Any visit to France has to include certain sights and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower or the lavender fields of Provence. While the well known attractions of France are well worth a visit, sticking to the standard tourist trail means that you will miss some of the other brilliant things France has to offer. Here are some of the alternative sights you can visit for a different French experience.
The Camargue region in the south of France is a wildlife haven like no other. Exploring the area by car will offer you an idea of the sheer size of the salt marshes which are home to hundreds of animals. You will get a chance to admire the flamingos preening in the marshlands with white horses cantering across the plains of the region in the background and a walk in Pont De Gau’s bird park is the highlight of the area.
France’s most well known cathedral is Notre Dame in Paris and is extremely impressive. However, the Amiens Cathedral is the size of two Notre Dame’s and its gothic craftsmanship is just as impressive. The famous local macarons, a recipe unchanged for generations, and hot chocolate will give you the energy you need to explore this gothic masterpiece.
Paris Sewer Museum
While tourists flock to the Catacombs in Paris for a chance to see the resting place of the kings and queens of France, they are missing out on an opportunity to explore the underground of Paris in the Sewer Museum. While it may not sound like the most appealing attraction, the museum plunges you into the stinking bowels of Paris and oddly enough, is well worth a visit.
Lourdes is a famous Christian pilgrimage spot with thousands coming to the city every year to seek the healing help of Mary. The holy water here is famed for its healing qualities and has said to have cured many afflictions in the past. Tourist shops all over town sell ornamental bottles that you can take home with you or alternatively you can take your holy water directly from the source as the nuns and priests do.
The tallest cable stayed bridge in the world and barely a decade old, the Millau Viaduct is a true wonder of the modern age. You can drive across it in your car for some amazing views that will make you feel like you’re flying but the best views to be had are those from underneath at the visitors centre. If you’re considering renting a car for this journey, compare car rental prices in France online for the best deals.
Mer De Glace
Jumping onto the Montenevers railway from Chamonix and you’ll not be disappointed. The surrounding scenery is some of the most spectacular you’ll find anywhere in the Alps and this area is well visited by those who come for winter sports. When you finally arrive at Montenevers, take a trip to France’s largest glacier via the cable cars and wander through the man made ice caves with their eerie lighting.