France is not all about museums, art galleries and castles. There are also the great outdoors with many spectacular natural wonders to visit on private tours of France. Stunning mountain ranges, dramatic gorges, caves, cliffs and dunes, - the list of things au naturel is endless. Here are just a few to whet your appetite.
|Cliffs of Étretat|
Cliffs of Étretat
Arching above the water, the dramatic white cliffs of Étretat in Normandy inspired painters Monet, Boudin and Courbet. One of the picturesque arches resemble an elephant with its trunk in the sea. There are three arches, the Manneporte, Porte d'Aval and Porte d'Amont, and a pointed needle rising from the water. You can go to the beach to see the cliffs close up in their full splendour or admire them from a distance from the lovely town of Étretat.
|Dune du Pilat|
Dune du Pilat
Europe’s highest, the Dune du Pilat in it is almost three kilometres long and 500 metres wide. The sand dune attracts one million visitors per year. Here you can try paragliding, walking through the deep sand or simply sunbathing and enjoying the sea breeze.
|Gorges du Verdon|
Gorges du Verdon
Carved by the turquoise waters of the Verdon River over centuries, the canyon is one of the most beautiful in Europe. It runs for 25 kilometres and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Adrenaline junkies come here to climb the gorge’s steep limestone walls, kayak down the river or hike along the rocky outcrops. Less adventurous visitors admire spectacular drives near the canyon and have relaxing picnics while enjoying the views.
|Camargue salt flats|
The Camargue delta of the Rhone River in Languedoc covers an area of over 900 square kilometres filled with surreal looking red salt lagoons, marshlands and rice paddies. Flocks of pink flamingos and herds of white Camargue horses make the landscape irresistibly beautiful.
Photos via Flickr by: Michel Marie, Francois Pouzet, Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho, Jeroen Komen.