Want to discover the most beautiful natural sites in France? Here are our Top 10 must-sees!

France has been the world’s leading tourist destination for several decades. It seduces visitors with its exceptional historical and cultural heritage, its great diversity of places of interest and the beauty of its natural landscapes.

It would be impossible to make a complete selection of all the natural wonders of France as they are so numerous. Metropolitan France, Corsica and the overseas territories are full of breathtaking sites.

So, do you want to go green? Here are 10 places to discover to spend an unforgettable stay in France while leaving Paris and the big cities.

Important note: Eligible non-European visitors, including US and Canadian Citizens, will need to obtain an ETIAS for France before entering the country starting November 2023.

1. The Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel is famous for its spectacular tides. In addition to its famous fortified heart, the bay stands out for its immense expanse of sand, its salt meadows and its important variety of birds.

At low tide, it is possible to cross the bay on foot to discover the shifting sands and the natural environment that surrounds Mont-Saint-Michel. Take off your shoes and live a unique experience!

most beautiful natural sites in France

2. The cliffs of Étretat

The cliffs of Étretat, in Normandy, are among the most famous landscapes in France. A true natural jewel, these white chalk cliffs with long pebble beaches have inspired many artists, including Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and Guy de Maupassant.

The Porte d’Aval is the most famous site of Étretat. By taking the stairs, you can reach the top and access an observation platform for a breathtaking view.

 

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3. The Pilat Dune

At 114 meters high, the Dune du Pilat is the highest dune in Europe. Located in the southwest of France, it was formed by winds, currents and sand to create an atypical landscape.

Climbing to the top of the dune, you will have an exceptional 360 degree view of the Arcachon basin, with the Atlantic coast on one side and the Landes forest on the other.

4. The creeks of Piana

The calanques of Piana (calanche di Piana) are located halfway between Calvi and Ajaccio in Corsica. This small mountain range is known for its pink granite cliffs falling into the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The boat is one of the best ways to visit this natural site, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. A sea trip from the port of Porto is a worthwhile excursion!

5. The Gorges du Verdon

The Gorges du Verdon are a set of gorges stretching for nearly 100 kilometers in the heart of Provence, making it the largest canyon in Europe.

To enjoy the majestic landscapes of the Verdon gorges, there is nothing better than to climb aboard a canoe to travel the emerald river that winds between its cliffs that can, in places, reach 750 meters high.

6. The cirque of Navacelles

The cirque of Navacelles, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Hérault”, is an exceptional natural arena formed by a meander cut by the Vis river located in the Occitanie region, in the south of France.

In the heart of the cirque, surrounded by wild fauna and flora and impressive limestone cliffs, is the small picturesque village of Navacelles and its magnificent waterfall.

7. Mount Aiguille

Mount Aiguille is a huge tooth-shaped peak culminating at 2087 meters in the Vercors massif. Considered as one of the 7 wonders of the Dauphiné, it is particularly appreciated by mountaineers and hikers.

At the top of this immense limestone rock, visitors enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding landscape and can see the Mont Blanc.

8. The creeks of Cassis

The creeks of Cassis, also known as the creeks of Marseilles, are one of the places not to be missed on the French Riviera.

Considered as a unique site in the world, this natural area seduces by its majestic cliffs and its turquoise waters. Diving, hiking, boat trips, there is no lack of activities to discover the beauty of the calanques. Cassis is located 42 minutes by car from Marseille, where we recommande to stay at the Radisson Blu Vieux Port !

9. The Camargue

The Camargue is an exceptional natural park on the Mediterranean Sea. This wet and wild area of 150,000 hectares has been recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

It is home to a huge population of horses and birds, especially a large number of pink flamingos. A true paradise for nature lovers.

You may also like France’s Spectacular Northwestern Coast: 5 Reasons to visit Brittany and Normandy

10. The Aiguille du Midi

Culminating at 3842 meters above sea level, the Aiguille du Midi is a must-see summit in the Mont Blanc massif offering an impressive view of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.

The cable car ride up is an experience in itself. Open your eyes wide as you step off the ground to observe the beautiful high mountain scenery around you.