Have you ever wondered where to get the best views of France? We did, so we went to an expert. Below, Alexa shares five tips to discover breathtaking views in France, from serene countryside hikes to thrilling Alps skiing and from iconic city landmarks to scenic river cruises and picturesque vineyards.
From the scenic lavender fields of Provence to the art nouveau buildings of Paris, France has plenty of spectacular places that are as photogenic as they are diverse. The country also has its share of cosmopolitan cities, stunning countryside, and charming small towns – many dating as early as the 9th century.
In addition, France has some of the most remarkable natural attractions, from the white sandy beaches of the French Riviera to the snow-capped mountains of the Alps.
If you’re planning a trip to the country and want to visit some of its most beautiful sites, here are some ways to get the best views of France.
Where to see the best views in France
- Hiking in the Countryside
- Skiing in the Alps
- The Tourist Attractions in the Cities
- River Cruising
- The Vineyards
Hiking in the countryside
The French countryside boasts so much beauty, which you can best admire on a hike. Many of the trails are not that strenuous, which makes them suitable for all levels of hikers. Some trails allow you to enjoy a leisurely walk through pretty villages, others take you through the scenic vineyards of the country’s wine regions, and some include scaling the remarkably stunning mountains of the French Alps.
Hiking the Pilgrim’s Trail to Mont St. Michel is one of the best ways to capture the best views of France. It’s a fun 6.5 km walk starting at Bec d’Andaine before crossing across the sands of the beautiful Bay of Mont St. Michel. Since it requires walking along the bay, you can only attempt this hike during a low tide since the bay is infamous for having the highest tides in Europe.
Crossing the bay takes about two hours and will take you right to the doorstep of Mont St. Michel. Home to only forty-five permanent residents, it’s a magnificent landscape dominated by the majestic abbey.
If you have plenty of time, consider hiking along the Grand Traversee des Alpes. At over 600 kilometres long, it can take 25 to 35 days to complete. However, it is full of remarkably stunning views, including the most panoramic views of the French Alps. The trail begins in picturesque Lake Geneva and ends in the picturesque town of Nice.
Skiing in the Alps
The French Alps are home to some of the world’s most striking scenery, and the best way to soak up the views is on a skiing adventure. A skiing holiday in France with Sno is an incredible experience, providing an excellent way to get around and stay active.
Also, you can take advantage of late ski deals in France, a great way to see more of the country’s most fascinating mountain scenery.
For the best views of the iconic Mont Blanc, head to Chamonix, one of the prettiest ski resorts in the French Alps. It boasts a combination of unique terrains, picturesque mountain villages, and medieval history, making it one of Europe’s most appealing ski resorts.
In addition, the snow conditions of Chamonix are fantastic throughout the season, attracting skiers of all levels to its 150 kilometres of slopes.
Courchevel, a glamorous ski resort in the French Alps, is an excellent choice for those looking for a luxury ski holiday in France. Occupying four villages, Courchevel offers fantastic accommodation options, including luxury chalets.
On top of this, Courchevel has plenty of breathtaking viewpoints to admire the best views of the French Alps.
Tourist attractions in the cities
One of the best ways to enjoy great views of France is by visiting some of the top sightseeing spots in places like Paris. As one of the world’s top tourist destinations, France has many iconic landmarks you can best explore on a sightseeing tour.
Aside from Paris, cities like Nice and Marseille are home to the country’s most famous attractions.
If you’re visiting Paris for the first time, book a guided sightseeing tour to take you to places like the soaring Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Arc de Triomphe, the scenic Seine River, and the gleaming Louvre Museum. You can also book a quick day tour to famous destinations outside the city, such as Disneyland Paris and the Palace of Versailles.
If you want to visit other picturesque cities, venture into Nice. Nestled along the sparkling coast of the French Riviera, Nice is a gorgeous city with many interesting sites to see. On your sightseeing tour, visit the Promenade des Anglais, Castle Hill Park, Musée Matisse, and the Vieille Ville (Old Town).
River cruising in France
Cruising is one of the most relaxing ways to get a preview of the most beautiful views of France. And no matter which route or river you choose, you can expect fantastic views. For instance, one of the most excellent ways to get a marvellous view of the country is river cruising on the Saone or Rhone rivers.
The Seine is France’s most famous river, where most scenic cruises happen. However, many other rivers offer the best views of the French countryside, such as the Saone and Rhone, which flow from Switzerland into the Mediterranean.
Seine river cruises are best for anyone interested in admiring the iconic sights of Paris while discovering French culture and history. It often starts and ends in Paris and takes you into Normandy, Rouen, and Vernon. Some cruises include excursions to the fishing village of Honfleur, historic D-Day Landing Beaches, and Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent Van Gogh once lived.
The vineyards of France
Embarking on a journey through France’s pretty vineyards offers visitors some of the best views in France. Renowned for its prestigious vineyards, producing some of the world’s best wines, France is a haven for wine connoisseurs who want to indulge in the country’s most exquisite wines while exploring the most stunning vineyards.
Your choice of destination depends on the wine-tasting experience you are after. The Champagne region is the most popular, perfect for day trips from Calais, taking only a 2.5-hour drive away. For a more extensive exploration of the various wine regions, it’s best to book multi-day trips.
Saint Emilion is an incredible destination for a wine-tasting tour in France, renowned for its exceptional red wines, including the famous Merlot, with numerous vineyards available for exploration.
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All photos on this page are either shot by our team and watermarked as such or stock images from Depositphotos.
About the author
Alexa is a talented photographer, writer, and world traveller who speaks four languages. She is equally comfortable walking around a city and exploring museums as she is out in the wilderness discovering nature and photographing wildlife. She is an avid coffee drinker, and can often be spotted in local cafes when she needs a break.