The Most Beautiful Places To Visit in France – Sail+Leisure
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The Most Beautiful Places To Visit in France

by Ingrid Hale
beautiful places in France

France has some of the most beautiful places to visit. Whether you choose a seaside town or meandering fields of Lavender, there is something for everyone. France’s exceptionally diverse attractions add up to a joyous fête of unimaginable marvels. CN Traveller lists their top 15 favourites.

PLATEAU DE VALENSOLE, PROVENCE

When it comes to lavender, timing is everything: to experience the full sniff-and-swoon effect of a glorious field of purple stalks, visit in June and July, when the flowers are abuzz with bees. Explore lesser-known spots such as Sault or Forcalquier and keep an eye out for roadside farmers’ stands, which are the real deal for honey and fragrant lavender by-products. Try a stress-busting lavender-oil-based massage at the L’Occitane spa at boutique hotel Le Couvent des Minimes, set in an elegantly restored 17th-century convent.

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SAINT-JEAN-CAP-FERRAT, COTE D’AZUR

Wedged between Nice and Monaco, this secluded 2.48-square-kilometre finger of privileged land is much more than a luxurious enclave of security-gated mansions. In this quiet, wind-sheltered village where just about anything will grow, there’s a splendid rocky footpath along the shimmering sea to explore, plus a national museum in the extravagant turn-of-the-century gardens at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, ablaze with exotic blooms. No wonder the likes of Somerset Maugham, Matisse, Chagall and Cocteau set up house here; for a taste of that timeless splendour, book a sun lounger at the Olympic-sized pool of Le Club Dauphin at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat Four Seasons.

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MENTON, COTE D’AZUR

Sheltered by a circle of mountains, this tranquil town flush with the Italian border still conjures a Dolce Vita vintage postcard – the gentle curve of beach, sorbet-coloured stacked houses and the baroque bell-tower church set in the cobblestoned backstreets are just the beginning. On the palm-fringed café-lined seafront, black-vested waiters dodge traffic, balancing trays of Aperol Spritz; at the end of the promenade, the curvy Ricciotti-designed Jean Cocteau Museum glitters in the sun like a white diamond. After a wander through the city’s subtropical gardens and emblematic lemon groves, book lunch at three-Michelin-star Mirazur, where chef Mauro Colagreco dishes up pure poetry on a plate.

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MEGEVE, THE ALPS

Once a sleepy agricultural tannery town, this exclusive sunlit resort, launched by Baroness Noémie de Rothschild to rival Saint Moritz a century ago, still draws an affluent crowd who come for a fix of old-fashioned charm. Surrounded by majestic peaks and views of Mont Blanc, Megève’s storybook atmosphere – snow-covered pines, jingling horse-drawn carriages, an illuminated cobblestone main square – is also a joy in summer, when the hiking trails are dotted with wildflowers. Book a stay at Les Fermes de Marie, the town’s uber-stylish 70-room hamlet of Alpine farmhouses, and get slathered with edelweiss-derived beauty products at its Pure Altitude Spa.

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Read more:

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