30 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in France
We always try to travel far from home, so just take inspiration from these 30 best places to visit in France to escape!
Do you really have to go abroad to discover new landscapes that are breathtaking? Between natural sites, lakes, caves and gorges, we offer you a list of the 30 most beautiful places to visit in France .
Among these unmissable places in the French territory, at least one of them is very close to you!
If you do not know what to do this weekend or your next vacation, put on your backpack and go explore one of these beautiful places. The opportunity to visit France once and for all.
1. The Gorges du Verdon, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo credit: Flickr – Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho
The Gorges du Verdon is a breathtaking natural wonder located in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in southeastern France.
Renowned to form the most beautiful canyon in Europe, these exceptional gorges and the turquoise river of the Verdon are definitely a place to visit in the south of France!
One of the most famous corners of the Gorges du Verdon is certainly the Lake of Sainte-Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix).
Stretching for about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) in length, the Gorges du Verdon offers awe-inspiring views and a variety of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The turquoise-green waters of the Verdon River wind their way through the deep canyon, creating a striking contrast against the rugged cliffs and lush greenery.
Hiking and rock climbing are popular activities in the Gorges du Verdon, with numerous trails and routes catering to different skill levels. The area is a paradise for outdoor lovers, offering opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and rafting on the river. Exploring the gorge by boat or pedalo is another great way to experience its beauty.
The Gorges du Verdon is a popular tourist destination, particularly during the summer months when visitors flock to enjoy the outdoor activities and the stunning natural scenery. However, it is also worth considering a visit during the shoulder seasons when the weather is milder, and the crowds are thinner.
2. Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy
Photo credit: Flickr – Matthieu Luna
Located in the department of Manche in Normandy, the Mont-Saint-Michel which becomes again an island in case of strong tides, is one of the unavoidable places to visit in France.
We all agree on the fact that Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe. The island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the building is recognized as a historical monument with precious heritage.
The bay of Mont Saint-Michel concentrates the highest European tides. To share some figures with you, the tides can reach 14 kilometers in amplitude, which is really impressive to see!
Discover our complete guide of visiting Mont-Saint-Michel: Top Things to Do in Mont-Saint-Michel
3. The Valensole Plateau, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo credit: Flickr – stibou5
The Valensole Plateau is a stunning region located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France. Known for its vast lavender fields, the plateau is a picturesque and idyllic destination that attracts visitors from around the world.
With an area of 800 km², this plateau has a wide variety of Mediterranean and mountain trees and plants.
This is the place to go to observe the magnificent fields of lavender as far as the eye can see!
Situated between the Verdon Gorge and the Durance River, the Valensole Plateau is characterized by its rolling hills, fertile farmlands, and an abundance of lavender fields. The region’s fertile soil and favorable climate make it an ideal location for lavender cultivation, and from mid-June to mid-July, the landscape transforms into a vibrant sea of purple blooms.
The lavender fields of the Valensole Plateau offer a magnificent sight and a sensory experience like no other. The fragrant scent of lavender fills the air, and the sight of row upon row of lavender plants stretching into the distance is truly breathtaking. The vibrant purple hues of the flowers contrast beautifully with the greenery of the surrounding landscape, creating a visual feast for visitors.
Aside from lavender, the Valensole Plateau is also known for its sunflowers, wheat fields, and olive groves, adding to the region’s natural beauty. The combination of these agricultural landscapes and the charming Provençal villages that dot the plateau make it a picturesque and charming destination.
The Valensole Plateau is at its busiest during the lavender blooming season, attracting photographers, nature lovers, and tourists from far and wide. However, even outside of this time, the region’s tranquil beauty and rural charm make it a pleasant destination to visit throughout the year.
4. The Champagne Vineyard, Grand-Est
Photo credit: Flickr – Joe deSousa
East of the Paris region, along the rivers of the Marne, Vesle and Aisne, the Champagne Vineyard is the favorite destination of lovers of the famous sparkling wine.
It is one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stretching across several departments, including Marne, Aube, and Aisne, the Champagne Vineyard encompasses picturesque vineyards, charming villages, and historic cellars.
The region’s unique terroir, which includes chalky soils and a cool climate, creates ideal conditions for growing the three primary grape varieties used in Champagne production: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
Exploring the Champagne Vineyard offers visitors a chance to discover the art of winemaking and immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Champagne production. Many vineyards and Champagne houses in the region welcome visitors for tours, tastings, and educational experiences. These visits provide insights into the traditional methods of Champagne production, from grape harvesting and pressing to fermentation and aging.
5. Gorges Du Tarn, Occitanie
Photo credit: Flickr – Enric Rubio Ros
Popular for hiking, climbing and kayaking, the Gorges du Tarn is a canyon located in the department of Lozère and caused by the erosion of the river Tarn. The gorges extend over 50 km long.
