The Most Beautiful Beaches in France

With the arrival of summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a beach getaway. The French coastline is sprinkled with fabulous beaches: some in iconic locations like along the Côte d’Azur and others in more unexpected places like Normandy and Brittany. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of the most beautiful beaches in France.


The Most Beautiful Beaches in France

Plage du Plat Gousset

granville beach landen kerr

Known as the “Monaco of the North,” most visits to the Normandy town of Granville start with the beach. The Plage du Plat Gousset is a long beach with crystal clear turquoise waters on a clear day. You might actually mistake it for the South of France! At the end of the beach, climb the staircase that leads to the gardens of the villa Les Rhumbs. The Belle Epoque clifftop villa overlooks the sea and was Christian Dior’s childhood home. It is now a museum that bears his name.

Côte d’Émeraude

emerald coast most beautiful beaches in france

The Côte d’Émeraude (Emerald Coast) falls into two departments of Brittany: Ille-et-Vilaine and Côtes-d’Armor. It takes its name from the emerald color of the sea under certain conditions. Here you’ll find some of the most dramatic and strikingly beautiful coastlines in all of France dotted with charming villages and wonderful small beaches. While there are too many beaches to mention individually, you are guaranteed to discover something delightful.

Archipel des Glénan

glenan archipelago

The Archipel des Glénan is accessible by boat just off the southern coast of Finistère. With gorgeous white sand and transparent water, it might be hard to believe that these magnificent islands are in Brittany rather than the Maldives! The archipelago is classified as a Picturesque Natural Site. Feel free to spend your day swimming, snorkeling, relaxing, and simply taking in the surrounding beauty!

Beach Hotels in Brittany
domaine de rochevilaine

Domaine de Rochevilaine

A visit to this stunning hotel is a deeply moving experience. It will surprise and leave you in wonderment. The location of this hotel is at a rare site: a rocky peninsula over one hectare in size, including a 300 meter private marine façade.

Architectural buildings steeped in history are dotted around the gardens. A monumental thirteenth-century porch opens out onto a group of historic dwellings amidst a sea of flowers. Standing at the water’s edge, with your eyes fixed on the horizon, the time has no hold on you.

37 rooms and suites all offer stunning views. The Spa of the hotel with a dedicated 14 000 ft² devoted to your wellness will truly pamper all your needs. To top it all, the gourmet restaurant will cater to all your taste buds.

Côte de Granite Rose

pink granite coast most beautiful beaches in france

The Côte de Granite Rose in Brittany is famous for its romantically-colored pink rocks. This sculpted shoreline and colorful landscape is a paradise for birds and walkers alike. All along the coast you’ll find small coves filled with white sand and turquoise water sheltered by pines, wild natural landscapes, and the famous GR 34 trail.

Biarritz

biarritz most beautiful beaches in france

Despite its small size, Biarritz has some of the most beautiful beaches in France. For surfers and water sports enthusiasts, it really is a paradise. There are six beaches in Biarritz. A few of our favorites include the Grand Plage, Plage du Vieux, and the Plage de la Côte des Basques. Thanks to its strong waves, the Grand Plage is considered to be one of the best surfing beaches in the world. The Plage du Vieux is a small, sheltered beach on the Old Port of Biarritz. With its calm waters, it is a popular seaside resort for locals and is also perfect for families with children. The Plage de la Côte des Basques is very popular with locals for swimming, with surfers, and celebrities alike.

Porquerolles

plage notre dame most beautiful beaches in france

Porquerolles off the coast of Hyères is a true paradise. Azure blue sky and water, picturesque creeks and bays, and fine sandy beaches are surrounded by charming Provençal scrubland. Plage Notre Dame is the most popular beach on the island. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun, scenery, and breathtaking surrounding nature.

Beach Hotels in Saint-Tropez
jardin tropezina

Château de la Messardière

This nineteenth-century chateau is a majestic much-loved 5-star palace hotel perched on a hilltop on the outskirts of Saint-Tropez, between the village and the famous Pampelonne beach. The property, with its trademark domed cupolas and turrets, has undergone extensive renovation over the last two years and is reopened since the beginning of the summer season of 2021.

Following the renovation of some rooms, the hotel has reduced its room count to 103 rooms and suites, each with their own private terrace. And has created two signatures’ suites boasting over 50sqm of living space and one Duplex Villa with three bedrooms and a private swimming pool ideal for families.

This hotel also offers wellness Valmont Spa, yoga platform, two tennis courts, two restaurants, a bar as well as a beach club.

Plage de Pampelonne

plage de pampelonne

The iconic Pampelonne Beach is perhaps the crown jewel of beaches in Saint-Tropez. Approximately three miles of fine, white sand borders the Mediterranean Sea in Ramatuelle. Pampelonne Beach is also home to some of the most famous beach clubs in France. During the summer, undoubtedly one of the most glamorous places to be in France is at a beach club for lunch on Pampelonne Beach.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

villefranche sur mer most beautiful beaches in france

The picturesque harbor and setting of Villefranche-sur-Mer are a highlight of exploring this part of the Côte d’Azur. The town, built on terraces up a steep hill, overlooks Cap Ferrat and the azure blue sea of the Mediterranean below. The port is predominantly now a pleasure port, but a small fishing fleet does still operate. The harbor is a popular and bustling part of the town with many bars and restaurants along the waterfront and in the small square. The main beach is to the east of the town center and a wonderful place to spend the day. The best view across Villefranche-sur-Mer and the harbor is from the corniche road above the far end of the beach, ideally seen in the morning when the sun is on the front of the buildings.

Saint-Florent

saint florent corsica

During the summer, Saint-Florent springs to life as a bustling, rather upscale holiday destination. Described as a Corsican Saint-Tropez, it attracts visitors with a string of restaurants, a marina full of pleasure boats, and beaches. The nearest beach is Plage de la Roya, a fine sandy beach with a lovely view of Saint-Florent and the Cap Corse. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle, take a boat to discover the more remote beaches: Plage de Saleccia with its fine sand and crystal-clear water, or the Plage Loto.

Porto-Vecchio

porto vecchio corsica
Copyright: ©Eva Bocek – stock.adobe.com

The old fishing town of Porto Vecchio (old port) is located on the southern part of Corsica. Hidden behind a mountain and therefore not visible from the sea, Porto Vecchio has never shown the typical signs of a Genoese settlement. Take a stroll along the old port, and immerse yourself in the Corsican ambiance on one of the many café or restaurant terraces. Nature lovers may want to hike through the nearby woodland of Ospedale. If you want to relax on one of the many spectacular beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice!


We hope this list of our the most beautiful beaches in France helps inspire future travel. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Favorite Family-Friendly Tours in France

When planning a vacation that will be special for the entire family, it’s important to keep in mind specific activities that will be engaging for both young and old. French Side Travel has put together a list of some of our favorite family-friendly tours in France that are sure to make your vacation unforgettable.


