Bonjour! France is renowned for its enchanting landscapes, remarkable architecture, and world-class gastronomy. This country is a treasure trove of places to explore, with a plethora of attractions just a stone's throw away from the bustling urban centers. In this guide, we bring you a roundup of 14 famous nearby places that reveal the true essence of France.
1. Versailles Palace
Located near Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers tours starting from €20. Prepare to be mesmerized by the grandeur of the Hall of Mirrors and the sprawling gardens.
2. Mont Saint-Michel
Perched on a rocky island in Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel is one of France's most iconic landmarks. Admission to the abbey is €10. A wander around this gothic masterpiece promises an enchanting journey back to the Middle Ages.
3. Château de Chambord
The Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley is a testament to the Renaissance architecture. Entrance tickets start at €14.50. The awe-inspiring château, surrounded by a vast park and hunting reserve, is a must-visit.
4. The D-Day Beaches of Normandy
Relive the pivotal moments of World War II by visiting the D-Day beaches in Normandy. Museums and monuments are scattered throughout, with admission prices varying by location.
The picturesque village of Giverny is known for Claude Monet's house and gardens. Immerse yourself in the beauty that inspired some of Monet's most famous works. Admission to the house and gardens starts from €10.20.
6. Puy de Dôme
Puy de Dôme in the Auvergne region is a haven for hiking enthusiasts. The access to the summit by foot is free, while a ride on the Panoramique des Dômes rack railway costs around €15.
Carcassonne is a fortified medieval city in the South of France. Explore the Cité de Carcassonne with an entrance fee starting from €9.
Visit the UNESCO-listed village of Saint-Émilion, nestled among world-famous vineyards. Wine tasting tours in the region start from €20.
Aix-en-Provence, located near Marseille, is a city of art, light and activity. Explore Cézanne's atelier for €6.50 and enjoy the vibrant Provençal markets for free.
Experience the charm of Colmar in the Alsace region, known for its well-preserved old town and colourful half-timbered houses. Many of the city's attractions are free to explore.
11. Palais des Papes, Avignon
The Palais des Papes, one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, offers tours starting from €12.
12. Château de Chenonceau
The Château de Chenonceau, also known as the 'Château des Dames' for its female influence, is a highlight of the Loire Valley. Entrance tickets start at €15.
13. Les Calanques de Cassis
Experience the stunning natural beauty of Les Calanques de Cassis near Marseille. Boat tours start from €23, while the trails are free for hikers.
14. Gorges du Verdon
The Gorges du Verdon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Europe, is a spectacle of natural beauty. Hiking and water activities are free, but guided tours and equipment rentals vary in price.
France's multitude of nearby attractions caters to all, from history buffs to nature lovers. Discover these 14 enchanting destinations and let the beauty of France captivate your senses.