Spring has indeed returned and with it, the desire to travel! If for many people it will be necessary to wait until the next holidays, know that France offers very nice weekend opportunities when the sun comes out. It is not necessary to go to the end of the world to enjoy the awakening of nature as it should be, several destinations are accessible in only a few hours for a pleasant trip to discover the French beauties. This is the time to visit the most beautiful gardens in the country, to stroll on deserted beaches or to go out to the countryside to recharge your batteries after a rather harsh winter. From Normandy to the Camargue, via the Loire, here is our selection of the 10 most beautiful French destinations to discover in spring
Giverny, in the heart of the Water Lilies
Monet enjoyed painting the colours of her garden throughout the seasons, but spring is undoubtedly the best time of year to visit Giverny and its pink house. Along the paths, the visitor is immersed in a flourishing nature where the pleasant scent of flowers blends with the beauty of the setting for a surprising sensory walk. The Japanese bridge in the garden is found in one of Monet's main works: Water lilies. Also worth seeing: the very beautiful collection of Japanese prints in the artist's house
The Arcachon basin, maritime beauty
The Arcachon basin is home to many exceptional natural sites, starting with the famous Dune du Pilat. 109 m high, it overlooks the basin and the Cap Ferret peninsula. Spring is a pleasant time to enjoy its panorama while avoiding the important summer tourism. You should also see Île aux Oiseaux, a fantastic bird sanctuary with a circumference of 5 km where more than 300 species of birds live. Oyster lovers will also find their happiness in the Arcachon basin, an oyster farming area if ever there was one. Contrary to legend, oysters are enjoyed all year round, even in months without an "R"!
The bay of the Somme, a nature getaway
Classified as a Grand Site of France, the bay of the Somme delights lovers of wide open spaces. Treasure of the Hauts-de-France, it extends over 7,200 hectares along the English Channel. Shaped by the tides of the latter, the estuary takes on a new face every day. The Bay of the Somme is also a unique ecosystem - migratory birds and sea calves live in harmony there - and long-standing traditions such as shell fishing and the cultivation of mussels.
The castles of the Loire Valley, a royal tour
Remains of the French monarchy, the Loire Valley castles are among the most visited sites in France. From Cheverny to Chambord via Azay-le-Rideau, they form a real circuit along the Loire and are classified as UNESCO heritage sites. In spring, you can enjoy the well-kept gardens adjacent to castles such as those of Azay-le-Rideau. Among the must-see visits is the Château d'Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci's tomb is located, and this year the 500th anniversary of his death is being celebrated
Le Marais poitevin, go green
The Poitou Marsh covers about 100,000 hectares in the Pays de la Loire region. Its diverse landscape allows for many activities such as hiking in its dry marshes or canoeing and boating in its wet marshes, nicknamed "Green Venice". An ideal getaway to go green in spring, you will discover a rich fauna composed of carp, pike-perch, otters, ragansers and several species of migratory birds
The Camargue National Nature Reserve, nature and tradition
The Camargue National Nature Reserve is one of the largest wetlands in Europe, covering 13,000 ha. A first visit in spring is ideal for hiking and admiring the flamingos on the pond of Le Fangassier or Vaccarès. La dike à la mer, a mythical 20 km trail built to protect the Camargue from the sea, connects Sainte-Marie-de-la-mer to the Gacholles lighthouse and crosses the nature reserve. It is a walk accessible to all, to be done on sunny days
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Natural Park, a remarkable heritage
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Natural Park bears witness to a fascinating geological history, with extinct volcanoes, lakes and glaciers meeting in a rich and preserved natural environment. In particular, we must see the Puys chain, 40 km long, where 80 active craters more than 7,000 years ago follow one another. The highest point of the chain is the puy de Dôme, 1,465 m high and classified as a Grand Site de France
The gorges of the Verdon, along the water
Dug by the erosion of the river of the same name, the Verdon gorges are one of the most important canyons in Europe. The regional natural park of the Gorges du Verdon covers 188,000 ha and includes 46 municipalities, including adorable medieval villages such as Entrevaux or Rougon. Canyoning or rafting enthusiasts will find their happiness in the white waters of the Verdon, while the calm waters of its four lakes - Esparron de Verdon, Quinson, Sainte-Croix and Castillon - will welcome the first swimmers of the year!
Lake Annecy, an enchanting weekend
Known as the "pearl of the Alps", Annecy is home to a charming medieval town centre and an alpine lake of glacial origin renowned for its very pure waters. Visiting Annecy in spring is ideal: the high winter season is coming to an end and the arrival of the sunny days allows you to stroll along the shores of the lake or enjoy its beaches, which are still free. The water will still be fresh for swimming at this time of year, but you can discover Lake Annecy during a boat trip
Alta Rocca, hiking in the Aiguilles de Bavella
Our favorite place in spring is Corsica. We take advantage of the mild weather to venture into the interior of the island, in the Alta Rocca region. The hinterland of Sartène is a favourite destination for hiking, especially along the famous GR20 which passes at the foot of the Aiguilles de Bavella. These jagged peaks peak at an altitude of 1,899 m and form one of the island's most important geological attractions