France 16 Must See Places to Visit

France 16 Must See Places to Visit

We’ve covered all regions of France in our various motorhome’s, over the past couple of decades. For us, it’s a little bit like playing a favourite song on repeat! It’s so comforting and familiar and somehow lifts your spirits. Most of all, no matter how often you visit, it still leaves you wanting more!

We certainly, love all of France and it’s motorhome friendly Aire system, for us, there’s no doubt that some places leave a lasting impression. It’s those unique “WOW” factor moments, when your eyes catch a first glance of the most awesome sight. That unique, special element that almost takes your breath away!

It’s our Top Must See places to visit on a motorhome trip to France!

1. The Postman’s Palace

The correct title, is actually “Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval“. It’s a palace like no other, you probably won’t have seen one like it before and you’re unlikely, to ever see anything like it again!

It’s the result of the eccentric imagination of Ferdinand Cheval. This local postman who went about his daily rounds a little differently to your average postie, collecting stones along the way.

With them, over 33 years, he built this ingenious, elaborate, almost stage set masterpiece. It would look more at home on a Hollywood film set, rather than in the middle of the French countryside!

2. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

If you picture the most prettiest of French villages, perch it high into the side of a cliff face, add the the ancient footings of a Medieval past and surround it with the glories of a Provencial countryside.

This is Moustier, typically a part of France that is exquisite and magical. When you first catch a glimpse upon the tiered stone dwellings, clinging to the rock face, it has you instantly drawn in.

Explore it deeper and the tiny alleyways, dreamy views and all that heat from the Summer sun, leave you happily hypnotised in a French fancy!

3. Annecy and its Lake

Think snow capped mountains of the Alps, throw in one of the cleanest lakes in Europe, and finish with a delightful whipped cream topping, of one of the most charming Medieval, canal-lined towns.

It oozes character in every corner, floral covered bridges criss-cross canals. Narrow streets lead to quirky antique markets, whilst the blue Lake is level playing to one of the most scenic locations in Europe-It’s a dreamy spot alright!

4. Lac de Sainte Croix

A little further along the road from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and you catch sight of the brilliant blue lake of Sainte Croix.

It’s WOW factor all the way, as you cross towards the Gorge du Verdon. Here, blue waters meander into the narrow chasms of the high gorge walls. In the heat of a hot Summer, the water is too tempting to miss, swim, take a picnic or hire a pedalo, whichever you choose, it’s just divine!

5. Pont du Gard

You’ve got to give it to the Romans, they really did build things well! If you’ve not seen this yet, ask yourself why not?! This place is just awesome, in the most fascinating kind of way.

How on earth did they build these impeccable structures 2000 years ago? Hauling colossal blocks of stone to build this 160ft mega structure of an aqueduct?

It was in use for around 500 years…..imagine that! Carrying water to Nimes along a stretch of over 30 miles….Amazing!!

6. Aigues-Mortes

The first time we entered this walled town, surrounded by the salt marshes on the edge of The Camargue, we couldn’t quite believe our luck at what we’d found!

It was a hot, bustling July evening, with atmosphere pounding off the enclosed walls. Inside, streets filled with restaurants spilling out onto the cobbles, we were hooked!

This once busy port is now a few miles from the sea, but still holds all it’s charm in the salty Mediterranean air.

7. Arles

With it’s Van Gogh connection, incredible Roman ruins and all the charms of a Provence town, Arles is just a treat!

It has one of our favourite Arena’s (that’s the Roman kind!). Incredibly intact, somehow it’s position is a little more intimate than some of the other Roman Arena’s that we’ve visited.

With the Rhone river passing through intricate streets and with so much history, this place is pretty neat!

8. Eze

This is a little gem of a village, perched high above the Cote d’Azur, oozes character, class and charm at every angle.

It’s tiny, with a maize of narrow alleyways. Stunning views flowing out across to the Med and some very upmarket accommodation, to tempt you out of the campervan!

It’s a great place to explore on a hot Summer evening, as the sun begins to set. Be warned, you won’t want to leave!

9. Pont d’Arc

The Ardèche river weaves its way through the Gorges de l’Ardéche, canoeing, rafting and all things water related can be done. We love the natural limestone arch that spans the waters of the river. It’s a perfect viewpoint from the road above, enabling you to look down over the river and arch.

This whole area is a natural paradise and in Summer it’s just wonderful.

10. Hyères

The old historic town, along with a coastal splendour full of peninsula inlets. It’s just beautiful.

