12 Most Charming Small Towns in France

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12 Most Charming Small Towns in France

Tags :

Category : Europe , France

Many travelers to France don’t stray far from the big cities like Paris and Lyon. They don’t know what they’re missing: Picture-postcard medieval villages with narrow cobblestone streets and city walls. They’re also missing out on charming towns where wine-making reigns supreme and a more traditional France can still be found. Even better, many small towns in France are often situated amid gorgeous scenery of both mountains and sea.

12. Peillon

Peillon

 

Peillon is unique among France’s charming, picturesque small towns. For one, it’s perched on a cliff about 18 km (11 miles) north of Nice on the French Riviera. Secondly, it’s pedestrian only. Thirdly, it lacks the numerous souvenir stands, restaurants and shops found elsewhere, though there are a couple at the village entrance. Comfortable walking shoes are a must as you walk through the village with its sometimes steep stairs and low passageways. And, of course, the views from here are spectacular.

11. Dinan

Dinan

 

Cobblestone streets and half-timbered buildings still exist in Dinan, considered one of the best medieval villages in Brittany. As travel expert Rick Steves says, forget the formal museums, the town itself is the museum. It’s a delightful place to wander at will, with a bustling market on Thursday mornings in Place du Guesclin, Dinan’s town square. The view of the River Rance, the old post and the surrounding area is best from St. Catherine’s Tower; nearby is a well-preserved section of the city wall.

10. Rochefort-en-Terre 

Rochefort-en-Terre

 

Stone and timber combine with pots and baskets of geraniums to make Rochefort-en-Terre one of the most visited villages in Brittany and one of the beautiful villages in all of France. Many of the buildings date back to the 16th century, while others are more modern. It all adds up to a picturesque scene. Known for delicious biscuits, the village hosts a festival honoring Notre Dame de la Tronchaye, a Black Virgin, every August. A chateau, once owned by the 20th century American painter Alfred Klotz, shows his paintings.

9. Eze

Eze

 

Eze is a small village on the French Riviera famous for its medieval castle that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Getting to the top of the castle with its narrow cobblestone streets is a bit of a climb, but well worth the effort. When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a pretty cactus garden and stunning views of the Mediterranean. Take time to visit the old church with its Egyptian cross, said to be a reminder of the Phoenician temple that once stood there.

8. Etretat 

Etretat

Étretat is a small village on the Normandy coast in northwest France. This resort town on the English Channel is known for its spectacular white chalk cliffs and three natural arches that have inspired such artists as Courbet and Monet. Guy de Maupassant wrote short stories here. It’s famous, too, as being the last place The White Bird was seen in 1927; the plane was carrying two aviators trying to fly nonstop between Paris and New York.

7. Riquewihr 

Riquewihr

 

Riquewihr is a village of less than 1,500 souls in northeastern France that is known for two things: its historic architecture and its great wines. Still looking much like it did in the 16th century, Riquewihr is considered one of the most beautiful small towns in France. Medieval fortifications surround the town; the old castle has been turned into a museum. The village was relatively untouched during World War II and is home to a museum about the war’s impact on Alsace.

6. Saint-Veran

Saint-Veran

 

Saint-Véran is a small village located in Queyras Regional Natural Park in the Haute-Alps of southeastern France. This pretty village, sitting on a hillside overlooking a river valley, is one of the highest in Europe, attracting winter and summer tourists. It is famous for its houses with their high, wooden attic balconies. Old sun dials and wood fountains are other draws. The area is popular with hikers, but they should check the weather forecast before starting out as weather changes frequently.

5. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie 

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

 

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, located in southeastern France, is another picturesque village that is considered one of the most beautiful in France. Mountains in the background make this a very picturesque village. Famous for its pottery, the village is nestled in terraces on a hillside. Since the 10th century, a gold-colored star on a 225-meter (738-foot) long chain has hung from between two cliffs; legend has it a knight captured by the Saracens during the crusades vowed to hang a star if he escaped.

4. Sant’Antonino

Sant'Antonino

 

Sant’Antonino is a tiny extremely picturesque village that sits 460 meters (1,500 feet) above sea level on the island of Corsica, giving it the nickname “Eagle’s Nest.” It is one of the most beautiful and oldest places in Corsica. Known for its architecture, the village’s 75 houses are joined together. Besides stunning views, top sights include at 11th century church, medieval castle ruins and an old bread oven. It’s a good place to hike, ride a donkey or enjoy water sports on the nearby beach.

3. Roussillon 

Roussillon

 

Roussillon, sitting at the foot of Monts de Vaucluse. It’s a colorful, must-see sight in the Luberon. Here you’ll find red buildings, instead of the white or gray that are so common elsewhere. This is because Roussillon is located in one of the world’s largest ochre deposits. The red cliffs add to the city’s very scenic characteristics. The village and surrounding area is so colorful it has often been compared to an artist’s palette, and definitely is an inspiration to them.

2. Eguisheim 

Eguisheim

 

Eguisheim is the stuff that our pre-conceived notions of what Europe should be like are made of: narrow cobblestone streets and old colorful buildings with charmingly decorated entrances. Locat4ed in Alsace not too far from the German border, Eguisheim was voted France’s favorite village in 2013. This medieval village is uniquely wrapped in circles around the local castle. It’s famous for its wines, with the Alsace wine route passing through it. Eguisheim is, in fact, known as “the cradle of the Alsatian vineyard.”

1. Gordes

#1 of Small Towns In France

 

Wandering at will is the best way to see Gordes, another one of France’s beautiful villages. Located in Provence’s Luberon region, the gray and white stone houses spiral up a rock hill that is topped by a church and medieval castle. The best place to photograph this picturesque village is from Bel-Air rock on road D15. A top sight is the 12th century Semanque Abbey where monks still make honey, lavender and liqueurs. You may also see bories, round stone huts, used by shepherds.


