Now, as you’ve noticed, I’ve done many of these “travel bucket list” posts before. From Europe (Parts 1 and 2) to Asia (Parts 1 and 2)to the world, there are so many places that I have yet to visit in my mere twenty-few years on this earth.
However, considering that I’m back in France for the second year this time around, it has occurred to me that, aside from gallivanting off to other places around in Europe, it’s also a good idea to stay within the country and see what it has to offer for me. Granted, I’ve visited many of the cities so far (including some 80-plus of them last year, big and small), but there still remains so much to be seen out there.
That said, I’ve decided to compile a list of places that I would still like to visit in France. From the big and touristy to the smaller, lesser-known ones, I believe that this particular country has lots to offer in terms of nature, architecture, and overall beauty. Really, there’s so much more to it besides Paris.
Without further ado, let’s go!
My Bucket List for France
1. Gorges du Verdon. Known as the “Grand Canyon of France,” the gorges du Verdon (“Verdon Gorges”) home to a massive river canyon that stretches up to 25 meters long and is famous for its beautiful, turquoise-blue waters. Located in the southeastern part of France, it has a sort of isolated beauty to it, especially since it’s not really near any big cities (closest being Castellane, a middle-sized town). I’d loved to visit it someday, especially when it’s warm weather, to hike along the cliffs and try my luck with rowing in that amazing, blue river.
2. Chateaux of the Loire Valley. This refers to the cluster of castles (chateaux) which are located in and around central France. With well-known ones situated in small towns such as Amboise, Blois, and Tours, they are stunning pieces of architecture which date all the way back to the 16th century. Such castles are commonly visited via trips from Paris, with people renting cars to get there, since the castles are quite spread out from each other. Granted, I don’t drive in Europe, so it’ll be a problem, but all the same I can look into day-trip tours since I’m making it my mission to visit them sometime this year. We’ll see!
3. Orléans. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea why Orléans appeals to me: perhaps it’s the fact that one of my French friends studied and lived there for a while or maybe that New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States is named after it, hence American ties. While I don’t have any clue what there’s to do in the city, it might be a good stopover to and from other cities in France- why not?
4. Grenoble. Located at the foot of the French Alps, it’s no wonder that this southeastern city is known as the “Capital of the Alps” in France. With views of the snow-capped mountains against the backdrop of the city, Grenoble is certainly a picturesque destination to consider checking out. Plus, it’s very close to the border with Switzerland and Italy, so making trips over there is very doable! I actually know some people living around the Grenoble area, so I just might have to pay them a visit!
5. Amiens. Now actually, I had plans to visit this city back in April towards the end of my first-year teaching contract- however, it never materialized. That said, I’m still interested in visiting Amien, located between Lille and Paris in the Picardy region and is home to the largest cathedral in France. Fun fact: French author Jules Verne, author of Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days lived in this city for a while until his death, and so the city is sort of dedicated to him. Perhaps it would be a pleasant weekend getaway, since I’ve never visited the Picardy region!
6. Carcassonne. Located about halfway between Toulouse and Montpellier in the south of France, Carcassonne is famous for its medieval fortress, which surround the entire town, well-preserved in history literally and figuratively. It’s the epitome of medieval France, with its architecture and atmosphere seemingly taking you back to the the Middle Ages. I didn’t get the chance to visit this place whilst traveling in Toulouse and Montpellier last year, but if I ever return to either places again, I would make the effort to head over to Carcassonne for a day trip!
7. Cherbourg. Just like with Orléans, I’m not exactly sure what there is to see in this Normandy city- all I know about it is that it’s along the coast (La Manche, or the “English Coast”) and was made famous by the 60’s French musical film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (which I watched back in high school) and the RMS Titanic, which had docked there back in 1912 before sailing off to Ireland. Considering that I live in the Normandy region, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to explore more of it in depth; granted, Cherbourg’s a bit out of my way, but why not check out the port and be near the sea, albeit in a different area? Worth a shot!
…all right, that’s about it for my French bucket list! What are some places that you would like to visit in France? Have you visited any of these places listed in this post? Let me know!
— The Finicky Cynic
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