26 to 50 of 100 Things to do in France

Things to do in France: 26 to 50

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The country of France is literally filled with medieval cities, alpine villages, and glorious beaches. Vineyards and wines make it world famous, as do the many classical museums and monuments. Ancient caves with prehistoric drawings, theatres and palaces, art galleries and eclectic villages – there is something for everyone in this amazing country!

26. Take a cycle trip

If you enjoy cycling, then this is something you would enjoy. It is a dedicated route for cyclists which covers some 500 miles, and runs from St Malo to Biarritz.
The routes are all safe, and there are plenty of villages along the way where you may stop for the night, or even for just refreshments.

27. Lascaux II

Back in 1940 four small boys were trying to rescue their dog who had become trapped in a cave. They helped each other down into the darkness and made the most amazing discovery!
They found Paleolithic caves with over 1500 preserved painting and wall engravings. These were thought to have dated back 17,000 years.
The site was immediately opened to visitors although soon after it was noticed that the paintings began to fade. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs closed the caves to the public, however they recognised the importance of this discover and replicas were made in 1980.
Plan to spend a half day here.

28. Pont du Gard

This is the best preserved roman aqueduct, it is also the highest of all the elevated Roman aqueducts. It is on the list of World Heritage Sites. It forms part of the Nimes aqueduct which is 31 miles long.
You will see three tiers of arches standing 160’ high. A point to note is that the Romans were so meticulous about their measurements that over the whole length the aqueduct only descends in height by 1 inch! More impressively is that the whole aqueduct was constructed without the use of mortar!
Plan to spend the day in the area as the swimming is great with the aqueduct looming above you!

29. Carcassonne Medieval City

There are in fact two Carcassonnes, namely the walled city, and the town next to it. You will find that you have taken a step back in time with narrow cobblestones and medieval structures. The square is filled with iconic restaurants. The evenings are filled with spectacular views as the sun sets over the city, you may well be tempted to stay overnight.

30. Hot-air balloon flight in Annonay

Annonay is where the Montgolfier brothers took their first flight back in 1783. Every year the town holds a festival of balloons to celebrate the event. The balloons are always fantastic designs, and even if you do not plan to take a trip in one, they are well worth seeing.
Balloons of every design and colourtake to the skies!
If possible stay a night or two, although you should book well in advance for this.

31. Les Invalides

This is also known as the National Residence for Invalids. It is a collection of buildings housing museums and monuments that have to do with the military history. There is also a hospital and a retirement home for veterans, which was the original goal of the construction.
There are in fact three museums on the site, and a large church with the tombs of some of the country’s war heroes. The tomb of napoleon Bonaparte is there.
Plan to spend a half day here.

32. Take the Petit Train

The Petit Train de la Rhune runs from Col de Saint-Ignace and goes high up into the mountains. If climbs 736m over the 4.2km trip. Needless to say, the scenery is fantastic, so don’t forget your camera!
Another train trip to consider is the Montenvers Railway which leaves from Chamonix, travelling 800m up Aiguilles de Chamonix. This trip goes up to 1,913m to the station where you may view the Mer de Glace glacier.
Allow yourself a full day for either of these trips, and you may consider staying the night before so you are ready to leave in the morning.

33. Tuileries Garden

You will find this amazing garden between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. It was created by Catherine de Medici in 1564, although it only opened to the public in 1667.
You will find it is a very popular area for Parisians to take an afternoon stroll, in fact the gardens are popular all times of the day.
Pack a picnic and enjoy this lovely green space in the city.

34. Arcachon Bay

You may hear locals call this ‘le Bassin’. It is a bay on the southwest coast of France covering 150 km² at high tide. It is a natural preservation area between the towns of Cap ferret and Arcachon. There is an island in the middle called L’île aux Oiseaux which means the Isle of the Birds.
No matter which season of the year you visit, you will find the area has wildlife and flora worth exploring.
Spend a day in the area, there is plenty to see, and you will be able to eat lunch in the villages.

35. Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux


Here in the old seminary you will be able to see the most famous medieval tapestry in the world. The tapestry was completed in the 11th century. The tapestry is 70 metres long and celebrates the conquest of England by William the Conqueror.
The first floor of the exhibition explains the Battle of Hastings, with audio guide. There is a cinema at the top where you may watch the documentary of the battle.
Plan at least a half a day to see this amazing piece of work and the people who produced it.

36. Pan for gold

The Rhine, which you will find east of Mulhouse is the most popular gold panning area. You can get lessons on how to pan. You should find both nuggets and flakes – remember that it only takes 75g to make a ring.
These are the perfect places to take your RV, and spend some time – which the kids will love!

Plan on spending a full day here, although if you have children, they may want to stay longer.

37. The Lérins Islands

These are a group of four islands just off the French Riviera. There are two large ones and two smaller ones. The smaller ones are uninhabited. The islands are thought to have been occupied in Roman times.
Tradition has it that Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, studied there. A fortified monastery was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries, and there is still a monastic community there.
On the Île Sainte-Marguerite it is said that the fortress housed the Man in the Iron Mask for a time.
Plan to spend a full day here, although you may consider staying a second day and exploring the area.

