If you are from almost anywhere else in the world, you can argue that a simple visit to France is unique. There are ways, however, to make it fun and unusual. Locations around France are fascinating, but Paris has unique sites to see too.
Le Mont Saint-Michel
This 1300 years old monastery is located about 30 minutes away from Les Ormes. It sits on top of a single rock and visitors once had to wait for the tide to go out to enter Mont Saint-Michel. A later development in its history included a bridge, but efforts are underway to build a dam that will once again surround the monastery with water during high tide.
If you are into the mythology surrounding King Arthur, this place will be of interest to you. Thomas Malory says that Le Mont Saint-Michel is where Arthur battled a giant that ate virgins before he went off to fight the Roman emperor. A count and an abbot claimed to have visions of St. Michael, and thus had the monastery built according to the diagrams of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Brittany’s Capital City: Rennes
There are a wide variety of interesting and beautiful things to see in Rennes. If you are interested in medieval architecture, you will enjoy visiting Rennes (in the northern part of France.) One “must see” site is the Saint-Yves Chapel. It was renovated recently, but dates back to the 15th century and features a Gothic style that has been called flamboyant. Formerly in the possession of the monks of the Sainte-Mélaine Benedictine abbey, the Thabor Gardens will charm you with their elegant and romantic atmosphere. If culture, science, and learning are more your style, then you should visit the Champs Libres, located in Rennes’ heart. This innovative cultural center houses The Metropolis Library, the Science Centre, and the Brittany museum. The Champs Libres was designed by Christian de Portzamparc, an architect. It features performances, displays of art, installations, and exhibitions.
Sleeping in the Trees
In 2004, the Les Ormes Domain and Resort introduced their country to the concept of tree house cabins. There are 30 cabins today for people to choose from for their Treehouse holidays in France. These unusual accommodations are located in a park that measures almost 500 acres. Four of the tree house cabins are in trees above the water, and 26 tree houses are located around the park. Your breakfast is available by the basket that you pull up to the house on a rope. Dinner is provided in a hamper that you access the same way. The tree houses are placed 13 to 66 feet off the ground. There are three different categories of Treehouse One group has access by ladder. Another group of tree house requires you to enter by zip-line, and the final group of tree houses has wooden staircases.
Dinard, France, and its Views
Whether you visit Dinard in season or off, you will be treated to some spectacular views. Some compare them to Picasso canvases painted in the area in the 1920’s. Beautiful mansions are built into the cliffs and serve as the backdrop to the picturesque beach. During the season, you will find the beach-side carnival and bathing tents with blue and white stripes. Winter views are just as spectacular.
St. Malo’s Rock Sculptures of Abbe Foure
When he was 30 years old, Abbe Foure had a stroke that took his speech and hearing away. It also paralyzed him completely on one side. He took to the cliffs of Rotheneuf after this incident and lived as a hermit. In the year 1870, Foure began to carve hundreds of shapes into the cliffs. Those shapes, faces, and figures were grotesque, fascinating, and bizarre. He was also a wonderful wood carver as well, but most of his figures were destroyed in a fire in 1944. The scenes Foure carved into the cliffs depict the lives of a family of smugglers, fishermen, and sailors called the Rothenufs.
These are but a few of the fascinating sites available to make your visit to France a memorable event. Doing a little research and planning will help you have a unique and “off the beaten path” experience.