France Top Things to See & Do

France Top Things to See & Do -Lavender Fields of Provence     

The calming, delicate fragrance and dusky purple hue of lavender have enchanted people for centuries.Lavender, prized for its medicinal qualities, and beloved for its fresh and floral scent that is both aromatic and lightly medicinal.

If there's one place in particular that has become synonymous with lavender it's Provence.Provence is perhaps the best place in the world to see fields upon fields of lavender, and they’re certainly among the most famous.  

The lavender fields of Provence represent a change of seasons.You can enjoy the lavender fields by car, by bike or on foot. The majority of the lavender fields of Provence are centred around the Luberon and Verdon plateaus to the north of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, and to the east of Avignon. 

Provence's fields start to bloom in June. Early July is the best time to visit lavender fields in Provence. The entire region is peppered with vibrant purple fields.

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France Top Things to See & Do-The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited attractions in Paris,and  is one of the most well known structures in the world.this famous world landmark came to be the standout of the Paris skyline, even though it was never meant to last. The architectural marvel holds quite a few interesting anecdotes.The Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower Opened March 31,1889,Created for the Universal Exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

Located on the Champ de Mars in Paris
Nearly 2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower during the Fair and spent $1.4 million on tickets.
The first official visitors to the Eiffel Tower were the British royal family.

Interesting and fun facts about the Eiffel Tower

France Top Things to See & Do- Colmar Alsace France 

Colmar The city is renowned for its well-preserved old town. With just little under 70,000 residents, Colmar feels more like a quaint country village than a city.

Colmar is so pretty that it doesn’t feel real. Cobblestone streets run next to canals lined with half-timbered houses in shades of rose, sky blue, lemon, peppermint, and apricot, many dating back to the 14th century. 
What makes Colmar specific, are houses that are painted in various colors, which represent a mixture of French and German style.
This fairytale city is located in north-eastern France, between Basel and Strasbourg ( Colmar is located -68 km - south-southwest of Strasbourg).
Colmar is situated on the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "capital of Alsatian wine" (capitale des vins d'Alsace). The capital of the Alsacian wines, offers visitors an exciting glimpse of 1000 years of European history. 
Colmar was founded in the 9th century. With the rest of Alsace, In 1226 Colmar was raised to the status of an imperial town by the Holy Roman emperor Frederick II and was surrounded by defensive walls.  
Colmar was annexed by the newly formed German Empire in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War. man emperor Frederick II and was surrounded by defensive walls. 
Was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, and then reverted to French control after the battle of the "Colmar Pocket" in 1945. It was the last town in France to be liberated at the end of the war and has been French ever since then. 
The centre is full of classy boutiques and shops selling local gourmet products—white wine, cheese, sausages, chocolates, salted caramels, jars of sauerkraut. 
The town has five museums, the most interesting of which is the Unterlinden Museum (collection of fine arts, from the medieval to contemporary period), housed in a 13th-century cloister. 
The best way to discover Colmar is to stroll around its old town, especially in the so-called "Little Venice" district. 
Interesting Facts The Colmar: 
Treasure, a hoard of precious objects hidden by Jews during the Black Death, was discovered here in 1863. Colmar is one of the driest cities in France. 

France Top Things to See & Do- Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral also called Notre-Dame Gothic cathedral located in the town of Chartres, about 80 kilometers southwest of Paris. 
Was built in its current Romanesque and Gothic form between 1190 and 1220 CE. (You could still nowadays observe the sculpture designs and its details as they were seen from the day they were built.) It is built of limestone and stands some 37 m high, 130 m long and 32 m  to 46 meters wide,the south spire is a 105-m. 
It was the destination of a pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary, among the most popular in all
medieval Western Christianity.(Chartres has been an important Christian centre since at least the 4th century CE). 
The quality of its sculpted décor, the cathedral's architecture,caused it to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. 
Official site  

France Top Things to See & Do- Carcassonne

Interesting Facts and Information About Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a French fortified city. With it’s fairytale turrets, ancient stone walls and commanding views over the vineyards of southern France, the fortified medieval town of Carcassonne is steeped in history.

