22 June 2020 by Jessica Boston
Ten must-see places in France for your travel bucket list…
If you’ve got a wish list of travel destinations make sure these amazing places in France are on it! Stunning natural sites, incredible historic buildings, and opportunities to see truly unique creations and performances. Dream now and travel later to experience ten wonders of France…
1. Ile Des Machines, Nantes
Ile des Machines is a magical collection of engineered and animated beasts, the most famous of which is an enormous mechanical elephant that walks the streets of Nantes docks carrying passengers and spraying spectators with water from it’s trunk! A three storey sea-creature inspired carousel is another highlight, don’t miss a chance to take a ride.
2. Mont Saint Michel
One of the top tourist destinations in France, Mont Saint Michel lives up to the hype and is a must-see! The ancient monastery built on a tidal island on the Normandy coast is stunningly beautiful with the winding streets and quaint buildings of the village surrounding it setting an enchanting atmosphere for your visit. Sunsets here are a particular treat, the view as you approach is truly breathtaking.
3. The walled city of Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a magnificent example of a medieval walled city, and while many features are the result of restoration projects, the overall effect is so convincing a visit here feels like stepping back in time or entering a film set! Walk the ramparts overlooking the gorgeous Aude countryside and take a guided tour to understand the rich history of the city.
Clinging to the cliffside of the Alzou canyon in Lot, Rocamadour is a real feat of medieval engineering that has attracted pilgrims and tourists since the 12th century. The tiny village has a winding main street lined with boutiques and restaurants and then over 200 steps leading up to the village square where eight chapels nestle under the cliff. At the top of the village a castle looks out offering stunning views over the valley.
5. Camargue Natural Park
The Camargue Natural Park is a beautiful nature reserve on the Mediterranean coast near Marseille. The unique environment supports a whole range of wildlife but the most famous and striking inhabitants include stunning pure white horses, huge black cattle and wild pink flamingos. There are many ways to explore including guided horse treks, jeep safaris and marked hiking trails. A must for any nature lovers!
6. Huelgoat forest
The mystical Huelgoat Forest in Brittany is steeped in Arthurian myths, fairytales and legends and it’s easy to see why! The forest is strewn with gigantic boulders, some balanced together creating incredible structures that have been given names and stories to explain their strange and wonderful formations. There is even an underground river and steps leading to the ‘devil’s grotto’, a charming day out for all the family.
7. Gorges du Verdon
With a reputation as the most beautiful gorge in Europe, Gorges du Verdon in Castellane features majestic rocky cliffsides with a stunning turquoise river winding down the valley. Explore the fantastic landscape climbing, kayaking, hiking, white-water rafting, paragliding, canyoning or even bungee jumping! It’s the most picturesque place for adrenalin sports you’ll ever find!
8. Lascaux Caves
Lascaux Caves in the Dordogne were discovered by locals in 1940 uncovering an incredible cave system featuring a huge collection of pre-historic cave paintings dating back to paleolithic times. The paintings sadly became damaged by the impact of visitors to the site in the years following its discovery, so they are no longer open to the public in order to aid conservation. Instead you can see carefully produced replicas in museums in the region to understand the fascinating window into the past the famous paintings represent.
9. Normandy beaches
Pay homage to the heroes of WW2 with a visit to the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy where the allied invasion marked a pivotal point in the war effort. The beaches still bear the scars of war with bunkers and war memorials to those who died in battle. Visit a museum or take a walking tour to understand the events of 1944 as they unfolded and get a visual reminder of the sheer number of soldiers who lost their lives here at the haunting war cemeteries.
10. Puy du Fou
A theme park like no other Puy du Fou in Pays de Loire is an immersive historical theme park with the main attractions being spectacular shows where hundreds of actors, animals, special effects and stunning scenery transport you to another era. Sit high up in a Roman amphitheatre to see a Roman games with chariot racing, tigers and parades, see the stunning viking show featuring a sinking ship, witness medieval knights and musketeers dueling and a stunning bird show display. Plan your day carefully around showtimes so you can see as much as possible, you might find one day is not enough!
France is packed with incredible places to visit and all just a short hop across The Channel. Whether you love nature, history, art or architecture there are so many places for you to discover, all with amazing stories to tell. Plan your next trip with us and stay close to your chosen attraction at one of our charming self-catering holiday homes.