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10 Best Places to Visit in France

Tags :

Category : Europe , France

For more than two decades, France has reigned as the world’s most popular tourist destination, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annual. People from all over the world are drawn to France’s sophisticated culture, dazzling landmarks, exquisite cuisine, fine wines, romantic chateaux and picturesque countryside. An overview of the best places to visit in France:

10. Marseille

Marseille

 

One of Europe’s oldest cities and France’s second largest city, Marseille is a major Mediterranean seaport located off the southeast coast of France. Boasting an idyllic climate, Roman ruins, medieval architecture and distinguished cultural venues, Marseille is also a working city with several universities and industries. At the core of Marseille is its old port. Dominated by two historic forts, this bustling harbor is lined with waterfront cafes, shops and bars. One of Marseille’s best natural attractions, the Calanques are a series of small inlets with astonishing blue water and majestic limestone cliffs.

 

9. Lyon 

Lyon

 

Located in east-central France, Lyon is the capital of the Rhone department in the Rhone-Alpes region. Boasting a long history, Lyon today is the third largest city in France, known for its historic architecture, gastronomy and vibrant cultural scene. Lyon is comprised of various districts, each offering their own share of interesting treasures. For example, Presqu’île is the heart of the city with its restaurants and bars, while Croix-Rousse is known for its hundreds of hidden passageways. Fourvière boasts Roman ruins and Gothic churches, and Brotteaux is the wealthy district containing the beautiful Tete d’Or park.

8. Strasbourg

Strasbourg

 

Situated right on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg is the capital city of the Alsace region. The city serves as the seat of the European Parliament and numerous other important European institutions such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe. The city’s historic center, Grande Île, is what makes Strasbourg one of the best places to visit in France. Here among a blend of both French and German architecture, visitors can find many museums, shops, cafes and striking attractions such as the stunning Gothic cathedral, which features intricate carvings and a 300-year old working, astrological clock.

7. Loire Valley

Loire Valley

 

A popular tourist destination, the Loire Valley is a region in the center of France, regarded for its spectacular scenery, splendid chateaux, picturesque vineyards and historic villages. The Loire Valley stretches 280 km (175 miles) along the Loire River, twisting and turning through some of France’s most beautiful villages and charming chateaux. Some of the most famous chateaux include Chambord, Amboise, Rivau, Chinon and Chenonceau. The valley is home to many wineries that offer tours and wine tastings.

6. Bordeaux

Bordeaux

 

Built upon the River Garonne just half an hour inland of the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux is a major port city stuffed with fine architecture, historic sites, exceptional shopping and a world-class arts and culture scene. Bordeaux’s city center, features more than 350 historic structures and landmarks that include medieval churches and charming old bridges such as the Ponte de Pierre. The city also features several beautiful plazas of which the Place de la Bourse is the most stunning with its mirror-like effect. A visit to Bordeaux would not be complete without a drive through the surrounding wine country where tourists can admire picturesque villages, vineyards and chateaux.

5. Luberon

Luberon

 

If you want to mingle with the hoi polloi of French society in the south of France, the Luberon is the place to do it. It’s a haven for French society, as well as American and British visitors who come during the summer months to experience charming villages. This region in central Provence took off as a tourist destination after Peter Mayle published his books about life in Provence. With its lush forests, fields of lavender, farmers markets and colorfully painted houses, you’ll soon see why the Luberon is such a tourist magnet. A great souvenir is pottery from the village of Oppede le Vieux that still maintains its Middle Ages ambiance.

4. Mont Saint-Michel 

Mont Saint-Michel

 

Rising up from the midst of vast mud flats and some of Europe’s most powerful tidal waves is the rocky island of Mont Saint-Michel, located off France’s northwestern coast in Normandy. The tidal island is one of the most popular places to visit in France for its construction of medieval structures built as if stacked upon one another and crowned with the star attraction, the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. The awe-inspiring abbey was built by devoted monks in 708 AD after the Bishop of Avranches was allegedly visited by the Archangel Michael.

 

3. Dordogne

Dordognedreamstime/© Peter Adams

Unless you have weeks or months to spend in the scenic Dordogne region of southwestern France, you’re going to pick and choose the things you want to see. There is just so much to see and do here, beginning with picture-postcard villages and chateaus, including the well-preserved Chateau de Baynac, a hilltop castle. The scenery is pretty awesome, too, with the Dordogne River running through it. The Dordogne also has some of the best prehistoric cave art in France. The walls of Lascaux feature mainly animals. Unfortunately, they’re closed to the public now, but a replica is a must-see.

2. French Riviera 

French Riviera

Located on the French coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the French Riviera (Cote d’ Azur) is the playground for the rich, famous and hordes of international tourists. Although the Riviera is famous for the glamour of St. Tropez, Monaco or the Cannes Film Festival, there are many other less well known destinations, such as the perched villages of Eze and Saint-Paul de Vence, and the perfumeries of Grasse to name a few. The region enjoys a wonderfully mild to warm climate all year round, despite being one of the more northerly coasts on the whole Mediterranean.

 

1. Paris

#1 of Best Places To Visit In France

 

Attracting more than 45 million visitors annually, Paris is the world’s most popular tourist destination. Dubbed various nicknames like the City of Lights, City of Love and Capital of Fashion, Paris is the capital city of France, known for its romantic ambiance and command in industries like business, entertainment, gastronomy, fashion and art and culture. In addition to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris is also home to some of the world’s finest museums that include the Louvre Museum and Musee d’Orsay.

