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Things To Do In France

Things To Do In France - Discovering Destinations

Popular Beaches in France

Palombaggia Beach, Porto-Vecchio

“Immerse yourself in the allure of Palombaggia, Corsica’s crown jewel, just a stone’s throw from the glamorous Porto-Vecchio. Picture a stretch of silky sand embraced by pink granite cliffs and adorned with fragrant pine trees – an exquisite paradise reminiscent of the Caribbean.

Renowned as Corsica’s most famous beach, Palombaggia beckons with its fine white sand stretching over 1.5 km, offering a sublime blend of sun, sea, and serenity. Surfers ride the waves on breezy days, adding a dash of adventure to the tranquil landscape. 

Delight in outdoor dining amid the garden’s natural beauty. Enjoy activities like cycling and hiking, or simply unwind on this disability-friendly and tobacco-free haven. With its UNESCO-acclaimed status and stunning hues of red rocks, white sands, and green pine trees, Palombaggia is not just a beach; it’s an extraordinary palette of colors and a world-class destination that captivates the heart and soul.”

Palombaggia Beach - Discovering Destinations
Things To Do In France - Gatseau Beach

Gatseau Beach, Saint-Trojan-les-Bains

Discover the tranquil beauty of Gatseau Beach in Saint-Trojan-les-Bains, a hidden haven on the southern tip of the picturesque Oléron Island. Accessible by a charming little train or car, this expansive and untamed beach faces the Arvert peninsula, providing an authentic and wild escape bordered by a lush forest.

Its strategic location offers a unique blend of relaxation and seaside activities, with well-protected shores and areas ideal for picnics under the shade of the vast pine forest. A favourite spot for shore fishing, Gatseau Beach is a haven for those seeking a peaceful retreat with breathtaking views of the magnificent bay.

Stretching approximately 500 meters, this sandy haven is the only south-oriented beach in Oléron and is diligently monitored during summer. Enjoy a stroll, bask in the southern exposure, and relish the serene atmosphere of Gatseau Beach, where every moment is a harmonious fusion of nature’s wonders and seaside delights. Dogs are not allowed from July 1 to August 31, and sanitary facilities are available in July and August for added convenience.

Cabourg Beach, Calvados

Experience the enchanting Plage de Cabourg, a 4-kilometer stretch of fine sandy beach that epitomizes the beauty of Normandy’s Cote Fleurie. Nestled in the heart of Cabourg, a charming pedestrian promenade flanks this picturesque destination, showcasing panoramic views of the Côte de Nacre, Côte Fleurie coasts, and Le Havre. Adorned with late 19th and early 20th-century villas in Belle Époque style, Plage de Cabourg, also known as the “romantic beach,” offers an array of experiences for all. Certified as a family-friendly beach with two dedicated beach clubs, it caters to the needs of children with trampolines, inflatable play structures, and swimming lessons. For sports enthusiasts, the beach provides swimming, beach volleyball, horse riding, windsurfing, stand-up paddling, and land yachting opportunities.

The beach comes alive throughout the summer with activities such as sandcastle contests, beach art, and dinner on the dike. Accessible to all, the central lifeguard post offers a gentle slope and a polymer mat for visitors with reduced mobility, and a Tiralo beach wheelchair is available for rent. Enjoy the convenience of sunbeds, parasol tents, and beach cabins for hire during the season. Dogs are welcomed at the eastern end of the beach all year round. Lifeguard surveillance is provided through four posts during the season, ensuring a safe and enjoyable beach experience. Whether you seek family fun, water sports, or a relaxing stroll along the shore, Plage de Cabourg invites you to discover the charm of Normandy’s coast. 

Cabourg Beach - Discovering Destinations
Paloma Beach - Discovering Destinations

Paloma Beach, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Visit the enchanting Paloma Beach, a charming haven away from the bustling Port of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, exuding a timeless allure reminiscent of 1950s Riviera glamour. This sheltered beach bathes in sunlight from dawn to dusk, offering stunning views of Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu, with luxury yachts gracefully dotting the bay and pine-covered cliffs adorning the eastern horizon. The peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is renowned for its serene beaches, and Paloma Beach stands out as a delightful retreat with its pristine waters and gravel shores. The gentle lull of the waves, coupled with the delectable seafood and hospitable staff, transforms Paloma Beach into a sanctuary for those seeking beauty, kindness, and the art of Dolce Farniente since 1948.

