It’s safe to say we’re fed up of the cold and holding out for some sunshine now. Roll on a summer holiday! One of the most popular destinations for British holidaymakers is, without a doubt, France. Over 17million Brits travel there every year! So, what makes it so popular? Paris is an obvious answer – but what about the lesser-known features France has to offer? Here’s 7 of the most beautiful destinations that you should consider visiting on your next get-away…
You guessed it – the birthplace of our good friend bubbly. Regarded as one of the most beautiful places in France, it’s covered in serene valleys and, of course, vineyards. It’s also home to ancient castles, ranging from fully restored to ruins. The capital city is known for its breath-taking Middle Age churches, whereas Reims is the destination for wine connoisseurs, with a plethora of wine cellars – and the pièce de résistance; Cathédrale Notre-Dame.
2. Gardens of Marqueyssac, Dordogne
Making up what’s inarguably one of the most stunning French landscapes, the famous gardens of Marqueyssac surround a 17th century chateau that overlooks the Dordogne Valley. Hundreds of thousands of boxwood trees engulf the garden in a sea of green life, each hand-carved to create the most beautiful, aesthetically pleasing views.
3. Albi Cathedral
A stunning gothic cathedral located in the southern town of Albi, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia (better known as Albi Cathedral) is beautiful both inside and out. As one of the largest brick buildings in the world, with the biggest Italian Renaissance painting in France on its vaulted ceiling, it’s not an experience you’ll forget in a hurry.
4. Gorges du Verdon
Often compared to the Grand Canyon, Gorges du Verdon may be smaller than its American counterpart; but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. Sitting at 2,300 feet deep, the valley was formed by the strikingly turquoise Alpine Verdon River. When visiting, you can hike or ride horseback through the cliffs for breath-taking views.
5. The Louvre
Part art gallery and part royal palace, Musée du Louvre includes sections of medieval castle concealed in its basement whilst housing incredible treasures in every corner. From ancient Egyptian mummies to 19th century paintings, it’s easy to be fooled by its modern-looking exterior. Rest assured, once inside it’s a wonderfully different world.
6. Theatre Antique d’Orange
Orange is a rather ordinary place, however its Romanesque theatre is anything but. It’s one of the best – if not the best – preserved and most complete in the world. As summer comes around, it transforms into the stunning venue for the Chorégies d’Orange – the annual opera festival.
7. Francis I Gallery
Not only does the Francis I Gallery include stunning artwork, it’s not only the paintings that make this gallery so memorable. The gallery itself is a work of art. With stunning designs covering every inch within, including one of the earliest examples of herringbone parquet flooring, its popularity is certainly justified.
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