Take A Virtual Tour Of France This Summer

Americans may not be traveling to Europe any time soon, but a virtual tour of France is only a few clicks away. Pop a bottle of Champagne, pull on your favorite striped shirt and tuck a baguette in your bag, because you’re digitally going to France!

Starting from Normandy all the way down to the French Riviera, fulfill your digital wanderlust with this tour of France you can enjoy from home. On y va!

Normandy

Located in North Western France, Normandy is home to a cluster of small, picturesque towns, like Giverny, where Claude Monet’s home and gardens are located. It’s tricky to get a solo selfie at the popular destination in the summertime, so take advantage of your digital exploration. Fans of the Impressionists can all explore galleries of Le Havre’s MuMa or Rouen’s Museum of Fine Arts. Normandy is also known for its excellent hard ciders, so procure a few bottles to sip while you click.

Brittany

In the regional capital of Rennes, visit the medieval half-timbered houses and the rose gardens of Parc du Thabor. Journey to Saint Malo, the popular walled city along the coast. To Americans, Brittany is known as the “Maine” of France, thanks to the region’s excellent oysters, so be sure to stop by the oyster farm L’Atelier de L’Huitre to witness the harvesting process. Pause for a moment of reflection in the Gardens of Peace in Quimper and plan your next trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Saint-Michel.

Paris

A picnic in Champs de Mars at the base of the Eiffel Tower may not be physically possible, but you can take a virtual tour of the iconic landmark for one of the best views of the city. 

Check out the dazzling stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle, the glamorous interior of the Palais Garnier-Opera de Paris, and the iconic Sacre Coeur cathedral. Skip the line at The Louvre, which is also offering virtual tours. Many more landmarks have virtual tours that can be accessed through the Paris Tourist Board site.

Centre Val de Loire

The majestic Chateaux of the Loire Valley are certainly worth a virtual visit. The Loire Valley has a dedicated page via Google Arts & Culture that allows visitors to virtually explore some of the sites and iconic chateaux of the region. Virtual visitors can explore Château de Chambord, Château du Clos Lucé (Leonardo da Vinci’s last home), Château du Rivau, Château de Chenonceau and much more. Plus, nature lovers can check out the gorgeous gardens of Chateau de Villandry.

Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes

Lyon, the region’s capital city and third largest city in France, is home to over 2000 years of history in the Vieux Lyon District. Stroll to the more modern Confluences neighborhood and and everywhere in between in the Gastronomic Capital of France.

Looking for something more pastoral? Journey to Boucieu-Le-Roi in the Ardeche.  This medieval village dates back to 1291 and was voted one of France’s “Village of Character.”

Region Sud and Côte d’Azur

A visit to Marseille is not complete without checking out MuCEM. The exhibits on Europe and Mediterranean culture are fascinating, as is the striking architecture offering unparalleled views onto the Mediterranean Sea.  

Craving some beach views and some culture? Head over to Nice for soothing sunset shots while listening to the Opera. For a more hands-on virtual visit,  print out copies of local artist Sylvie Tumorticci  coloring book of Nicoise locales. 

Occitanie

This southwestern region is home to cities like Montpellier, which is beloved by visitors for its pedestrian-friendly historic old town and Place de la Comedie. The vineyards and mountains of the Tarn region are another highlights of the southernmost region of France. Check out the cave La Grotte des Demoiselles Chateau de Flaugergues or the ancient Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard.

Nouvelle Aquitaine

Bordeaux is home to 350 historical buildings and monuments, including the Fine Arts Museum. Open a bottle of wine from the world’s wine capital while exploring Bordeaux’s rich cultural and agricultural history.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also take in Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe. And no visit to the region is complete without seeing the caves of Lascaux in the Dordogne, where more than 600 prehistoric cave drawings are preserved.

And more National Historic Monuments

In-person travel doesn’t allow visitors to see every site at once, but viewing sites by screen allows you to take in France’s many well-preserved historical monuments and sites thanks to the Centre des monuments nationaux (the National Monuments Center). 

For a dose of stunning Art Deco architecture visit La Villa Cavrois outside the northern city of Lille. Looking for more of medieval architecture? Check out the Chateau de Vincennes, which protected Paris, or Chateau d’Angers, home to the stunning medieval Apocalypse tapestry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: