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Blooming lovely? Best places to visit in France this Spring

One of the best times to visit France before the heat and crowds of the summer, spring is balmy, romantic and full of festivals. Pavement cafes spring back to life and gardens are full of blossom. Here are five of the best places to try…

Paris

Spring in Paris is the perfect time for wandering around the city, sampling the street markets, and visiting the top tourist attractions without the crowds. Why not take a trip up the Seine or have a picnic in the park?  Check out the cherry blossom at Notre Dame or the Luxembourg Gardens.

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Peaceful Montmartre should also be on your list – and it’s the location of this stylish industrial-style loft apartment with access to a heated swimming pool!

Loire Valley 

Majestic chateaux and world-class wines – there isn’t a time when the Loire Valley will disappoint.  Take in one of the area’s famous historic chateaux and then sample one of the vineyards that produce Sancerre of Vouvray. Check out the double-helix staircase of Chambord, the Renaissance gem of Azay-le-Rideau and Villandry for its gardens.

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Close to another must-visit, the medieval town of Chinon, this eye-catching property includes a piece of chateau too…

The Bordeaux Wine Route

One of France’s many popular wine routes (along with the Loire, above), Bordeaux comes with perhaps the most prestige, with its rich history and coveted red wines. Petrus, Margaux and Lafite Rothschild – there are so many world-famous names, and there are six wine regions in the region, known collectively as the ‘Bordeaux wine routes’. It’s hard to choose where to start, although Saint-Emilion is a very worthy stop-off.

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This magnificent six-bedroom maison de maitre might be another if you dream of a Bordeaux bolt hole.

French Riviera 

Spring is the perfect time to visit the beautiful seaside towns stretching from Toulon to Saint-Tropez. Before the crowds descend on the Cote d’Azur for the film festival or other events of the summer season whizz along the stunning coast road to Monaco, visit the revitalised city of Nice, take a hike around the coastline of Cap Ferrat or dip into Provence for its beautiful villages or weekly markets.

This beautiful two-bedroom apartment with a balcony in Cannes is less than €300,000. Incroyable!

Normandy Monet’s garden in Giverny

Take that easy little trip across the Channel to view the beautiful gardens of Giverny that inspired the Impressionist painter Claude Monet a century ago. Travelers can also observe the willowy, dreamy Japanese water garden depicted in many of the artist’s paintings. From roses, to dahlias and irises, as well the famous waterlilies, its flowers are beginning to bloom – Monet called his garden his mots ‘beautiful piece of art’.

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This charming country house also offers a vibrant splash of colour – and its own generous garden.