France is the most popular country on the planet. France is home to some of the world’s best wines and gourmet cuisines. It also has some of the most stunning destinations.
Many scenes take your breath away wherever you travel in l’Hexagone. There are many things to delight curious travelers, from rolling vineyards and deep canyons to majestic dunes to magnificent villages.
Choosing which French destinations to visit can be overwhelming, with so many things to do and see. These are our top picks to help narrow your choices and inspire your travel bucket list.
1. Champagne, home of Dom Perignon
Let’s face facts: it would only be a complete list of France’s top places to visit without mentioning Champagne. The Champagne region, located in northeast France, is a 1.5-hour drive from Paris. It’s a must-see for all those who love to sip bubbles.
The rolling vineyards’ beauty and idyllic landscape make it worth the visit. Many Champagne houses can be toured if you want to taste the wines. This is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience, even if you overindulge.
2. Provence, land of lavender
Provence’s seemingly endless lavender fields make it one of France’s most beautiful and fragrant places. The fragrant crop is found in almost every part of the region.
The Valensole and Sault Plateau are some of the most beautiful spots.
The flower fields around Notre Dame de Senanque Abbey make for the perfect postcard shot.
The stunning church of the 12th century is nestled in a tranquil country near Gordes. It is shrouded with a purple sea each June and July.
3. Gorges du Verdon: The Grand Canyon of France
You can always opt for the French version if a trip to Arizona’s Grand Canyon feels too far. The 700-meter deep Gorges du Verdon, located in the Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur Region of southeastern France, is a stunning sight.
The Verdon River carved a canyon of limestone, one of the largest in Europe. It’s also a popular spot for watersports and adrenaline-fueled activities.
It is an unforgettable experience to cruise along the 25km-long stretch surrounded by turquoise waters, which flow into the artificial Lac de Sainte-Croix. White-water rafting down the rapids might be more appealing for those who are more adventurous.
4. Mont Saint-Michel, the true Rapunzel’s Tower
France is home to many charming villages. Few villages are as beautiful and magical as Mont Saint-Michel, with its magnificent abbey.
The impressive medieval monastery, perched high on Mont Saint-Michel’s rocky island, is 600m off the Normandy coast. It looks straight out of a fairytale.
The narrow streets that wind up to it and the pretty timber-framed houses leading up to them make this even more magical. The magnificent setting inspired Rapunzel’s Tower and the Kingdom of Corona in Disney’s Tangled movie.
5. Dune du Pilat: Europe’s tallest sand dune
Nature lovers will enjoy the stunning 360-degree views at the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s tallest dunes. The magnificent natural wonder in La Teste-de-Buch, in the Arcachon Bay region, is one of France’s most famous places. Each year, over a million people visit the site to climb the 154 wooden steps and to walk along the 2.7-km-long ridges.
The view of the Atlantic Ocean and the deep green pine forests is well worth the effort. The towering dune provides some of Europe’s most stunning natural views. Paragliders, as well as other outdoor enthusiasts, love Dune du Pilat.
6. Saint-Tropez, land of luxury
Saint-Tropez is the place to go if you are looking for the ultimate in decadence or to have a little fun with it. The beautiful, sun-soaked French Riviera resort is known for its designer boutiques, immaculate sandy beaches, and yacht-hopping celebrities.
Originally a small fishing village on the Cote d’Azur coast, the tiny town evolved into a luxury resort in the late 19th century. This was thanks to Paul Signac, an Impressionist painter and great artists like Henri Matisse or Albert Marquet.
7. The sacred pilgrimage to the hilltop of Rocamadour
The charming hilltop village at Rocamadour, France’s second most popular attraction after Mont-Saint-Michel, is no surprise. The sacred village, perched high above the Alzou canyon in Dordogne’s limestone cliff, is breathtaking.
This UNESCO-listed medieval city was once a primary pilgrimage site and is now well-known for its sanctuaries. The Chapel of Notre Dame is home to a 15th-century statue of the Black Madonna.
8. The Loire Valley, the garden of France
The Loire Valley is often called the “garden of France” because it was once home to French royalty and nobility. It is now open to everyone and is one of France’s most famous places. It is home to 300 chateaux elaborates, some dating back to the 9th century.
Many of these sites have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Each one is beautiful and has a unique story. But some are more beloved than others.
These are just a few of the incredible places you should visit in France if you’re planning on visiting France.