France - A skiing nation with plenty of superlatives! The Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, the Vanoise Express the biggest and fastest double floored cable car in the world, and Les 3 Vallées claims to be the largest ski area in the world. Whether you want to ski the glacier in Les 2 Alpes, on the Olympic slopes of Chamrousse, the interconnected ski areas in the region Les Sybelles or in the small but not any less nice ski area as in Valfréjus - in France, you can find whatever you're looking for.
France attracts many tourists each year, not only due to its cultural and scenic diversity, but also due to its culinary specialities and great wines. Furthermore, the French mountain chains score with their many great trip destinations and sights. The city Grenoble, for example, lies in the middle of the picturesque French Alp landscape. Not only the numerous museums of the city have made it a centre of attraction for tourists. The lift ride to the Bastille, from where you have a wonderful view of Grenoble and the surrounding mountain range, is definitely worth your while.
Many sights in the French Alps have been shaped by nature itself. You will experience unforgettable moments during a ride with the "Télécabine Panoramic" lift at the Mont Blanc. The lift stops several times between the Pointe Helbronner and the Aiguille du Midi during the 30 minute long ride - the best scenery for taking photos of the highest mountain of the Alps (4,810 m). When it comes to the Verdon Gorge, instead of going high up, you will be going down. This canyon is 700 m deep. On the other hand, the Lac de Serre-Ponçon is man-made and it is the largest artificially installed lake in Europe. When the river Durance was ponded, many inhabitants had to yield to the lake and move away. The only remnant of the former community is the Chapel St. Michel, which was once located on a mountain that has now transformed into an island in the lake.
One particular little village in the Pyrénées attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly: pilgrims gravitate towards the churches and the famous grotto of Massabielle, because Lourdes is considered the location of the Marian apparition. The local springs are said to have healing powers. Next to Rome, it is the second biggest pilgrimage site in the world.
Some beautiful towns in the Pyrénées are, for example, Carcassonne with its medieval fortification and Colmar, the capital of the Alsatian wine and birthplace of Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty. Because of the many channels that wind through Colmar, one district of the town is called "Little Venice".
A mysterious underground parallel existence distends throughout the Midi-Pyrénées. Fascinating caves have formed - an example is the Grotto de Niaux which sports very interesting cave paintings.