French Delights: Journeying Through the Rich Culture and Scenic Beauty

Saturday, July 8, 2023

At the mention of Franceinfo-icon, most people immediately think of a romantic scene with the sound of clinking champagne glasses and accordion music playing in the background. Although you will certainly find the City of Love here, France offers so much more than that. From idyllic vineyards to vast fields of lavender bathed in golden sunlight, France is brimming with charming and beautiful sceneries that will surely take your breath away. If you just booked a France guided tour, but you’re not sure what are the best places to visit to get the ultimate cultural and scenic French experience, here are the top places you should include in your itinerary:


It would be impossible not to include the City of Love in your must-visit places in France. If you want peaceful afternoons, you can just take a leisurely stroll in Paris while soaking up the romantic scenery that looks like it’s straight out of the movies. You can also visit the Promenade Plantee, which is considered the world’s first elevated park. You can also have a picnic in Luxembourginfo-icon Gardens and enjoy scrumptious servings of cheese and wine, then watch the day turn into dusk atop the Eiffel Tower. Of course, as a testament that you’ve been to France, you must not forget to pose and capture a photo with the world-famous Eiffel Tower.

Palace of Versailles

There is no better place to learn about the historical, artistic, cultural, and architectural significance of French Baroque other than the Palace of Versailles. Also referred to as Château de Versailles, this palace was built by the decrees of King Louis XIV and was meant to be an icon to showcase the wealth and power of his nation, but it would later on become recognized as the greatest achievement in French 17th-century art. 

The Palace of Versailles served as the principal royal residence of the French kings for over a century—from the time of King Louis XIV to King Louis XVI. This magnificent palace was embellished by several generations of well-known architects, sculptors, decorators, and landscape architects, which is why it has some of the world’s most refined and precious displays of art, interior design, and landscaping. To this day, The Palace of Versailles is still considered the pinnacle of luxury. 

Aside from its stunning architecture and heavily embellished interiors, the palace also houses an elegantly decorated chapel and a full opera house. Here, you can also get a glimpse of the queen's bed chambers, which is in itself considered a masterpiece of lavishness. Then there’s the legendary Hall of Mirrors which is still used by the French government today to host the heads of state. Finally, don’t miss out on strolling through the three square miles of meticulously manicured gardens that look like it came straight out of a fairytale.

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy

Perched atop the vast sandbanks and powerful tides of the northwest coast of Normandy, the steadfast islet of Mont Saint-Michel gives off an otherworldly appearance that will surely pique the interest of tourists. Here, you will find a small medieval village with winding streets and charming tiny houses on the island. But the star of the show is undoubtedly the Gothic-style Benedictine abbey devoted to St Michael the archangel—which is aptly named the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. This architectural wonder was built in 708 A.D. 

Fun fact: The Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel was the inspiration behind the castle seen in Disney's Tangled.

Château de Chambord, Loire Valley

Château de Chambord is among the lesser-known gems of the numerous palaces in France. If you have always dreamt of being a princess or royalty back in the day, you can relive that fantasy upon visiting this gorgeous palace located inside a wooded park in the Loire Valley. This majestic royal castle is picture-perfect at any angle, so don’t miss the chance to pose for a photo wearing your best dress with Château de Chambord as the backdrop. Also, remember to take the time to appreciate its luxurious interior design with its swirled staircases, intricately embellished ceilings, and 17th- and 18th-century furnishings.

Biarritz, Basque Coast

Nestled in the hollow of Bay Biscay, the idyllic town of Biarritz is an elegant seaside town on the Basque coast, which is a renowned summer getaway for royals and surfers. This is because the beaches of Biarritz are known for their mellow, beginner-friendly waves. Its long, sandy beaches are also dotted with trendy boutiques and surf schools, so if you are a complete newbie to surfing and you would like to try riding through the waves, you can definitely learn how to do that in Biarritz. For learning surfers who need calmer waters to practice, the beaches of Plage du Miramar, Plage Port Vieux, and Plage La Milady are the best choices. For more experienced surfers, the beaches of Le Grande Plage, Plage Côte des Basques, and Plage Marbella would be a better choice as the waves here are more challenging. 

Gorges du Verdon

The Verdon Gorge (or Gorges du Verdon in French) is a river canyon in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France. Its moniker was derived from the Latin, which roughly translates to “a green place.” Gorges du Verdon is so gorgeous that it is often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of France." And while it is comparatively smaller than its American counterpart, it makes up for it with its ethereal beauty. Here, you will see the 2,300 feet deep valley formed by the Alpine Verdon River, which enchants tourists with its crystal clear turquoise waters that flow into the artificial Lac de Sainte-Croix. If you want to traverse the trails here, you would have to hike or go horseback riding through the vertical limestone cliffs. Apart from witnessing the beauty of Mother Nature in its full splendor, you can also explore the interesting culture of the connecting tiny villages that you will pass through.

Côte de Granit Rose, Brittany

The Côte de Granit Rose, or the Pink Granite Coast, is renowned for its spectacular formations of pink to red granites that line the shore. These beautifully carved rocks were, in fact, carved by the constant waves, wind, ice, tides, salt, and spray that came into contact with it. The resulting artworks carved by nature’s waves range from a monumental devil's castle, a giant elephant's foot, and a huge, delicately balanced clamshell to precariously poised upside-down bottle granite rock formations. The sight of these massive rose gold boulders and eroded pink sand are all contrasted beautifully against the sea foam crashing endlessly on the beach.

Colmar, Alsace

Colmar in Alsace looks exactly like how a movie set for a Walt Disney film would look like, with its timber-framed houses, colorful facades, and flower-lined connecting canals. Every corner of this charming town is picture-perfect. If you are looking for a  relaxed getaway, come to Colmar because all you have to do would be to take a leisurely stroll around the cobblestoned streets of the town while drinking in the wondrous sights all around. Alternatively, you can also take a canoe trip down the water canals while watching the sunset.

Strasbourg Cathedral, Alsace

Strasbourg's Gothic cathedral, also known as the “Pink Cathedral," is known for its iconic trademark color derived from the reddish sandstone used to build it. Keen observers would notice that the building has a strange, unique look, perhaps due to the seemingly unbalanced proportions because it has only one spire. What’s interesting, though, is that the original plans for the cathedral called for two spires on top of the church, but since only one was built, it gave the church an odd, somewhat mysterious look.

Of course, as a testament that you've been to France, you must not forget to pose and capture a photo with the world-famous Eiffel Tower, and create lots of beautiful collages for your Instagram blog.