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What to see in France

France Attractions


Naturally, most visitors start their holiday in the French capital, Paris. The Eiffel Tower offers spectacular views over the city. Shop at Galeries Lafayette or on the Champs Elysees. Take in the exhibitions at the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay, or experience the delights of the Moulin Rouge. Day trips take guests to the Palace of Versailles and Disneyland.

South of Paris lies the Loire Valley, known as the 'Garden of France' for its abundance of vineyards and fruit orchards. The imposing chateaux spread across the valley are cultural monuments to the ideals of the Renaissance period. Less well known but equally stunning is Provence. Tourists can stroll through the markets of Aix-en-Provence, visit the Pope's Palace in Avignon, buy fresh seafood in Marseille, and visit the rural wetlands of the Camargue, home to the fabled white horses.

There are ancient gems in every direction. The coast of Normandy hosts the magical island of Mont-Saint-Michel, topped by a medieval monastery. To the south lies the historic fortified city of Carcassonne.

The Alps are a playground for skiing in the winter, and hiking or cycling in the summer. The Pyrenees offer a view of the wilder side of France. Take a cable car ride to the summit of Pic du Midi, or experience the famous pilgrimage to Lourdes.

The ultimate jet-set lifestyle awaits on the Cote d'Azur; 71 miles (115km) of Mediterranean coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts, 3000 restaurants and an abundance of sunny weather. Visit in May to catch a glimpse of Hollywood's finest at the Cannes Film Festival.


Annecy

Situated 80 miles (129km) east of Lyon, the holiday destination of Annecy has a magical setting on the shore of Lake Annecy, at the foot of the French Alps. It has been called the 'Venice of the Alps'…

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Arc de Triomphe

The world's largest triumphal arch, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile is set at the centre of a star-shaped configuration of 12 radiating avenues in the heart of the Champs Elysées. It stands…

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Château de Chambord

Eleven miles (18km) east of Blois, the vast Château de Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley. It was commissioned by François I, who wanted to outshine the Holy Roman…

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Disneyland Paris

The blueprints for the holiday destination of Disneyland may have been developed in the United States, but the world's favourite theme park concept has transported exceedingly successfully…

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Eiffel Tower

Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) could never have guessed that it would become Paris' signature sightseeing attraction and attract more than six million visitors a year.…

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Louvre

One of the world's great art museums, this vast edifice houses an extraordinary collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities from all over the world. The permanent collections are divided into…

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Mont Saint-Michel Abbey

One of France's best-known attractions, the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, is situated on a rocky island just off the coast of Normandy and Brittany. It was founded in 708 by the Bishop of Avranches, who…

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Musée d'Orsay

This great museum is fairly new by Paris standards. It is situated in a railway station by the Seine and houses a vast collection of works from the significant 1848 to 1914 period. There are important…

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Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame looms large over the Place de Paris, on the Isle de la Cité, and as the most enduring symbol of Paris is an alluring tourist attraction. Built between 1163 and 1345 the cathedral…

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Pompidou Centre

Built in the 1970s and named after former French president Georges Pompidou, the futuristic Pompidou Centre is now considered part of the Parisian landscape. The outrageous design, complete with its…

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St Tropez

St Tropez has long held the reputation of being the 'black sheep' of the renowned French Riviera holiday resort towns. Sexy starlets were flaunting themselves topless here back in the 1930s,…

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Versailles

The Château de Versailles stands 15 miles (24km) southwest of Paris and is one of France's most noted attractions. Most of the palace was built between 1664 and 1715 by Louis XIV (known as the…

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Our Travel Expert

Patrick is a French citizen, currently living in the Lorraine region of northeast France, between Metz and Nancy. He was born in Verdun and has travelled extensively in France.

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