So, you're on your way to France. You've booked your flights through Webjet or Flight Centre, you're brushing up on your high-school French and now it's time to get into the nitty gritty of planning the itinerary of your very own Tour de France.
But how on Earth do you possibly pick just a handful of places to visit when the entire country is breathtakingly beautiful?
We've done our best to remain impartial when presenting this list of places you simply cannot miss when travelling around the
motherland. Whether you're a foodie looking to enjoy the finest of French gastronomy, a fashionista looking for the best spots
to shop French haute couture or a bona fide tourist looking for the most instagrammable locations, this is the list you need
Boasting some of the most breathtaking alpine views in the world (in our humble opinion), you will not be disappointed by a trip to the French Alpes. This stunning point where France, Italy and Switzerland meet offers the unmissable opportunities to hike to glaciers and paraglide around Western Europe's highest mountain.
Whether you're looking for a romantic destination or a holiday adventure the whole family can enjoy, Annecy has got it all. Known for its cobbled streets, pastel-coloured houses and winding canals, discovering the old town is just as charming as hiring a pedalo to enjoy the best of Lake Annecy is fun. Visit in the summer and enjoy tasting the full range of gelato flavours from the Glacier des Alpes.
With its countless chateaux, world-famous vineyards and endless romantic bed-and-breakfasts, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Loire Valley offers an escape which can simply not be overlooked when visiting France. Hire a bike and lose yourself in the winding country roads, refuelling with fine wines and good food in its quaint little towns.
Another UNESCO World Heritage listed site, Lyon invites you to discover the 2,000 years of history reflected in Vieux Lyon, and the underground traboules. The Musée des Beaux-Arts and the large public murals will inspire the more artistically inclined, while Presqu’île will attract lovers of nightlife, cultural institutions and high-street shops. Travel in December and experience the famous Fête des Lumières.
Between its strong Germanic influence, flowing canals and Gothic-style architecture, Strasbourg is a unique experience located just a short trip from Paris. Take a river cruise to view all the city has to offer, including the seat of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. Travelling at the end of the year? Don't miss the famous Christmas markets, one of the oldest in Europe.
You will not want to miss the stunning turquoise waters of the Gorges du Verdon national park. Spanning across the departments of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var in the south of France, this is one of the largest canyons in Europe and is sure to attract the adventurous and outdoorsy types looking for water and extreme sports, hikes, picnickers and rock climbers.
If you haven't yet been to Bordeaux, you're missing out. Enjoy a stroll (or bike ride) along the Garonne as you discover the ancient gates, museums and rich art history of this magical city. Or delight your taste buds with a trip to one of the surrounding wine regions and enjoy a wine tasting à la française.
Make a trip to Toulouse and you'll be seeing la vie and la ville en rose. The "Pink City" with its terracotta bricks will enchant you with her sublime architecture, irresistible gastronomical delights and Occitan charm. Enjoy a walking tour to truly soak in all that Toulouse has to offer. And if you're travelling in the festive season, enjoy the delightful Christmas markets.
Offering a temperate climate, old city charm and long lazy days on the beach, Nice is the perfect destination, whatever time of year you're travelling. While enjoying this pearl of the French Riviera, be sure to try the traditional socca dish (Chez Pipo is our recommendation). There are plenty of day trips close to Nice too, including Eze, the Pre-Alpes, Monaco and more.
You simply can't miss a trip to the French capital. With the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum and many other iconic monuments, an incredibly rich history, and diverse cultural attractions, this city is sure to stir your soul, tickle your tastebuds and and ignite your wunderlust. And for the sports fanatics, don't miss the Stade de France in Saint Denis.