For more than two decades, France is one of the most popular destinations globally, with 82 million international visitors each year!
France’s sophisticated culture, superb cuisine, great wines, romantic chateaux, and stunning landscape attract visitors worldwide. Along with great food, a vast coastline, and Alpine glaciers, France provides world-class art and architecture, Renaissance chateaux, and renowned monuments.
So, how do you plan your itinerary for your trip to France? Here are some of the country’s highlights to help you plan your vacation.
Bordeaux is located in southwestern France’s Aquitaine region, the Gironde department’s capital, known to be one of the world’s most excellent wine-growing areas, producing more than 800 million bottles of famous wine brands each year.
Bordeaux is a large port city with magnificent architecture, historic buildings, and world-class arts and cultural scene, built on the River Garonne about half an hour inland from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Pedestrian Zone in Bordeaux’s city center has around 350 historical monuments and sites, including medieval cathedrals, a Roman amphitheater, and exquisite ancient bridges like the Ponte de Pierre. The city also has numerous lovely plazas, the most impressive of which is the Place de la Bourse, which has a mirror-like appearance.
Bordeaux’s well-developed waterfront features several quays where visitors may buy in bustling markets and fashionable outlet stores, dine in excellent restaurants, or relax while taking in the beautiful river views.
A trip to Bordeaux would be incomplete without a drive through the adjacent wine country, which offers breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, vineyards, and historic chateaux. Every June, the city presents a magnificent Wine Festival in conjunction with the River Festival. Pubs and nightclubs line the city’s riverfront quays for nightlife.
Paris, France’s capital city, draws over 45 million tourists each year and is recognized for its romantic ambiance, cuisine, fashion, and art. It is also referred to as the City of Lights, the City of Love, and the Fashion Capital.
Even though Paris is divided into 20 districts, each with its character and attractions, the city is best known for iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Versailles Palace, Sacre-Coeur, and Notre Dame Cathedral. The Louvre Museum and the Musee d’Orsay are two of the most well-known museums globally, both of which are located in Paris. In addition, Paris has magnificent gardens, such as the Luxembourg Gardens.
Paris, known as the Fashion Capital, is home to some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, including Yves Saint-Laurent, Lancome, L’Oréal, and Christian Dior. Shopping in the city includes everything from shopping malls to open-air markets, boutiques, and flea markets.
The Loire Valley is a famous tourist destination in central France, known for its beautiful landscape, magnificent chateaux, charming vineyards, and medieval villages and is wonderful to see in a car rental.
The Loire Valley runs for 175 miles along the Loire River, winding its way past some of France’s most stunning villages, including Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years. Tours, Chinon, Anglers, Saumur, and Orleans, are among the region’s historic villages. Blois is notable for its château, which served as a meeting place for French monarchs and aristocracy.
The valley’s main draw is the vast number of chateaux scattered over the undulating green hills. The French nobles created these chateaux from large country manors to defensive fortifications and opulent palaces. Chambord, Amboise, Rivau, Chinon, and Chenonceau are among the most well-known chateaux.
Because of the abundance of flower gardens, fruit orchards, and vineyards, the Loire Valley is known as the “Garden of France.” The Cher, Loiret, Eure, and Loire rivers nourish the valley, making it lush and fruitful. There are numerous vineyards in the area that provide tours and wine tastings.
Strasbourg is the gathering place of France and Germany in perfect harmony. Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region, is located on the border between the two nations.
Grande Ile, the city’s historic core, is a must-see. The town provides numerous museums and outstanding sights, such as the beautiful Gothic Isle, which includes pink sandstone, exquisite carvings, and a 300-year-old clock, among a combination of both French and German architecture with signage in both languages.
La Petite, France, one of Strasbourg’s most attractive neighborhoods, is another popular tourist destination. This riverside neighborhood is known for its cobblestone walkways, quiet cafés, and half-timbered townhouses with vivid flower window boxes.
Dordogne has picture-perfect villages and chateaus like the well-preserved Chateau de Baynac and a hilltop castle. With the Dordogne River running through it, the landscape is very spectacular. The Dordogne also boasts some of France’s most impressive prehistoric cave art. Animals dominate the Lascaux walls.
The rocky island of Mont Saint-Michel, located at the northwestern coast in Normandy, France, rises from the midst of enormous mud flats and some of Europe’s most powerful tidal waves.
The tidal island is one of France’s most famous tourist destinations, thanks to its medieval monuments that appear to be stacked upon one another and its star attraction, the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. After the Archangel Michael allegedly visited the Bishop of Avranches, dedicated monks erected the awe-inspiring monastery in 708 AD.
The Luberon is a sanctuary for French society, American and British tourists who see the lovely towns throughout the summer. After Peter Mayle’s writings about living in Provence were published, this area in central Provence became a popular tourist destination. With its verdant woods, lavender fields, farmers’ markets, and brightly painted cottages, it’s easy to understand why the Luberon is such a popular tourist destination. Pottery from the village of Oppede le Vieux, which has retained its Middle Ages ambiance, is a fantastic memory.