beautiful and aromatic destinations to visit in all of France. During this time of year, the heavenly-scented crop may be found growing in almost every part of the area. Having said that, the Valensole Plateau, the Sault Plateau, and the Luberon Valley are some of the most picturesque locations in which to make use of it. The flower fields that surround the Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey are without a doubt the most picturesque setting for a picture-perfect postcard image. During June and July, the breathtaking church that dates back to the 12th century and is located in the bucolic countryside close to the town of Gordes is covered in a sea of purple flowers.


The monks who make their home at the monastery take great care in maintaining not just the local honeybees but also these gorgeous lavender fields. Guests are welcome to stay with them and experience a peaceful spiritual retreat throughout their visit. If you would rather limit your excursion to a single day, the fields are accessible beginning from 09:30 throughout the summer months, and at 13:00 on Sundays. Just keep in mind that due to the exceptional beauty of the site, there will be a significant increase in the number of people there during this period. As a result, you should make every effort to be here promptly and take the first tour of the day at 10:30.


3. Gorges du Verdon: the Grand Canyon of France


You always have the option of visiting the Grand Canyon of France instead of the one in Arizona if going to the Grand Canyon in Arizona seems like too much of a stretch. The Gorges du Verdon are a spectacular natural attraction that can be found in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur area of southern France. The Gorges du Verdon have a depth of 700 meters. The Verdon River eroded the steep limestone into the world's greatest canyon, which is located in Europe. In addition to that, it is a mecca for activities that are high in adrenaline as well as aquatic sports.


An excursion on a boat across the stunning blue waters that extend for twenty-five kilometers before flowing into the man-made Lac de Sainte-Croix is an experience that will stay with you forever. White-water rafting along the rapids, on the other hand, is an activity that may appeal more to those looking for an exciting challenge. Hiking around the rim of the canyon, which is 100 kilometers in circumference, or riding a horse and winding your way among the steep limestone cliffs may be more pleasant ways to spend the day. However, regardless of what you decide to do, you should always make sure to have your camera ready to go. After all, this is without a doubt one of the most stunning locations in all of France to have a vacation.


4. Mont Saint-Michel: the real Rapunzel’s Tower


France is home to a great number of picturesque villages. However, there are not many places on earth that can compare to the otherworldliness and enchantment of Mont Saint-Michel and its magnificent monastery. The stunning medieval monastery seems to have been taken right from the pages of a children's storybook as it is perched high on the rocky island of Mont Saint-Michel, some 600 meters off the coast of Normandy. The quaint timber-framed homes and winding, narrow lanes that lead up to it add to its enchantment and make it seem even more out of this world. The gorgeous environment served as the basis for Rapunzel's Tower and the Kingdom of Corona in the film Tangled, which was produced by Disney.


Back in the eighth century, the magnificent island community was a key stop for devout Christians on their way to Jerusalem. In modern times, on the other hand, it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means that it welcomes more than three million visitors annually. It is still considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in France, other than Paris. Having said that, the fact that the island is surrounded by a big body of water and a sandbank makes it seem to be less enticing.


When the tide is very high, it is entirely cut off from the rest of the world, which lends an additional layer of mystique to the location. To most people's relief, however, the island may now be reached by way of a bridge that is around 2,500 feet in length. However, if they are feeling very daring, they may make their way over the perilous mudflats when the tide is low and the water level is low enough.


5. Dune du Pilat: Europe’s tallest sand dune


The Dune du Pilat is the highest in Europe, and visitors who like nature will no doubt have a wonderful time taking in the stunning views that extend in all directions from the summit. The amazing natural marvel is one of the most well-known and popular tourist destinations in all of France, and it can be found in the commune of La Teste-de-Buch, which is situated in the region of Arcachon Bay. Each year more than one million visitors make the ascent up the 154 wooden stairs to the summit, where they may then wander along the ridge that stretches for 2.7 kilometers.


In addition, the effort is unquestionably justified given the glistening waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the lush, verdant woodlands on the other. Indeed, the towering dune is home to some of the most breathtaking scenes of nature that can be seen anywhere in Europe. Dune du Pilat is a popular destination for those who like paragliding and other types of outdoor activities as well. Campers use the area because it has five campsites near one another. If you feel like taking a plunge after conquering that mountain, Corniche Beach is a wonderful place to do so since it offers a refreshing environment in which to do so. This may be reached quickly and simply via the building's primary door. It is located near the base of the dune.


6. Saint-Tropez: land of luxury


A trip to Saint-Tropez is something you should consider doing if you are interested in leading a lavish lifestyle, or if you would at least want to dip your toes in the water of such a lifestyle. After all, this stunning sun-drenched coastal town on the French Riviera is well-known for its exquisite luxury stores and perfect sandy beaches, not to mention the yacht-hopping celebs who frequent the area. The modest town on the Côte d'Azur, which was formerly a peaceful fishing hamlet, transformed into a paradise of luxury in the late 19th century owing to the Impressionist painter Paul Signac and other notable painters such as Henri Matisse and Albert Marquet.