Favorite Family-Friendly Tours in France

Walk in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel with A Private Guide

private walking tour mont saint michel

Take the opportunity to discover the other side of Mont Saint-Michel during a walk along the shore. Step into the water and sand, dance on the quicksand, and admire the landscapes and natural beauty of the Bay. Your private guided walk departs from Mont Saint-Michel, so it is the perfect activity to combine with a visit to the abbey. You’ll walk towards the Rocher de Tombelaine and back to Mont Saint-Michel. It’s also possible to include a seaside treasure hunt to discover the local sea creatures.

Discover the Beauty, History, and Culture of Provence in a Day

provence favorite family-friendly tours in france

You will depart for Lourmarin, ideally on a Friday, which is market day, and have free time to discover one of the most beautiful villages of the Luberon. Don’t miss the Renaissance castle, beautiful vineyards (which you can visit and have a tasting organized), or the quaint galleries and artisanal shops. Stop for lunch in an exceptionally charming village like Lauris, Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Goult or Gordes. Afterwards, you will continue the day by taking the Combe, a winding road, to discover from near or far the perched villages of Bonnieux, Lacoste, Ménerbes, Oppède-le-Vieux, Roussillon and Gordes. From the Marquis de Sade to Vasarely, they all have a unique story to tell, and by the end of the day you will know many of them!

Family-Friendly Stays in Provence
Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa

Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa

Located 600 meters from the center of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, this luxurious and refined 5 star hotel offers exceptional villas, a gourmet restaurant, a bistro, a bar, an outdoor swimming pool and a 500 m² spa. The village of Les Baux-de-Provence is 10 km away.

Rooms, suites and villas have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi connection, as well as flat-screen satellite television. Offering a view of the surroundings and the Alpilles National Park, some rooms also have a terrace. Some suite and villas also have a private pool.

The gourmet restaurant prepares menus with a Provençal theme, created by the using local seasonal products. The bistro is open for lunch in high season. In summer, you can enjoy a poolside bar with smoothies, ice cream and milkshakes. A shuttle service drive you to the center of the village and back. The spa offers individual or duo massage room, perfect for a relaxing time with your loved one!

Scenic Horseback Ride in Camargue Followed by a Picnic on the Beach

favorite family-friendly tours in france camargue

Accompanied by Laurent, an expert gardian nicknamed “Peù Blanc,” you will ride across over 1,235 acres of land. Discover the natural beauty of Camargue with its terrain divided between rice paddies and pastures. The famous white horses will take you for a ride off the beaten path and bring you close to the Camargue bulls. Experienced riders will even be able to accompany the gardians in the sorting of the bulls. No matter your age or level of experience, the Camargue cowboys will be happy to share their work and passion with you! This special ride will end in Piemenson with a picnic on the natural beach.

Private Guided Chocolate Tour in Bordeaux

chocolate tour in bordeaux

Feel the charm of the city like a real resident, while tasting the best products of Bordeaux in a unique atelier that will share all of its fabrication secrets with you. Enjoy delicious samples of incredibly refined chocolates in this completely chocolate food tour. From the origin of coco beans to the tasty finished product, you’ll discover the history of chocolate in the moon harbor of Bordeaux. This tour is a great option for foodies as well as those who would just like to experience a unique experience and walking tour in Bordeaux.

A Day On the Water: Private Boat Tour of Cassis and the Calanques National Park

cassis private boat ride

Cassis and the Calanques are two spots that are absolutely not to be missed in Provence. You’ll depart from Marseille’s picturesque Vieux Port for a day on the water and see this stretch of spectacular coastline on a private boat. Explore the forgotten coves, tiny ports, and soaring cliffs of the Calanques National Park. Snorkelers will enjoy the turquoise waters and marine life. You’ll stop for lunch in Cassis where you can dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant with a breathtaking view of Cape Canaille, France’s highest marine cliff.

Pedal Through Paris during a Private Guided E-Bike Tour of the City of Light

bike tour of paris

See the real Paris during this fabulous guided e-bike tour. You might come across a hidden game of pétanque at the oldest Parisian monument as you discover all the twists and turns of the Marais. Marvel at the Jardins des Plantes and effortlessly climb the slopes of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève. Get a look at the student life of the Latin Quarter and then the artists’ cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Next, follow the grandeur of the Obelisk in Place de la Concorde and travel in time on your way to Les Champs-Élysées. Amidst all the bustle and excitement of this legendary city, your guide will reveal the relaxing calm of the quiet refuges of Paris. This is a perfect opportunity to take beautiful snapshots and unforgettable memories back home!

Family Friendly Stays in the Loire Valley
les sources de cheverny

Les Sources de Cheverny

Tucked away in its own private estate, this 5-star hotel is the quintessential French château. Exuding 18th-century elegance, this striking hotel balances bygone grandeur with a homely charm.

Soft light from tall, gothic windows creates a restful space. An open fire welcomes guests into the dramatic lobby. While 26 rooms and 23 suites pair sumptuous fabrics with stripped wood panelling to create a sense of contemporary luxury. Beyond the twists and turrets of the building, beautiful lawns and gardens are waiting to be explored. The historic building offers room with classic Chateau feeling, whereas the cottages nearby offer more modern decoration.

As the sun starts to go down, it’s time for a cocktail in the courtyard. Then, you can head into one of the two restaurants and take your pick from mouth-watering menus inspired by the season’s finest local produce.

Days are made for relaxing by the pool, or indulging at the spa Caudalie. Private coaching and yoga classes are available on request.

Private Kid-Friendly Cultural Driving Tour in the Loire Valley

favorite family friendly tours in france loire valley

Your licensed driver-guide will pick up you at your hotel for a unique day experiencing the best of the Loire Valley. Discover a private château and stroll through its splendid gardens. Children will be invited to dress up in medieval costumes and enjoy a treasure hunt or a workshop. For lunch, you’ll enjoy a farm-to-table meal made entirely with products from the castle’s garden in the magnificent setting of the park. To finish the day, you’ll stop in Chinon to trace Joan of Arc’s footsteps.

Full-Day Tour of Provence’s Lavender Fields

provence lavender

Visit the high plateau to experience one of Provence’s emblematic sites: the blooming, fragrant lavender fields. From mid-June to August, the high plateau blooms in breathtaking purple. Enjoy scenic routes away from the crowds. Get ready to take beautiful photos!

The tour includes the Albion plateau, and the villages of Sault and Banon. The wild nature surrounds Sault, perched on a rocky promontory. It dominates a plain dedicated to agriculture where lavender predominates offering in summer a unique palette of colors. Leaning against the Albion plateau, between the mountains of Lure and Ventoux, Banon has an authentic and natural character. Surrounded by fields of lavender, plains, and hills delicately perfumed by aromatic plants, a checkerboard of striking colors is drawn around the village.

