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Top 10 Beautiful Places in France – #NotATourist

Thursday, June 11, 2015
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As part of the #NotATourist Campaign with Visa, we will be sharing stories, articles and tips on destinations across the world.

The NotATourist campaign is designed to inspire travel beyond the regular tourist sites to savour truly local experiences that are the essence of making a destination unique. The campaign is there to help travellers explore destinations as local inhabitants – not as tourists – by providing local knowledge using crowdsourced digital content that is showcased on Visa’s NotATourist website and the Visa Explore mobile app. NotATourist also offers travellers a platform to describe the many facets of a destination by sharing their own images, videos, posts and comments, making them ambassadors or tour guides of their favourite travel spots.

To participate in #NotATourist all you need to do is use the hashtag and tag @visamiddleeast for us to find you and we will share your stories and images.

The campaign invites users to share content on social media using the hashtag ‘#NotATourist’ and will give participants a chance to win a weekly prize of US$500 for submitting pictures, videos or tips on how to find ‘secret’ and little-known spots or experiences in key travel destinations. In August, Visa will announce two Ultimate #NotATourist content contributors who will each be awarded a travel package worth US$5000.

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Top 10 Beautiful Places in France – #NotATourist

With Bouchra Benhalima

You know how Audrey Hepburn made that line famous for a reason… ‘Paris is always a good idea’, but there are also beautiful places in France that has not been given much credit too and well, here are few of the top 10 Beautiful Places in France.

 

1. Visit Hossegor

Located in the west side of France, near city of Biarritz, the small beach town of Hossegor is a surfer’s paradise. The waves are known as some of the best in the country, and Hossegor regularly hosts some of the biggest surfing competitions in Europe. The city is surrounded by a multitude of charming camping sites, as well as several cycling lanes where you can explore the area or simply bike around in the forest.

2. Provence

Provence is a gorgeous landscape of olive groves, sun-drenched rolling hills, and deep purple lavender fields, with little villages nestled in the valleys and perched on rocky outcrops. The vibrant scenery has enchanted many famous artists, including Cézanne, Matisse, Chagall, and Picasso. Provence is a perfect blend of rustic natural beauty and country charm where the art de vivre is a way of life.
Aix-en-Provence is the most important market town. Arles has fascinating ancient ruins and traditional festivals. Avignon was the medieval city of popes. Even the tiny villages, like Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Saint-Rémy, and Gordes, have amazing historic sites, fantastic museums, and an irresistibly quaint ambiance.

3. Loire Valley

An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Loire Valley is also affectionately known as the garden of France. The valley spans over 280 km and is located in the beautiful middle stretch of the Loire River in central France.
Known for its large collection of fairytale-esque chateaux and mansions, exceptionally beautiful landscapes and one of the most striking rivers in Europe the Loire Valley is a gentle but most definitely bourgeois paradise.

Where to stay   Château des Briottières

The Château des Briottières is in the heart of the Loire Valley, situated at the west end of the Châteaux of the Loire circuit this 18th century family château is one of the most beautiful in the region.

4. Explore French Riviera

Visit breathtaking St. Tropez which is the essence of the Riviera, and the Principality of Monaco.

Don’t forget to take a side trip to Nice, the capital of the Riviera, which is home to the incredible Matisse Museum.

There are numerous charming and scenic seaside resorts including:  Fréjus, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cap-d’Ail, Sainte Maxime, Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Raphaël and Juan-les-Pins.

FRENCH RIVEIRA

 

5. Visit the library Shakeaspeare and co. Paris

One of the best English-language bookstores in the world (and it’s a three-minute walk from Notre Dame ). During the 1920s, it was a gathering place for writers such as Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. Inside, it looks like the bookshop in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, complete with wooden ladders to reach the top shelves. SO MANY BOOKS.

6. Just wander around Paris in a bicycle

Especially in the Quartier Latin and Le Marais. Wandering around is one of the greatest joys of the City of Lights, just getting lost in all the beauty and coming upon something or someone unexpected.
The view from the steps of Le Panthéon at night when it’s raining softly. It’s like magic, so incredibly beautiful!

7. Dune of Pilat, Arachon Bay

The tallest sand dune in Europe.

Not only is the coastal panorama from the top of Europe’s largest sand dune a stunner – it takes in the Banc d’Arguin bird reserve and Cap Ferret across the bay – but the nearby beaches have some of the Atlantic Coast’s best surf.

8. Rocamadour, Quercy
The town is built on a steep rocky wall of the valley side and is world-famous for its Rocamadour cheese.

ROCAMANDOUR QERCY

9. The Three Corniches, Nice
It is impossible to drive this dramatic trio of coastal roads, each one higher and more hairpin bend–riddled than the next, without conjuring up cinematic images of Grace Kelly, Hitchcock, the glitz of Monaco high life, and scandalous royals. To make a perfect day out of it, before leaving Nice, shop for a picnic at the morning market on Cours Saleya.

THREE CORNICHE NICE

10. Provençal Markets

No region is more of a market-must than this one. Provence thrives on a bounty of fresh produce – grown locally and piled high each morning at the market. Every town and village has one, but those in Carpentras and Aix-en-Provence are the best known. While you’re here, stock up on dried herbs, green and black olives marinated a dozen different ways, courgette flowers and oils.

PROVENCE

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