Ten years ago this week my family and I were getting ready to return home following our first visit to France. On our last day in Paris, as we prepared to brave the 24 hour flight to Australia, Scott and I splurged by ordering two glasses of champagne. We sipped them, gazing out toward the Eiffel tower, taking in the combination of sculptures and greenery that only the Jardin des Tuileries can deliver.
Despite the fact that funds were relatively tight for us at that point, we were happily splurging on champagne for three key reasons.
It was a beautiful, sun-shining Parisian day.
We’d had an incredible time in France.
We’d convinced ourselves that this would be our only visit to the country that had completely captured our hearts.
It turns out that reasons one and two were perfectly valid. Reason three turned out to be anything but true.
We’ve returned more than a dozen times in the past decade. I share that stat not to boast. But rather to show two things.
Firstly, we were completely wrong about never visiting again.
Secondly, the magic of France can draw you back again and again if you choose to continue exploring.
Despite the intervening decade and our regular visits, our obsession with France is as strong today as it was back then.
And we still have a list of must visit French destinations to cross off the list. Many of these are in the north of the country. And there are a whole stack of locations we’d happily head back to if we ever had the chance.
Ten French Destinations We Are Still Wanting To See
- Nice. And the surrounding areas on the French Riviera.
- Normandy – including Le Mont-Saint-Michel and Rouen.
- Biarritz. My Chanel fascination is behind this one.
- Montpellier. A few years ago, we were planning to spend the day in Montpellier. But we jumped off the train in Nîmes. We had an amazing day. But we’ve yet to actually make it to Montpellier.
- Carcassonne. Scotty really wants to travel on Le Petit Train Jaune.
- Brittany. Including Rennes and Saint-Malo.
- Giverny – for Monet’s garden.
- Lille. Graham from A new life in Lille has inspired us.
- The Châteaux of the Loire Valley
Ten French Destinations We’d Happily Return To
- Tain-l’Hermitage. Even though we’ve visited three times already.
- Bordeaux. With a side visit to Saint-Émilion, of course.
- Provence – especially Marseille. We only had the day there – but I remember lunch as one of the best meals of my life. And both Aix-en-Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence could easily tempt us back.
- The beautiful north-east. We loved both Strasbourg and Nancy.
- Paris. I’ve promised myself that on day I will stay at the Hôtel Ritz Paris.
- Villers-Bretonneux. It is such an emotional place for Australians to visit.
- The Champagne Region. I’ll bet that doesn’t surprise anyone….
Which French destinations are at the top your list? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.