Valentine’s Day in France
Whether you’re happily loved-up or searching for that special someone, 14 February in France promises an inspiringly romantic getaway. We pick out France’s most romantic places
The City of Light is the classic choice to celebrate the Fête de la Saint Valentin, where a magical weekend can be spent, wondering hand-in-hand and admiring the city landscape. The Pont des Arts spanning the River Seine from the 1st to the 6th arrondissment is perfect for a stroll along the wooden slats – take in the cadenas d’amour (‘love padlocks’) engraved with lovers’ names and fixed to the railings, with each key thrown to the waters below as proof of eternal love. Enjoy a daytime picnic with Paris skyline as a backdrop, or take in the strains of the busking musicians under the light from the cast-iron streetlamps. Further north, Montmartre’s mur des je t’aime in the Square Jehan-Rictus sees more than 300 written declarations of love in 250 different languages as part of the artistic wall installation set up in 2000 (www.lesjetaime.com) as a dedication to love. Don’t let it rain on your parade should the weather turn – Paris’s many museums are an equally romantic affair. Try the Musée de la Vie Romantique (tel: (Fr) 1 55 31 95 67 / www.paris.fr) or the Musée Rodin (tel: (Fr) 1 44 18 61 10 / www.musee-rodin.fr) for a taste of romance à la française.
For romance outside the capital, why not visit the little village of Saint-Valentin in the département of Indre. Dubbed the village d’amour, here locals stay true to their namesake by decking out houses in red blooms and taking part in Valentine festivities. Visitors can enjoy a stroll in the Jardin des Amoureux and pin an amorous note on the Tree of Vows, or get a love letter stamped in the Saint Valentine post office.
Celebrations can also held in Burgundy, where in the town of Saint-Amour-de-Bellevue la Fête de l’Amour takes place on Friday 14 February. The evening programme consists of a church ceremony and concert, followed by cocktails and a candlelit dinner (www.saint-amour-bellevue.fr).