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20 Places In France That Every Tourist Would Regret Not Visiting

20 Places In France That Every Tourist Would Regret Not Visiting

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

Mont Blanc
    Photo Credit: Flickr

    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

    Gardens of Marqueyssac
      Photo Credit: Flickr

      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
        Photo Credit: Flickr

        Lake Annecy is considered the purest lake in Europe. Paddle down green mountains in some of the world’s freshest air.

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        4. Hike the Mercantour French National Park

        Mercantour French National Park
          Photo Credit: Flickr

          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
            Photo Credit: Flickr

            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

            tea
              Photo Credit: Flickr

              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
                Photo Credit: Flickr

                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

                French Riviera
                  Photo Credit: Flickr

                  The French Riviera is viewed as one of the chicest places to bronze. Enjoy stretches of golden sand and endless sunshine.

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                  9. Indulge in Gourmet Eats in Lyon

                  Gourmet Food
                    Photo Credit: Flickr

                    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

                    Chartres Cathedral
                      Photo Credit: Flickr

                      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

                      Falaise Aval
                        Photo Credit: Flickr

                        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

                        Mont Saint-Michel
                          Photo Credit: Flickr

                          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<

                          Verdon Gorges
                            Photo Credit: Flickr

                            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.

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                            14. Hit the Slopes in Chamonix

                            Chamonix Skiing
                              Photo Credit: Flickr

                              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

                              Cable Car to Bastille
                                Photo Credit: Flickr

                                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

                                Lavender Fields in Provence
                                  Photo Credit: Flickr

                                  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

                                  Lascaux Cave
                                    Photo Credit: Flickr

                                    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.

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                                    18. Visit the Island of Corsica

                                     Island of Corsica
                                      Photo Credit: Flickr

                                      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.

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                                      19. Wander through the Chateaux in Loire Valley

                                      Chateau Chenonceau
                                        Photo Credit: Flickr

                                        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

                                        Champ De Mars
                                          Photo Credit: Flickr

                                          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

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                                          Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                          Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                          Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                          I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                          You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                          Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                          When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                          I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                          Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                          Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                          Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                          1. The Inner Critic

                                          This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                          • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                          • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                          • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                          • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                          The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                          Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                          2. The Worrier

                                          This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                          The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                          3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                          This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                          This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                          The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                          4. The Sleep Depriver

                                          This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                          The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                          • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                          • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                          • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                          • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                          How can you control these squatters?

                                          How to Master Your Mind

                                          You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                          Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                          There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                          • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                          • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                          This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                          The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                          Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                          For the Inner Critic

                                          When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                          You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                          For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                          You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                          “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                          If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                          • They rile up the Worrier.
                                          • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                          • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                          • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                          • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                          Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                          Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                          For the Worrier

                                          Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                          Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                          You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                          • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                          • Muscles tense

                                          Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                          If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                          Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                          “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                          Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                          If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                          Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                          Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                          For example:

                                          If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                          “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                          Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                          “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                          Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                          For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                          Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                          The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                          • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                          • Muscles tension

                                          I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                          Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                          Breathe in through your nose:

                                          • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                          • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                          • Focus on your belly rising.

                                          Breathe out through your nose:

                                          • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                          • Focus on your belly falling.
                                          • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                          Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                          Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                          One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                          Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                          For the Sleep Depriver

                                          (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                          I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                          Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                          1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                          2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                          When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                          From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                          For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                          If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                          You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                          • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                          • Shut down your thinking.
                                          • Calm your feelings.
                                          • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                          You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                          Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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