Saint-Tropez had not become well known on a global scale, however, until the Hollywood bombshell, Brigette Bardot arrived on the scene in the 1950s. The resort served as the location for her film, titled "And God Created Woman" (And God Created Woman). Even though it has the image of being a playground for the affluent, the town has nonetheless managed to hold on to its old-world appeal; this is particularly true if you go there outside of the peak tourist season. Despite all the glitter and glamour, the Place des Lices is still used by the more senior citizens of the city to play boules. Others, in the meanwhile, enjoy a cup of café au lait while strolling beside the lovely waterfront. And whether you want to soak up some rays on the world-famous Pampelonne Beach, discover the six tiny towns that dot the rocky peninsula of Saint-Tropez, or take in the breathtaking vistas from the hilltop hamlet of Ramatuelle, there is more than enough to keep you occupied throughout the day.


7. Rocamadour: the sacred hilltop pilgrimage


After Mont-Saint-Michel, the charming town perched on a hill in Rocamadour is France's second most popular tourist destination. There is a good reason for this. The holy town in the Dordogne area is nothing short of spectacular because of its location on the edge of a limestone cliff that provides a breathtaking view of the Alzou canyon. The historic town that is now protected by UNESCO was once a popular destination for pilgrims due to the sanctuaries that it contained. In addition, it is home to a statue of the Black Madonna that dates back to the 15th century and can be seen in the Chapel of Notre Dame.


After ascending the 216 steps that makeup Le Grand Escalier to reach the plaza at the very top, guests will have the opportunity to see the chapel as well as seven other religious structures. It is hard to believe, but pilgrims used to make their way up them on their knees. The views of Rocamadour, the Alzou canyon, and the natural and untamed terrain below are unparalleled when seen from the summit of the town. They are well worth putting in the effort to get. You may also go on a boat trip in the adjacent Gouffre de Padirac if you have some more time on your hands. This unique subterranean network of caverns is brought to life by the presence of enormous rock formations, underground lakes, and enormous stalactites and stalagmites.


8. The Loire Valley: the garden of France


The Loire Valley, which is also known as the garden of France, has a long history of being home to kings and other members of France's upper aristocracy. Nevertheless, it is now recognized as one of the most famous destinations to visit in France and is accessible to everyone. This is because the region is home to more than 300 ornate chateaux, some of which date back to the 9th century. It should not come as much of a surprise that a good number of them have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of them are more treasured than others, even though they are all kept in immaculate condition and each has its unique history.


The Chateau of Chambord, for example, is regarded as being among the most attractive buildings in the valley due to its breathtaking examples of French architecture and the adjacent park that is full of deer. The renowned blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture that can be seen at the Chateau de Chenonceau, which is perched on a cliff above the Cher River, has earned it a place of veneration. A more medieval beauty may be found at the Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire, which looks like something out of a storybook and has hosted several well-known historical individuals throughout the years, including Joan of Arc and Louis XIV.


Even though there are so many stunning chateaux to see, you could find it interesting to switch things up by going to one of the countless vineyards that are spread around the area. After all, the region is well-known for producing wines of exceptional quality, and many of the local vintners welcome visitors to their wineries, where they may explore the cellars and taste the products of their labor.


9. Auvergne: the land that time forgot


The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park is a remnant from the ancient era that may be found tucked away in the middle of France's central region. It is the biggest volcanic ensemble in Europe. The park has a geographical area of 395,000 hectares and is home to four volcanic mountain ranges or massifs. The Puy de Dôme, which stands at an elevation of 1,465 meters, is the most elevated of all the volcanoes in the area. People from all over the globe go to see these giants that have been inactive for thousands of years and are now the subject of admiration from tourists. Hiking, cycling, and even hot-air ballooning are all popular ways to experience the peaks.


The ancient volcanoes are also home to natural hot springs and mineral waters, which contribute to their popularity as destinations for thermal spas. Here is where the water for Vichy, Badoit, and Volvic originates. Aside from this, the area has a wealth of ancient villages, abbeys, and castle ruins to visit, making it a fantastic choice for a quiet weekend in France.


10. Corsica: the island of bbeauty


Once you set foot on the stunning island of Corsica in the Mediterranean, you may find it difficult to remember in which nation you are. After all, its exceptional position between France and Italy enables it to incorporate the most illustrious aspects of each of those countries cultures. The beautiful island that is known for being Napoleon's birthplace lives up to its moniker of "the Island of Beauty." Its rugged granite peaks, virgin forests, and chic seaside cities offer it an alluring mix of natural beauty and urban sophistication. It is a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving because of its thousand kilometers of exquisite blue shoreline, which may be explored. Those who would rather do nothing more than lie in the sun may do so on any one of the numerous untouched beaches that the island has to offer.


Palombaggia Beach in Corsica


The allure of the Mediterranean island of Corsica extends well beyond its borders, yet the island's distinct culture and allure have been able to endure. You may experience some of this if, for example, you were to attend a village festival or participate in a religious procession, or if you were to listen to a traditional polyphonic song. While you are out trekking in the countryside, you could come across a donkey or two. Try not to be astonished if this happens. The island is home to a wide variety of free-roaming animals, such as pigs, cows, goats, and sheep among other species. To our great relief, however, there are not any poisonous snakes here!


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