5 unusual French tourist attractions

If you’re after a camping holiday in France that’s slightly different from the usual French recipe of gourmet food and rolling vineyards, then take inspiration from some of these more unusual Gallic sites.

Corkscrew Museum in Menerbes, France

Corkscrew Museum in Menerbes

The Corkscrew Museum, Ménerbes

France is known for being one of the centres of the wine-producing world; however, were it not for the humble corkscrew then few of us could even attempt to open a bottle of the delectable French stuff. The trusty corkscrew is worthy of praise and Yves Rousset-Rouard has duly noted this fact and opened a museum to celebrate the invention of this trusty device. The museum is a must-visit and features over 1,500 different corkscrews, although the shop dedicated to all things corkscrew related is worth a visit on its own. After you’ve swotted up on how to open a bottle of wine, pop next door, to the Domaine de la Citadelle, for their free wine tasting sessions.

The Biggest Neck in Europe

Having the biggest neck in Europe is certainly something to boast about, but when you discover Europe’s largest neck was actually a former volcanic vent, things get even more interesting. Located near the village of Sceautres, in the Ardèche region, the volcanic neck is 8 million years old and offers a stunning example of what happens when molten lava and water mix.

The Book Capital of the World

Bécherel in France, book capital of the world

Bécherel – book capital of the world

Whilst on a French camping holiday you don’t expect to encounter the book capital of the world, but the attractive village of Bécherel, located in Brittany boasts this accolade.  Numerous bookstores line the streets of the pretty granite village and with book related festivities taking place frequently throughout the year, your camping holiday in France is bound to coincide with some literary festival. Easter is the busiest time with tourists coming from around the world to experience the annual book festival.

A Postman’s Palace

Ferdinand Cheval was a French postman who spent 33 years of his life building himself a palace. The palace known as La Palais Ideal is located in Hauterives in the Drome region of France and is known as an exceptional example of naïve art architecture. Cheval was inspired to build the palace after tripping over a stone. He returned to the same spot the next day and started collecting stones for the next 33 years during his early morning delivery round. The palace is a mixture of styles with inspirations from the Bible to Hindu mythology.

The Highest Sand Dune in Europe

Dune du Pilat, Bay of Arcachon, France

Dune du Pilat

Vast rolling sand dunes bring to mind images of camel trekking, haggling in Arabian bazaars, jeep safaris and ….France? However, the largest sand dune in Europe is not housed in the Canary Islands but rather in the Gironde region of France. The Dune du Pilat is situated at the entrance of the bay of Arcachon and stands at 105 meters tall; it was declared a national heritage site in 1978.

If you’d like to see some of the more unusual sites in France for yourself Canvas Holidays offers a wide selection of campsites in France.

Photo credits: Photo 1-Flickr; Photo 2-Flickr; Photo 3-Flickr; Photo 4-Flickr

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