38. Go diving

At La Fourmigue you can dive to discover the underwater village of Golfe. It was originally made in the 1960’s for a film project, although it has since been partly destroyed by divers hunting for souvenirs.
A second village was constructed just south of the original location, nearby is a small grotto (Grotto de Miro) where you may see a statue of Commandant le Prieur. French historians claim that he was the inventor of the first self-contained air breathing equipment.
You must check the diving requirements before you arrive, so take your relevant paperwork.
You should aim to spend a day here as you may want to do more than one dive.

39. The Vampire Museum

Many years ago, a ‘scholar of the macabre’ opened the museum. He named it The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures. You will find a collection of all things weird. You will be able to see the rare texts he translated, and the information he gathered on demonology, vampirism and folklore.
The scholar – Jacques Sirgent was a fascinating storyteller who was known for his mysterious tales.
Spend a half day here, although you may not want to take young children with you!

40. The Mazes

The maze at Guéret in the Creuse is the largest permanent maze in the world. It is made entirely out of plants and covers some 22 hectares.
There is another big maze at Bouguenais near Nantes, which is the second largest, covering 1.5 hectares.
A third maze can be found at The Labyrinthe du Corsaire at Saint-Malo. This maze covers 11 hectares.
Whichever maze you choose, be sure to plan a day, in case you get lost!

41. The Camargue

This is an area, rather than a specific place. It is a natural area just south of Arles, and lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhône River delta.
This was designated a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ in 1986. If you enjoy walking and wildlife, then spend some time here, and you will not be disappointed.
The area has over 400 species of birds so make sure you take your binoculars and camera.
Pack a picnic, and get your walking shoes on! Plan to spend the full day here.
Better still, drive your camper van or RV and stay as long as you like.

42. St Tropez 

If awesome beaches and celebrity spotting is what you like, then head here! You can visit some famous resorts such as St. Tropez and Cannes. You can also pay a visit to the independent state of Monaco. Monaco used to be a health retreat back in the 18th century, although today it attracts the ‘well-off’ crowd.

Plan to spend at least a day, more if you can afford it!

43. Mont Blanc

This is the highest mountain in the Alps, in fact it is the highest anywhere in Europe west of the Caucasus Peak in Russia.
If hiking, skiing, and mountaineering is what you like, then this is something that you should see! It is also very popular with snowboarders.
There are three villages which surround Mont Blanc, one of them being Chamonix, which hosted the first Winter Olympics.
There is a cable car which goes up and then crosses the mountain range from Chamonix to Courmayeur.
Depending on what you plan to do, book a few nights in one of the villages and enjoy the snow!

44. Parc Astérix

This is a theme park, based on the stories of Asterix. The park is well known for the different roller coaster rides. It gets very popular in the summer season, so you should go early in the morning.
There are many cafés where you can buy food and refreshments.
Plan to spend a full day – if you have children, then they will insist on this!

45. Musée Picasso

If you enjoy visiting art galleries, then this will be a special treat for you to see. It is found in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, Paris. Here you will see work by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. His work is dated between 1881 0 1973.
The house which holds the collection is said to be one of the finest historic homes in the city.
You may be able to see the collection in a half a day, although you might want to spend more time looking around the house and gardens.

46. L’Alpe d’Huez

This is a ski resort in the western Alps. The route is frequently used in the Tour de France cycle race, in fact it was used twice in one day during the race in 2013!
Plan to spend a day at least, if you like to ski, or want to cycle part of the route.
Whatever your level of skiingthere is a slope that will suit you.

47. Château d’If

You will find the Island of If about 1.5km offshore in the Bay of Marseille. The fortress, which later became a prison, was the setting for the novel Count of Monte Cristo.

The island only measures 3 hectares and is heavily fortified with high ramparts and gun ports, and is uninhabited.

You may arrange a boat trip from the nearby town of Marseille, allow yourself a day to do this, and then explore the town.

48. Pont Saint-Bénézet

You may also have heard this called Pont d’Avignon. It is a famous medieval bridge. You will find it located in the town of Avignon.
The first bridge was built in 1177 although this was destroyed forty years later.
The bridge was rebuilt with 22 stone arches, which often collapsed when the river flooded. There are four remaining arches which are thought to date back to 1345.
On the second arch, you will find the Chapel of St Nicolas, which was built in the 12th century.
While looking at the remains of the bridge will not take long, you may like to spend some time looking around the area.

49. Musée National Adrien Dubouché

You will find this museum in Limoges, which is the main porcelain making area in the country.
The museum holds the largest collection of Limoges porcelain in the world. You will also be able to see how the porcelain manufacture has changed over the years.
The museum is laid out so that you start the journey of manufacture at the beginning, back in the very beginning, and progressing through the ages, till present times. There is a gift shop (of course!) where you may buy a piece for yourself.
The visit should take you a half day.

50. Saint-Germain-des-Prés

This is an area instead of one spot. It is one of four administrative quarters of Paris.
You will find some very famous cafés including Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, many bookstores and eclectic boutiques.
The area also houses the École des Beaux-Arts, which is a school of fine arts. There is a small museum in the studio of the painter Eugène Delacroix.
Plan on spending a full day in the area, as there are many small avenues you can explore.

 

Next post we will present you itens 51 to 75 :)

See the full articleH E R E Written by: Janet Miller. Contact: janet@your-rv-lifestyle.com Fromhttps://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/things-to-do-in-france.html 


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