Ooh La La! The 10 Most Beautiful Views of France
More than any other country, it seems, France was created with the Instagram-ready shot in mind. Consider the figures: There are more than 2,000 miles of shoreline on the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and English Channel coasts — rugged, sandy, rocky, woodsy, and lined with astonishing vistas of sweeping seas, cottony waves, or dramatic cliffs. There are seven major mountain ranges containing some 361 ski areas, and most of them turn into hikeable sloping ravines carpeted with wildflowers in summertime. There are 74,500 miles of local trails, and along the way, most have views that will make you gasp in reverence and awe. And then there are the urban vistas, and a city’s river ways and rooftops are often one short but steep climb away, and visible from on high. There are sighworthy panoramas from perched villages, former fortress towns that roost on the edge of cliffs and overlook expanses of valleys and plains.
So reach for your camera — here are our picks for 10 of France’s most jaw-dropping views.
The Eiffel Tower reflected in the Seine (Photo: Thinkstock)
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most photogenic icons in the world: perfect from every angle. Illuminated in the evening, it is particularly gorgeous when it sparkles for five minutes every hour. Nowhere is the view more beautiful than from a boat on the Seine, when the tower shimmers both above Paris and in its reflection in the river.
Le Mont Saint-Michel, in Normandy (Photo: Denis Cappellin/Flickr)
Le Mont Saint-Michel one of the Best Views in France
As beautiful as Le Mont Saint-Michel is to visit, like many iconic buildings, the Norman abbey on a granite rock in the Channel is almost more beautiful from a distance. At the turn of the 20th century, a French politician called the seaside route by Champeaux, between Avranches and Granville, the “most beautiful kilometer in France,” and the name stuck. From this vantage point on the northeastern coast of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay is one of the most ethereal views of the abbey, looking like a castle adrift in the sea.
The view from Nice’s Colline du Château (Photo: David Baron/Flickr)