14 of the Dreamiest Places in France
Collected by Maggie Fuller, AFAR Staff
Rolling hills in Provence, leisurely boating in Marseille, the storybook houses of Alsace. This is proof that France is a real-life fairytale.
84220 Gordes, France
In the early hours of a summer morning I visited the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque in Provence near the crumbling hill town of Gordes. It was completely silent, with not a soul about. A purple swathe of lavender cut a dash as it graced the old...
50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
3 Rue Principale, 37510 Villandry, France
There are more than 100 castles in France's Loire Valley, encompassing Orléans, Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Saumur, Tours and beyond. Stretching along the Loire River, these royal châteaux are filled with fascinating history, opulent...
4 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France
An incredible French restaurant called Les Bateliers lies over the water just near the Rue Turenne Bridge in Colmar, France, providing a one of a kind view of the colorful historical architecture. If you had to choose one place to eat in Colmar,...
Last summer, Tim and Kathy Turner took a break from the Mont Blanc hiking circuit for a night at Refuge des Mottets, a French backcountry lodge decorated with cowbells and old iron cookware. The Turners, from the United States, were the only...
2 Place des Alpilles, 83140 Six-Fours-les-Plages, France
A Trek Travel culinary journey biking through Provence begins with a Provençal cooking experience with Michelin-starred Chef Xavier Mathieu at the prestigious Le Phébus hotel. Nestled in the heart of the Luberon, chef Mathieu reinterprets...
Boulevard Jardin Zoologique, 13004 Marseille, France
Centered around an elaborate water fountain constructed during the Second Empire, the Palais Longchamp is home to the Natural History Museum, with its cabinets of curiosities and zoological specimens, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts. Here...
3bis Rue Reine Elisabeth, 13001 Marseille, France
Marseille began its life as a trading port founded by the ancient Greeks, and the city’s heart remains at the waterfront. Here, you can witness the city's vibrant Mediterranean soul: Restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops bustle, pavilions host...
59 Quai de Paludate, 33800 Bordeaux, France
The crescent-shaped area on the right bank of the Garonne River is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of particular note are the splendid neoclassical buildings constructed during the Age of Enlightenment thanks to the wealth of the wine...
34500 Béziers, France
They call it an incredible feat of civil engineering. They say it is one of the longest canal systems in the world, the most spectacular man-made waterway. They inscribe it a World Heritage Site. But the Canal du Midi is a living work of art that...
Le Lautaret, 05480 Villar-d'Arène, France
At an altitude of 2100 meters, the Alpine Botanical Gardens at the Lautaret Pass in the Dauphiné Alps are a breathtaking (literally!) experience. If you love glaciers, fresh air, and botany, a visit to this paradise-like garden is a must.
I attended a photography workshop in Normandy, France, May 2013. Honfleur, Bayeux, D-Day sites, Mont Saint-Michel and Caen were among the picturesque sites of Normandy we visited. Needless to say, we all came home with great photos of this...
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