The Gorges du Tarn offers a spectacular display of towering limestone cliffs, deep gorges, and crystal-clear waters. The river has carved its way through the limestone over millions of years, creating a dramatic and picturesque landscape that attracts nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those seeking tranquility.
One of the best ways to experience the Gorges du Tarn is by taking a leisurely drive along the scenic D907 road that winds its way through the canyon.
Along the route, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the river, cliffs, and lush greenery. Numerous viewpoints and parking areas allow you to pause and admire the breathtaking scenery or capture memorable photographs.
6. Lake Salagou, Occitanie
Photo credit: Flickr – Alfred Brumm
Lake Salagou is an artificial lake easily accessible from the largest cities Hérault ( Montpellier , Béziers and Sète). Surrounded by red and black hills, this lake offers the possibility of water sports in an almost lunar landscape.
The creation of Lake Salagou dates back to the 1960s when a dam was built on the Salagou River. The resulting reservoir covers an area of approximately 750 hectares (1,850 acres) and is surrounded by rolling hills, red earth, and Mediterranean vegetation, creating a unique and striking environment.
One of the distinctive features of Lake Salagou is its vibrant red soil, which contrasts beautifully with the blue waters of the lake. This striking color palette, along with the surrounding hills and cliffs, provides a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities and exploration.
The lake is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can engage in a variety of activities, including swimming, sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. The tranquil waters of Lake Salagou are well-suited for beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike, offering ample space to enjoy water-based adventures.
The shores of Lake Salagou are dotted with several beaches and coves where visitors can relax, sunbathe, and enjoy picnics. The Plage de Clermont-l’Hérault and Plage de Liausson are popular spots known for their sandy shores and clear waters. These areas provide opportunities for swimming and unwinding against the backdrop of the scenic lake.
7. The Garden of Versailles, Île-De-France
Photo credit: Flickr – Kimberly Vardeman
Located in the area of the Palace of Versailles , an exceptional monument having been the residence of the Kings of France, the Garden of Versailles is considered to be the model of the regular garden “à la Française” with its 386 works of art including 221 statues .
8. The Camargue, South Of France
Photo credit: Flickr – Luigi Cavasin
The Camargue, located in the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Gard is an ideal place for a horseback ride and admire no less than 2000 species of fauna and flora.
9. The Creeks of Cassis, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo credit: Flickr – akunamatata
Located between Cassis and Marseille , this large chain of cliffs offers kilometers of hiking trails with magnificent views of clear blue waters.
10. The Mont Aiguille, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Photo credit: Flickr – Daniel
Mont Aiguille is the favorite place for mountaineers located south of the department of Isère. This is one of the seven wonders of Dauphiné!
11. The Medieval City Of Carcassonne, Occitanie
Photo credit: Flickr – Vinicius Pinheiro
The City of Carcassonne located in the department of Aude is a medieval architectural ensemble whose origins date back to the Gallo-Roman period. This city includes the Château Comtal and the Saint-Nazaire Basilica.
Discover our 2 day complete itinerary of 2 Days in Carcassonne for a perfect weekend!
12. Mont Blanc, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Photo credit: Flickr – Gérald Laik
Highest point in the Alps with an altitude of 4809 meters, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe. It is located on the Franco-Italian border.
13. The Rustrel Ocher, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo Credit: Flickr – ImAges ImprObables
Also known as “Colorado Provençal”, this semi-natural site in the Vaucluse department covers more than 30 hectares and offers unusual landscapes with red-orange hues reminiscent of Colorado.
14. The Gorges Of Ardeche, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Photo credit: Flickr – Kimon Berlin
True canyon of about thirty kilometers, this site has been classified as “national nature reserve”. It is possible to discover the beautiful views that offer the Gorges de l’Ardèche by canoe, hiking or by road by car
15. Val D’isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Photo credit: Flickr – Antoine Durieux
This small mountain village in the department of Savoie is a popular destination for winter sports. This town is known to be one of the world capitals of skiing! The village has the particularity of not being plowed in winter which gives it an extra cachet.
16. The Lascaux Cave, New Aquitaine
Photo credit: Flickr – Adibu456
World Heritage site by UNESCO, the cave of Lascaux includes several prehistoric works including paintings and engravings dating back more than 17,000 years.
17. Lake Allos, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo credit: Flickr – Gilles Péris y Saborit
Formed by snowmelt, this 60-hectare natural lake perched at 2,230 meters is the largest mountain lake in Europe.
18. The Dune of Pilat, New Aquitaine
Photo credit: Flickr – Steve Harris
Located at the edge of the Landes de Gascogne forest and at the southern entrance of the Arcachon basin, the Dune du Pilat is the highest dune in Europe with a height of 110 meters.
19. Castles Of The Loire, Center-Val De Loire
Photo credit: Flickr – Spencer Means
The Loire Valley has long inspired many artists. Its rivers, forests, vineyards and especially its famous castles will not fail to charm you!
It is especially in the Loire Valley that the main castles that you can visit are located. Full of history, these different places are truly a must-see of French architectural and historical heritage.
