Take a look inside the FRANCE Calendar 2019, brought to you by FRANCE Magazine, and discover the beautiful images of France we have chosen for you – order your calendar today!
Cover: Quai Saint-Étienne, Honfleur, Normandy
Choosing the cover image was the hardest part of putting together this year’s calendar. After all, how do you decide on a single image to sum up such a diverse country? Much humming and ha’ing later, we settled for the idyllic Quai Saint- Étienne in Honfleur. The 17th-century quay and its sunny waterside cafés is the perfect spot to enjoy an al-fresco apéro on a lazy summer afternoon.
January: Château de Montreuil-Bellay
We couldn’t make a calendar about France without including an enchanting château. January’s picture is an aerial shot of the dreamy spires of the Château de Montreuil-Bellay, listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. The château, situated around 15km south of Saumur, overlooks the Thouet Valley.
February: Cala di l’Achiarinu, Corsica
If the winter blues have got you dreaming of sunnier climes, look no further than February’s stunning seascape: Cala di l’Achiarinu, part of Corsica’s Lavezzi Archipelago. Consisting of small, uninhabited granite islands, the islands are popular with swimmers and snorkellers thanks to their clear azure waters.
March: Arras, Pas-de-Calais
Both the town square of Arras and the March page of our calendar are dominated by the great 77-metre-high bell tower of the Hôtel de Ville, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005. It’s not the only building of interest in this beautiful historic town; don’t miss the ornate Théâtre National or the Benedictine Abbaye Saint-Vaast.
Who can resist a Plus Beau Village? Not us, that’s for sure. The star of April is the village of Conques, located on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The main attraction for Medieval pilgrims was the Abbey-Church of Saint-Foy, where the remains of a fourth-century martyr, Saint Faith, lie. The village’s name derives from the Latin ‘concha’, meaning ‘shell’.
May: Chartres Cathedral
If you’ve ever paid a visit to the Unesco World Heritage Site of Chartres Cathedral, the chances are that you’ll have tried to navigate the famous labyrinth. The hypnotic 13th-century maze is said to symbolise the path from Earth towards God.
June: Mystery Picture
A gorgeous marketplace filled with a rainbow of flowers: lys, glaïeuls, hortensias. 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 2019 calendar.
If there’s one smell synonymous with summer in France, it has to be lavender; that’s why we thought this striking image of the flowers being harvested was perfect for our July page. The Valensole plateau, with meadow upon meadow of the purple plants, is well worth a visit for photographers keen to snap that quintessential image of Provence.
August: Grand Veymont
The sunny south coast of France may be the main draw for tourists in August, but the Alps make an equally worthy alternative for the thrill-seeker. Make like the ibex in our picture and hike the Grand Veymont, the highest point of the Massif du Vercors. In the distance is the distinctive Mont Aiguille; when it was first climbed in 1492, it was said to mark the birth of mountaineering.
September: Palace of Versailles
The wedding-cake-style Latona Fountain is one of the must-see sights on a visit to Versailles. We chose it for this month as its former resident, Louis XIV, died on 1 September 1715. The fountain, adorned with golden frogs, turtles and alligators, is topped by the goddess Latona, who turned the Lycean peasants into frogs when they refused to give her water, according to the myth.
October: Château de Mesnil-Glaise
The trees are turning amber, the days are getting shorter: by October, autumn is well and truly here. We loved this Normandy château, flanked by the River Orne at one side and a Grande-Randonnée walking route at the other.
November: Tévennec Lighthouse
This lighthouse stands guard over the strait between Brittany and the Ile de Sein. It’s not just a pretty picture; we love it because of its curious backstory too. Before the structure was even built, the rocky outcrop where it sits was said to be home to Ankou, the Breton name for the Grim Reaper, and locals would take their dead their by boat. After the lighthouse was built in 1875, its keepers were haunted by mysterious voices, tormented by poltergeists and eventually subjected to terrifying deaths.
December: Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
In the fourth arrondissement is this picturesque quay, around 500m long, that traces the north bank of the Seine. It makes for part of a great cycle ride, as the lady in our picture shows.
Forward Planner: Montbrun-les-Bains
We always love seeing your pictures, and we regularly feature our favourites in the magazine as part of our monthly photo competition. This snap, from reader Graham Parsons in Nailsea, Somerset, shows off the Plus Beau Village of Montbrun-les-Bains. The commune is renowned for its healing thermal waters, said to help with rheumatisms and respiratory diseases since Roman times.
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/M459 or call 01858 438832 and quote the code MFCM1459.