For years France has been the most visited country by international tourists – and it’s no wonder why. From vineyards to chateaux to coastal beaches, France has it all.
We’ve rounded up the top 20 things in France that every tourist would regret not doing.
1. Dine at Le Panoramic, Chamonix
Le Panoramic is consistently rated one of the world’s best restaurants with a view. If you have an admiration for mountains, you’ll want to dine at Le Panoramic to bask in the view of Mont-Blanc.
2. Get Lost in the Gardens of Marqueyssac
The stunning Gardens of Marqueyssac wrap around the 17th century Chateau of Marqueyssac. Tourists can spend hours wandering through the enchanting maze and gazing at the stunning Dordogne river below.
3. Kayak on Lake Annecy
Lake Annecy is considered the purest lake in Europe. Paddle down green mountains in some of the world’s freshest air.
4. Hike the Mercantour French National Park
Mercantour National Park combines glacial lakes, majestic peaks, and high valleys. The park is considered a transition zone from the alps to the Mediterranean, so you’ll find great diversity.
5. Wander the Village of Kaysersberg
Kaysersberg is a charming old town with cobblestoned streets and picturesque half-timbered houses. It’s a historic town that dates back to 1227 when Emperor Frederick II Barbarossa purchased a castle and named it Kaysersberg, giving the town its name.
6. Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Georges V Hotel, Paris
Indulge in the ultimate treat at Georges V Hotel, Paris’ most glamorous hotel. Georges V is known worldwide for its outstanding service and unparalleled tea menu.
7. Vineyard Hop in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is one of France’s top wine regions with thousands of vineyards scattered throughout. Take a tour or two to learn about Bordeaux’s wine-making history and heritage.
8. Sunbathe in the French Riviera
The French Riviera is viewed as one of the chicest places to bronze. Enjoy stretches of golden sand and endless sunshine.
9. Indulge in Gourmet Eats in Lyon
Lyon has been recognized as the food capital of France for over 70 years, which makes the city the ideal place to discover French cuisine. It’s the place where you can even try pig fat fried in pig fat.
10. Admire the Stained Glass at Chartres Cathedral
This medieval Catholic cathedral was built in the 1100’s and has become famous around the world because of its intricate stained glass. During both of the world wars, the panes from the 172 windows were carefully taken apart and hidden in the Dordogne for safekeeping.
11. Climb to the top of the Falaise d’Aval in Etretat
Etretat is a large village on the Albaster Coast featuring high white cliffs. Climb the path to the top for a surreal view of the rock formations.
12. Explore Mont Saint-Michel & Dine at Mere Pouland
The view of Mont Saint-Michel rising above the pristine sand is iconic of France. The chapel was built on a 260 ft high granite rock rising from a flat seabed. The island’s other treasure is Mere Pouland’s restaurant, serving souffle-like omelets since 1888.
13. White Water Raft in Verdon Gorges<
Nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Europe, Verdon Gorges is a go-to spot for nature enthusiasts. Spend the day rafting in this immense canyon filled with clear, turquoise water.
14. Hit the Slopes in Chamonix
Head on an alpine adventure in Chamonix. Home to the 1924 Olympic games, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. Mont Blanc is a skier and boarder paradise.
15. Ride the Cable Car to Bastille
Take a cable car from the heart of the city of Grenoble up to the Dort de la Bastille. The cable car was one of the first urban cable cars in the world. Enjoy the surreal views of the Alps on your way up.
16. Frolic through the Lavender Fields in Provence
Enjoy the long, hot summer days in Provence and admire the sight and smell of the romantic violet fields.
17. Spelunk through the Lascaux Cave
The Lascaux Cave is covered with more than 2,000 images that were painted more than 15,000 years ago. Access to the cave is now highly limited, as human breath and body heat damage the artwork but you can visit the replica at Lascaux II.
18. Visit the Island of Corsica
Corsica is said to resemble a continent of its own due to its geographical diversity. Corsica is home to everything from chic coastal cities to hilltop villages. Spend some time exploring the island, whether hiking, tanning, swimming or tasting local cuisines.
19. Wander through the Chateaux in Loire Valley
Loire Valley is considered “The Gardens of France”. The area has about 1000 chateaux/castles. Popular chateaus include Chateau de Chenonceau, Chateau d’Usse, Chateau de Chambord and Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau.
20. Picnic at Champ De Mars Facing the Eiffel Tower
Pack a baguette and some cheese and head to the best view of iconic Paris at Champ De Mars. Stay for the sunset and enjoy the glittering lights every hour on the hour.
Featured photo credit: Kristoffer Trolle via flickr.com