Private Scavenger Hunt to Discover the World’s Most Famous Museum from a Different Angle

family friendly louvre scavenger hunt

One of our ultimate favorite family-friendly tours in France is a private scavenger hunt at the Musée du Louvre. While adults take in the highlights of the historic museum with its many treasures, children will get their own specially-designed booklets and a pencil. They’ll look for clues and answer questions as they walk through the different wings of the museum. At the end of the scavenger hunt, the children will be rewarded with a surprise gift.

Private Walking Tour of Old Lyon with a Storyteller

lyon walking tour

Follow the guide-storyteller in the secret covered passageways of Old Lyon. You’ll learn about the incredible adventure of Petit Pierre, and his thirst for science. This adventure allows you to discover the Lyon of the Renaissance, the great Lyonnais figures of the 16th century and the magic of this district.

“Our story begins in the time of King François I. Petit Pierre was an orphan who knew the constellations by heart. One day, he heard the young Louise Labbé talking about Copernicus’ discoveries. He decided that he had to go further, to know more. To do so, he was helped by a mysterious magic book. But first, he had to reckon with the wiles of the evil master Nicolas”.

Guaranteed emotion and thrills! The story is fictional, but based on real historical elements, and includes historical characters. We recommend this visit for children from 6 to 12 years old, as well as for their parents!


We hope this list of our favorite family-friendly tours in France is helpful when choosing a vacation that will be memorable for your children. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Must-See Normandy for History Buffs

Thanks to its historical significance, beautiful scenery, delicious cuisine and proximity to Paris, Normandy is always a top region to visit for travelers in France. The list of historically significant places to visit in Normandy is long, which is why we’ve compiled a selection of the must-see places for history buffs.


Must-See Normandy for History Buffs

Rouen: The Capital of Normandy

rouen normandy for history buffs

The capital of Normandy has outstanding medieval heritage. Perfect for history buffs, Rouen is classified as a City of Art and History with over 200 protected historical sites.

Take a private guided visit to truly discover this incredible city. A highlight is seeing the Cathedral. Although badly damaged during bombings in April 1944, it has been restored. It inspired Claude Monet’s series of over 30 Cathedral paintings where he attempted to capture the building in different light and during different seasons.

Lovely half-timbered buildings fill the center of Rouen. Walk through the Place du Vieux-Marché, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The Gros Horloge (Great Clock) is emblematic of the city and dates back to the 16th century. Rouen also has several notable museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Ceramics, and a Natural History Museum.

Where to Stay in Normandy
la ferme saint simeon honfleur

La Ferme Saint-Siméon

This beautiful 17th-century inn located on the heights of Honfleur boasts a panoramic view of the Seine estuary, whose lights fascinated the masters of impressionism. Following their example, treat yourself to a memorable stay in this unique hotel and catch the ever-changing light of the Seine.

The 34 rooms and suites have been carefully decorated with traditional paneling, oak flooring and noble materials and radiate history and beauty. Each room has a mini-bar, an LCD TV with a DVD player and free Wi-Fi access. The private bathroom includes a hairdryer and slippers.

The spa offers various relaxation and beauty treatments. Guests can relax in the hotel’s floral garden and enjoy a drink or dinner on the terrace. The property offers a gourmet restaurant, a bistro, a bar, lounge and smoking lounge featuring numerous impressionist and contemporary paintings bringing back an atmosphere of a bygone era. It’s an ideal starting point to discover Normandy’s must-sees for history buffs.

D-Day Landing Beaches and Memorials

d-day landing beaches and memorials must-see normandy for history buffs

One of the most-requested tours in Normandy is to the powerful D-Day landing beaches and memorials. Along with your expert guide, you’ll travel back in time to the different emblematic places of Operation Overlord. Explore the D-Day landing beaches and gain insight into World War II history. Learn the names of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Visits begin at the American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, located on the top of the cliff overlooking the famous Omaha Beach. Omaha Beach is known for being the most devastating but glorious moment of the Normandy invasion, marking the beginning of the end of World War II. You will also get to see the Pointe du Hoc, an ominous piece of land jutting into the English Channel. It provided an elevated vantage point from which large German guns with a range of 15 miles could deliver fire upon both Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. The neutralization of these guns by the allied forces was the key to victory.

Visit Sainte-Mère-Église, one of the first French villages to be liberated. It is famous for a paratrooper who remained attached to the bell tower of the church. Close to the church stands the Airborne Museum. There, you will learn more about the role the paratroopers played in Operation Overlord. The final stop will be Utah Beach, the westernmost beach in the combat zone, where 23,200 American soldiers landed on D-Day.

Fabulous Mont-Saint-Michel

mont saint michel in normandy

One of France’s most popular and iconic sights is the magnificent island of Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Mont-Saint-Michel is located just on the border of Normandy and Brittany. The stunning medieval abbey at the top of the rocky island is a genuine historical masterpiece. Take your time to soak up the magic of the island and the beauty of its bay, which changes with the rise and fall of the tides.

Climb to the top of the grand staircase to reach the abbey. The abbey, built between the 11th to the 16th centuries, features both Romanesque and Gothic style elements of architecture.

Tides permitting, it is possible to take a half-day guided walk in the bay to discover the beautiful Mont-Saint-Michel from a different perspective.

Historic Bayeux

historic normandy bayeux

Bayeux is a perfect base for exploring must-see Normandy for history buffs. The Bayeux tapestry depicts the conquest of England by the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, in the 1077 Battle of Hastings. An extraordinary feat, the tapestry is about 80 meters long and 50 centimeters high and is a fascinating document that provides a great deal of valuable information about life at that time.

Bayeux itself is an attractive town with a well-preserved medieval center surrounding its renowned cathedral. The cathedral dates in part from 1077, although most of what we see today is in the Gothic style and was built in the 13th to 15th centuries. Around the cathedral, the historic center was luckily untouched during the events of 1944. Take in the rich heritage with timber-framed houses, manors, and townhouses.

Where to Stay in Normandy
chateau d'audrieu normandy

Château d’Audrieu

Gaiety and elegance are the two words which automatically spring to mind to describe this magnificent 5-star hotel. The 18th-century château is historically listed and set among exquisite French gardens and parkland.

Ever since becoming a hotel in 1976, Audrieu has been a symbol of the French art of living. Period fireplaces and furniture give a personal touch to this ancestral home. Stay in one of its suites and rooms, some with original wainscoting, and enjoy a combination of luxury, space, and comfort.

Treat yourself to superb, innovative cuisine in the gastronomic restaurant. The hotel also features a stylish bar serving light dishes as well as salty or sweet croques en bouche, served inside or on the terrace.

Unwind in the hotel’s charming gardens or take a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool. A charging station for electric cars is available at this property.

Claude Monet’s House and Garden in Giverny

claude monet's house and garden giverny

Claude Monet lived in Giverny, which is not far from Paris but technically in Normandy, for 43 years until his death in 1926. It remains a popular destination in Normandy for history buffs, art lovers, and garden fanatics thanks to the opportunity to visit his house and garden that inspired his most prominent paintings.