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25 Top Tourist Attractions in Paris

Tags :

Category : France , Paris

As the capital city of France, Paris has endured as an important city for more than 2,000 years. Often called by nicknames like the “city of love” and “city of lights,” Paris is today one of the world’s leading centers for business, fashion, entertainment, art and culture. Just the mere mention of Paris conjures up images of the city’s world famous landmarks, museums and cathedrals.

Also called the Capital of Fashion, Paris is home to some of the world’s finest designer names including Yves Saint-Laurent, Lancôme, L’Oréal and Christian Dior. The city’s shopping scene ranges from shopping centers to open-air markets, boutiques and flea markets. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Paris:

25. Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

 

The Place des Vosges, formerly called Place Royale, was the prototype for all residential squares in Europe. All houses were built using the same design: red brick with steep pitched blue slate roofs. Not only is it shaped like a true square, it is the first city square that was planned by a monarch (Henry IV in the early 17th century). Third, it turned the Marais into a fashionable spot for French nobility in the decades before the French Revolution.

24. Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

 

The year 1889 is known as the year when France’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, was constructed. It’s also the year the Moulin Rouge opened its doors as an entertainment venue. When it opened, it catered to the rich who wanted to “slum” it. Courtesans worked there and were responsible for inventing the can-can, a dance considered racy for the era. The Moulin Rouge is still considered Paris’s premier entertainment venue and has been the subject of numerous films.

23. Conciergerie

Conciergerie

 

The Conciergerie was built in the 10th century to be the main palace for French kings who, over the centuries, enlarged it. Its Great Hall was one of the largest in Europe; another hall was where the palace’s 2,000 workers ate. Some buildings were converted into a prison in the 14th century. The palace later became a revolutionary tribunal and prison during the Reign of Terror, with famous prisoners including Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry. Today the Conciergerie is a popular tourist attraction in Paris but also still serves as courts.

22. Pantheon

Pantheon

 

The Pantheon is where famous French citizens are buried. Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, it was originally a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, and her relics. The church was rebuilt in the neoclassical style by King Louis XV to thank God for his recovery from serious illness. It was changed to a mausoleum during the French Revolution to honor revolutionary martyrs. Famous people buried here include Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie.

21. Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

 

The world’s most visited cemetery, Pere Lachaise became a municipal cemetery in 1804 under Napoleon. It is the final resting place for many famous people, including the Doors’ Jim Morrison, author Oscar Wilde and chanteuse Edith Piaf. The cemetery contains many sculptures, as each family of the deceased tried to out-do the monuments placed by the other wealthy families. The result is many spectacular works of art that are equally as interesting as the various gravesites of famous individuals.

20. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

 

When Europeans can’t get to Los Angeles to see the original Disneyland, they head to Disneyland Paris, the most visited theme park in Europe. Just like its namesake, Disneyland Paris is more than just a theme park with spectacular rides. It’s a resort with hotels, shopping and golf among its varied activities. In 1992, it became the second Disney park to open outside of the United States. It’s located about 30 km (20 miles) from central Paris. A companion park, Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002.

19. Musee de l’Orangerie

Musee de l'Orangerie

 

Travelers who appreciate impressionist and post-impressionist art need to check out the Musee de l’Orangerie. The museum, located in a corner of the Tuilries Garden, is home to eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet; these murals are considered the museum’s centerpiece. It also contains works by other impressionist artists, including Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and Modigliani. The orangerie was originally built in 1852 to protect the Tuileries Palace’s orange trees.

18. Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier

 

Architect Charles Garnier spared no ornate detail when he designed the Palais Garnier in the 19th century. Perhaps this is why the building was the most expensive of its era. Seating nearly 2,000 people, the Palais Garnier is home to the National Opera of Paris. It is the star of the novel and subsequent films, Phantom of the Opera. The Palais Garnier is still in use today though mainly for ballet and also is home to the opera library museum.

17. Les Invalides

Les Invalides

 

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings that honors the French military. It was built in 1670 as a hospital and retirement home for vets. It still serves that function today as well as many more. Les Invalides is home to military museums and a church that is the burial site of its war heroes, including Napoleon Bonaparte. Les Invalides is where rioters obtained the cannons and muskets they used later that day to storm the Bastille, thus kicking off the French Revolution.

16. Seine Cruise

Seine Cruise

 

The River Seine runs nearly 800 km (500 miles) through France on its way to the English Channel. Cruising the river as it winds through Paris is one of the most romantic things visitors can do. Seine cruises pass under numerous bridges in Paris, going by such sights as the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. A Seine cruise lasts about an hour, but what a magic hour it is! A Seine cruise also is a good way to experience Paris at night.

15. Musee Rodin

Musee Rodin

 

Travelers who’ve seen copies of the famous sculpture The Thinker can visit the real thing when they’re in Paris. The statue was sculpted by Auguste Rodin, a famous early 20th century French artist. The Thinker as well as 6,600 other sculptures can be found at the Musee Rodin, established in 1919 in his former studio, the Hotel Biron in central Paris. Many of his famous sculptures can be found in gardens that surround the museum.

14. Les Catacombes

Les Catacombes

 

In contrast with the City of Lights, Les Catacombes represents the dark side of Paris. Just under a mile long beneath the streets of Paris, this tourist attraction presents a gruesome side: the remains of millions of Parisians who were moved there when old cemeteries started closing years ago. Bones are arranged artistically; poems and other passages can be found throughout. Some bodies, such as those killed in the French Revolution, came directly here, bypassing the cemeteries.

13. Champs-Elysées

Champs-Elysées

 

The tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Elysees is Paris’s most famous street and has even been described as the most beautiful avenue in the world. Just over a mile long, the boulevard connects the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. Life in Paris centers around the Champs-Elysees. It’s an avenue lined with restaurants, upscale boutiques, museums and night clubs. It’s home to the Bastille Day military parade and the end of the Tour de France.

12. Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III

 

In a city where romance reigns, what could be more romantic than the Pont Alexandre III, a bridge that is deemed to be the most extravagant and ornate in Paris. Named for the Russian tsar, this steel single arch bridge spans the Seine, connecting the districts of Champs-Elysees, Les Invalides and Eiffel Tower. Seeing the bridge is almost like going to an art gallery, since numerous French sculptors made the statues, including winged horses, nymphs and cherubs that adorn the top.

11. Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

 

The Palace of Versailles started out life as a royal hunting lodge, but later became a palace housing the king’s court. The mammoth structure is ornate, opulent and over the top in its richness. It is one of Paris’s most visited landmarks, with visitors coming to see its magnificent gardens and the Hall of Mirrors with its 357 mirrors decorating 17 arches. The Palace of Versailles ceased being a royal residence during the French Revolution and today houses a museum of French history.

10. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

 

At the east end of the Champs-Elysées is Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris with fantastic vistas in every direction. It was in this square that the French King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and many others were guillotined during the French revolution. The large 3200 years old Egyptian obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde was brought from the Temple of Luxor in the 19th century.

9. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

 

Begun sometime after 1239, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of Gothic architecture. Its construction was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns, one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom. Although damaged during the French revolution, and restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive in-situ collections of 13th-century stained glass anywhere in the world.

8. Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou

 

Designed in the style of high-tech architecture, Centre Pompidou is a cultural institution in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement. It houses a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, a bookshop, a movie theater and a panoramic terrace. The library occupies the first three floors of the building, while the museum’s permanent collection is located on floors 4 and 5. The first and top floor are used for large expositions. The Centre is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building.

7. Musee d’Orsay

Musee d'Orsay

 

A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet.

6. Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

 

Known in English as the Luxembourg Gardens, this public park is the second largest in Paris. Visitors here can picnic or stroll leisurely among beautiful lawns, formal gardens and fruit orchards that feature many artistic statues and fountains. For fun and sport, there are jogging paths, tennis courts and fitness equipment. Children can play in the huge playground, ride ponies, watch a puppet show and sail model boats in a pond.

5. Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Coeur

 

One of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris is the striking white-domed basilica of the Sacre-Coeur. Situated at the city’s highest point on Montmartre hill, this stunning basilica draws many tourists every year to see its marble architecture and gorgeous interior. A tour awards visitors with views of gold mosaics, stained-glass windows and one of the world’s largest clocks.

4. Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

 

No trip to Paris could be complete without a visit to the world famous Notre Dame cathedral. Standing more than 400 feet (120 meters) high with two lofty towers and a spire, this marvelous church is considered a supreme example of French Gothic architecture. A tour of this 13th century masterpiece allows visitors to admire the awe-inspiring rose windows, Gothic carvings, beautiful sculptures and a collection of relics.

3. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

 

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe was constructed in 1806 to memorialize the triumphal battles of Napoleon Bonaparte. Standing 164 feet high and 148 feet (50 by 45 meters) wide, the arch features intricate reliefs depicting victorious battles and engraved names of many who died fighting for the emperor. Beneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the first world war.

2. Louvre

Louvre

 

Topping the list of the world’s most visited museums, the Louvre Museum is located in the Louvre Palace with its signature glass pyramid marking its entrance. Housing a collection of more than 1 million objects, the Louvre boasts some of the world’s most famous art works such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave” and the Greek statue, “Venus of Milo.” Other popular exhibits include the extravagant apartments of Napoleon III, the ancient Code of Hammurabi, Egyptian antiquities and paintings by masters like Rembrandt and Rubens.

1. Eiffel Tower 

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Paris

 

Visiting the iconic symbol of Paris usually ranks as the number one thing to do for most tourists. Towering more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) high in the Champ de Mars park, this iron structure was constructed for the 1889 World Exposition. One of the world’s most photographed tourist attractions, the Eiffel Tower presents an excellent photography opportunity for both day and night times. Visitors can ride the elevator to see incredible views of the city or dine in one of the two fine restaurants that are situated within the tower.

 

