France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and we quickly understand why it is the first tourist destination. In addition to its breathtaking landscapes, France has a very rich history that has left its mark throughout the country. It is at the origin of many philosophical, cultural and artistic movements that have spread throughout the world.
“For every man, the first country is his homeland and the second is France.” Thomas Jefferson
If Paris is undeniably a city that cannot be ignored, France has an exceptional heritage all over the country. We often discover a more authentic France but less touristic than in the capital.
Whether you are more interested in nature, historical sites, cultural sites, art, gastronomy or idleness, France is the perfect destination.
Paris, city of superlatives
Paris has always had a special place among all people: “The most beautiful city in the World”, “City of Lights”, “City of a Hundred Villages”, “City of Love”, “Capital of the World”, “Capital of Gastronomy”… So many nickname it amply deserves and which have made this city the most attractive destination in the World.
In Paris every district, and every street corner can be a surprise and a wonder. Indeed, the city is full of places to discover. The best way is to explore the city on foot.
In addition to the sites traditionally visited such as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, the Louvre, Versailles or the Sacré-Cœur, there is the possibility of going off the beaten track and getting lost in the “village” districts of Les Abbesses or La Butte aux Cailles. The atmosphere is often much more relaxing than in the central districts of Paris.
In the 2nd arrondissement, you can go into the many covered passages, which were real shopping malls full of activity. In the evening when the weather is fine you can “land” on the banks along the Seine where Parisians come to enjoy a drink.
Every Parisian has his “secret little places”, and no one else could better advise you on the activities.
The North of France, to discover the warmth of the locals
The north of the country is a very special territory, where it is used to say “cold outside, hot inside”. Indeed, if the temperatures are often the lowest in France and the rain regularly comes, the inhabitants of the North are very warm and welcoming.
From Calais or Dunkirk it is possible to discover the Opal Coast. For more than 100km, the Opal coast offers a succession of beaches, white cliffs and bays creating an exceptional setting. And there are many activities: hiking, horse riding, sand yachting….
In the extension of the coast is Normandy with its two main points: Mont-Saint-Michel and the cliffs of Etretat. World-famous, these two places are part of the wonders of France and attract many travellers. Normandy is also famous for its beaches, the scene of the landing of the Second World War. Finally, it is possible to enjoy the magnificent coastal villages where shrimp fishermen stand out on the horizon.
The Atlantic coast, open on the Ocean
In the North Brittany is a land of many legends, especially in the forest of Brocéliande, high place of the legend of King Arthur or in Carnac and its famous megaliths where the druids gathered. But it is also a maritime territory with many very pleasant and magnificent maritime cities such as Concarneau. Finally, in Pont-Aven it is possible to walk in Gauguin’s “paintings”.
Further south, Nantes is a city appreciated for its “relax” atmosphere and its pedestrian centre. It allows you to discover the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the cathedral or the banks of the Erdre. From Nantes it is easy and fast to get to the coast or to the Vendée. We discover magnificent scenery such as the Poitou marsh, small canals that can be used by boat or the island of Noirmoutier where it is pleasant to go when the tide is low to take the road that disappears when the water rises.
Finally, further south, there is Bordeaux. Often compared to Paris by its atmosphere and architecture. But the city is known to be the world capital of wine, how not to take the opportunity to visit one (or more) vineyards, discover the manufacturing process and have a small tasting. Some have become very popular and it is sometimes preferable to visit smaller vineyards that will make your experience more authentic. Bordeaux is also a gateway to the Basque Country, particularly appreciated by surfers and holidaymakers who come to enjoy the beaches and pine forest scenery.
The South, at the heart of the French “good life”
The South of France is undoubtedly a territory where you can enjoy life.
The South West is ideal for tasting the many culinary specialities: foie gras, duck breast, roquefort, aligot, Toulouse sausage, cassoulet… There is something for everyone. But there is also the highest concentration of the “most beautiful villages in France”. They offer beautiful escapades in the heart of this magnificent territory.
Toulouse, the pink city, is an excellent starting point to discover the South-West. To appreciate the city you have to get lost in its small streets, like in the Carmes district. Albi, the episcopal city from which Toulouse-Lautrec originated, and Carcassonne, the fortified city, are both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are essential to immerse yourself in the very rich past of this region. But many other cities have a typical architecture such as Cahors, Béziers, Rodez, Nîmes or Sète… Many visits in perspective.
The South-East is mainly oriented towards the Mediterranean Sea, with the Côte d’Azur around Nice and Cannes as its main attraction. There are many beaches, but it is possible to find a small, sparsely populated creek along the coast. It is often difficult to resist the temptation to jump in these waters. For more authenticity it is necessary to go into the lands where the lavender fields sublimate a landscape whose horizon is only cut by the high peaks of the Alps. Between the Lubéron and Aix-en-Provence, it is possible to follow in the footsteps of the great artists who had made this land their place of inspiration. With magnificent sites like Arles or Avignon, there is something to be amazed about.
Eastern France, between the Alps and the Alsatian plains
The eastern part of the country is resolutely marked by the Alps. In winter, its ski resorts are particularly popular, especially those with a worldwide reputation such as Chamonix, Alpe d’Huez or Tignes. But the Alps are also very popular in summer with beautiful hikes.
To get there, there is nothing better than a trip from Lyon, whose old centre has many traces of its Renaissance past. A stroll through the traboules (pedestrian crossings under the houses), the Presqu’île district and the contemporary district of Confluence allows you to discover all the faces of this dynamic city. Going up north from Lyon, the medieval village of Pérouges and the city of Macon can be discovered before enjoying the Beaujolais valley where there are many vineyards.
In the North-East is a land full of history, starting with Burgundy and Champagne. Of course, there are many vineyards, but all the towns and villages have magnificent traces of the great past of these regions.
Finally, further east, in Alsace and Lorraine, whose half-timbered houses sublimate the villages and towns, there are also many vineyards offering magnificent landscapes. In December, the Christmas markets are particularly spectacular.