France is home to beautiful countryside, great food and wine, friendly people, and a history full or art, architecture, and monuments. Three different bodies of water surround France, making three distinct regions of beaches and coves. France has a rugged, alpine area with hiking and ski resorts. Of course Paris France is the largest and most famous city in France, and it is home to many impressive and entertaining sights and venues.
Good Paris tours include plenty of monuments, famous museums, and world renowned dining. Notre Dame cathedral, with its ornate interior is an awe-inspiring and popular destination. Pay homage to French author Victor Hugo, and ascend the bell tower for a look at the gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Arc de Triomphe, located on the famed avenue Champs Élysées and centered in the world largest traffic roundabout, is a simple, yet daunting monument commissioned by Napoleon. The gothic Saint Chapelle, built in the 13th century, has 15 stained glass windows depicting an entire biblical history.
Of course, Paris tours should include a healthy selection of museums. There's the Pompidou National Center of Art & Culture, home to an extensive modern art collection. The Musée d'Orsay, in a former railway station, displays French art nouveau, impressionist, and postimpressionist works. The Musée de Cluny, contains works from the middle ages, and a former Roman bath house, dating back to around 200 AD. Paris France is home to the world famous Louvre was built in the 12th century, and contains over 35,000 pieces of art, including the Mona Lisa.
Paris France has a dark side also. While taking Paris tours check out the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise and le Catacombes. The cemetery includes the remains of Chopin, Moliere, Gertrude Stein, Jim Morrison, and the much kissed tomb of Oscar Wilde. Le Catacombes is an underground corridor made up of the bones of millions of Parisians are stacked after being exhumed from their graves to solve a hygiene problem in the late 18th century.
The Eiffel Tower is an impressive sight in Paris France worth getting close to. Lie in the grass at the Champs de mars and gaze at the steel structure. Ascend the tower for spectacular views of Paris. At least once on your stay, return at night with a bottle of Merlot to watch the spectacular light display. The Eiffel Tower tops out at over 1,000 feet, containing 2 restaurants, a souvenir shop, a post office (for that one of a kind postmark), snack bar, and a viewing area. The world famous Eiffel Tower is a mass of iron designed by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition of 1889 and was the tallest structure in the world until 1930, when New York's Chrysler building surpassed it. The Paris tower faced criticism, especially from the artistic community of Paris, calling the structure a "truly tragic street lamp." Allegedly, Guy de Maupassant ate lunch on the lower level of the Paris tower everyday because it was the only view of the city in which he couldn't see it. The critics were slowly silenced as 2 million visitors ascended the tower 1889. Today, the Eiffel Tower is an icon of Paris, and is embraced by the city.
France vacations often include the town of Marseille, with its charming street markets, old port, and historic sections. Stout supporters of the revolution, Louis the XIV built two fortresses on the port, with guns facing the city. In addition, France's national anthem is called La Marseilles, named from the soldiers chanting the tune as the marched to Paris. Normandy is an historic area of France. Home to the D-Day beaches, as well as many charming and picturesque towns. Joan of Arch was burned in Rouen, an ancient, inland town with superb medieval buildings and museums. Mont-St-Michael bay contains a beautiful seascape, with a 264 feet granite wall. Most France vacations include a stop on the French Rivera. It has a plethora of jet set towns including Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez. I'll cover Nice France in depth, below. Bordeaux is home to amazing French wine and Lyon is a historic and well located metropolis, perfect for blitzing into Switzerland, Italy, and the Alps.
Nice France, on the French Riviera, has narrow lanes, markets, and all the enchantments of France, including art, food, and gorgeous architecture. Nice features pebbly beaches, and the sun kissed weather of the Mediterranean. In town you'll find picturesque buildings, art museums, and good hotels. Favored by aristocrats during the Victorian period, Nice France is now a popular destination for a multitude of travelers, and offers a variety of things to do and see, as well as its beautiful beaches. The modern art museum has a collection of art from 1950 onward. The Cathedrale Ste-Reparate, from the 17th century, has an 18th century bell tower, and a ceramic tile dome. Cours Salega in Nice France is a famed street, with 18th century houses, plane trees, and a daily market. The Cote d'Azur, and Nice France is a popular destination during France vacations.