Named after Paloma Picasso, who frequented this hidden paradise with family and friends, Paloma Beach has retained its exclusive charm, nestled in the lush greenery of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This iconic beach, a creation of architect André Deperi in 1949, has witnessed countless weddings, engagements, birthdays, and cherished moments for generations. It continues to welcome a loyal clientele, drawn back each year by the nostalgia of past experiences. The beach is not just a destination; it’s a legacy, where the tender echoes of waves tell tales of artists like Matisse and Cocteau, statesmen like Churchill, and celebrities like Sean Connery and Elton John. 

Calanque d'En Vau, Marseille

Expanding along the Mediterranean Sea, Calanque d’En Vau stands out as the crown jewel of the national park, celebrated for its breathtaking high cliffs and crystalline waters. This spectacular calanque boasts a shingle beach cradled by majestic walls that gracefully plunge into the turquoise sea, creating a haven of tranquillity and natural beauty. The protection offered by these cliffs not only enhances the charm of En Vau but also influences its unique sunlight dynamics, with the calanque gradually finding shade in the early afternoon during the summer months.

Accessing this hidden gem is an adventure in itself. Follow the road 559 from Marseille to Cassis, passing the Carpiagne military camp. Navigate through the forested hills of La Gardiole until you reach the parking area. Descend through the hill, feeling like you’re traversing a gorge, until the stunning calanque opens up before you—a reward well worth the journey. En Vau’s protected waters make it a kayaker’s paradise; rentals are available in Cassis.

Calanque d’En Vau Beach, situated in the Vallon des Rampes settlement, ranks among the top beaches in the Bouches-du-Rhone region. It’s a hidden gem, 14.7 km from Marseille, offering picturesque views, turquoise waters, and a tranquil escape from the crowds. The beach, surrounded by cliffs and shaded by trees, provides a serene setting for relaxation and leisure. While not well-known, it caters to diverse visitors, from solo travellers to hiking enthusiasts. 

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Unique Attractions - Discovering Destinations

Dijon, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte

Nestled in the heart of the Bourgogne–Franche-Comté region of eastern France, Dijon is rich in history, art, and gastronomy. Originally a Roman settlement named Divio, Dijon flourished as the seat of the Dukes of Burgundy from the 11th to the 15th centuries, evolving into a European center of wealth, culture, and learning. The city’s architecture reflects its millennium-long journey, featuring Capetian, Gothic, and Renaissance styles. Dijon’s skyline is adorned with toits bourguignons, distinctive Burgundian polychrome roofs of glazed terracotta tiles arranged in captivating patterns.

Dijon’s allure extends beyond its architectural marvels to its renowned gastronomic scene. The city hosts an International and Gastronomic Fair annually, attracting over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors, solidifying its status as one of France’s top ten fairs. As the birthplace of Dijon mustard, the city holds a unique place in culinary history. The Église Notre-Dame, a Gothic masterpiece with towering spires and grotesque gargoyles, and the Cathédrale de Dijon, dating back to 1016, showcase the city’s architectural splendour. Strolling through the historic Place de la Libération, surrounded by the Palais des ducs and the iconic Philippe le Bon tower, transports visitors to the charm of Dijon’s past. 

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Annecy French Alps Discovering Destinations 370 x 380

Annecy, French Alps

Bases at the foot of the Alps and standing as the former capital of the Duchy of Geneva, Annecy is a picturesque city that effortlessly combines its Alpine heritage with French charm. Its historic centre, reminiscent of Geneva, rests on the shores of Lake Annecy, earning the city its moniker as the “Venice of the Alps.” With no towering monuments but abundant charm, Annecy captivates visitors with its winding canals, cobblestone streets, and pastel-painted houses that line the riverbanks. The Palais de l’Ile, a captivating structure dating back to the 12th century, adds to the city’s allure, serving as a former residence, prison, and law court, now hosting an architectural heritage centre. The Chateau, a substantial Alpine-style stronghold, houses museums and galleries, offering insights into art, archaeology, and ethnology.

