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Take a magical journey through France with the FRANCE Calendar 2020

PUBLISHED: 16:50 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:23 17 October 2019

Josselin on a gorgeous, summery evening is our cover star. Pic: Emmanuel Berthier/Hemis.fr

Josselin on a gorgeous, summery evening is our cover star. Pic: Emmanuel Berthier/Hemis.fr

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Take a look inside the FRANCE Calendar 2020, brought to you by FRANCE Magazine, and discover the beautiful images of France we have chosen for you. Order your calendar today!

JANUARY: Les Calanques, Bouches-du-Rhône

Ten miles from Marseille, far from the hustle and bustle of the spirited port city, sits one of France's natural wonders: Les Calanques. A calanque is a limestone inlet and this part of the Mediterranean coast is studded with them. The Massif des Calanques spans 20km from Marseille to La Ciotat and became France's 10th national park in 2012. It's a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking and rock climbing being two of the most popular pursuits. If you don't fancy lacing up your walking boots, take a boat tour from Marseille's Vieux Port to enjoy these magnificent cliffs from a different perspective.

FEBRUARY: Monet's Water Garden, Giverny, Eure

Paris-born Impressionist painter Claude Monet was best-known for his Nymphéas, or Water Lilies, series, featuring some 250 oil paintings. His inspiration was the resplendent water garden at his home in Normandy, a horticultural treasure trove bursting with colour. His fascination with Japan is reflected in the green footbridge and oriental plants that take centre stage in many of his works. He began painting the Nymphéas in 1897, despite suffering from cataracts at the time, and continued until his death in 1926. His house and gardens are now the second-most popular visitor attraction in Normandy after Mont Saint-Michel, welcoming over 600,000 art lovers every year.

Monet's beautiful garden is resplendent in spring. Pic: Arnaud Chicurel/Hemis.frMonet's beautiful garden is resplendent in spring. Pic: Arnaud Chicurel/Hemis.fr

MARCH: Place Masséna, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes

Nice's historic main square was named after André Masséna, a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The square was constructed between 1843-44 and now hosts many important events including the city's carnival and the Bastille Day military Procession. It's a stone's throw from the famed Promenade des Anglais and within easy reach of the old town.

APRIL: Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole, 4th arrondissement

This wisteria-adorned pavement café and bistro is as popular with photographers as it is with gourmets thanks to its picture-perfect exterior. You'll find its romantic, pastel-green façade barely 100m from the Notre-Dame. Perch at one of the outside tables to enjoy a coffee and a spot of people-watching, or head inside and tuck into some traditional and well-cooked French cuisine like oeuf cocotte or magret de canard.

MAY: A 2CV meandering through Vaucluse

Is there another French car as iconic as the Citroën 2CV? We couldn't resist including this adorable automobile in our calendar - and all the better that it's pictured alongside another French stalwart, lavender. The 2CV, which means 'deux chevaux-vapeur', or two steam horses, was designed by Citroën vice president Pierre Boulanger as a means of economically accessible transport for the farmers of the 1930s, many of whom were still relying on horses and carts to get around.

The Citroen 2CV is a true French icon. Pic: Giradou Laurent/Hemis.frThe Citroen 2CV is a true French icon. Pic: Giradou Laurent/Hemis.fr

JUNE: ???

A sunny, bustling harbour filled with colourful boats and tourists. Do you recognise it? Enter our competition to 'Name that June' and you could win a copy of next year's FRANCE Calendar! Find out how to enter in the 2020 calendar.

JULY: Penne d'Agenais, Lot-et-Garonne

At one time this pretty medieval village was a stopping point on one of the pilgrimage paths to Santiago de Compostela. Richard the Lionheart also built a fortress here, making it the gateway to the Duchy of Guyenne. Nowadays the picturesque village is a great tourist draw; you have to visit the silver-domed basilica of the Notre-Dame de Peyragude, and a peaceful stroll around the narrow, cute streets is another must.

AUGUST: Mont Saint-Michel, Manche, Normandy

This year marks 40 years since Mont Saint-Michel was recognised by Unesco - and the tiny yet beautiful village at the foot of the fortified island is part of what makes it so special. There are only around 50 full-time residents but around 2.5 million visitors a year make the population swell. The island's crowning glory is the Romanesque-Gothic abbey complex, but the patchwork of cottages are also worth exploring.

Mont Saint-MichelMont Saint-Michel

SEPTEMBER: Château de Pierreclos, Saône-et-Loire

This private Monument Historique, nestled in the bucolic Burgundy countryside, boasts nine centuries of rich history. Nowadays it is well known as a winery and also has five bed-and-breakfast rooms. The Pidault family have owned the property since 1989 and have treated it to extensive refurbishments.

OCTOBER: Château de Villandry, Indre-et-Loire

One of France's most visited châteaux, the Château de Villandry is particularly renowned for its gardens; here, they're fittingly covered with pumpkins as Halloween approaches. Construction started on the château in the 16th century and finished in the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the château was threatened with demolition until 1906 when it was saved by Spanish doctor Joachim Carvallo and his partner Ann Coleman. The pair breathed new life into the château.

NOVEMBER: Château du Haut-Koenigsburg, Bas-Rhin

Haut-KoenigsbourgHaut-Koenigsbourg

Towering over the Vosges mountains in Alsace, to the west of Sélestat, is this majestic medieval castle. It is currently owned by the Bas-Rhin département, attracting around 500,000 tourists a year.

DECEMBER: Montenvers railway, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie

This iconic scarlet train cuts a distinctive figure as it winds its way through the French Alps from the elegant ski resort of Chamonix all the way to Montenvers. This rack-and-pinion railway began operating in 1908 and was the first purpose-built tourist attraction in the valley. The journey takes just 20 minutes, in which time you'll have climbed 1,000 metres in your comfortable carriage. The views during the ride are truly unbeatable, so don't forget to bring a camera! At the top stands the famous Mer de Glace ('Sea of Ice') glacier, the largest in France.

Enjoy these beautiful images every day with the FRANCE Calendar 2019. A single calendar costs £11.99, but if you order 4 or more they are only £8.99 each.

To order, visit www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/M452 or call 01858 438840 and quote code MFCM1452.

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