France is a country of countless beauties. Beware, all of you tourists and adventurers who arrive confidently with the goal to conquer every significant landmark. It’s a grand country with a rich history so it’s impossible to do it in one go. Instead, here are the most breathtaking landmarks in France you can start with.
The cities and towns are mostly covered extensively, so we’ll concentrate on incredible locations and landmarks that are not necessarily a part of a larger urban area (or no urban area at all). That being said, if you find yourself driving through Provence, you won’t make a mistake if you stop anywhere down the road and leave the car to breathe in the lavender-scented air. The entire region is a relentless landscape of sensory overload. However, don’t miss out on visiting the Luberon area where you’ll find the most prototypical scenery of rural Provence – endless lavender fields, vineyards and rustic villages. This region is also home to St. Rémy and Avignon, the legendary medieval city structures that are a sight to behold.
Pont du Gard
If the winding road leads you to the Southern France, take a turn that leads to a small town called Vers-Pont-du-Gard. It is home to the awe-inspiring Roman aqueduct called Pont du Gard. It crosses the Gardon River with three levels of arches. It looks like a construction out of a fantasy movie even today, so we can only imagine what an impressive sight it was 2000 years ago. A testament to Roman design and engineering, it was one of the most gargantuan architectural and logistical undertakings of its time.
The name of the highest peak in the Alps and the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc, translates to White Mountain since it is perpetually covered in snow. It is located on the border between France and Italy and it is a must-see spot for any visitor who considers themselves a thorough country-trekker. A cable car can take you straight to the top where you can marvel at one of the most epic mountain ranges in the world. It is truly a unique experience.
Gorges du Verdon
Turquoise colored waters cut into the impressive gorge with limestone cliff walls. It is a bona fide natural wonder and a dream come true for kayakers and swimmers. Hikers too can explore the gorge on foot, bottom to lavender covered top. This region is only a part of a national park called Verdon Gorges, which to this day remains one of the most beautiful regional parks in France.
While we are on the subject of water, the valley that surrounds the Loire River is as picturesque as it looks on paintings, and it offers a perfect opportunity for sightseeing through relaxing barge cruises. The rich greenery gives way to incredible chateaux and historic towns, not to mention legendary vineyards (as you’ve probably noticed, lavender fields and charming vineyards are a recurring theme throughout France). It’s a true recipe for decadent relaxation.
The Palace of Versailles
How about a visit to one of Europe’s most important and lavishing landmarks? It’s only a day trip away from Paris so you don’t have an excuse not to check out the insanely ornate architecture, perfectly kept gardens and juicily raunchy history of Versailles. The tours are very informative and visitors are given both time and leisure to explore around. The royal castle as we know it today was built by Louis XIV and it stands as a true testament to absolute monarchical power.
It’s one of the most famous sights in France that literally looks like it came out of a Disney-produced fairy tale. Mont Saint-Michel is situated less than a mile off the northwestern coast of France. It stands proudly at the top of a rocky island – the magnificent Norman abbey surrounded by the historical town. Naturally, it is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most magical and incredible aspects of this location is the tide. If it’s low, you can walk to the location via mainland, but with the rising waters, the sand beach and the path disappear under the waves of la Manche.
As far as sights of France go, it’s truly a hard choice to decide what to see and where to go. At every single step you will come across a beautiful landscape or a building with an incredibly rich history. The only possible solution for all of those who have fallen in love with everything French is to come back for more the first chance they get.
Image credits: unsplash.com
Guest Post by Marie Nieves