France is a country that grows on you. Once you set your foot here, you will be sorry for anyone who is not in France and is not in love. Your dreams come alive when you see some of these dreamy places.
Even the quaint olive branches in the window front of a house, add to the exquisite beauty of France. The science nerd can fall for the old school romantic. That is how irresistible the charm of France is.
There are a few places which define the tourism of France. Your trip would be incomplete without visiting them.
“I ought to be jealous of the tower; she is more famous than I am.” ~ Gustave Eiffel
Proudly jutting out from the 7th arrondissement this monument is the most visited monument in the world. It was built in 1889 for being the entrance gate in World Fair. Now it is the epitome of tourism in France.
Gustave Eiffel brilliantly modernized the whole idea of France, with just a metal structure. The three levels of the tower, are used for Michelin restaurants (1st and 2nd levels).
The third level is 906 feet high, used as an observation deck. To climb the top of Eiffel tower is on the bucket list of many, but you need to stand in tiring queues for getting your hand on the pass. You can book online if you want to avoid the hassle.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES
“It was like the first time I visited Versailles. There was an eeriness like I’d been there before. I don’t know if I was Louis XIV or Marie Antoinette or a lowly housekeeper, but I lived there.” ~ Maurice Minnifield
Louis XIV was an exalted ruler. He wanted to claim his absolute monarchy. That is why he renovated his hunting lodge in the quaint village of Versailles to a luxurious castle.
He used a baroque style with a classic French touch. There were apartments for King and Queen, Chapels, Royal Opera of Versailles. A genius manifestation was creating the Hall of mirrors.
Ornamental pieces of mirrors adorn the hall where the King used to summon his courtiers. Your eyes might hurt with the rays of light reflected from the mirrors. French gardens are set in the background with graceful fountains and lush shrubs.
“Mount Blanc is the monarch of mountains; They crowned him a long time ago On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds, With a diadem of snow.” ~ Lord Byron
No verse ever written can reflect the beauty of Mont Blanc as aptly as these lines by Lord Byron. It crowns the French Alps in its magnificent glory.
At the height of 4808.73 m, it is blanketed by snow throughout the year. Chamonix is a cozy little village on your way to Mont Blanc. It is studded with charming restaurants that serve cheesy and fatty (fondue and raclette) meals to keep you warm.
Stroll through the snow-filled street and enjoy the tranquil landscape. The Valley offers opportunities for winter sports like skiing and adventure sports as well.
“Look at those vines, he said. Nature is wearing her prettiest clothes.”. ~ Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence
Sprawled across an area from the Italian border to lower Rhone River. It was the place where the Romans first settled outside of the Alps. For ages, it has been the nest of artists. Everyone travels here to bask in the untainted charm of quaint old towns.
The rolling hills are home to villages. A colorful field of lavender, vibrant olive grooves are the backdrop of rustic living. While walking on the stone pathways, you can ogle the scenic beauty.
There are classy restaurants that serve you healthy and delicious cuisines. Staying here during your holiday in France will give you a glimpse of the past. The mystery of historical sites and bustle of open-air- markets all will take you on a joyful ride of Provence.
CÔTE D’ AZUR AND BIARRITZ
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand, there is a story of the earth.” ~ Rachel Carson
The wild, untamed sea always acts as an unavoidable temptation. French Riviera or the Coast of Blue starts from the Italian border and ends in Saint-Tropez.
Nice, Cannes, Monaco all these cities scream of luxury. The hot summer sun and salty breezes attract the wealthy and privileged to spend their time in the vibrant sea coasts. It also has streets that are in vogue with chic boutique and apparel stores.
The Royals of France used to prefer Biarritz which is an elegant beach town near Grande Plage beach. Virgin of Rock is unfazed by the turbulent waves of Atlantic crashing on it.
The seaside palace turned resort offers exquisite views of the sea. You can lounge on the sunny beach or spend your time at the museum, lighthouse.