(top photo : gorges du Verdon)
One of the advantages of this damn Covid-19 is that it forced me to discover my country, France! And yes, no more trips to Mexico or Australia, when you’re stuck in the country of Napoleon and Gérard Depardieu, you might as well make the most of it!
Afterwards, it’s true that I can’t complain, there are worse places to be stuck. Here is a ranking of my favourite places I have been able to visit so far in my own country of birth. I’d rather tell you that I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve already visited quite a few places.
I think it’s a pretty good mix between nature and cultural stuff…
1. Mont Saint-Michel (try to spend the night near there and watch the sunrise)
2. Gorges du Verdon (forget about the kayak trip, the good stuff is a drive through the impressive canyons)
3. Strasbourg cathedral + the Alsace Wine Route
4. Rocamadour (+ pretty much the whole ‘région du Lot’)
5. Baume-les-messieurs (a village nestled at the bottom of a valley between two huge cliffs)
6. Annecy Lake (paragliding !!!)
7. Le Pont d’Arc (The Arch Bridge); a natural limestone arch carved by the Ardèche River
8. Yvoire, Haute-Savoie (on the other side of the lake you can see Switzerland)
9. The Gouffre de Padirac (an impressive cave)
10. The Pont du Gard (go there from Nîmes; also a nice town to visit)
- Lac de Monteynard-Avignonet
- Lac de Serre-Ponçon : fantastic place if you like paragliding, camping, trekking… (I stumbled upon it by chance, why haven’t I heard about it before?)
- Loire Valley Châteaux (not my favorite region – too flat for me; but I must say that the castles are magnificent.)
- Cluny (near my hometown)
- Lyon – the old town is nice, a good alternative to Paris
- Medieval town of Provins – a nice day trip from Paris
- Vézelay (a UNESCO Heritage Site in northern Burgundy)
- Fougères, Brittany
- Gordes, Vaucluse
- Les Baux-de-Provence
Places I didn’t like and/or found overrated :
- Bordeaux : nice city, plenty of awesome wine bars but jam-packed of ‘punk à chien’ (street beggars). The surrounding area must be pretty nice, though.
- Paris : yeah I guess it’s a must see place but I live nearby and it’s getting more and more ghetto each year. (+ Notre Dame was burned down and to be honest I don’t think it was an accident)
- Lille : been there on my way to Bruges. Meh. Bruges is freaking impressive though (a MUST SEE in Europe in my opinion)
- Les Falaises d’Étretat (Cliffs of Etretat) : not that bad but nothing special.
- Nancy : nothing to visit there, forget about it
- Carnac : you can see megaliths there… yeah, small rocks. Boring.
Places I haven’t visited yet (but want to):
- Côte d’Azur (only been there as a kid) – a road trip along the Mediterranean coast sound pretty awesome
- Calanques National Park (near Marseille)
- Beynac-et-Cazenac and others villages of Dordogne (also been there as a kid but I don’t remember it)
- the Cirque de Gavarnie (Pyrénées)
- The Volcanos of Auvergne
- Chamonix and the Mont Blanc
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any question!