In 2013, 85.7 million tourists visited France. By 2018 this figure had increased to an impressive 89 million, confirming France’s place as the top tourist destination in the world!
From the sunny southern beaches, to the D-Day landings in the north, this is a country which has a lot to offer.
The challenge with visiting France is picking the best destinations to devote your time to.
Before you commit to just one, remember it’s very easy to get around France as the public transport system is excellent. Of course, if you’d rather not rely on jumping on and off trains and buses you could always consider booking an organized tour. It’s a great way to remove the stress, while taking in a wide array of destinations across France and beyond.
No visit to France is complete without a trip to the capital, also known as the city of love. The local rules restrict buildings over six stories, which ensure the stunning skyline remains the same. Combine this with exquisitely maintained buildings and you have a contemporary and picturesque city.
Of course, you’ll need to climb the Eiffel Tower, look at the Arc de Triomphe and pour over the world-famous artwork in the Louvre.
#02: Le Puy-en-Velay
Here you’ll find three incredible landmarks, which can be viewed at the same time. These are the Notre-Dame-de-France statue which depicts the Virgin Mary holding child Jesus, St-Michel d’Aiguilhe chapel perched alone on the pinnacle of volcanic rock and the Le Puy Cathedral.
This lesser-known destination is in south-central France. There are high hills all around it and a conical volcano forms all around the area. It is also the starting point for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
This is one destination that can be easily reached from Paris but has to be seen to be believed.
#03: Côte d’Azur
The South of France is known to have some spectacular beaches and is home to some of the richest people in the world. There is no better place to see this than in the Côte d’Azur, which covers the region from Saint-Tropez to Menton, located close to the Italian border.
You can enjoy some of the best beaches in the world, take in the Cannes Film Festival and mingle with the friendly locals.
#04: Le Mont-Saint-Michel
Head up to the northern coast of France and you may not be guaranteed the best weather, but you will get to see this unforgettable island. At high tide, you can only get to it by boat, at low tide you can walk or even catch the local bus there.
The Abby at the summit has gothic spires, which ascend an impressive 155 meters above sea level. It is often described as mystical, and with good reason.
#05: The Loire Valley
This is a place of fairy tales. At every turn, you’ll discover a castle that looks like it has come straight from a magical far away land. There are châteaux from the Renaissance and medieval times, showing just how opulent life was in these times.
The Loire Valley is a large area but a boat trip down the river will really allow you to appreciate the beauty of this area.