When planning a trip to France, travelers often dream of the Eiffel Tower, the sunny French Riviera, and charming country little villages. But often the most memorable moments of a vacation happen when taking part in local activities instead of just sightseeing. These special experiences and small adventures go beyond just visiting a monument or a museum. They capture the spirit of the place.
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Discover this wonderful country from a different point of view with our list of the 10 Top-Rated Things to Do in France.
1- Watch the Sunset from the Eiffel Tower
One of the most common things to do in France is a visit to the Eiffel Tower in the early evening. At each level of the tower, the panoramas become even more spectacular as the sun goes down. In addition with the city’s monuments illuminated and the Seine River reflecting the stunning colors of the sunset.
But do not photograph this monument at night. It turns out that it is prohibited to photograph the Eiffel tower at night. In fact, the tower’s nighttime light show was added in 1985 and is therefore still protected under France’s copyright law. Thus, it’s illegal to share, sell, or publish photos and videos of Eiffel Tower at night without prior permission from the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.
Not to mention that for a truly memorable experience, tourists can watch the sunset while dining at one of the Eiffel restaurants. A breathtaking views are available from the dining rooms of both restaurants. You may choose between the casual 58 Tour Eiffel bistro on the first level or Le Jules Verne gastronomic restaurant on the second level. (reserve in advance)
Check available hotel in Paris: Best hotels in Paris
2- Mont Saint-Michelle: Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel
On the border between Brittany and Normandy lies the Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel. This legendary abbey was given the privilege of UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1979. Not to mention the symbol of French heroic resistance to the English during the Hundred Years’ War.
Its unique position of being only 600 meters from land made it easily accessible to pilgrims during low tide. The “Chemins du Mont-Saint-Michel” (“Paths of Mont-Saint-Michel”) pilgrimage routes lead to Mont-Saint-Michel from various starting points such as Paris, Rouen, and Tours (and continue to Santiago de Compostela). Pilgrims walk the routes by foot, in the same way, this journey has been approached for centuries.
Check available hotel in Normandy: Best hotels in Nomandy
3- Montignac: Lascaux II
On 12 September 1940, around the time the Germans invaded France, four boys attempted to rescue their dog after he had fallen into a cave. As they ventured into the darkness, they soon realize they were about to make a breathtaking discovery.
Close to 600 paintings were found in the cave. (mostly of animals) Horses are the most numerous, but deer, aurochs, ibex, bison, and even some felines can also be found. Besides these paintings, there are also around 1400 engravings of a similar order. The cave is believed to be dated over 17,000 years and falls within the Upper Palaeolithic period. It believes that it was created by the skilled hands of humans living in the area at that time.
By 1948, the cave was ready to be opened to the public. But in 1980 it closed. Later on, a detailed replica was established, which is known as Lascaux II.
Check available hotel in Montignac: Best hotels in Montignac
4- Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: Gorge du Verdon
For thrill-seekers towards the world of water sports. The Gorge du Verdon in southeastern France must be on your bucket list. The canyon, which stretches 15 miles (25 km) in length, rises spectacularly from the Verdon River situated 2,300 ft. (700 m) below.
The river takes its name after the beautiful green emerald hue of the waters. Les Gorge du Verdon is the deepest gorge in France. Also, it is one of the must-see natural wonders of central Provence.
While there is no road up, you can walk and enjoy a breathtaking circular “corniche” route around the rim of the gorge. As well as plenty of opportunities for boat and kayak hire on the lower end of the gorge.
Certainly not the ideal holiday if you are scared of high.
Check available hotels near the Alpes de haute Provance: Best hotels in the Alpes de haute provance
5- ADMIRE THE SPECTACULAR CLIFFS OF ETRETAT
Located in Normandy, in northwestern France, Etretat’s known for its murky waters and inky skies, long walks, and seafood restaurants.
This small and delightful village of Étretat’s with dramatic coastal and framed twin cliffs was once the favorite spot for painters such as Camille Corot, Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet, and Claude Monet.
Etretat, being just a two-hour drive from Paris. In addition to a brand new boutique hotel, there’s even more reason to put this little village on your radar when planning a weekend in Normandy.
