8 of the most romantic places in France
France is famous for its romantic places and as a destination for starry-eyed lovers. Here are our favourite 8, from its fabulous capital Paris to the little village of St-Valentin
The capital is home to some of France’s most recognisable buildings and monuments, all with that undeniable ‘je ne sais quoi’, and from classical to quirky. From the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, Mona Lisa in the Louvre to the bustling flea markets or infamous Père Lachaise cemetery, and the glamorous Champs-Elysées, not to mention the awe-inspiring Château de Versailles, there’s something to appeal to every taste.
If you’re looking for fairytale turrets, they don’t come much more enchanting than the citadel at Carcassonne in Languedoc-Roussillon. If they seem almost too ‘Disney’ for a medieval stronghold, that’s probably because the Cité was renovated by architect Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century, having fallen into disrepair. Nowadays the narrow cobbled streets are lined with tourist boutiques and restaurants, and the pretty squares are a lovely place to sit with a coffee or a glass of wine on a sunny day – in winter head inside for a warming cassoulet by the fire.
With its winding canals, historic half-timbered and stone buildings, azure lake and mountain backdrop, Annecy is almost too good to be true. Whether relaxing on the lake’s shores, boating on its waters, exploring the charming streets or sampling one of the many restaurants, Annecy is always a romantic place to be.
Also known as the ‘Garden of France’ due to its lush vineyards and orchards, this is where French kings chose to build their finest châteaux, many on the banks of the Loire itself. One of France’s best-loved rivers, and over 1,000km long, it rises in the Rhône-Alpes and enters the Atlantic’s Bay of Biscay at St-Nazaire, but it is the middle stretch that is best known for its châteaux, including Amboise, Chambord, Chinon, Rivau, Ussé, Villandry and Chenonceau.
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5 The Riviera
The location for many a honeymoon, the glamorous Med coast offers a choice of resorts, each with their own appeal, including the world-renowned towns of Cannes, St Tropez, and Antibes. Lovers seeking a more peaceful vibe should head inland to the charming villages of the Provençal hills.
6 Mont St-Michel
Rising almost mystically out of the waters off the Normandy coast, the island of Mont St-Michel is one of France’s most recognisable and visited landmarks. This natural site was developed by man to worship God, with the abbey and monastery at the top, the great halls below, then stores and housing, and at the bottom, outside the walls, fishermen and farmers’ housing.
Known as the ‘village of love’ the village of St-Valentin, in Indre in the Centre region, hosts an annual St-Valentin Festival, with houses decorated with red hearts and celebrations in a huge marquee. You can get married in the gazebo in the Lovers’ Garden, pin love notes on the Tree of Vows or Tree of Eternal Hearts and and buy romance-themed stamps from La Poste.
8 Cap D’Adge
If you don’t want anything to come between you and your loved one, why not throw off your inhibitions (and clothes) and get naked with your other half in Europe’s largest naturist resort!
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