The garden is open from April through October and boasts a stunning array of flowers and willow trees. See the very pond where Monet painted the famous Nymphéas (Water Lilies). Monet was a gardener as well as an artist, using his creative eye to arrange and plant the flowers himself. The garden bursts with color and light, which Monet so wonderfully depicted in his paintings. Spring is a wonderful time to visit when daffodils, irises, peonies, nasturtiums, roses and narcissuses are in full bloom.

The interior of the charming pink house remains true to what the rooms looked like during Monet’s time. Visit Monet’s studio, reading room, and vibrant yellow kitchen. The Dining Room showcases Monet’s magnificent collection of Japanese prints, including some notable pieces by artists such as Katsushika Hokusai.


We hope this list of must-see Normandy for history buffs helps inspire a future trip. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Spring Break in France: Our Top Destinations

Spring Break is a popular time to visit France. Mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds than during the summer are just a few of the reasons why it’s a great time to travel. French Side Travel is sharing our top destinations for spending a Spring Break in France that will be a hit with the entire family.


Spring Break in France: Our Top Destinations

Paris

spring break in pariis

Visiting Paris in the spring really is as wonderful as it sounds. To see the city covered with blooming flowers in various shades of pinks will make you feel like you are living la vie en rose. A spring break trip to Paris will please the whole family thanks to the large number of different museums, tours, and activities.

Please the history buff with private guided tours to museums. French Side Travel can arrange an exclusive visit to the Louvre where you will be welcomed by the head of a department in the museum and accompanied by a security guard throughout your visit to facilitate access.

We can also arrange a special VIP tour at the Château de Versailles. You will discover the classic Versailles experience covering the most famous parts of the Palace: the Chapel, the Hall of Mirrors, the Queen’s apartment and the gardens. You will also have private and VIP access to places that are not accessible to regular visitors, including the Louis XV and Louis XVI’s apartments.

For an authentic look into the French art de vivre, don’t miss a market visit, cooking class, and lunch or dinner. You’ll get to go to a local Parisian market and shop for the ingredients to prepare your meal. You’ll learn about the specific Parisian market culture, seasonal produce, and food in France. Afterwards, you’ll return to the cooking school to practice both basic and advanced French cooking techniques while creating a three-course meal. Finally, you’ll sit around the table to savor your creations with wine, and hear stories all about French culture and gastronomy. It’s truly a unique experience!

Where to Stay in Paris

hotel monsieur george paris

Monsieur George Hotel and Spa

This 5-star hotel has 46 rooms and suites distributed throughout six floors. Each floor has its own ambience and decor, with adjoining rooms available for families. Suites on the upper floors have views that capture all of Paris with merely a glance. Closer to earth is the Garden Suite, a lush duplex sanctuary.

The restaurant and bar invites guests to enjoy special moments with refreshing breakfasts, lunches, snacks, aperitifs, dinners and night-caps. The menus are constantly updated by a young, enthusiastic head chef, with a focus on freshness, creativity, and tradition.

The hotel also has a spa and a famous yoga club, hailed as the ultimate benchmark for health and well-being. It offers custom services including special in-room yoga courses, fitness and massage sessions, and a wide variety of aesthetic services.

Normandy

honfleur spring break in france

Whether you have several days to dedicate to the region or just want to take a day trip, Normandy is a fabulous Spring Break option. Visit the charming coastal towns like Honfleur, Deauville, and Trouville and indulge in the delicious local seafood. The half-timbered architecture is picturesque.

Take a full day to see the profound and impactful World War II D-Day landing beaches and memorials. There are both private and shared tour options that depart from Paris daily, or you could spend the night in an authentic château just outside of Bayeux.

Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most popular places in France to visit. It seemingly rises out of the surrounding bay. Climb to the top for a tour of the Abbey and incredible views. You can even spend the night on Mont-Saint-Michel to experience the magic without crowds.

Bordeaux

arcachon

In just two and a half hours via a high speed train from Paris, you can be worlds away in beautiful Bordeaux. Explore the lovely city with its rich history and allure. We recommend discovering Bordeaux with a gourmet walking tour – you’ll see all of the fabulous highlights as well as sample some of the region’s specialty foods and of course taste wines.

The city of Bordeaux is also a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside. Take day trips to renowned wine regions like the Médoc or Saint-Émilion. Or head west towards the Atlantic to discover the picturesque beaches of Arcachon. Visit the Dune de Pilat, which is the tallest sand dune in Europe. You can spend a lovely Spring Break day on a boat exploring the Arcachon Bay, and even visiting with an oyster farmer for a tasting.

Provence

saint remy

For art, wine, and culture lovers, Provence is a must. Spring Break is a wonderful time to visit before the crowds set in – the area truly feels untouched. Enjoy the relaxing place with great weather, incredible history, and a fantastic art legacy.

Nestled between the sea and mountains, Van Gogh and Cézanne immortalized Provence’s beauty on canvas. Throughout the year you’ll find striking colors: azure skies, bright pastel facades, and deep purple lavender fields and vibrant yellow sunflowers in the summer.

Wine fanatics can’t miss the powerful Côte-du-Rhône reds and the refreshing Aix-en-Provence rosés. History buffs should explore the exceptional Roman ruins in Arles and Saint-Remy, and the Gothic Palais des Papes in Avignon. You’ll want to spend as much time outdoors as possible during your stay!

Where to Stay in Provence

hotel villa la coste

Villa La Coste

Situated halfway between the historic town of Aix en Provence, home of Cézanne, and the famous Luberon Nature Park, this 5-star hotel is set in the heart of a biodynamic vineyard. It’s an international destination for art, architecture and natural beauty.

The property features 28 Villa Suites, surrounded by gardens, herbs, and flowers. Each opens onto a spacious terrace offering expansive views over vines and valley. The hotel’s contemporary architecture is emphasized by local materials and embraces the natural setting.

The close-to-nature philosophy runs through in each of the four contrasting restaurants, all of which feature organic produce.

The spa conveys contemporary elegance, keeping with the spirit of the property. Treatments are 100% natural and feature regional ingredients. Think oils from Provençal plants and flowers, mineral salts, clays, and more. The perfect destination for a Spring Break and retreat in France!


We hope this list of French Side Travel’s top Spring Break destinations to visit will help inspire a future trip. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite regions in France include Bordeaux, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

The Five Most Romantic Things to Do in France

In honor of the upcoming Saint-Valentin (Valentine’s Day) we’ve put together a list of the five most romantic things to do in France. Paris specifically is known as the City of Love, but there are plenty of other dreamy corners of France to discover as well. Whether a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply a special trip with someone you love, France is filled with romance.


The Five Most Romantic Things to Do in France

Check in to A Secluded Hotel

One of our five most romantic things to do in France is heading to the French countryside and checking in to a superb hotel away from it all. The options are plenty from just outside Paris to Champagne, Provence and beyond. A few of our favorites to add to your list include:

Les Maisons de Bricourt

les maisons de bricourt

Two of the boutique hotels form Les Maisons de Bricourt in Brittany have sweeping panoramic views of the sea.