Cheap Flights to Paris

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Gdansk

23.02.2018

02.03.2018

Tickets from 32

Venice

15.04.2018

19.04.2018

Tickets from 33

Milan

12.04.2018

17.04.2018

Tickets from 35

Madrid

17.04.2018

24.04.2018

Tickets from 37

Pisa

15.04.2018

20.04.2018

Tickets from 37

Barcelona

27.02.2018

06.03.2018

Tickets from 42

Wroclaw

15.04.2018

24.04.2018

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Vilnius

01.03.2018

08.03.2018

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Porto

16.03.2018

18.03.2018

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Warsaw

28.02.2018

09.03.2018

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Rome

31.01.2018

31.01.2018

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Lisbon

14.03.2018

18.03.2018

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Munich

10.04.2018

18.04.2018

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Amsterdam

11.04.2018

12.04.2018

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Frankfurt

30.01.2018

01.02.2018

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Dublin

21.08.2018

24.08.2018

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London

31.01.2018

08.02.2018

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Stockholm

29.01.2018

31.01.2018

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Alicante

19.02.2018

20.02.2018

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Bilbao

19.07.2018

24.07.2018

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Berlin

01.02.2018

06.02.2018

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Toulouse

03.02.2018

05.02.2018

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Hamburg

19.03.2018

27.03.2018

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Nice

17.02.2018

28.02.2018

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Zadar

28.03.2018

01.04.2018

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Bristol

03.07.2018

10.07.2018

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Dusseldorf

20.07.2018

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Malaga

26.09.2018

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Fez

24.03.2018

29.03.2018

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Valencia

07.09.2018

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Prague

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Montpellier

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Manchester

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Naples

25.03.2018

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Stuttgart

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Florence

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Hyeres

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Nantes

01.11.2018

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Geneva

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Bordeaux

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Lyon

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Bremen

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Catania

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Oslo

03.04.2018

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Bari

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Riga

03.10.2018

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Brest

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Edinburgh

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Biarritz

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Tangier

16.03.2018

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Birmingham

29.07.2018

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Debrecen

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Seville

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Cork

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Poznan

14.03.2018

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Marrakech

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Hanover

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Algiers

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Belgrade

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Krakow

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Suceava

08.04.2018

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Tunis

19.02.2018

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Luxembourg

07.02.2018

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Vigo

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Agen

02.02.2018

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Iasi

09.03.2018

16.03.2018

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Brindisi

21.03.2018

25.03.2018

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Oviedo

21.02.2018

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Helsinki

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Cologne

30.01.2018

02.02.2018

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Istanbul

23.02.2018

03.03.2018

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Liverpool

28.03.2018

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Turin

18.03.2018

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Athens

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26.05.2018

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Rzeszow

18.05.2018

21.05.2018

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Billund

11.04.2018

15.04.2018

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Santiago De Compostela

09.02.2018

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Bucharest

30.01.2018

31.01.2018

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Brussels

05.06.2018

08.06.2018

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Kutaisi

06.10.2018

11.10.2018

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Tallinn

06.03.2018

21.03.2018

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La Coruna

14.02.2018

17.02.2018

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Monastir

22.02.2018

31.03.2018

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Oujda

04.02.2018

28.02.2018

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Bastia

08.12.2018

10.12.2018

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Leeds

18.03.2018

21.03.2018

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Tenerife

04.09.2018

11.09.2018

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Kiev

17.04.2018

24.04.2018

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Palermo

11.03.2018

13.03.2018

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Cardiff

27.04.2018

29.04.2018

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Newcastle

18.03.2018

21.03.2018

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Hotels in Paris: Hotels in the center

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

Relais Hotel du Vieux Paris

★★★★

-14%

209180

View Hotel

Relais Christine

★★★★★

-43%

662380

View Hotel

Hotel D'Aubusson

★★★★★

-12%

350309

View Hotel

Hotel Residence Des Arts

★★★

-16%

224188

View Hotel

Villa d'Estrees

★★★★

-6%

354334

View Hotel

Hôtel le Clos de Notre Dame

★★★

-28%

234169

View Hotel

Dauphine Saint Germain

★★★

-44%

290164

View Hotel

Grand Hotel Dechampaigne

★★★

-34%

212140

View Hotel

Hotel Eugenie

★★★

-35%

253165

View Hotel

Hotel Britannique

★★★

-20%

232186

View Hotel

Relais Du Louvre

★★★★

-36%

324206

View Hotel

Hotel Flor Rivoli

★★

-16%

129108

View Hotel

Hotel Elixir

★★★

-32%

161109

View Hotel

Hotel Albe Saint Michel

★★★

-31%

232161

View Hotel

Hotel Le Regent Paris

★★★

-40%

261157

View Hotel

Hotel Saint Andre des Arts

-11%

153136

View Hotel

Hotel du Mont Blanc

★★

-14%

188162

View Hotel

Holiday Inn Paris Notre Dame

★★★★

-18%

249203

View Hotel

Les Rives de Notre-Dame

★★★★

-47%

391208

View Hotel

Prince de Conde

★★★★

-28%

230165

View Hotel


  • -

5 Most Beautiful Chateaus in France

Tags :

Category : Europe , France

Although the word chateau is most often translated as castle in English it most often means palace or manor house in the French language. For example, the famous Château de Versailles does not bear any resemblance to a castle, so it is known in English as the Palace of Versailles. Even more confusingly is the fact that the most famous castle in France is called the Palais des Papes, located in Avignon.

There are thousands of chateaus in France ranging from ruins to elaborate estates. Some of the most visited French chateaus include those located in the South of France and in the Loire Valley, favored for their Renaissance style of architecture.

5. Château de Chantilly

Chateau de Chantilly

 

Located just 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Paris, Chateau de Chantilly and all of its charm is reflected upon its surrounding moat. Built in 1560, Chantilly presents a whole package of lavish rooms, a fine art gallery, splendid gardens and impressive stables. A tour of the interior reveals the richly decorated rooms with their exquisite chandeliers, ornate carvings, furniture and art works. A must-see is the collection of paintings and book illuminations in the Musée Condé, one of France’s finest art galleries. A stroll about the grounds leads visitors through the formal gardens designed with beautiful pavilions, sculptures and fountains. The chateau overlooks the Grand Stables and Chantilly Racecourse, which was used as the venue for the racecourse scene in the James Bond film A View to a Kill.

4. Château de Pierrefonds

Chateau de Pierrefonds

 

Often used as the setting for several television shows, the Chateau de Pierrefonds stands out like a fairy tale castle perched on a hill overlooking a picturesque village. Originally constructed in the 12th century, Pierrefonds was later besieged in 1617 by war secretary, Cardinal Richelieu, when its owner joined a political party opposing King Louis XIII. Left razed by Richelieu’s troops, the castle remained in ruins for two centuries until Napoleon Bonaparte decided to take on the project of restoring it during the mid-1800s. Although Napoleon upgraded Pierrefonds into a far more grand estate, the spacious rooms were left unfurnished. However, visitors can still appreciate its splendor when they view the charming drawbridge, courtyard, towers, corridors, chapel and embattlements as well as the underground crypt that contains the remains of several French kings.

