Looking for the best holiday destinations in France? Here is a list of the most beautiful places to discover in metropolitan France.
Between famous sights and exceptional landscapes, there are so many beautiful things to see in France. It would be a shame to deprive yourself!
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Plan de l'article
- Why choose a holiday destination in France?
- Where to go on vacation in France? The Top 25!
- 1. The Verdon Gorges
- 2. The cliffs of Etretat
- 3. The bay of Mont Saint-Michel
- 4. Auvergne and its volcanoes
- 5. Corsica, island of beauty
- 6. The French Riviera and its beaches
- 7. The Breton Coast
- 8. The Camargue and its Natural Park
- 9. Alsace and Strasbourg Cathedral
- 10. Carcassonne and its medieval city
- 11. The Valensole Plateau
- 12. The Castles of the Loire
- 13. The Pyrenees and the Circus of Gavarnie
- 14. The Gard Bridge
- 15. The Mont Blanc massif and the sea of ice
- 16. The Arcachon Basin and the Pilat Dune
- 17. Lake Annecy
- 18. Rustrel’s Provencal Colorado
- 19. The Orgues of Ille-sur-Têt
- 20. Mont Aiguille
- 21. The Calanques of Marseille and Cassis
- 22. The Canal du Midi
- 23. The Bay of Somme
- 24. The Mercantour and the Allos Lake
- 25. Paris and its monuments
Why choose a holiday destination in France?
Spending your holidays in France is a very good idea, even for the most adventurous of us. Our own country indeed has many things to offer to its visitors, with an incredible variety of landscapes!
Go around the world is awesome! But we must not forget to be interested in the wonders that lie around us. Beautiful trips are a bit like happiness, sometimes it is right in front of our nose.
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Also, with the coronavirus crisis, across borders will prove difficult for some time… So it’s the perfect time to give preference to our beautiful regions of France.
So if you are looking for a holiday destination in France, you are in the right place. Here is the list of the most beautiful sites in France!
Where to go on vacation in France? The Top 25!
1. The Verdon Gorges
If you are looking for a beautiful natural, rejuvenating and sunny corner of France, the Gorges du Verdon are an excellent choice!
Considered the most beautiful canyon in Europe, the dizzying cliffs of the gorges leave no one indifferent… Also, beyond the impressive viewpoints, there are many lakes with turquoise waters. The famous Lake of St. Croix is one of them.
Read >> Visit the Verdon Gorges
Hiking, swimming, small charming villages, the Gorges du Verdon is a very beautiful destination in the south of France. And if your stay is planned between mid-June and early August, you might even be able to admire the lavender fields at the Valensole plateau. It located right next door.
2. The cliffs of Etretat
It is undoubtedly one of the most exotic landscapes in France.
Located in the Seine-Maritime department, these cliffs inspire painters and photographers from around the world. It must be said that these strange limestone cliffs that flow into the sea are impressive and breathtaking beauty.
A little wind, iodine and walks along the pebble beaches and cliffs… This destination offers wild landscapes where you feel free and fully alive.
Photo by Ansgar Scheffold on Unsplash
3. The bay of Mont Saint-Michel
Classified as a World Heritage Site UNESCO, Mont Saint-Michel is the most popular tourist site in Normandy and even one of the most popular in France.
Set on a rocky island in the heart of a beautiful bay, this site is one of the most emblematic in our country. Do not miss under any pretext!
The bay of Mont Saint-Michel is the ground of the largest tides in Europe, which allow you to admire the Mount surrounded by water every year. Its abbey is a masterpiece of medieval architecture, and the seaside resort of Granville is truly magnificent.
4. Auvergne and its volcanoes
In the center of France and easily accessible, the Auvergne is a region that has brought much to its visitors.
With its green mountains visible in the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Natural Park, it is a perfect place for hikers and all lovers of nature and great outdoors.
It must be said that the Chaîne des Puys and its some 80 volcanoes (including the famous Puy de Dôme and Puy de Sancy), is a UNESCO World Heritage candidate. A marvel to discover in our beautiful country of France , for an unforgettable holiday.
Photo by Louis Endelicher on Unsplash
5. Corsica, island of beauty
The island of beauty is a unique holiday destination in France !