Château Richeux, built in the 1920s, faces Mont-Saint-Michel. The endless hues of blue, green and grey of the sea, sky, and earth merge into one. The restaurant features products from local small-scale fishermen and farmers. The bread served is made with local organic flour and is kneaded and baked in-house. This culinary commitment earned the chef two Michelin stars in 2019. Take a walk in the park, which runs downhill towards the beach and enjoy the magic of the Mont-Saint-Michel bay.

Les Rimains is a haven located on the cliffs of Cancale. Four romantic rooms bask in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay magical light. Simple and elegant, each room faces the sea. There is a coastal path known as the Lovers’ Trail. It offers the most beautiful views over the bay and the oyster beds, which are clearly visible in the translucent water. Bordered by yellow flowers, pines, and fragrant eucalyptus, the path offers a look into local life.

Les Sources de Cheverny

les sources de cheverny

Tucked away in its own private estate, this 5-star hotel in the Loire Valley is the quintessential French château. Exuding 18th-century elegance, this striking hotel balances bygone grandeur with a homely charm. An open fire welcomes guests into the dramatic lobby filled with soft light from tall, gothic windows. Beyond the twists and turrets of the building, beautiful lawns and gardens are waiting to be explored.

Spend your days touring the surrounding Loire Valley châteaux. Or simply enjoy relaxing by the pool and indulging in treatments at the Caudalie spa. When the sun starts to go down, head for a cocktail in the courtyard. Then finish your evening at one of the two restaurants featuring menus inspired by the season’s finest local produce.

Les Sources de Caudalie

les sources de caudalie

Just 20 minutes from Bordeaux’s city center, Les Sources de Caudalie is located between Grand Cru vineyards and forests. This 5-star hotel features a special Vinothérapie Spa, a two Michelin starred restaurant, a casual restaurant in the old washing house, a wine bar, a lounge and more.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Les Sources de Caudalie. Enjoy the spa with unique treatments using water from the natural hot spring. Take a cooking class with a two star Michelin chef. Enjoy a wine tasting with the head sommelier at the wine bar or take a mixology class at the bar. And of course, use the hotel as a base to explore the fabulous Bordeaux region.

hotel de paris monte carlo
Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Valentine’s Day in Monaco
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a romantic dinner in Monaco? Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is rolling out the red carpet, ready for your very own love story.

Picture your intimate dinner: a celebratory atmosphere, maybe? Or perhaps a cozy alcove or a luxury dining experience? When it comes to bringing you joy, the creativity shown by Monaco’s top restaurants knows no bounds.

Whether you prefer an intimate in-room dining experience, a mix of gourmet food and gaming, or perhaps a gastronomic experience, there is something to delight surely every couple.

Take a Private Champagne Cruise Down the Seine River

seine river cruise five most romantic things to do in france

Another of our five most romantic things to do in France is take a Seine River cruise. Not many people can say they’ve had the opportunity to see the Seine River from a beautiful Venetian water taxi. The cruise offers you a unique, tailor-made look at one of the most beautiful waterways in the world. Enjoy the unforgettable views of Paris including the Musée du Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and bridges from aboard your private boat.

Step inside the private salon, with tinted windows to respect your privacy, and pop a bottle of Cristal or Dom Pérignon champagne to mark this special occasion. Private breakfast cruises are also available if you’d like to have your morning croissant, coffee, and fresh-squeezed orange juice aboard.

Take a Drive Along the Côte d’Azur Coast in a Classic Car

rent a classic car on the riviera: one of the five most romantic things to do in france
Copyright Christian Horan Photography

Enjoy your time in the French Riviera as it was in years past with an exciting sightseeing tour in a vintage convertible car. Your drive can be chauffeured or you can be the pilot. We suggest a drive from Nice to Monaco with stops along the way in Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Èze to name a few.

You’ll see beautiful seaside resorts, towns with Belle Époque charm, medieval villages filled with quaint shops and restaurants, and pure Côte d’Azur luxury. French Side Travel can arrange for a professional photographer to meet you along the way for a special photoshoot to document the old-world French Riviera magic.

Spend a Weekend in Champagne

wekeend trip to champagne five most romantic things to do in france

The perfect romantic excursion from Paris is a weekend trip to Champagne. Taste world-class Champagnes, soak in the unique history and culture of the region, and relax and unwind at a fabulous hotel. It has all the makings of a wonderful, intimate getaway.

Take a full-day private guided tour of Champagne. Enjoy a commented drive along the Champagne scenic roads and discover the villages that are part of the Champagne appellation area. Stop at the charming UNESCO-listed small town of Hautvillers, where you can visit the church where the famous monk Dom Pierre Pérignon is buried. You’ll then visit a family-run boutique Premier Cru winery to learn about how the well-known beverage is made and enjoy tastings. Next, uncover the secrets behind the signature taste of Dom Pérignon in an exclusive visit. You will taste some of their finest Champagnes in a private salon. Finally, visit the oldest producer of Champagne: Ruinart to learn about the fascinating history.

royal champagne hotel and spa
Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa

Where to Stay in Champagne: Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa
In the heart of a vineyard, this former coach house (one of Napoleon’s favorite stopovers) is the perfect base from which to explore the glorious Champagne wineries. Be sure to visit the wine cellar, which boasts no fewer than 220 exceptional brut and rosé vintages and crus. The best place to taste them is on the terrace overlooking the vines, which extend as far as the eye can see.

All the 47 luxurious rooms have magical Champagne views. The interiors take inspiration from the natural and cultural heritage of the region. Traditional materials are favored to create a sleek and graphic mise-en-scene.

Vegetables are grown in the gardens and meat is delivered daily by local farmers. This commitment makes fine dining in the Michelin-starred contemporary restaurant exciting. Be sure to take time to indulge in the spa, which overlooks the vines.

Indulge with a Private Seaside Cabana on the French Riviera

private cabana club dauphin

With a guestbook signed by everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Winston Churchill, and an enviable perch overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the palatial spread of the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat has been the epitome of Côte d’Azur chic for more than a century. Make the most of the hotel’s luxurious grounds and fully experience all the beauty of Cap-Ferrat, a wooded peninsula that juts out into the glistening blue waters of the Mediterranean.

A highlight of the property is the Club Dauphin, one of the world’s most beautiful swimming pools. The infinity pool overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean Sea just below. For an extra special experience, treat yourself to a private seaside cabana to enjoy a moment of solitude amongst the tranquil setting. You can also reserve the Dauphin Lounge to enjoy the service of a dedicated butler who will prepare cocktails and serve lunch in your own private outdoor dining room.

fireworks in cannes
Dinner and Fireworks Cruise from Cannes

Summer Catamaran Cruise with Dinner and Fireworks from Cannes
Spend an incredible evening on a three-hour catamaran dinner cruise departing from Cannes. Imagine sipping on a glass of wine and taking in coastal views as you sail across the Bay of Cannes at twilight. Take in views of the Lérins Islands archipelago and the Riviera coastline as the color fades from the sky and lights sparkle along the shore. 