Check available hotels near Etretat: Best hotels in Etretat
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6- Les Sables d’Olonne
Now let me introduce you to my home town. Les Sables-d’Olonne is a seaside town in western France, on the Atlantic Ocean. It is a sub-prefecture of the Department of Vendée.
Situated on the Lumière coast (Coast of Light), the seaside resort of Les Sables-d’Olonne is a renowned destination presenting numerous attractions.
The crowded seafront promenade lined with shops and cafés, a beautiful 3-kilometer long sandy beach that is very popular with summer tourists, a large marina, numerous events, sports activities, a casino, and a thalassotherapy center.
Every four years, the seaside resort of Les Sables-d’Olonne hosts the departure of the Vendée Globe. A famous single-handed, round-the-world yacht race sailed non-stop and without assistance.
Check available hotels in Les Sables d’Olonne: Best hotels in les Sables d’olonne
7- Disneyland near Paris
Disneyland Paris, formerly Euro Disney Resort, is an entertainment resort in Chessy, France.
With up to more than 15 million visitors a year, Disneyland Paris is France’s and Europe’s most visited tourist attraction. Just a short ride from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport – Continental Europe’s busiest airport – and with direct Eurostar train services from London and TGV connections from Brussels and Amsterdam, the Paris Disney theme park is eminently accessible
Open 365 days a year, and with a hotel capacity in the order of 10,000 rooms, the Paris Disneyland offers the opportunity to visit a new world without actually having to leave the Old.
Check available hotels in Disneyland: Best hotels in Disneyland
8- La Côte d’Azur
One of the most fashionable stretches of coastline in France, the Côte d’Azur extends from Saint-Tropez to Menton near the border with Italy.
La Côte d’Azur translates to “Coast of Blue,” a fitting name to describe the Mediterranean’s sea. To English speakers, this glamorous seaside destination is known as the French Riviera, words that have a ring of sun-soak decadence.
During summer, the seaside resorts are packed with beach lovers and sun-worshippers. The rich and famous are also found here in their villas and luxury yachts. The town of Nice has panoramic sea views and stellar art museums. Cannes is also famous for its celebrity film festival and legendary hotels.
The best sandy beaches are found in Antibes, which also has an atmospheric Old Town and superb museums. Saint-Tropez offers fabulous public and private beaches along with the charm of a Provençal fishing village, while Monaco seduces with its exclusive ambiance and stunning scenery.
Check available hotels in La cote d’Azure: Best hotels in la Cote d’Azure
9- La Provence
La Provence is a gorgeous landscape of olive groves, sun-drenched rolling hills, and deep purple lavender fields. Coupled with little villages nestled in the valleys and perched on rocky outcrops. The vibrant scenery has enchanted many famous artists, including Cézanne, Matisse, Chagall, and Picasso.
The rustic natural beauty and country charm of Provence immerses visitors in a place where the art de Vivre is a way of life. Sultry weather encourages strolls along cobblestone streets and afternoons spent on sunny terraces of outdoor cafés. Moreover, Provence is also a region known for its delicious cuisine, which is based on olive oil, vegetables, and aromatic herbs.
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The awesome spectacle of Mont Blanc in the French Alps is an unforgettable sight. The highest mountain peak in Europe, Mont Blanc soars to 4,810 meters. Thanks to its elevation, Mont Blanc (“White Mountain”) is always blanketed in snow.
Beneath its heavenly peak is the traditional alpine village of Chamonix, nestled in a high-mountain valley. This quaint little town is filled with historic churches, cozy chalet restaurants, and charming auberges.
Chamonix is a great base for skiing, hiking, rock climbing, and outdoor adventures, or just relaxing. This delightful village is one of the best places to visit in France for inspiring natural scenery and alpine accommodations. Upscale mountain lodges and cozy chalets welcome guests in style.
Catering to diners with good appetites, local restaurants serve hearty traditional French meals, as well as international cuisine. To sample the regional Savoyard specialties, try the charcuterie, fondue, and raclette (melted Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler cheese served with boiled potatoes).
Check available hotels in Chamonix: Best hotels in Chamonix
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