France has always been a popular tourist destination for many travellers world-wide, especially the city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the many high-end fashion stores and the grand and majestic villas like the ones on this website. However, those aren’t the only things that makes the country a great travel bucket list, because is the southern parts of France are various historical places and landmarks that will surely get your travel juices flowing.
If you’re looking for something older than historic then you should definitely pay Aquitaine’s prehistoric caves a visit, specifically the ones in Vezere Valley. There you’ll find over 20 painted caves that date back to the Paleolithic Era. There are also countless churches and basilicas along the Road to Compostella, a route that pilgrims and believers have been taking since the 9th century. Walk along this route and you’ll see sculptures, gateways and other religiously influenced items most of which have been around for ages. Of course, there are other things that can be seen and explored in the area, as there are about 20 or so cultural monuments in the place which are listed by UNESCO.
Although the area is predominantly famous for its natural beauties like mountains and beaches, there are aged structures which are revered for their historic importance and frequented by many tourists to the place. For one, there are the Filitosa Menhirs. These are stone monuments with weathered carvings and estimated to be at least 7,000 years old. You can also see the Genoese Towers which stands guard on the coastline and have been doing so sine the 16th century. Not to forget of course is the excavated remains and ruins of an ancient Roman Community in Aleria, a place where Greek and Etruscan treasures have been uncovered and the communal life of the ancient inhabitants revealed.
In Midi-Pyrenees, you will find various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, places and landmarks which are deemed to not only be beautiful but significant as well. First is the Canal du Midi, a favourite among river enthusiasts as it allows them to drift along the twisting canal under the wonderful shade of thousands of trees. Then there is the Causse du Larzac, a walled community where agro-pastoral is still the way of living. Last but not the least is Albi and its Cite Episcopale, listed in 2010 because of the architectural genius and unity that went into its construction.
There is no need to exaggerate on the beauty of Provence, as it is hailed as one of the most charming places in the world. In this place you’ll find many ancient towns, some of which have been established centuries ago but are still considered as the top destinations of France. First off is Avignon, known for the beautiful Papal Complex built in the 14th century when the Papal seat was moved to France from Rome. There is also Gordes, a small hill town where you’ll find the Abbaye de Senaque, a rustic church surrounded by a field of lavender and the Village des Bories, stone shelters built by shepherds sometime between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Historic forts and castles are what the place offers, from the jaw-dropping La Cite Carcassone and the fortified town of Aigues Mortes. The Salses Fort, is a gargantuan Spanish fortress that has been standing since the 16th century. There are also Roman influenced structures in the area like the Pont Du Gard (a Roman aqueduct) and the Maison Carree, a Roman Temple in Nimes.
France truly has something more to offer its visitors than just the Eiffel and fashion, as touring the South of France will surely open your eyes to the natural and historical beauty of the place.
Photo by 50879678@N03 on Flickr