You’ll then enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner on board. For a dazzling finale to the evening, watch a firework display from the deck with the twinkling lights of the Riviera coastline as a backdrop. This is surely an unforgettable addition to a romantic Côte d’Azur trip.


Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, anniversary trip, birthday trip, or simply a special trip with someone you love, we hope this list of the five most romantic things to do in France inspires you. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Normandy, Bordeaux, the South of France, the Loire Valley and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

What to Do in Normandy in 2022

Normandy is always a popular destination to visit thanks to its fascinating history, lush landscapes, picturesque villages, and unique regional cuisine. The proximity to Paris makes it easy to access and a perfect addition or extension to any trip. Read on for French Side Travel’s guide of what to do in Normandy in 2022 to discover the best of this spectacular region.


What to Do in Normandy in 2022

Visit the Powerful World War II D-Day Landing Beaches and Memorials

what do in normandy 2022 dday landing beaches

Year after year, one of our top recommendations in Normandy is to visit the iconic D-Day beaches where thousands of troops gave their lives to liberate France from German-occupation during World War II. French Side Travel can arrange private guided single or multi-day tours that focus on the American, British, or Canadian sectors.

Discover the moving sites that hosted the pivotal battles and pay respects to the brave men and women who lost their lives. The moving and solemn American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer is a powerful place of remembrance. On Pointe du Hoc, between the Omaha and Utah beaches, the US rangers heroically captured German artillery. The rugged cliffs are largely untouched with bomb craters, bunkers and casements still visible. A visit to these D-Day landing beaches and memorials is always an impactful highlight for travelers.

étretat cliffs normandy

Private Helicopter Flight Over the Étretat Cliffs

From Deauville Saint Gatien airport take off for the cliffs of Étretat. After flying over the Estuary between Honfleur and Le Havre, you will fly along Port 2000, then the coast, until you see the breathtaking cliffs.

These gigantic white chalk cliffs are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impressionist painters were inspired by them and writer Maurice Leblanc used them as a setting for the intrigues of his famous gentleman burglar, Arsène Lupin. The Arche d’Aval, 80 meters high, has a singular shape due to nature and marine erosion. The famous Aiguille (needle) measures about 55 meters high and is always a highlight of the beautiful flight.

Discover the Mythical Mont-Saint-Michel

mont saint michel what to do in normandy in 2022

Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s emblematic sites. In fact, it’s one of the most-visited places in France with almost 2.5 million visitors per year. On approach, the 10th century Benedictine abbey almost doesn’t look real, seemingly rising out of the surrounding bay. Connected to the mainland by a tidal causeway, the dramatic rising and falling tides turned the rock into an island.

The abbey has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries. Tides permitting, it’s possible to follow in the pilgrims footsteps with a private guide and walk across the sandy bay to Mont-Saint-Michel. Once you arrive, take your time exploring the quaint streets lined with charming shops that wind uphill towards the abbey.

Visit the Charming Towns Along the Côte Fleurie

deauville in normandy

No list of what to do in Normandy in 2022 would be complete without a visit to the coast. The coastal resorts east of Caen are often referred to as the Côte Fleurie (Floral Coast). In the 19th century, a train line opened from Paris to Calvados and wealthy Parisians quickly arrived and built luxurious hotels and mansions.

The towns of Deauville and Trouville are the most famous resort towns here. Each has numerous attractive examples of Belle Époque architecture and famous sandy beaches. Other popular resort towns for summer visitors include Cabourg and Houlgate.

French Side Travel always recommends a visit to the coastal town of Honfleur. The striking harbor surrounded by historic buildings is among the most beautiful in all of France.

Indulge in a Gourmet Experience in the Pays d’Auge

camembert in normandy

Normandy is known for having fabulous foods: fresh seafood, cheeses, creams, and apples all top the list. Take a day to discover a few of these regional specialties with a cheesemaking and cider brewing tour. You’ll meet one of the last remaining Camembert farmers in Camembert and learn all about the production process. There will be tastings involved as well!

For lunch, stop for a picnic in one of the most picturesque villages in all of France. You’ll get to try even more of the products that Normandy is renowned for: seasonal salads, andouille, butter, cheeses, and finish with teurgoule, a famous rice pudding, all paired with ciders. To finish the day, you’ll delve into the process of cider brewing at some of the best distilleries in the area.

Visit Claude Monet’s Home and Garden in Giverny

what to do in normandy in 2022 giverny

Fans of art, architecture and gardens will not want to miss Giverny, where Claude Monet lived for 43 years. The garden boasts a stunning array of flowers and willow trees. You’ll see the very pond that inspired Monet to paint the famous Water Lilies. Monet was a gardener as well as an artist. He grew the flowers himself, arranging his gardens by using his creative eye. The small green bridge, peony bushes and bamboo plants all demonstrate the love Monet had for Japan.

Visit Monet’s charming pink house and discover the interiors that are true to what they looked like when Monet lived there. You can visit the fabulous kitchen, Monet’s studio, the dining room, reading room, and bedrooms. Spring is an especially lovely time to visit, but the house and gardens are open from April through October.

New Hotel Opening in Normandy

domaine de primard in normandy

Domaine de Primard

Just under an hour west of Paris, not far from Giverny, lies this stunningly well-preserved 18th-century Directoire-style house. Until recently it was the private home of legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve.

Domaine de Primard is now a 40 room 5-star luxury hotel complete with a fabulous restaurant and the first Susanne Kaufmann spa in France.

The estate’s gastronomic restaurant makes extensive use of produce grown in the hotel’s own gardens. There is also a bistro, set on a terrace surrounded by fruit trees, that presents a slightly more casual take of the same vision.

Guests can relax in the heated outdoor pool or take advantage of the ample opportunity for walking and hiking, horseback riding, and the highly regarded Robert Hersant golf course.


We hope this list of what to do in Normandy in 2022 will help inspire future travel to this wonderful region. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Bordeaux, the South of France, the Loire Valley and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Christmas in France: Must-See Highlights by Region

The holiday season in France is something that every traveller should experience at least once. Starting in mid-November there is an unrivaled festive atmosphere that overtakes the country. Whether you’re coming to get some shopping done in Paris, visit the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg, or to see the Loire Valley châteaux decorated, there’s truly something extraordinary almost anywhere you go. We’re breaking down the Christmas in France must-see highlights down by region.


Christmas in France: Must-See Highlights by Region

Lyon: Fête des Lumières

christmas in france lyon la fete des lumieres
Photo Courtesy of the city of Lyon

For four nights in December, a variety of different artists take over Lyon for the Fête des Lumières. You’ll be able to discover illuminations on buildings, streets, squares and parks throughout the city. This year the festival is from December 8th to 11th.