A coastal walkway through shaded pines, lead to some incredible little rocky bays and crystal clear blue and green waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s such a great place to relax. Off peak, you’ll find an inlet just for you!

11. The Chateaux of The Loire

It’s too difficult to choose just one, they are all just gorgeous, so all castles in the Loire make the list!

The Loire is certainly going to bring enough fairytale magic to last a lifetime! It’s also a fascinating region, with lots of extra magic along the route. Who can forget the mighty Loire River, that follows you through the landscapes.

12. St.Tropez

It’s one of the most famous of all French resorts. Is it really, full of hype and shallow, celebrity super yachts? Or is there really a little more to this international hot spot?

If you get beyond the day trippers, the flashy image and superstar appeal,there’s a very different side to this charming harbour town. It’s full of character at it’s core, the added advantage of some superb beaches and a really nice coastal walkway through it’s more natural surroundings.

We have to say, we really like it here and there’s always the people watching to keep you entertained too!

13. The D-Day Landing Beaches

The Normandy beaches are heart-wrenching. It’s the most compelling of sights, incredibly fascinating, being such a recent part of our history.

Not forgetting, the emotional rollercoaster, that this part of France takes you through. The enormity of the sacrifices made is forever etched on our memory.

14. The Battlefields of The Somme

The battlefields and the blood bath of the Somme is engrained in the history of so many nations.

Men who lost their lives to the horrors of the war, carried out in the mud bath of the trenches, those men, could never have envisaged such horror.

Driving through this region brings home to you the savage losses. War graves are commonplace where the earth beneath holds the resting place of so many.

15. Le Grand Bornand

This is our most favourite place in the French Alps. Come Winter or Summer, it’s full of Alpine charm, excellent skiing, hiking and traditional quaint wooden chalets, to add to the ambiance.

It’s a sleepy sort of place, with not too much going on, except the occasional sound of cattle bells from the grazing cows. Who, by the way, must be thanked for the fabulous cheeses produced here!

Church bells ringing at dawn, and the sweet smell cooking on the open log burning fire are delightful. Hopefully, you’d just love this place too!

16. Carcassonne

It’s the citadel that everyone’s heard about, it’s big, touristy and can get very hot inside those walls. It’s one of those tick box towns that you just have to do!

Not least, it’s character at every angle. A maze of busy streets where you can’t help get cosy with the crowd, in the hot summer months!

Not forgetting, it’s a UNESCO status, and totally medieval, therefore, it’s certain to be totally intriguing and utterly irresistible!

If you need more inspiration –

Here’s a few to add to this list of Must See Places to visit in France:

  • Avignon – In the South of France, has the Pont d’Avignon, Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) and bustling Summer street life.
  • Burgundy – Following the Wine Route through the vineyards from Dijon to Beaune.
  • Alsace – Colmar, Mulhouse & Wine Routes.
  • St Paul de Vence, a favourite of Winston Churchill and his paintings of the medieval town.
  • The Dordogne – Sarlat, Beynac, La Roque-Gageac, Perigueux, Rocamadour.
  • Canal du Midi – From Toulouse to Séte, following the canal to the Mediterranean, don’t miss the locks at Béziers!
  • The Camargue – Full of life, it’s all about the locals, the traditions, the sea and the wild horses and bull-fighting territory.
  • The Pink Granite Coast, In the North of France, In Brittany – from Plestin-Les-Gréves to Louannec.
  • Cassis – Incredibly charming fishing port with Les Calanques, intricate narrow inlets of limestone cliffs which flow into the sea.
  • Cannes, Nice and Monaco – All worth the effort. Follow the jet-set into the world of the high life Billionaire lifestyles of the rich and famous.
  • Antibes and Cap Ferrat – Drive the luxurious Cap, stop at Antibes for a wonder, good shops, beaches and cafe culture.
  • Chamonix – The Aiguille du Midi cable car, not for the faint-hearted! Views of Mont Blanc and the Mer de Glace glacier railway.
  • Nimes – Roman ampitheater, Maison Carrée and Tour Magne.
  • Glanum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – A fascinating Roman colony.
  • Oradour-Sur-Glane – The tragic destruction by SS Panzer, of the village and 642 inhabitants in June 1944, has been left as a memorial in its destroyed state since that day.
  • Carnac – The home to around 3000 megaliths!

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3 Comments on “France 16 Must See Places to Visit

  1. Great information, thank you for sharing. I’m heading to France for a two week road trip at the end of August and plan to visit many of the places mentioned here.

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