France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The architecture and beautiful landscapes create a kaleidoscope of pure aesthetic nirvana. It’s not uncommon to see first-time visitors reduced to tears by the sheer beauty that surrounds them. If you are not ashamed to weep at such sights, here are 10 most breathtaking landmarks in France.
When it comes to the City of Light, it’s easy to go for the most obvious choice and discuss the Eiffel Tower. However, as far as “breathtaking” goes, the only piece of scenery that takes the cake from the most famous tower in the world is Notre-Dame de Paris. This monumental cathedral is a true marvel of Gothic architecture, one of the most iconic churches in Europe, and the backdrop of the worldwide literary classic “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.
The Palace of Versailles
The intricate and expansive palace of Versailles looks like an ornate fairytale dreamed up by King Louis XIV. Thankfully, after the fall of the monarchy, most of its architecture was preserved and the immaculate royal gardens were restored to their former glory. If you’re visiting France, you should visit this era-defining landmark.
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Visiting the Louvre in Paris should be on the bucket list of every casual traveler and a rite of passage for world-trotting adventurers. It used to be the former palace of French Kings before it was turned into one of the wealthiest collections of fine art in Europe.
All introductions and descriptions are unnecessary – Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Wedding Feast at Cana and many other cornerstone works of art are waiting for you.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is a landmark that is crucial for all people of France – since it’s a symbol of those who had died in the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution. Therefore, the monument stands as a reminder of the power of common folk, which is a message anyone can get behind.
Now that we have mentioned fairytales – there is one particular landmark in France that looks like all Disney castles combined into a single sublime slice of medieval scenery. Mont Saint-Michel, at its base, is a rocky island surrounded by constantly shifting sand shores that are often flooded with water from the Channel. The resulting landscape is as magical as they come – and this goes without mentioning the Gothic Benedictine abbey that towers over a small village on the rock below.
The decisive part of history transpired on the blood-soaked beaches of Normandy, more specifically – Omaha Beach, which is roughly 8 km long and stretches along the English Channel. The beaches are impressive, but once you know that you’re walking on such an important part of history, the whole experience gains a new dimension. Visiting bunker ruins and remnants of the German defense is a harrowing experience.
Annecy stands out as one of the most impressive Alpine towns on the French side of the border. Also known as “Venice of Savoie”, the city itself is an assortment of narrow streets and renaissance architecture. It is one of the most photogenic landmarks you will ever visit, and once the night falls and the city lights begin illuminating its cobblestone paths and bridges, it looks downright mesmerizing.
The endless procession of wineries, rustic hamlets and idyllic meadows that make up most of Provence can be overwhelming for some people. Unfortunately, visiting rich locations such as these in big groups can spoil the experience. However, the outings can be just as intimate in escorted small group tours in France, with all essentials taken care of. These essentials include accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, guides, meals and entrance fees.
Considering we have discussed Provence, the region known as the Dordogne is an equally impressive corner of the country. It lies in the south-west of France and it is an incredibly attractive place with rustic towns, mist-enshrouded castles, and long winding roads. It has an absolutely impressive medieval history you can immerse yourself in as you visit ancient wineries and explore fortified chateaux and towns.
Pont Du Gard
The Pont Du Gard is a Roman aqueduct in southern France that stands as a reminder of an empire that has long been reduced to dust. The 2,000-year-old construction is a true testament to the design and engineering of Roman architects and considering it was the biggest man-made object in the moment of its inception, it is impossible not to be impressed.
It is easy to state with great confidence that you will hardly find a more beautiful country than France. Its rich history, amazingly intricate architecture and elegant marriage of urban areas and nature will set your standards so high, you will have to return in order to feel that joie de vivre “rush” that only incredible beauty encourages.
About the author
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and a regular author for several blogs.