Paris: Christmas Shopping

paris christmas markets

There’s so much to do in the French capital during the holidays that we have an entire post about visiting Paris in the winter. One activity that brings a lot of seasonal highlights together is Christmas shopping. Whether you’re visiting the Grand Magasin department stores or one of the Christmas markets you’ll be sure to take in the festive decorations and lights, and you’ll be able to bring back gifts from Paris!

Île de France: Vaux-le-Vicomte

christmas in france vaux le vicomte
Photo by Yann Pirioux

While the Château de Versailles doesn’t decorate for Christmas, one stunning castle in the Paris region that does is Vaux-le-Vicomte. Visitors will discover illuminations in both the gardens and the château. Inside, decorations have a gourmet theme this year. Rooms will be scented with gingerbread and cinnamon. To complete the cozy atmosphere, fireplaces will be lit and carriage rides will be offered. The festivities go from November 20th until January 2nd (closed on December 25th and January 1st).

vaux le vicomte christmas
Photo Courtesy of Vaux-le-Vicomte

Private Guided Christmas Tour of Vaux-le-Vicomte with Afternoon Tea or Cocktail in a Private Room

After the castle is closed to the public, discover the State Rooms and the private apartments in peace. Your private guide will recount the tales from the heyday of the estate; from its creation by Nicolas Fouquet, through its operation in the 18th and 19th century, until its opening to visitors in 1968 thanks to the current owners, the De Vogüe family.

Afterwards, enjoy an extraordinary moment of relaxation in the Salon Le Brun. There will be a monumental projection specially set up for you! An evening fit for a King and Queen!

Strasbourg: Christmas Market

christmas in france highlights strasbourg
Photo Courtesy of Strasbourg.eu

The Christmas Markets in and around Strasbourg are without a doubt a holiday must-see. With more than 300 market stalls, miles of garlands of light, the majestic Big Tree, and dazzling shows and concerts there is nothing quite like the Strasbourg Christmas Market. This year the market is open from November 26th until December 26th. As a note, there may be a limited amount of vendors open on December 25th and 26th.

Loire Valley: Christmas Châteaux

christmas in the loire valley
Photo Courtesy of Touraine Loire Valley

The Loire Valley châteaux are marvelous year round (we’ve identified our ten favorites here). During the holidays, many of the châteaux are decorated both inside and out. You’ll see Christmas trees, festive wreaths, and holiday tables dressed to the nines. It’s truly a wonderful time of the year in the Loire Valley and especially fun for families.

Normandy: Christmas Markets and Light Shows

christmas in normandy rouen christmas market
Photo Courtesy of Normandy Tourism

In a region known for gourmet specialties including hearty ciders and cheeses, it’s not difficult to imagine that Christmas is a lively time of year. You’ll find Christmas Markets in the most picturesque of places: at the foot of Mont Saint-Michel (dates to be announced), along the port of Honfleur (from December 20th to January 2nd), and at the base of the Rouen Cathedral (end of November to December 31st) to name a few. Also special for the holidays is a William the Conquerer-inspired light show inside the Bayeux Cathedral starting on November 27th, on Saturdays in December, and from December 19th to 23rd and 26th to 30th.

Provence: Unique Traditions

christmas in provence
Photo Courtesy of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Tourisme

In Provence, there is a unique Christmas tradition to eat 13 desserts following the Christmas dinner: one for each Christ and his twelve apostles. Each of the desserts served varies a bit based on the region and particular family. Some common items include fougasse, the four beggars (almonds, raisins, dried figs and nuts), Cachat piquant, white and black nougat, calissons, pain d’épice, and of course, the Bûche de Noël.

You’ll also find Santons, little clay figurines in nativity scenes. The literal translation of Santon is ‘little saint.’ There’s an entire Foire aux Santons dedicated to these collectables in Marseille, this year from November 20th to January 2nd.

Bordeaux: Christmas Markets in Wine Country

christmas in bordeaux
© Facebook / Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

In the heart of Bordeaux you’ll find the Christmas market back again this year from November 26th to December 26th. It’s a wonderful place to admire the decorations and also get some shopping done. For a more artisanal market, this year there is a special Christmas market in the heart of Saint-Émilion on December 4th and 5th.

Pas de Calais: Fête de la Dinde de Licques

christmas in france
Photo Courtesy of La Voix du Nord

France can be known for being quirky. Perhaps one of the quirkiest Christmas festivals is the Licques Turkey Festival in the north of France. It’s named for the turkey, which is a popular item served on Christmas day in France, but you’ll also find all sorts of gourmet regional products. It’s the perfect opportunity to prepare your Christmas menu and stock up on wine, cheese, chocolate, Champagne, and of course turkey! This year the festival will be held on December 11th and 12th.

French Alps: Snow, Skiing, and Merriment

christmas in the alps

The snowy alps make them the perfect setting to celebrate a memorable Christmas. Whether you’re in Courchevel or Val d’Isère, you’ll be enchanted by the special Christmas magic including parades throughout town, Santa hitting the slopes and more.

Winter in Courchevel: The Last Track After Hours Ski

You’ll have the opportunity to continue skiing after the slopes are closed for the end of the day. You’ll meet at the top of Courchevel to have a drink while you enjoy the sunset.

Then, once the sky is dark and everyone is at home, you’ll enjoy the entire slope for yourself and experience what skiing at night is like. An excellent opportunity to take in the view on the lights of Courchevel from the top!

Are you ready to spend the holidays in France? Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you. They can help to identify the perfect region for you to experience the must-see Christmas highlights in France.

Fall in France 2021: What to See and Do

Fall in France brings out some of the best of the country from the crisp weather and stunning fall colors to special seasonal foods and more. It truly is a wonderful time to visit and you can’t go wrong with almost any region. We’ve identified some of our top picks for what to see and do during fall in France in 2021.


Fall in France 2021: What to See and Do

Normandy: Authentic Cider and Cheese Tour

fall in france normandy camembert

Fall is a great time to discover Normandy with fewer crowds compared to the summertime. No trip to the region would be complete without at least a day spent tasting some of the gourmet regional specialties, namely ciders and cheeses. You’ll learn the ins and of the famous Camembert de Normandie and will have the opportunity to meet with the last remaining producer of the cheese in the village of Camembert. Next, you’ll see the cows, discover the production process, and taste two other regional cheeses: Pont l’Évêque and Livarot. After stopping for a fabulous picnic lunch, you’ll be learning all about ciders: apple, pear, pommeau and Calvados. This delicious day ends in one of the most beautiful villages in France with colorful half-timbered buildings and great shopping.

Paris: Colorful Modern Art Museums

fall in paris

While the trees in Paris are filled with beautiful colored leaves in the fall, rain can be common, especially further into the season. A great way to escape the rainy weather is with a museum visit. Classics like the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are always wonderful options, and are always ever-changing thanks to temporary exhibits. However, if you’ve had enough of the grey skies, consider the Centre Pompidou for colorful modern and contemporary art or the intimate and beautiful Musée Picasso in the heart of the Marais.