3. Château de Chaumont

Chateau de Chaumont

 

Situated in the Loire Valley, Chateau de Chaumont boasts a history that is every bit as vivid as its striking appearance. The chateau was first constructed in 1465 on the remains of a 10th century fortress only to be destroyed soon after when King Louis XI discovered that its owner, Pierre d’Amboise, had involved himself in a revolt against the king. After being rebuilt a few decades later, the notorious wife of King Henry II, Catherine de Medici, purchased Chaumont and often entertained famous people here such as the astrologer, Nostradamus. Following this, the castle passed through various owners over the centuries until finally being donated in 1938 to the French government. Today, visitors can tour the chateau to see its elegant interior, gardens, lavish stables and scenic views of the Loire River and countryside.

2. Château de Chambord

Chateau de Chambord

 

Also located in the Loire Valley, the Chateau Chambord is easily recognized by its remarkable size and design. Regarded as one of France’s best examples of French Renaissance architecture, Chateau Chambord was built in the 16th century as a hunting retreat for King Francois I. In this grand castle of 440 rooms and 300 fireplaces, Chambord presents many striking features such as its double helix staircase and elaborate rooftop of chimneys, cupolas, gables and towers that resemble a city skyline. Surrounding Charmond is an attractive moat and a walled game reserve that shelters wild boar and red deer.

1. Château de Versailles

Chateaus in France

 

As one of the most famous Chateaus in France, the Chateau Versailles draws more than 3 million visitors annually. This magnificent palace was first constructed in 1624 as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII and then later expanded to become the residence of the French Royal Family. The palace’s many stunning features include the Hall of Mirrors, a corridor lined with seventeen mirrored arches. In the Queen’s bedchamber, visitors can view a hidden door through which Marie Antionette fled during the March on Versailles. With its seven salons and painted ceilings, the Grand Apartment of King Louis XVI is a sight to behold. A must-see is the palace’s 250-acre formal gardens, which are designed in a geometrical pattern of trees, flowers and pathways.

Cheap Flights to Paris

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Gdansk

23.02.2018

02.03.2018

Tickets from 32

Venice

15.04.2018

19.04.2018

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Milan

12.04.2018

17.04.2018

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Madrid

17.04.2018

24.04.2018

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Pisa

15.04.2018

20.04.2018

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Barcelona

27.02.2018

06.03.2018

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Wroclaw

15.04.2018

24.04.2018

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Vilnius

01.03.2018

08.03.2018

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Porto

16.03.2018

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Warsaw

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09.03.2018

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Rome

31.01.2018

31.01.2018

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Lisbon

14.03.2018

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Munich

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Amsterdam

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Frankfurt

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Dublin

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London

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Stockholm

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Alicante

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Bilbao

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Berlin

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Toulouse

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Hamburg

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Nice

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Zadar

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Bristol

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Malaga

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Fez

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Valencia

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Prague

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Manchester

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Naples

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Stuttgart

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Florence

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Bologna

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Budapest

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Vienna

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Marseille

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Hyeres

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Nuremberg

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Nantes

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Geneva

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Bordeaux

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Lyon

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Bremen

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Catania

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Oslo

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Bari

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Riga

03.10.2018

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Brest

22.06.2018

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Edinburgh

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Biarritz

09.02.2018

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Tangier

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Birmingham

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Debrecen

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Seville

08.02.2018

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Cork

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Poznan

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Marrakech

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Hanover

04.05.2018

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Algiers

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Skopje

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Clermont-Ferrand

17.02.2018

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Zurich

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Copenhagen

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Belgrade

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Krakow

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Suceava

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Tunis

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Luxembourg

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Vigo

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Agen

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Iasi

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Brindisi

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Oviedo

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Helsinki

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Cologne

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Istanbul

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Liverpool

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Turin

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Athens

22.05.2018

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Rzeszow

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Billund

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Santiago De Compostela

09.02.2018

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Bucharest

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Brussels

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Kutaisi

06.10.2018

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Tallinn

06.03.2018

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La Coruna

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Monastir

22.02.2018

31.03.2018

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Oujda

04.02.2018

28.02.2018

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Bastia

08.12.2018

10.12.2018

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Leeds

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  • -

12 Most Beautiful Churches in France

Tags :

Category : Europe , France

By some accounts, the history of France dates back to the Iron Age. In the centuries since, France has been home to some of the world’s most historically and architecturally significant churches. From Gothic cathedrals to modern churches by contemporary architects, a big part of French culture can be found in its religious structures. On your next trip to this amazing country, be sure to explore some of the most famous and most beautiful churches in France.

12. Bourges Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral

 

In the beginning of the 13th century, this Roman Catholic Cathedral was erected in Bourges, France. Built in the French Gothic style, the Bourges Cathedral stands in a spot of religious significance dating back to at least the third century. Today, the cathedral boasts three-part elevations, a contemporary double-aisled design and a grand facade made more stunning with intricate carvings and embellishments. Incredibly, much of the original stained glass windows remain, many of them depicting fables and stories from the Old and New Testaments.

11. Strasbourg Cathedral

Strasbourg Cathedral

 

The Strasbourg Cathedral is sometimes referred to as the Pink Cathedral, a not-so-subtle reference to its uncommon hue. The cathedral is built from sandstone, giving it the pink color, and it has a large spire on one side rather than the two that were designed for the structure. The architecture is both Romanesque and Gothic, and there are still ongoing Catholic church services within the cathedral that you can attend. Be on the lookout for the astronomical clock inside the cathedral that dates to the 19th century and is the third iteration for the structure.

10. Monolithic Church of Saint-Jean

Monolithic Church of Saint-Jean

 

The town of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is small and picturesque, with traditional architecture and quaint homes. The most incredible attraction in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, however, is actually underground. The Monolithic Church of Saint-Jean is carved almost entirely from limestone. Built in the 7th century and greatly enlarged in the 12th century, the church has a vaulted nave, a baptismal pool and dozens of ancient coffins. It is far from the traditional picture of a French church, but this unique religious structure is truly one of a kind.

