Official Languages: French
Recognised Regional Languages: None
Currency: Euro (€)
Population (approx.): 65.8 million
Calling Code: +33
Did you know: France is the most visited country in the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists every year!
Places to visit in France
The ‘Garden of France’, as this area is also affectionately know, lives up to its name. As an area of outstanding natural beauty, the valley is filled with culturally and historically important architecture, which has earned it a world heritage site status.
It is one of the most visited places to visit in the country and is renowned for its large collection of fairytale châteaux and mansion, beautiful landscapes and one of the most striking rivers in Europe.
Sitting on top of a rocky, peaked island Mont Saint-Michel forms an imposing sight. Surrounded by sandbanks and powerful tides, the heritage site is most celebrated for its Gothic-style Benedictine Abbey.
Whereas most castles of this stature were built for defence purposes or the arts, Mont Saint-Michel is different. Complete with Monastery, medieval village, small houses and souvenir shops, with complimentary winding streets, Mont Saint-Michel is the one of the best-loved landmarks in France.
The Mediterranean coastline of southeast France is otherwise known as the French Riviera. Although expensive and over-developed to some, with its miles of gorgeous coastline and azure waters it’s still one of the most beautiful places in France.
The area has attracted and transfixed many visitors over the years including royalty, celebrities, writers and artists such as Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. The Côte d’Azur is also famed for it’s stylish coastal cities such as Nice, Cannes and St-Tropez, which still remain exclusive holiday resorts even today.
The French Alps are best known for its prestigious ski resorts, although the region is also home to many pretty towns which are great to visit, summer or winter. One of the most attractive is Annecy which has a medieval picture-postcard quality.
The centre is built around a 14th century Chateau and the whole town is interspersed with small canals which is why some locals refer to it as the ‘Venice of Savoie.’ With its canals and backdrop of snowy mountains, Annecy is easily one of the most photogenic towns in France.
The birthplace of champagne is also one of the most beautiful regions in France and of course it’s very popular with wine trail tourists. In addition to the miles of Champagne Routes, the region has exceptionally scenic countryside, medieval chateaux and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Make sure you visit the region’s capital Troyes for impressive art and architecture and Reims for its famous cathedral and acres of underground wine cellars.
The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Invalides Dome and Notre Dame, are all enough to convince you to go to Paris. But, that that’s where you put it yourself seduced by the Louvre and his Mona Lisa, the paintings of Picasso and the memory of French bohemians.
Montmartre will take you through the most unusual places and you will reveal fascinating Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, as well as cafes and artists workshops.
Famous for being the site where the Virgin Mary had been sighted a total of eighteen times from 1858, Lourdes has developed into a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of miraculous healing.
Lourdes itself is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees, that features a fortified castle that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its centre. The castle has been at the heart of much of French history, especially during the ‘Hundred Years War’ and ‘Peninsular War’.
Famous for its food and drink, as well as the ‘D-Day’ landings, Normandy is one of the most rich and diverse regions in France. It is of historic importance, especially the link between Normandy and England with the ‘Norman Conquest’.
Explorer Samuel de Champlain left the port of Honfleur in 1604 and founded Quebec City (Canada). While Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and his brother Lemoyne de Bienville founded Louisiana, Biloxi, Mobile and New Orleans.
The scenery, the peace, the coffee in a small cafe, the picnic next to a stream. The Dordogne is beautiful and serene. Some of the best known highlights of the area include Lascaux caves, the gouffre de Padirac caves and Marqueyssac gardens and canoeing the Dordogne.
It is a very scenic area, most suited to those who enjoy outdoor activities – walking, cycling (road and mountain biking), horse-riding, canoeing and fishing are just some of the things you can do.
Brittany is home to many megalithic monuments which are scattered across the peninsula, to which the purposes of these are still unknown. The largest alignments are near Karnag/Carnac. The purpose of these monuments is still unknown, and many local people are reluctant to entertain speculation on the subject.
With its numerous intact manors and châteaux, Brittany also has several old fortified towns. The walled city of Saint-Malo (Sant-Maloù), a popular tourist attraction, is also an important port linking Brittany with England and the Channel Islands.
If you are heading to France on vacation to visit some of these wonderful places, then don’t forget to take a Mobal International Cell Phone so you can keep in touch with loved ones while you ‘re there.