Fall in Paris from the Ducasse sur Seine
What better way to take in the fall colors than from aboard a Ducasse sur Seine cruise? This electric boat glides along the river to show you a side of Paris you may have never seen before. During the journey, you’ll enjoy a four or five course menu filled with seasonal products all complemented by prestigious and eclectic wines. A romantic and magical way to see Paris!

Burgundy: Fall Along the Wine Trails

burgundy wine trails in fall

For wine lovers the Burgundy wine trails are a highlight no matter what time of year. The visits are especially spectacular drenched in the gorgeous fall colors. Our local wine expert guides will lead you through the renowned estates and surrounding scenery. Throughout the day you’ll taste exceptional Premiers and Grands Crus wines. Truly an extraordinary way to see and experience Burgundy!

Loire Valley: A Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

loire valley hot air balloon

For a unique perspective of the majestic Loire Valley châteaux, we recommend taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Imagine floating above on a misty fall morning with gorgeous golden light touching the vineyards, forest, rivers, and châteaux below. This fabulous experience ends with a breakfast and you’ll have the rest of the day to continue exploring!

Bordeaux: Market Visit, Cooking Class, and Lunch

fall market foods france

Southwest France is a region known for fabulous fall foods including foie gras, truffles, and nuts. During a private market visit, cooking class, and lunch in Bordeaux you’ll have the opportunity to learn even more about and taste these delicious fall specialties. A chef will lead you on this experience that is both gourmet and a unique look into life in France.

Provence: Visit Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a Local Wine Expert

chateauneuf de pape

During the fall, you can take in the mesmerizing beauty of the historic Châteauneuf-du-Pape village and vineyards dressed in a layer of gold. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is famous for powerful, full-bodied red wines, made from the southern Rhône grape trio of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Besides the golden leaves, you’ll find distinct lightly colored stones amongst the vines: a spectacular fall combination. During this day your local wine expert guide will take you to meet with three winemakers. Next, you’ll stop for lunch in a charming Provençal restaurant. Afterwards, you will get the chance to make local confectioneries in copper cauldrons!

Fall in Provence: Truffles and Wine Tasting
The ultimate unique fall in Provence experience! Take a two-hour tour of an estate and its vineyards in a 4×4 where you’ll learn about biodiversity. Next, meet with a truffle farmer and his dog to learn about the fascinating world of truffles and the nuances of growing tuber melanosporum and tuber aestivum truffles.
The visit concludes with a lunch centered around the estate’s truffles with a wine pairing!


Ready to experience fall in France? There’s still time to make it this year! Our travel designers are standing by and can help you book any of these activities and create the perfect fall itinerary in France. Some of our most popular fall destinations include Normandy, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Southern France.

Seven Unmissable World War II Sites to See in Normandy

Normandy is a wonderful part of France. It’s dotted with picturesque half-timbered villages and seaside towns and is renowned for its cuisine. The region is perhaps most known for the historically significant D-Day beaches and memorials. We’ve created a list of seven unmissable World War II sites to see in Normandy.


Seven Unmissable World War II Sites to See in Normandy

Caen Memorial Museum

The Caen Memorial Museum is a great place to start any visit to the World War II sites in Normandy. This museum is dedicated to the history of the 20th century and a large part of it focuses on World War II, the D-Day landings, and the Battle of Normandy. You’ll get an overview of the events before moving on to see the beaches, monuments, and memorials in person.

Pointe du Hoc

seven unmissable world war ii sites in normandy pointe du hoc

Pointe du Hoc is undoubtedly one of the most impressive World War II sites to see in Normandy. As you walk through, you’ll notice numerous bomb craters and German bunkers. Lieutenant Colonel Rudder lead 200 men from the 2nd Ranger Battalion up the 100-foot cliff to destroy a gun battery located between Utah and Omaha beaches. Upon reaching the top, the rangers discovered that the guns were already removed. They fought back counter-attacks for two days until reinforcements arrived.

La Cambe German Cemetery

La Cambe is the largest German military cemetery in Normandy. When visiting this cemetery, you’ll want to notice the somber color tones, design, and layout. It’s thought-provoking to compare it to the nearby Normandy American Cemetery.

Omaha Beach

seven unmissable world war ii sites in normandy omaha beach

Omaha Beach is a main site for American D-Day history. On D-Day, it was the destination for over two-thirds of the seaborne troops. Many of the courageous soldiers drowned or were killed on approach. The Americans suffered over 4,000 casualties on Omaha Beach, making it the bloodiest of the D-Day landing sites.

French Side Travel’s Tours and Unique Experiences in Normandy
Want to experience the World War II beaches, monuments, and memorials differently? French Side Travel can organize the perfect tour for you to see the unmissable World War II sites in Normandy. We can arrange tours in a classic Jeep, multiple day excursions to dive deeper into the history with an expert guide, day trips from Paris to see the sites from a helicopter and more.
French Side Travel Tip: Weather in this part of Normandy can be unpredictable. We always recommend bringing extra layers and rain gear.

Normandy American Cemetery

seven unmissable world war ii sites in normandy american cemetery

One of the most emotional World War II sites to visit is the Normandy American Cemetery. Here you’ll find crosses and Stars of David that mark the nearly 9,400 who died during the Allied Liberation of France. Three Medal of Honor recipients rest here as well as 45 sets of brothers. You’ll also find over 1,500 names carved on the walls of the Garden of the Missing.

The design of the Normandy American Cemetery is particularly powerful as the long, regular rows of headstones almost appear to rise from the water below. In the center, there is a bronze statue, “Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves.”

Longues-sur-Mer Battery

The German artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer, located directly between the Gold and Omaha landing beaches, offered great positioning to oppose the D-Day landing. The immaculately preserved battery is the only place in France where you can see four original artillery guns.

Arromanches-les-Bains

arromanches les bains

Arromanches-les-Bains is in the center of the Gold Beach landing zone. Here, the British set up Mulberry Harbor (also known as Port Winston), a man-made harbor assembled in Britain and towed across the English Channel. Made up of sunken ships, concrete caissons, and floating roadway, Mulberry Harbor was essential to the war effort. Over 10 months, over 2.5 million soldiers, 500,000 vehicles, and four million tons of supplies came through the harbor.

You’ll also find the Musée de Debarquement and Arromanches 360°, a circular cinema with archival footage from the D-Day landings.

Chateau d’Audrieu
Looking for the perfect base to stay in while exploring the historical World War II sites in Normandy? Try the 18th century Château d’Audrieu, a delightful property set amongst beautiful parks and gardens. From this hotel you’ll be able to easily reach Caen, Bayeux, Mont Saint-Michel and more!

chateau d'audrieu

The unmissable World War II sites in Normandy will surely inspire you to spend more time in the region. Our expert travel designers are available to suggest the perfect extension to your Normandy trip whether you want to focus on the Best of Normandy, a Foodie Roadtrip, or the Best of Normandy by Train. To extend your trip even longer, or start dreaming about a future trip to France, check out our sample trips focused on food and wine, history and culture, adventure, and romance and scenery. There’s truly something for everyone in France!

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