9. Rouen Cathedral

Rouen Cathedral

 

The city of Rouen is sometimes called the City of a Thousand Spires because it is home to so many churches. However, one stands out among the rest: Rouen Cathedral. This enormous, towering cathedral is the tallest in all of France. Listen for the hourly bells on the giant 56-bell carillon, admire the incredible Bookseller’s Stairway and spot the statues of saints filling the interior walls of the Rouen Cathedral.

8. Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Coeur

 

The Basilica of Sacré-Coeur in Paris is one of the most well-known churches in France. To start, it has an imposing presence, thanks to its location on a hill perched about the trendy, artsy Montmartre district. It was designed in the Romano-Byzantine style, and it is remarkably similar to the famed Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul. One of the top features of the Sacré-Coeur is the enormous mosaic of Jesus, and the inclusion of his golden heart.

7. Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

 

Getting to the Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe is a challenge in and of itself. This amazing church is perched on a rocky point, and to reach it you’ll have to climb 268 steep steps carved right into the rock face. The climb is well worth the effort, however, because you’ll get the chance to see the sacred brick and rock building constructed in the middle of the 10th century. The church looks incredible from below, but getting to the top also provides stunning vistas over the French landscape and the city of Aiguilhe.

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6. Notre Dame de la Garde

Notre Dame de la Garde

 

The port city of Marseille is home to the incredible Notre-Dame de la Garde, a cathedral honoring the patron saint of sailors. The Roman Catholic Cathedral was built on the ruins of an ancient fort in the 19th century, and it was created in the Byzantine Revival style. Inside, don’t miss the chance to see the iconic Madonna and Child statue sculpted from copper and covered in brilliant gold leaf as well as the impressive belfry and the stone arches.

5. Mont Saint Michel Abbey

Mont Saint Michel Abbey

 

Part of the appeal and beauty of the Mont Saint Michel Abbey owes to its location. The island of Mont Saint Michel is just half a mile off the coast near Normandy, making access limited. Approaching the island, you’ll see the abbey rise from the water, occupying a large portion of the island itself. Built in the 15th century, and still home to Benedictine monks, the abbey is surrounded by quaint streets, shops, cafes and museums devoted to the island and its history.

4. Reims Cathedral

Reims Cathedral

 

Over 800 years ago, construction began on Reims Cathedral. Today, the cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and serves as the biggest attraction in the city of Reims. It was in this very cathedral that many French kings had their coronations, and records show that even Joan of Arc was in attendance at one of these ceremonies in the 15th century. With multiple chapels and the first ever use of bar tracery in France, it took nearly a century to complete the Reims Cathedral.

3. Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

 

Just two hours outside of Reims is Amiens, home to the Cathedral of Amiens. When the Reims Cathedral was unveiled, the population of Amiens wanted something similar. So, in the 13th century, the French Gothic Cathedral of Amiens was constructed. It is just slightly taller than the one in Reims, an intentional part of the planning process. Impressive cantilevers create a high ceiling for the nave, making it an incredible structure to behold from the interior. Detailed carvings of saints, many of which have been intricately painted, are just one more reason to explore this beautiful cathedral in France.

2. Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

 

France’s most famous cathedral is the Notre Dame de Paris, which was constructed starting in the middle of the 12th century. The jewel of Parisian architecture, Notre Dame de Paris is undeniably Gothic in style, and it boasts an incredibly large size. Its flying buttresses were among the first in the world, and many gargoyles were used not just for design but for column supports and even water spouts. You’ll absolutely want to tour the cathedral, but make time to also see the extensive crypts underneath the church that are open to the public.

1. Chartres Cathedral 

#1 of Churches In France

 

In 1194, construction began on the Chartres Cathedral. This incredible building, constructed in the Gothic style, is considered to be one of the most important pieces of architecture in France. The colorful stained glass windows are preserved well, and two different spires compete for attention on the roof of the cathedral. Although the exterior is phenomenal, don’t miss the artworks and relics found inside, such as the dress that was allegedly worn by Mary when she gave birth to Jesus.

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  • -

10 Top Things to Do in Marseille

Tags :

Category : Europe , France

France’s second largest city, Marseille, throbs with vitality from where it sits on the Mediterranean Sea. Its scenic natural harbor has made it an important trade center for centuries. The city was bombed by Germany and Italy as well as the Allies during World War II, but it survived and today blends the old and the new in exciting ways. Marseille is a city just made for wandering around, from its historic old town to its blended architectural styles. While anytime is a good time to visit this historic city, Marseille attractions really shines on sunny days.

10. Vieille Charite

Vieille Charite

 

Once a 17th century almshouse caring for beggars, Vieille Charité is now a museum and cultural center. It later served as barracks for the French foreign Legion. Over the centuries, the building fell into disrepair with restoration taking place in the 1970s. Today, it is home to two important museums: the Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of art of Africa, Oceania and Amerindia, which includes engraved human skulls from South America and masks from Africa. The complex’s courtyard includes a Baroque chapel said to be architect Pierre Puget’s most original design.

9. Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

 

The monument Palais Longchamp was created to celebrate the construction of the Canal de Marseille, which brings water from the Durance River to Marseille. The ornate building opened in 1869 after taking 30 years to build. The building presents a spectacular scene at night when it is lit up. Today, it houses the city’s natural history and fine arts museum. Part of the complex includes the Parc Longchamp, one of France’s notable gardens. The park once housed a zoo; these buildings can be visited today. The park also is home to notable statuary and a man-made grotto with water flowing through it, and a classical French garden.