Its island situation gives it a special atmosphere, with a local population that is both welcoming and proud of its peculiarities. And it is not counting on the wonderful landscapes found in Corsica, all more beautiful than the other, between paradiasiac beaches, such as Palombaggia (elected the most beautiful beach in France), and high mountains.
But the most popular place in Corsica and most visited are the cliffs of Bonifacio to the south of the island. Reaching up to 100 metres high, these cliffs offer breathtaking panoramas. And the citadel of the city sits at the top… it’s majestic!
6. The French Riviera and its beaches
The sun, the Mediterranean Sea, the beaches, cicadas and olive trees… The Côte d’Azur is the most easily chosen holiday destination when you want to spend time by the water in France.
It must be said that with seaside cities such as Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Saint-Tropez, the region attracts holidaymakers from all over the world almost all year round. Be aware that the French Riviera enjoys a really significant sunshine, of 300 days a year!
But the hinterland is also highly appreciated by visitors, with small charming villages to visit. I think of Eze, Vence, Saint-Paul-de-Vence or Ramatuelle. A few rounds on the islands of Lérins or Hyères also complete the painting. You will have understood, the French Riviera is always a good choice!
7. The Breton Coast
The Breton coastline has no less than 2,400 km of coastline with a beautiful variety of remarkable landscapes.
Beaches of fine sand, pebble cords, salt marshes and rocky escarpments… Brittany is a land that flows into the Atlantic Ocean with strength and character!
It includes the cliffs of Plouha, the Crozon Peninsula, the Gulf of Morbihan, Cap Sizun or the Lighthouse of Petit Minou. If you like road trips in France and want to travel through a region, I highly recommend the Breton coast.
Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash
8. The Camargue and its Natural Park
Renowned for its preserved natural areas, its wildlife and its exceptional flora, as well as its horse and bull farms, the Camargue is an ideal destination to enjoy nature in France.
Its long deserted beaches that can be traveled on the back of white horses, its ponds animated by the flight of pink flamingos, salt dunes and ferias… Simple pleasures typical of the Camargue, an authentic holiday destination in France .
9. Alsace and Strasbourg Cathedral
A small region full of charm, Alsace is a French holiday destination that comes out of the lot by the cultural and architectural richness of its small towns.
It has a strong and unique identity on the territory. The landscapes are also very beautiful, between the Wine Route, the Ried plain and the Vosges mountains.
Read >> Visit the must-see places of Strasbourg
When we talk about Alsace, we obviously think of visiting Strasbourg and its famous Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. This is the oldest Gothic cathedral in the world, an absolute masterpiece! Its facade is of fantastic ornamental richness and its spire of impressive technical feat, combining lightness and elegance. One of the sites in France to see at least once in his life.
10. Carcassonne and its medieval city
In the south of France, at the crossroads between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Carcassonne is part of a beautiful and diverse region.
And its fortified medieval city is one of the most visited French tourist sites. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city looks like a fortified town that could be found in children’s books.
Built on a rocky spur steep, it served as a defensive fortress for nearly 2000 years. Today the main entrance to the Porte Narbonnaise leads to a maze of cobbled alleys where there are mainly shops and restaurants. A unique historical and cultural past coupled with the hospitality of its inhabitants and traditional French dishes to taste, including cassoulet.
11. The Valensole Plateau
Stretching from Manosque to Digne-les-Bains, the Valensole plateau is located at an altitude of about 500 meters and has its reputation for lavender fields as far as the sight of sight.
This lavender is visible only at a certain time of the year, between flowering and cutting plants (usually between mid-June and early August).
Cultivated for more than a century, lavender attracts visitors from all over the world who take pictures of themselves amidst the alleys of purple flowers. A fascinating landscape and unique in France , which is definitely worth the trip! But the Valensole plateau is also very pleasant at other times of the year, since there are small villages of character and other towns nearby are very tourist, such as the spa resort of Gréoux-les-Bains.
12. The Castles of the Loire
Visiting the castles is one of the great classics of a trip to France , and there are dozens of them!
It is a collection of superb French castles located in the Loire Valley, built under the influence of François Premier to compete with the Italian Renaissance.
