Thumbnail photo by Cristan Ruberti
A quick preface before I tell you where I’m going to visit France: While I intend to read some other blogs and travel guides, I will occasionally ignore advice about what locations are touristy. While I will mostly avoid commercialized sites that siphon too much of my time, attention, and money, I’m going to brave some places anyway because some of them are just too cool to miss.
I also plan to do a north-to-south, top-to-bottom, zig-zagging route through France (as of right now). I won’t hold myself to that all of the time. For the sake of organization, it’s good to have a starting point.
Also, you’re probably thinking that Paris should be on my list of places to visit first. I’m going to take a “save the best for last” mentality with Paris. I’ll need time to research things to do in Paris that won’t break the bank and that will be more interesting than the regular tourist places. So, while I travel the rest of France, Paris will be a location I revisit plenty of times over the years.
Without further ado, my list of the first places I’ll visit.
Pointe du Raz, Brittany
The lands end of Brittany, the western coast of France – la pointe du raz. This is such a beautiful spot. I would love to take a walk along France’s western coast for the first time in this place while looking at the dramatic rocks, wind and waves in a sunrise or sunset.
La Musée de la Piscine à Lille (Roubaix), Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Photo by Trotting France
La Musée de la Piscine is a museum of art and industry dating back to 1835. Its interior looks gorgeous. I’d love to spend a day in Roubaix to see this beautiful museum and the unique, bustling city of Lille.
Photo by Ilnur Kalimullin
Another pretty coastal location in Normandy – Étretat, a unique rock formation with a needle sticking out of the water. To be there on the beach looking through the “eye” of the rock would be the most relaxing part of my day. I want to stand on that beach, stand on that cliff above the needle, and stand on the cliff closest to us in the photo so I can look at it all from this distance.
Pointe des Châteaux, Guadeloupe
Yes, you’re right. This is not in France. It’s in the Caribbean. But it’s beautiful and they speak French there, so I should go. I’m fascinated by France’s overseas territories as well as their native regions!
Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy
Mont Saint-Michel is the most fantastic castle I’ve ever heard of. It guards the northern coast of France on top of a mountain in a Hogwarts-esque, Gothic-Romanesque abbaye, and depending on the time of year it’s surrounded by the tide! Not only does this location fulfill my soul-feeding need to be near a body of water, but they constructed this fortress-like église in it in the 8th century. These days, roughly 50 people live there. This is a location where I don’t care how crowded or touristy it becomes – I have to see it.