Affectionately referred to as the City of Love, Paris has been the inspirational setting for innumerable romantic gestures and marriage proposals. Who could say no surrounded by the illuminated beauty of the Eiffel Tower? Aside from having one of the world’s best-loved capital cities, France is famous for its irresistible gourmet cuisine, fine wines, astounding architecture, talented artists, incredible museums, and the annual Tour de France cycle race – a sporting event watched by millions across the globe. Then of course there’s rural France with its picturesque wide expanses of rolling countryside, specialist vineyards and chateaux that are centuries old. Skiers flock to the Alpine regions, in particular Chamonix, to get their snow fix, while fashion-conscious style gurus relax on the glorious golden sands of St Tropez.
1. DRAMATIC COUNTRYSIDE
France is the largest country in Western Europe, with a dazzling range of landscapes to please all travelers. You’ll find a little of everything: rolling green hills covered in vineyards, wild, mighty rivers, towering mountains, expansive sandy beaches, volcanoes, gorges, and even pink salt plains. Take your pick from an impressively diverse selection of terrain, including the dramatic volcanoes of the Massif Central, the lavender fields of Provence, the dizzy heights of the Alps, and the serene lakes of the Limousin. What’s more, France is littered with picture-perfect villages, boasting historic architecture and bustling markets. The French countryside is simply stunning, and is the number one reason tourists keep coming back for more.
2. FOOD & WINE
France offers a wide variety of cuisine which includes bread, sauces, steaks, tarts, and pastries; thus, there is something for everyone. Mouth-watering cheese still stands on the top of delish foods to try. You can have a different kind of meal every single day. France is famous for its small cafés and Michelin starred restaurants. Duty-free wine is also a major tourist attraction in France and wine tasting is one of the most popular activities. There are a plethora of options available right from homemade wine to classic champagne, the taste of which will forever be with you.
Paris, that dreamy, romantic City of Lights, is one of the most popular reasons to visit France. Although there’s plenty to see outside the capital, most visitors to France can’t resist a glimpse of this iconic city. Paris has something of everything: world-class museums and galleries, medieval architecture, fashion, food, and cultural attractions in abundance. There’s an endless list of things to see and do, and when you get tired of pounding the pavements, simply relax on a café terrace and watch the world go by. Paris is a city with layers, and one that you’ll want to come back to again and again.
4. THE COASTLINE
Bordered to the west by the Atlantic, and the south by the Mediterranean, France’s coastline is dramatic, varied, and full of charm. Sun-seekers flock to the Cote d’Azur, known for its chic towns and summer parties, but travel a little further west and you’ll discover the gorgeous limestone calanques near Marseille and the salt flats and flamingos of the Camargue. On the west coast, you’ll find wild, sandy beaches in Normandy, picturesque fishing villages and coves in Brittany, and plenty of opportunities for surfing in the Basque country.
5. HISTORY & CULTURE
France is one of those few countries that are culturally very rich. They are a proud owner of a rich heritage which dates back to Napoleon and the French Revolution. The battle sites, cathedrals, and churches are among the popular tourist attractions of the country. Paris boasts an embarrassment of artistic riches, of which the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and the Rodin and Picasso museums are the most popular. Outside the capital, cities such as Bordeaux, Nice, Lille and Strasbourg are gaining a reputation as artistic and cultural hubs, with festivals and events throughout the year. If you still aren’t convinced, remember that France has close to 41 UNESCO World Heritage sites and thus you have tons of options to explore.