Better look at the ranking of the most beautiful castles in the Loire before visiting the region, because you could spend weeks there! However, you will be able to visit several a day and discover incredibly well beautiful and maintained gardens.
In short, this beautiful region of France will seduce you if you want to discover this incredible historical and cultural heritage.
13. The Pyrenees and the Circus of Gavarnie
The Pyrenees are a beautiful region of France that is exploring in winter and summer.
Between mountains, lakes and green plains, the mountain range that acts as a natural border between France and Spain is renowned for its national park. It is in fact in this part of the Pyrenees that most places to visit are found.
Read >> My stay in Occitanie, in the Hautes-Pyrénées
We find the Circus of Gavarnie, one of the most beautiful landscapes in France ! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a natural glacial circus. With its 6,5 km circumference and its 1500 meters high, it is a real wonder of nature!
A holiday destination in France that will delight hikers looking for the most beautiful landscapes of the country.
14. The Gard Bridge
Located not far from Nîmes and Avignon, the Pont du Gard is located in the heart of a French region with a rich historical heritage.
The most visited ancient monument in France , this aqueduct built by the Romans in the 1st century AD is one of the greatest masterpieces of mankind. It is exceptional due to its dimensions (49 meters high and 3 rows of superimposed arches) but also for its excellent preservation.
But even if the Pont du Gard is your fall point, be aware that the Uzège region and its hilly landscapes will seduce you in many ways. Small villages and activities in the middle of nature will complement the table of your stay.
15. The Mont Blanc massif and the sea of ice
The Mont Blanc massif and the impressive landscapes of the Alps make this region one of the most beautiful in France. There is no shortage of activities to enjoy the places, between hikes, skiing, mountaineer or even sled dog ride.
But it was the Mont Blanc, with its 4,809 meters (one of the highest peaks in Europe), that made me want to place this place in the best holiday destinations in France . Its summit is indeed an object of fascination and a goal for all kinds of adventurers, since its first ascent in 1786.
One of the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif is also home to an alpine valley glacier called the Mer de Glace. Stretching 7 km, it is the largest glacier in France. He undergoes a cast iron that gives it a sometimes disappointing appearance but it is unforgettable to enter his cave in bluish reflections.
Photo by Thomas Serer on Unsplash
16. The Arcachon Basin and the Pilat Dune
Located in the Landes de Gascony in Gironde, 50 km from Bordeaux, the Arcachon basin is a small inland sea bounded by 85 km of coasts and wooded dunes.
A true gem of the Atlantic Coast, the basin offers many opportunities for sightseeing and activities. There are the famous bird island, the “tchanqued” huts, the tip of Cap Ferret and many oyster harbours.
But the most famous site of the Arcachon Basin is the famous Dune du Pilat. With more than 110 meters in height, it is the highest dune in Europe. And it is absolutely necessary to climb it to really realize its greatness! From its top the view is magnificent and in its center it looks almost in the middle of the desert… A French destination in visit at least once in his life.
17. Lake Annecy
If you like lakes, Annecy is one of the purest in Europe! Located in the Alps, in Haute-Savoie, it is the second lake of glacial origin in France by its size.
This body of water offers a beautiful setting for many walks and water activities, and these shores reserve great surprises. The lake is discovered by swimming, during a cruise or by bike. The cycling path known as the “Green Way of Lake Annecy” is indeed well known to enthusiasts.”
And the city of Annecy is a real tourist flagship in France, with its old town and the canal that crosses it. Also, do not miss the Château d’Annecy and the sublime Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard.
18. Rustrel’s Provencal Colorado
In the heart of Provence, near the town of Rustrel, unfold the cliffs of gold and blood that remind the scenery of Colorado!
The site is one of the most amazing destinations in France , with its ancient ochre quarries so spectacular and dispeasant… Orange cliffs and succession of fairy chimneys, all under the azure skies of the south of Vaucluse, will charm you.
Read >> Visit the Colorado Provencal and the Ochre Trail
The Provencal Colorado is a truly remarkable landscape that makes us realize how beautiful France is and full of little little wonders not known… And there are many small villages nearby, some of which are classified among the most beautiful villages in France (Roussillon, Lourmarin, Venasque, etc…)!
What to make it a perfect holiday getaway in France !