Its citadel, known as the Cité de Carcassonne, is a medieval fortress dating back to the Gallo-Roman period . The walls of the city are 1.9 miles (3 km) long and the city walls have 52 massive towers.

In the 19th century, the city was on the verge of demolition and was used as a stone quarry. It fell into such disrepair that the French government decided that it should be demolished, causing an uproar among local citizens. 

For over 50 years (1853-1911),  gave it back its medieval appearance. This restoration lasted for more than 40 years, with three architects involved.

Currently, Cité de Carcassonne is a popular tourist destination in France, and one of the best places in world where you can see authentic medieval architecture.
The French poet Gustave Nadaud made Carcassonne famous He wrote a poem about a man who dreamed of seeing Carcassonne before he died. His poem inspired many others.
It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

France Top Things to See & Do- Châteaux of the Loire

This region is a must-visit to have a genuine taste of what France has to offer. 
The region was once France's royal and intellectual capital, and is extremely rich in both history and architecture.
Often called the ‘Garden of France’. Situated along the Loire River(The Loire, France's longest river-1,020 km) the area is peppered with châteaux, farms and wineries.
The group of 42 chateaux in the Loire Valley is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France,with more than 3.3 million visitors per year.
These castles, scattered along the Loire and its tributaries, tell a significant chunk of the history of France.
The region itself is even a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its beauty and historical villages,280 kms of natural landscapes. 

The Most Magnificent Castles of the Loire Valley
The Château de Chambord
The Château de Chambord is the biggest and most visited castle in the Loire Valley.
Chambord was built as a hunting lodge for King Francis I.  It was constructed over a 28-year period from 1519 to 1547 with the influence of Leonardo da Vinci. 
Inside the chateau the main furnished rooms are the chambers of Francois I and Louis XIV plus a room dedicated to the toys of the Royals,the chateau had apparently been ransacked of many of its furnishings during the Revolution.

Château du Clos Lucé
Leonardo da Vinci,  was there for only three years before he died, but he developed many of his most visionary inventions at Clos Lucé.
Clos Lucé houses a museum and park filled with prototypes of some of da Vinci's most imaginative creations.

Château de Chenonceau
The Château spanning the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux. 
The current château was built in 1514–1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. 
It is one of the best-known châteaux of the Loire valley and probably the most visited château in all France, Chenonceau is nicknamed the Ladies' Château, due to the influential women that resided there and contributed to its final design. 

France Top Things to See & Do- Rocamadour

Rocamadour a tiny village with a world-wide reputation, is one of France's most important tourist destinations.
Rocamadour it was also voted 'the favourite village of the French 2016'.
The vertical village, built into the cliffside on successive levels, 120 metres in length, it clings high above a canyon through which flows the Alzou. 
The houses, rocks and churches all look like they're part of the rock.
Rocamadour  has attracted visitors for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has attracted pilgrims from many countries, among them kings, bishops, and nobles.
Each year the small village of Rocamadour (population around 600), receives more than a million visitors. 
Enter the village via the Figuier Gate before following the Rue de la Couronnerie : Rocamadour's one and only street, a very lively one with its boutiques and restaurants. 
The must-sees : the Notre-Dame chapel (Lady Chapel). There you'll find the Black Virgin, a slim, elongated silhouette in black wood. 
The Château, the ramparts of which you can visit, provides a stunning panorama over the village. 

France Top Things to See & Do- The Verdon Gorge

The Verdon Gorge is a river canyon located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France. It is about 25 km (15.5 mi) long and up to 700 metres (0.4 mi) deep. The biggest in Europe.
The River Verdon, with its bewitching colours, has shaped this site for thousands of years, there are three parts: the Grand Canyon, the Baudinard gorge and the lower gorges. 
The gorge is very popular with tourists, the Verdon Gorges are ideal for enjoying many activities.
There are those who come for the spectacular road trip round the edge of the gorge,there are those who come to enjoy the experience of paddling up the bottom end of the gorge in a canoe or a kayak, and there are some who come to admire the bird life.
The limestone walls, which are several hundreds of metres high, attract many rock climbers.