The Vieille Ville (Old Town), a fairy-tale-like district, beckons exploration with its inviting streets, arcades, and green spaces. Annecy’s three canals, originally designed for protection and industrial purposes, showcase the town’s dynamic history as it transitioned from the court of the Counts of Geneva to becoming part of the Duchy of Savoy and eventually integrating with France in 1860. Annecy is not just a city; it’s a captivating experience year-round, whether for the charm of its historic streets, proximity to the lake and mountains, or the enchanting views from the Pont de l’Amour. 

Arles, Camargue

Situated along the banks of the Rhône, where the Camargue gracefully unfolds, Arles welcomes visitors to a timeless slumber beneath the radiant Mediterranean sun, steeped in 2500 years of captivating history. Stretching over an impressive 720 square kilometres, Arles boasts an expansive territory, three times that of Marseille and seven times the size of Paris. The diversity of its natural wonders, from the limestone Alpilles to the arid plains of La Crau and the enchanting Camargue with its roaming rangers, horses, bulls, and birds, contributes to the city’s allure. Once a Roman metropolis and a symbol of fervent Christianity, Arles now stands as the gateway to the Camargue, the realm of Gypsies and the meeting place of Camargue cowboys.

The city resonates with the echoes of its rich past, evident in the well-preserved arena, Alyscamps burial grounds, amphitheatre, and Roman baths of Constantin. Arles, now the largest city in France with a vast surface area of 758 km², embraces its exceptional environment, including the Rhône riverbanks, the arid Crau plains, and the untamed landscapes of the Camargue and Alpilles. Wander through the ancient theatre, arenas, Alyscamps necropolis, and the thermal baths of Constantine to immerse yourself in the city’s historical tapestry.

Arles Camargue - Discovering Destinations

Cirque de Gavarnie, French Pyrenees

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Cirque de Gavarnie, a natural sanctuary nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park in southwestern France. This colossal limestone cirque, carved by ancient glaciers, showcases the grandeur of nature with its towering 1,700-meter-high walls and a vast 14-kilometer circumference surrounded by iconic peaks like Mont Perdu, Marbore Peak, Taillon, and the legendary Breche de Roland. Embark on a family-friendly hiking trail to the Cirque, where the stunning panorama unfolds before your eyes, revealing the mesmerizing Gavarnie Falls—a 422-meter sparkling vertical cascade, among Europe’s greatest waterfalls.

As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the geological marvel of steep ramparts and vertiginous verticality comes to life, providing a grand spectacle for nature enthusiasts. The Cirque de Gavarnie is a world apart, a monumental natural amphitheater that has captivated explorers, scientists, poets, and artists for centuries. Victor Hugo himself hailed it as the “Colosseum of nature.” In every season, this glacial cirque offers a world-class adventure, a meeting point for mountain enthusiasts, and an enduring testament to the Pyrenean spirit that blends physical exploration with aesthetic and romantic emotions. Come and discover this timeless wonder, where the Pyrenees mountains reveal their breathtaking landscapes in a concentration of natural splendors.

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The Popes Palace - Discovering Destinations

The Popes Palace at Avignon

Step into the grandeur of history at the Popes’ Palace in Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of France’s top 10 most visited monuments, welcoming around 650,000 visitors annually. This colossal masterpiece, boasting 15,000 square meters of architectural splendour, is Europe’s largest medieval fortress and Gothic palace. Constructed in less than 20 years, starting in 1335, the palace is a fusion of two magnificent structures built by Popes Benedict XII and Clement VI. Serving as the residence for seven popes during the 14th century, it witnessed the complexities of the Papal Schism before the papacy returned to Rome. Today, it invites exploration of its over 25 rooms, including ceremonial halls, courtrooms, chapels adorned with breathtaking frescoes by Matteo Giovanetti, and the private apartments of the popes.

Immerse yourself in the opulence of the papal court as you wander through the palace’s diverse offerings. Discover its cultural richness through theme tours, exhibitions, and concerts held throughout the year, with the palace also housing the Musée de l’Oeuvre. In the summer, the Great Chapel transforms into an art exhibition space, and the Main Courtyard becomes an open-air theatre for the renowned Avignon Theatre Festival. Furthermore, the Palace hosts the Luminescences, a monumental video show from mid-August to early October, offering a unique sensorial experience.

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