19. The Orgues of Ille-sur-Têt
Unique place in France, it was supposed to be in the list of the best holiday destinations in France !
The Organ of Llle-sur-Tet designates a landscape where sand and clay cliffs have been carved by erosion, sculpting fairy chimneys. A phenomenon that dates back more than two million years that give this place an atmosphere of another world…
The site of the Orgues d’Ille-sur-Têt is often compared to the Valley of Love in Cappadocia, Turkey. This proves to us once again that it is not necessary to go thousands of kilometers to face exceptional landscapes. There is something to do in France.
20. Mont Aiguille
In the Vercors massif is the incredible landscape of Mont Aiguille.
This strange rock of 2087 meters high is the fruit of a break with the cliff of the Great Flycatcher, at which it was once attached. A high place of mountaineering, it intrigues and fascinates with its curious silhouette, in the shape of a reversed pyramid.
Also called Mont Inaccessible, the Mont-Aiguille is part of the Natural Reserve of the Highlands of Vercors, the largest reserve in metropolitan France. A beautiful holiday destination in France that will delight climbing lovers and lovers of exceptional landscapes, simply…
21. The Calanques of Marseille and Cassis
Typical of the Mediterranean, the coves are particular geological formations partly submerged by the sea.
It is in the Marseille region that you will find the most beautiful examples, including the Calanque de Sormiou, the Calanque de Sugiton, or the Calanque de Morgiou. The ideal to discover them? A boat trip from the Old Port of Marseille.
Photo by Heye Jensen on Unsplash
22. The Canal du Midi
The Canal de Midi is one of the oldest canals in Europe still in operation.
It connects the city of Toulouse to Sète for more than 200 km and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This French holiday destination is well known and it is not for nothing since the landscapes are beautiful.
It is possible to travel the Canal du Midi by boat or by bike. And the route goes through beautiful towns and villages, giving the opportunity to visit Toulouse, Carcassonne or even Béziers.
There is no doubt that travel the South of France from West to East watching the landscapes change over the water at the pace of the locks and a magical experience!
23. The Bay of Somme
Located on the coast of Picardy, it extends over 70km2 and can boast of being an incredible nature reserve of a very great ecological richness, where there are more than 300 species of birds.
Part of the most beautiful bays in the world, and classified by the Grand Site of France. It must be said that this is a beautiful place that will necessarily appeal to lovers of nature and great outdoors.
Walking in the heart of the bay will allow you to soak up the beautiful landscapes and it is the best way to see seals at a short distance. Because yes, it is the largest French seal colony that has taken home in the Bay of Somme! Interesting isn’t it!?
24. The Mercantour and the Allos Lake
The Mercantour National Park is located in the Alpes-Maritimes and is one of the wildest in France and the most varied in terms of landscapes.
Its geographical location, close to the French Riviera brings a beautiful Mediterranean touch to these Alpine mountains are riding with Italy.
Read >> Discovery of Lake Allos
The Mercantour is a compendium of incredible landscapes, and one finds in particular the Valley of Wonders: mineral landscape carved by the melting of glaciers about 10,000 years ago where there are nearly 40,000 rock engravings… But it is also here that you can discover one of the largest high altitude natural lakes in Europe, Lake Allos. A beauty box where nature offers what it has most beautiful!
25. Paris and its monuments
Unable to finish this ranking without talking about the capital, Paris!
fall point of the majority of tourists who visit France The , Paris is also a very interesting city for the French themselves. Many of us live in Provence and love coming to Paris to stroll and visit its monuments.
The Eiffel Tower, built in on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of Paris, welcomes more than 7 million visitors every year! But the city has so many emblematic buildings that it can only be summed up to its Iron Lady: Notre Dame Cathedral, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Louvre Museum, Arch of Triumph…
But you can also stroll through its beautiful parks and gardens, including the Jardin du Luxembourg and the incredible Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
This list is far from exhaustive so many holiday destinations in France are not lacking. But if you have the opportunity to visit all these wonders, you will have already travelled through the beautiful regions of France and seen the most fantastic sights!
Discover >> The most beautiful destinations in the south of France
To go further:
Visit the Verdon Gorge Visit Colorado Provencal and the Ochre Trail The South of France and its Amazing Landscapes