France is one of the most visited countries in the world, and a lot of that is because of Paris. The “City of Lights” is widely acknowledged to be one of the most striking and romantic cities in the world, and everyone wants to see it at some point in their life. But Paris is far from the only place that draws people to France. In fact, I really wasn’t crazy about Paris when I visited (see here). It is pretty amazing, but there’s more to France than just Paris.
The South of France, however, I LOVED. The people are way friendlier than Parisians, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s full of beaches and towns that can make for the vacation of a lifetime. You can tour the whole area, pick a town to spend a week in, or venture south after a trip to Paris to catch all of the country’s highlights. Whatever you decide, here are some of the best places to visit in this part of the country.
Sure, Paris is amazing. Obviously. But one area of France that you definitely don’t want to miss (especially in the summer time) is the Côte d’Azur / French Riviera. Its location on the Southeastern coast of France, and its closeness to the Italian border, is reflected through its gorgeous Mediterranean-sea waters, amazing sunny climate, and Italian-influenced architecture.
The main cities of the French Riviera are Cannes, Nice, and the sovereign state of Monaco. Although I did visit all 3, today I want to highlight my day in the amazing city of Nice (pronounced “niece”).
Being that I’m a sucker for old churches, I was absolutely awestruck by the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris. My favorite thing I did in Paris was see an aerial view of the city from the Notre Dame Towers (read about it here), but when we went back to see the interior of the famous Cathedral, I was definitely not disappointed!
When I told people I was visiting Paris, or when I looked up general tourist attractions in Paris, one of the things I was told I “had to do” or “couldn’t miss” was to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower to see a great view of Paris. Well, upon further research, I found that many people say that the views from the Notre-Dame Towers were actually a lot better than the one from the Eiffel Tower, because you got to see the gargoyles and spires of the church up close. Not only that, but the lines were shorter and the climb up to the top wasn’t such a bitch (excuse my French).