Fabulous France: 4 French Experiences You’ll Never Forget
From the glittering lights of Paris to the French Riviera’s tranquil coastline, France is teeming with captivating tourist attractions. Whether you want to relax in the comfort of a chateau, get lost in an ancient village or simply savour a glass of French wine, this country has something to offer every kind of traveller. Regardless of how long you plan to stay for, no trip to France would be complete without enjoying at least some of the following experiences.
1. Discover the Loire Valley
Just a short drive from Paris, the Loire Valley boasts some of France’s prettiest scenery. Back when the country was still ruled by royalty, several castles and fortresses were constructed in the region, many of which can still be found scattered along the Loire River today. In modern times, the Loire Valley has gained acclaim for its picturesque vineyards, fruit orchards and luxurious accommodation, including the Château de Chambord, the most recognisable chateau in the world.
Top Tip: Fancy yourself as a bit of a wine connoisseur? Famous for producing high-quality Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, the Loire Valley is a wine-lover’s dream destination. If you were hoping to sample some local labels at some point during your trip, visiting this region presents the perfect opportunity to taste the best wine that France has to offer.
2. Step Back in Time in Saint Paul-de-Vence
Dating back to the Middle Ages, Saint Paul-de-Vence is located on the French Riviera, just down the road from the city of Nice. Fortified by an imposing stone wall, it was built on a plateau between two steep valleys, providing visitors with amazing views of the surrounding landscape. This ancient village might not be as well-known as other cities on the French Riviera, such as Cannes or Saint-Tropez, but it is just as beautiful, with classic French architecture and pretty cobbled streets. Many of its original medieval-style parapets remain intact, adding to its old-world charm. Filled with art galleries, boutique shops and restaurants, it’s a great place to pick up some authentic souvenirs and grab a bite to eat.
Top Tip: Saint Paul-de-Vence is an extremely popular tourist destination, especially during summer. It can get a little frenetic at times, so try to get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time in the village.
3. Cruise the Canal du Midi
Running from the city of Toulouse to the port of Sète on the edge of the Mediterranean, the Canal du Midi passes some of the most stunning landscapes in France, allowing tourists to soak up the sun and the scenery. Covering the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées regions, the canal passes several waterfront villages and wine regions. Whether you want to take a short cruise or travel along the entire length of the canal, this is one of the best ways to glimpse what everyday life in the French countryside is like.
Top Tip: Don’t let the weather stop you from booking a cruise on the Canal du Midi. It remains open to travellers all year round, and the surrounding regions maintain their natural beauty throughout the changing of the seasons.
4. See the Best of Bordeaux
Situated on the edge of the Garonne River in the southwest of the country, Bordeaux is a famously beautiful port city. After Paris, it is home to the second-largest collection of historically significant buildings in France. In fact, half the city is World Heritage listed, making it a must-see destination for history buffs. On top of its carefully preserved urban landscape, Bordeaux has also become known as one of the liveliest cities in France. A large portion of the population is made up of university students, with wine bars and fine dining restaurants featuring heavily in the local nightlife.
Top Tip: You can never get bored of Bordeaux, but if you choose to explore more of France’s southwestern coast you’ll have plenty of options. The city is surrounded by charming villages, seaside resort towns and vineyards, several of which are located within day-trip distance.
To see more of what France has to offer, please view our France destination page or browse the itinerary of our La Grande France Tour and Normandy, Brittany & Loire Valley tour. Unforgettable experiences await you!