The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in France
Travel is food for the soul. This is something that a great many of us understand implicitly, so great is our wanderlust each year; holidaying is an ingrained tradition, whether seeking out the simple sun and sea of a coastal getaway or yearning for the newness of a foreign culture.
With travel from Canada to Europe costing a great deal, longer trips that take in more of a beautiful place are de rigeur. Fitting that a borrowed French phrase is used here, given that France is home to some of the most beautiful places in the West, and a short hop away to boot. But if you are to make the most of your French adventure, where are the most beautiful places to visit?
Colmar is one of France’s best-kept secrets, being a small town tucked away in the Alsace on France’s eastern border. It is practically a stone’s throw from the River Rhine - and sits comfortably at the foot of the rolling Alpine mountains and hills of the Germany/France/Switzerland region.
Surrounding Colmar is a loose web of farming villages and quaint settlements, with sprawling forests and farmlands forming the landscape for thrilling rural walks. The area is also an extremely popular fixture of bike tours in France, being the perfect mix of level roads and stunning mountains. Colmar itself, though, is a beautiful village with near-Mediterranean influence; indeed, it is home to its own ‘La Petite Venise’, wherein canals fed by the River Lauch form create a familiar look and feel…
Interrailing travelers will commonly take the slow train down from Alsace, through the Alps and the likes of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, to an entirely different climate altogether. The edificial mountains of the Alpine region peel back, and the land drops out, giving way to arguably the most stunning coastal stretch of Western Europe: the Côte d’Azur.
The Côte d’Azur encompasses a swathe of southern France’s coastline; it is not formally defined, but commonly taken to be the stretch of coast between Monaco and Toulon – stopping short of Marseille, which is a beautiful city to visit in its own right. The Côte d’Azur includes the stunning tropical warmth of Cannes and Saint Tropez, with so many smaller beachfronts to discover in between – and a glistening view of the Ligurian Sea all the while.
The Côte d’Azur is worth a visit all by itself, but the region to which it belongs is chock-full of incredible sights and sounds. Provence stretches from Camargue to Monaco and up to the tip of the Italian border; it includes such inland gems as Aix-en-Provence, which is a stunning example of provincial town design via its amazing market squares and Medieval architecture. The vineyards of northern Provence are unignorable, too, being the perfect picturesque destination for a tour of the relative south.