The top tourist attractions in France:
10. Chartres Cathedral
The almost perfectly preserved Chartres Cathedral is one of the finest examples of the French High Gothic style. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century.
9. Dune of Pyla
Located in the in the Arcachon Bay area, the Dune of Pyla is the tallest sand dune in Europe. At the summit of the dune the view is spectacular with the Atlantic coast and the inlet of the bay on one side and a large pine forest on another.
8. Palais des Papes
One of the largest and most important Gothic buildings in the world, the Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) was built when Pope Clement V abandoned Rome in 1309 and settled in Avignon. The 3 meter (10 feet) thick walls, portcullises and watchtowers emphasize the castle-like look of the palace.
7. Chateau de Chambord
This second most visited château in France (after Versailles), is a masterpiece of the French Renaissance. Construction of the Chateau de Chambord started in 1519 by King François I so he could hunt in the nearby forests. The cold and massive 440 rooms of the Château made it unpopular as an actual residence and François I himself stayed here for less than 40 days in total.
6. Gorge du Verdon
The Gorge du Verdon is a 25 kilometer (15 miles) long canyon and rises a spectacular 700 meters (2,300 feet) from the Verdon river below. The river, which is named after its startling green emerald color, is one of the Gorge du Verdon’s most beautiful features. Water sport opportunities here include rafting, kayaking, sailing and water skiing.
Mont Saint Michel is a small tidal island located just off the coast of Normandy. A spectacular and well-preserved Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Michel stands at the peak of the rocky island, surrounded by the winding streets and convoluted architecture of the medieval town.
4. Palace of Versaille
Built in 1624 by Louis XIII, the Palace of Versailles remained the official residence of the Kings of France until October 1789 when the royal family was forced to return to Paris during the French Revolution.
Chamonix is a famous ski resort in the French Alps at the foot of Mont Blanc. It was the site of the first Winter Olympic games in 1924. In winter world-class skiers and boarders push themselves to extremes on Europe’s most challenging slopes while in the summer months Chamonix is a mecca for alpine mountaineers and mountain bikers.
2. St Tropez
Located on the French Riviera, St Tropez is known for its famous and extremely wealthy summer guests. It has been dubbed the playground of the jetset, fashion models, and millionaires. Outside peak summer there are less celebrities to spot but you’ll also instantly appreciate what lured artists, writers and film makers to this picturesque village.
1. Eiffel Tower