French Summer Spots to Explore According to a Local

Jasmina Hinovic

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France is a renowned summer destination for a plethora of reasons. This beautiful country hides an inexhaustible supply of stunning landscapes and interesting places to visit. From its sandy beaches to its rich culture and heritage, there's something for everyone in France during the summer months.

Not only does France offer an array of amazing attractions, but the food here is unbeatable. From fresh seafood to delectable pastries, you'll definitely enjoy French cuisine while spending your summer vacation in the country.

To help you plan your trip, here are ten French summer spots you can explore:

1. The French Riviera

The French Riviera, also known as the Cote d'Azur, is one of the most popular summer destinations in France. This stretch of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea is renowned for its beautiful weather and stunning beaches. Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities during their stay on the French Riviera, from swimming and sunbathing to hiking and exploring the many picturesque villages in the area.

The coastline also offers some of the best views in the country. Make sure to take a drive along the Grande Corniche, a scenic road that winds its way along the cliffs of the French Riviera. The Grande Corniche (Upper Corniche) was built by Napoleon I and it offers breathtaking panoramas of the Mediterranean Sea.

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2. The Normandy Coast

The Normandy Coast is another popular summer destination in France. This beautiful coastline, located in the northwestern part of the country, offers stunning views of the English Channel. There are plenty of things to do on the Normandy Coast, from swimming and sunbathing to exploring the many quaint villages.

One of the most popular attractions on the Normandy Coast is Mont-Saint-Michel, a beautiful medieval abbey that sits atop a rocky island just off the coast. Another must-see attraction is the D-Day beaches, where Allied troops landed on June 6th, 1944 during World War II.

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3. Paris

Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason! The City of Light is teeming with art, culture, fashion, food, and history. While Paris can be enjoyed any time of year, summer is definitely the best time to visit. The weather is warm and sunny, the days are long, and there's always something going on.

There are so many things to do in Paris during the summer months! Stroll through the Tuileries Garden, people watch the Champs-Elysees, enjoy a picnic in one of the city's many parks, or take a boat ride down the River Seine. Of course, you can also spend your days exploring world-famous museums like the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, shopping at chic boutiques, or dining at some of the best restaurants in the world.

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4. Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a beautiful city located in southwest France. It is known for its incredible wine and stunning architecture. The most popular time to visit Bordeaux is during the summer, when the weather is warm and sunny.

There are plenty of things to do in Bordeaux during the summer months. Visitors can explore the city's many historic landmarks, such as the Place de la Bourse, the Grand Theatre, and the Cathedral of Saint-Andre. Or, they can take a leisurely stroll through one of the city's many parks or gardens. Of course, no trip to Bordeaux would be complete without tasting some of the world-renowned wine produced in the region.

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5. The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is located in central France and it is known for its beautiful countryside and stunning castles. This region is a popular summer destination for visitors who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The most famous castle in the Loire Valley is Chateau de Chenonceau, which was built in the 16th century. Other popular attractions include the Chateau de Chambord, the Chateau de Cheverny, and the Chateau de Villandry.

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6. Strasbourg

Strasbourg is a beautiful city located in northeastern France, on the border with Germany. It is known for its stunning architecture, its lively nightlife scene, and its proximity to some of Europe's best wine regions. Strasbourg is a popular summer destination for visitors who want to experience all that France has to offer.

Visitors can take a day trip to one of the nearby wine regions, such as Alsace or Champagne. For history lovers, there are plenty of museums and historic landmarks to explore, such as the Strasbourg Cathedral and the Palais Rohan. Or, visitors can simply enjoy a leisurely stroll through the city's many parks and squares.

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7. Corsica

Corsica is a beautiful island located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of France. It is known for its stunning beaches, its clear blue waters, and its relaxed atmosphere. Corsica is a popular summer destination for visitors who want to enjoy the sun and the sea.

Corsica's most popular beaches are located on the east coast of the island, in the town of Calvi. Other popular towns include Ajaccio, Bonifacio, and Porto-Vecchio. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, sailing, fishing, and more. There are also plenty of hiking trails and mountain biking trails to explore.

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8. Nice

Nice is a beautiful city located on the French Riviera. It is known for its stunning coastline, its sunny weather, and its lively atmosphere. Nice is a popular summer destination for visitors who want to enjoy the sun and the sea.

The most popular beach in Nice is the Promenade des Anglais, which stretches for over two kilometers along the city's coastline. Other popular attractions include the Old Town (Vieille Ville), the Marc Chagall Museum, and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption.

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9. Cannes

Cannes is a beautiful city located on the French Riviera. It is known for its film festival, its luxury hotels, and its sandy beaches. Cannes is a popular summer destination for visitors who want to experience the glamour and excitement of the film festival.

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. It takes place every year in May, and it attracts celebrities, filmmakers, and movie fans from all over the world. Other popular attractions in Cannes include the Palais des Festivals et des Congres, the Promenade de la Croisette, and the Le Suquet.

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10. Provence

Provence is a beautiful region located in southeastern France. It is known for its lavender fields, its picturesque villages, and its Roman ruins. Provence is a popular summer destination for visitors who want to experience the beauty of the French countryside.

There are many things to see and do in Provence. Visitors can explore the region's many villages, such as Gordes, Roussillon, and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Or, they can visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pont du Gard. For history lovers, there are plenty of Roman ruins to explore, such as the arena in Arles and the aqueduct in Orange.

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Jasmina Hinovic is a marketing specialist and a contributor to Buzzfeed, Hackernoon, and Vocal Media where she covers topics on business, travel, influencers, and lifestyle. Her love for languages has led her to complete her studies in Jaen, Spain.

New York, NY
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