France Top Things to See & Do- Aix-en-Provence 

Aix-en-Provence is filled with stately mansions, handsome houses of the upper class, private mansions, trees, and fountains (Aix is known as the city of a thousand fountains).
Its beautiful squares and parks  contribute to the popular and apt image of Provence as a holiday paradise, drawing millions of visitors each year in search of historic villages and dramatic landscapes, a fitting representation of a city that manages to be exciting and provocative. 
Aix is surrounded by a countryside full of authentic Provencal houses and traditional French style gardens. Aix en Provence is often voted the best place to live in France.
Aix-en-Provence, like most southern French towns and cities, owes its origins to the Romans, the name Aix comes from the source discovered when the city was founded by the Romans.
What to see & do:
You can walk the whole town in less than a day.
Cours Mirabeau – the city's most famous grand boulevard, lined by fountains and lofty plane trees and renaissance mansions
Vieil Aix – the historic old town.Cathedral St. Sauveur.The Hôtel de Ville.Château Paradis.The Granet museum.Cézanne workshop.The Tour de l'Horloge. The quartier Mazarin and its narrow streets.
Musée Granet – a showcase of iconic artists associated with Provence, including Picasso and Cézanne.
Festival d’Aix-en-Provence – a month-long festival of classical music, opera and dance.

France Top Things to See & Do- Mont St-Michel

The island that punctuates the skyline is one of the most instantly recognisable silhouettes in all of France.
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a tidal island lies approximately one kilometre (0.6 miles) off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 7 hectares (17 acres) in area. 
Due the geographic location of the island within the bay, the Mount only becomes a complete island on big tides, the difference between high and low tides is the greatest in all of Europe and can vary by up to 15 meters (50 feet). 
It is an architectural masterpiece, built between the 11th and 16th centuries. 
A historical and still a living, breathing testament to French history and culture. Mont Saint-Michel is a structural hierarchy of feudal society
On top, there is God, then the abbey and monastery; below this, the Great halls, then stores and housing, and at the bottom, outside the walls, the fishermen’s and farmers’ housing.
Over 60 buildings within the island are protected as monuments historiques.
Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Mont-Saint-Michel is the second most visited place in France, after Paris. It is visited by more than 3 million people each year. 

France Top Things to See & Do- The French Riviera (The Côte d'Azur)

The French Riviera is known the world over for its glamour and beauty offers a variety of destinations. 
From the see-and-be-seen beaches and boardwalks of Cannes and Monaco to the lavender fields of Grasse and the medieval villages of Èze, big towns and seaside resorts, with Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Juan-Les-Pins, Monaco, Menton, the rich history, and a large number of events that take place over the years are just some of many reasons why tourists find their way to the French Riviera.
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border. 
The Côte d'Azur or French Riviera, is a nickname given by France to the County of Nice after its annexation in 1860.
Its largest city is Nice, which has a population of 340,000
As a tourist centre, the French Riviera benefits from 310 to 330 days of sunshine,it's no surprise that the French Riviera is a major tourist attraction. 

France Top Things to See & Do- The Arles Amphitheatre provance France

Arles Is a city  in the south of France,  in the  department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The town of Arles was a thriving city during the height of the Roman empire.
The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. 

Among these are of course the arenas, also known as the amphitheater, which have made the city famous throughout the world, but also the Baths of Constantine, the Roman Theater, the cloister of St. Trophime, the Alyscamps (a necropolis dating from Roman times) and the cryptoporticus of the forum.

The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889, and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there.

The Arles Amphitheatre
Is a Perfect Example of Roman Architecture. 
In 90 AD, the town built this impressive amphitheater, which provided seating for over 20,000  Roman citizens Inspired by the famed Coliseum in Rome.

This two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times.
The pronounced towers jutting out from the top are medieval add-ons.
The structure has over 120 arches, a series of galleries and staircases, and two levels of seating. 
Under the sand-covered wooden floor that formed the arena, an incredible system of trapdoors and goods elevators were set up to change the scenery of the arena and create scenic effects.
Add: 1 Rond-Point des Arènes, 13200 Arles
Official site 

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