 

8. MuCEM

MuCEM

 

The MuCEM, formally known as the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe, is devoted to the history and culture of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea from Beirut to Gibraltar. Indeed, it is built on land reclaimed from the sea. It is located next to Fort Saint Jean and opened in 2013 when Marseille was named a European Capital of Culture. The museum’s uber contemporary building represents modern Marseille. Visitors say exhibits could be somewhat better organized in how they display important artifacts and paintings.

 

7. Cathedrale de la Major

Cathedrale de la Major

 

Visitors to the Cathedrale de la Major rave over how the beauty of this Catholic church, its high ceilings and its fabulous mosaics. They also say it’s worth a visit just to see the views of the harbor. Cathedrals have been built on this site since the 5th century. The latest cathedral, built in a spectacular Byzantine Romanesque style, dates to the 19th century. This French national monument is the oldest church in the city, though it is not the most famous; that honor belongs to Notre Dame de la Garde.

6. Le Panier

Le Panier

 

Le Panier is the old town district of Marseille, which was called Masala when it was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. Much of Le Panier was destroyed during World War II, with the Nazi occupiers at one time blowing up 1,500 houses. The district is going through revitalization now, but its colorful vibrancy remains. The best way to see old town is on foot, so visitors should be sure to wear comfy walking shoes. Plaques set in the ground make it easy to take a self-guided walking tour. The district is a good place to buy crafts and browse through art galleries.

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28.01.2018

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27.07.2018

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Lamezia Terme

22.02.2018

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31.03.2018

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BAK

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DSS

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Groznyj

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Mineralnye Vody

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Sochi

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St Denis de la Reunion

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Montreal

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Liege

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5. Fort Saint-Jean

Fort Saint-Jean

 

Fort Saint-Jean is a massive waterfront fortress as the entrance to the Old Port. King Louis XIV ordered the fortress built, just as he did Fort Saint Nicholas on the other side of the harbor. It was used for political prisoners during the French Revolution, and later was a staging point for new French Foreign Legion recruits. Occupied by the German military, much of the fort was destroyed during World War II when a munitions depot exploded. The fort was restored 30 years later, and today is part of the MuCEM.

4. Old Port of Marseille

Old Port of Marseille

 

The Old Port, or Vieux Port, is a natural harbor that has seen use since the ancient Greek founded Marseille 2,400 years ago, though it now serves mainly as a popular tourist attraction. At one time, 18,000 ships a year berthed at the Old Port. Old Port is made for pleasant strolling and relaxing over a glass of wine at a sidewalk café. St. Victor’s Abbey, one of the oldest Christian churches in France, is located here, as is the lighthouse, the Phare de Sainte Marie and the Roman Dock Museum.

3. Chateau d’If

Chateau d'If

 

Château d’If is an island fortress in the Mediterranean Sea offshore from Marseille, about two miles from the Old Port. The fortifications take up pretty much the island of If. It was built in 1524 to defend Marseille from invaders approaching from the sea. It was successful at doing this. Which is a good thing since the fortress, with its many gun platforms, was shoddily built. The chateau later housed political prisoners; it is most famous as a setting for the 19th century novel “The Count of Monte Cristo”, written by Alexander Dumas. Travelers can reach it via boat from Marseille.

2. Notre Dame de la Garde

Notre Dame de la Garde

 

An observation post has sat atop Garde Hill since the 15th century. It was followed by a fort, which later served as the foundation for the basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. Today, a large statue of the Virgin Mary sits atop the bell tower watching over sailors, fishermen and this port city; it is one of Marseille’ landmarks. A sanctuary inside the church is also devoted to the Virgin Mary, whose feast day is celebrated August 5. The basilica is a popular destination for pilgrims.

1. Les Calanques

#1 of Things To Do In Marseille

 

Les Calanques are a series of miniature fjords to the south of Marseille near Cassis. The narrow inlets are encased in steep walls made of limestone or dolomite, and are highly scenic. Hiking even a portion of the rocky cliffs above the Mediterranean Sea and its fjords can take a day, with foot access restricted in summer due to extreme heat, while cruising through the inlets can be done in a couple of hours. Samna, south of Marseille, is considered a must-see calanque; it has a rocky beach and is popular with scuba divers.

Hotels in Marseille: Hotels in the center

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

Newhotel Saint Charles

★★★

-17%

6958

View Hotel

Saint Louis

★★★

-20%

8971

View Hotel

Hotel Rome Et Saint Pierre

★★★

-22%

8567

View Hotel

Best Western Hotel Marseille Bourse Vieux Port by Happyculture

★★★

-20%

7661

View Hotel

Hotel Terminus Saint-Charles

★★★

-27%

7857

View Hotel

Newhotel Vieux-Port

★★★

-9%

8780

View Hotel

Alex Hotel

★★★

-10%

7468

View Hotel

Hotel Carre Vieux Port

★★★

-13%

7768

View Hotel

Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux Port - MGallery by Sofitel

★★★★

-15%

145124

View Hotel

Hotel Azur

★★

-25%

6952

View Hotel

Europe Hotel Vieux Port

★★

-21%

7660

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Hotel du Sud Vieux Port

★★

-26%

7455

View Hotel

Hotel Alize Marseille Vieux Port

★★★

-12%

6860

View Hotel

Premiere Classe Marseille Centre

★★

-8%

5248

View Hotel

Holiday Inn Express Marseille Saint Charles

★★★

-6%

8580

View Hotel

ibis Marseille Centre Gare Saint Charles

★★★

-14%

6859

View Hotel

La Residence Du Vieux Port

★★★★

-15%

155132

View Hotel

ibis Marseille Centre Vieux Port

★★★

-20%

8064

View Hotel

Hotel Belle-Vue

★★

-17%

10285

View Hotel

Hotel Hermes

★★

-23%

9170

View Hotel


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