Visiting the castles of the Loire goes well beyond simply discovering superb architectural buildings, it is about immersing yourself in the history of France.
To get more information about Loire Castles here: 3 Days in Loire Valley: Ultimate Loire Valley Castles Itinerary
20. Cirque de Gavarnie, Occitanie
Photo credit: Flickr – Louis & Tom Lefèvre
This glacial-type natural circus belonging to the Pyrenees National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a natural and cultural site. At its heart is an impressive waterfall 423 m high.
21. The Beaches Of Cannes, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Goldberg
Often known for its festival, Cannes is a very pretty city to explore especially for its beaches that fury under a beautiful sunny weather!
Discover our 2 day complete itinerary of 2 Days in Cannes for a perfect weekend!
22. The Midi Canal, Occitanie
Photo credit: Flickr – Marcel Musil
Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996, the Canal de Midi is one of the oldest canals in Europe still in operation. This canal connects the city of Toulouse to Sète, to jump into the Mediterranean Sea.
Photo credit: Flickr – jean françois bonachera
French island located in the Mediterranean Sea, Corsica is the ideal place to relax in pretty beaches. Discover this island of beauty thanks to our list of the 10 essential to visit on the island completely different from other regions of France.
24. The Organs of Ille-Sur-Têt, Occitanie
Photo credit: Flickr – Alpha Centauri
Also called “fairy paths”, the Ille-sur-Têt Organs are ocher ridges dating back more than 2 million years resulting from the erosion of sedimentary rocks. This site offers a landscape out of the ordinary in the Pyrenees.
25. Cliffs Of Etretat, Normandy
Photo credit: Flickr – C. Benoit
The Cliffs of Étretat, source of inspiration for many painters, is one of the most visited places in France. These spectacular white chalk cliffs and pebble beaches nearby make this place a hit.
26. Lake Annecy, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Photo credit: Flickr – federico rava
Lake Annecy , also sometimes called the “blue lake”, is a lake formed about 18,000 years ago when the great alpine glaciers melted. This natural site attracts many tourists every year and offers activities such as paddle, canoeing and paragliding.
Discover our 2 day complete itinerary of 2 Days in Annecy for a perfect weekend!
27. The Arcachon Basin, New Aquitaine
Photo credit: Flickr – Eutrophication & hypoxia
This triangular shaped lagoon is located in the heart of the Landes Gascogne in Gironde and opens wide on the Atlantic Ocean. To visit aboard a pinasse, typical boat of the basin of Arcachon.
28. The Queyras Valley, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur
Photo credit: Flickr – Thibaut D
The Queyras Valley is also a regional natural park located in the Hautes-Alpes department. Crossed by the Guil, torrential river of the South-East of France, this destination is very appreciated for the excursions which it offers.
29. The Chain Of Puys, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Photo credit: Flickr – Alpha Centauri
This group of 80 volcanoes of various origins and ages stretch over 45 km north of the Massif Central. This place is ideal for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, skiing and hiking.
30. Paris, Ile-De-France
Photo credit: Flickr – Emilie Barbier
We obviously do not forget one of the most visited cities in the world: Paris! Unmissable place in France with monuments such as the Eiffel Tower , the Cathedral Notre-Dame or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Discover the beautiful French capital and its lively streets thanks to our list of Top 20 things to do in Paris!
31. The Pont du Gard, Occitanie
The Pont du Gard is one of the most beautiful Roman masterpieces still standing! The incredible bridge located in the Gard near Remoulins ensured the continuity of the Roman aqueduct that led the water from Uzès to Nîmes.
On our side, we still have a lot to visit! The list is of course non-exhaustive, so do not hesitate to comment on the number of places you visited and those that are missing!
Are you looking for other travel ideas in France? Read Also:
Discover all our articles on French cities : all articles on France are listed here.
- Annecy: 17 things to do and see absolutely
- Antibes: 20 Best Things to do
- Arles: Top 20 Things to see
- Avignon: The 10 must-see places
- Bordeaux: Top 33 things to do and see
- Cannes: top 17 best things to do
- Carcassonne: 15 things to do and see
- 2 Days in Honfleur: Ultimate Itinerary
- La Rochelle: Top 15 things to see and do
- Lyon: 20 must-see places
- 2 Days in Marseille: Ultimate Itinerary for a Weekend
- 2 Days in Monaco: Itinerary for a Weekend
- Montpellier: Ultimate 2 days Itinerary
- Nantes: Top 15 things to do absolutely
- Nice: 15 Things to do and see absolutely
- Nîmes: Top 10 places to discover
- Reims: Top 15 things to do and see
- Strasbourg: 30 things to visit
- Toulouse: Top 17 places to see
- 16 Best Weekend Ideas in Alsace
- One Week Ultimate Itinerary in Reunion Island
- Itinerary: A week on the French Riviera – The perfect itinerary to visit the French Riviera