France top tourist attractions

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Going to France on vacation You are certainly spoilt for choice for things to do and see there! La France, the nation that is shaped like a hexagon is full to the brim with world famous tourist sights and attractions. Check out our guide to ten of the most exciting tourist attractions that we reckon that you must certainly see during your France holiday…

The following are the top attractions that we recommend you must see in France – in no particular order!

· Check out the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Constructed in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for the centenary of the French Revolution, this landmark has come to represent one of the most important symbols of France, attracting thousands of visitors every day. The tower rises over 1,000 feet and has three impressive platforms, all of which afford the visitor stunning views of Paris! The tower weighs over 7,000 tonnes! Why not dine in luxury on the Tower – there are two restaurants to be found here! You can only climb as far as the second level by the steps, you must take the elevator to get to the summit! The light shows that feature on the tower at night have become another of Paris’s wonderful sights.

· Disneyland Paris is a perfect place for all the family to enjoy! Situated only 20 miles to the east of Paris at Marne-La-Vallé, and spread over 5,000 acres, Disneyland Park opened in 1992 and offers visitors world class rides, attractions and magical adventures! Definitely a place to take the kids to for a fun day or more out!

· Without a doubt, the most famous museum in the world is Louvre Museum. Positioned in the heart of Paris, between the River Seine and La Rue de Rivoli, this building which is over 800 years of age is a Mecca for art lovers and historians everywhere. Divided into seven category departments, with the collections dating from the first civilizations of the world up to the 20th century, a visit to the Louvre will endear to you the relics from the empires of Rome, Greece and Egypt; not forgetting the most famous painting in the world; the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

· Moving away from Paris and to the Loire Valley – this is one of the most beautiful places you can visit in France – in fact part of the area between Maine and Sully-sur-Loire received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000. It is often called ‘The Garden Of France’ due to its green hills, plentiful vineyards and a landscape that is dotted with historic towns and villages. The towns in the Loire Valley Region such as Tours, Orléans and Chinon are well known for their fantastic architecture, demonstrated in castles such as the Châteaux Amboise, the luxurious abbeys, cathedrals such as the Cathedral of St-Gatien and sumptuous buildings in the area like Château de Saumur, and the sparkling wine produced in the region.

Azay-le-Rideau castle

Azay-le-Rideau castle

· If you are a fan of the great outdoors and stunning scenery, then you have come to the right country! France is home to some of the most stunning mountain ranges, rivers and forest areas in the world. Skiing is a popular pastime in France, particularly in the French Alps region. Mount Blanc is a good place to start! The Rhône Alps area is another popular tourist attraction.

· Interested in the glitz and glamour of the movie industry?Then you may want to head to the city of Cannes, that hosts its own international film festival annually in May. You can also explore the rest of the French Riviera by visiting the tourist havens of Nice and Marseille. A short trip to the principality of Monaco will give you further licence to explore the areas where the rich and famous jet setters hang out!

· Another historic region worth exploring is the North Western Region of Normandy – scene of the historic D-Day landings of June 1944. This is one of the places in France where the men and women who fought bravely to save France and Europe from the Nazi regime are remembered and not forgotten for their heroics. Joan of Arc the heroine of medieval France fought many battles for French freedom in this region before being executed at Rouen. Normandy is also home to Le Mont-Saint-Michel, which is a picturesque and rocky islet famous for its fine architecture and heritage.

· The Palace of Versailles is another Paris attraction you should consider visiting – originally constructed as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII in the 17th century. Later in this century, the Palace was enlarged by the king’s architects to contain the fantastic Hall of Mirrors, which was decorated with statues, artifacts from ancient Rome and wonderful art portraits. From this point, The Chateau of Versailles remained the official residence for the Kings of France until the French Revolution in 1789 AD. Known for its splendid luxury, the lavish insides of the Palace are a joy to behold for the tourist. The Queen and State Apartments are other areas of the palace to look out for. The stunning gardens provide a wonderful backdrop to the palace. In the early 20th century the Palace of Versailles was the place where the armistice treaties of World War I were signed.

· Fontainebleau Castle and Forest is located about 50km south east of Paris, and attracts around 13 million visitors annually. The Royal Château of Fontainebleau is the largest castle that was inhabited by French Royalty. It was once the home of the French Emperor Napoleon. The architecture of the castle is in a classic Italian Mannerist style. The forest area of Fontainebleau was once the hunting grounds for the nobles, it is now one of the largest forest areas in France, and offers plenty of activities for the tourist, from climbing to hill walking and a chance to spot the wonderful animal life in the area.

· Visit the Beaches and Resorts of France. With a coastline of almost 3,500 km, France is home many beaches that are clean, safe, and offer fabulous conditions for sunbathing and watersports activities. The beach resorts in France offer wonderful amenities and very little hazards. You will be aware of the best beach resorts of France are along the south at the Côte d’Azur, even though Cannes and Saint Tropez can be quite expensive. Beach resorts in Nice are not as expensive. Beach resorts in the north and along the west coast of France at Brittany are less crowded and offer great watersport and diving opportunities. The island of Corsica off the coast of France also has some fine resorts such as Golfe di Sogno and Santa Giulia.

Hope you liked our guide to the top tourist attractions in France. If you are travelling around France, the best way to visit these (and many more) wonderful sights is to travel independently and at your own pace by hiring a car. For the very best deals available check out our Car Hire France page.

John writes for Novacarhire.com – an independent car hire reservation website where you can book low cost car hire at over 5,000 locations worldwide.

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