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France : les plus beaux caprices de la nature

Cirque de Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrenees, France.

France: the most beautiful nature whims

Published December 23, 2014, in France

Cliffs, pink granite rocks, mountainous circuses … Nature shapes incredible scenery. Here are 10 places in France we never tire of admiring.

1. Cliffs of Etretat (Seine-Maritime)

The weather, storms and an underground river carved into the chalk the natural site the most famous of Normandy  : cliff pure white which erosion has produced spectacular shapes and inspiring for both painters, impressionists head that for writers. The needle of Etretat rises to 70 m and alongside an ark in which Maupassant saw «an elephant dipping its trunk into the sea,» whereas at the beach of the caves took the romantic name of »  rooms damsels  » . Maurice Leblanc, who lived in Etretat, situa in the famous Hollow Needle key to the most famous adventure of Arsene Lupin.

The combination of the needle and the ark was somewhat masked other formations of the same type, yet nearby: the Manneporte the door Upstream or needle Belval.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/falaises_detretat.jpg

Cliffs & # 039; Etretat, Seine-Maritime, France.image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/all/themes/zen/lonelyplanet/images/creative-commons.png

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2. Reculée of Baume-les-Messieurs (Jura)

If the remote , deep valleys formed by effrondement the limestone plateau in some places, are characteristic of the Jura landscape , that of Baume-les-Messieurs is particularly noteworthy. Consists of three valleys overhung vertical walls 200 m high, it indeed offers an extraordinary landscape . To admire, it is best to go to the belvedere rocks Baume, near the village of Crançot. Hence, if you are a little rash (especially with good shoes), do not hesitate to descend to the bottom of the cave by the «scales Crançot» an amazing staircase carved into the rock. You will discover an unsuspected underworld.

Do not miss, in the village of Baume-les-Messieurs, the magnificent Benedictine Abbey IXth century.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/reculee_de_baume-les-messieurs.jpg

Remote Baume-les-Messieurs, Jura, France.image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/all/themes/zen/lonelyplanet/images/creative-commons.png

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3. Gavarnie (Hautes-Pyrénées)

The »  Nature Colosseum  » said Victor Hugo, champion of hyperbole. One of the few French landscapes of epic proportions, worthy Rocky Wyoming. The cirque of Gavarnie , with its apex wall, his steps, his great waterfall that falls in line with a vertical wall, the highest of the Old Continent, has something to throw! But beware the crowds press in this summer amphitheater . Prefer half seasons and climbing donkey by way of the Gave . Ninety minutes of gentle ascent through the woods and then coat the rock. The show simply breathtaking.

Check with the local association mounts rental companies, donkey and horse Merens, pony ariégeois at 05 62 92 49 10.

4. Cingles Limeuil and Trémolat (Dordogne)

For ten centuries, man has built castles, country houses, churches and abbeys throughout the department. The nature of it, preferred the river to shape one of his whims. At Limeuil and Trémolat , Dordogne meanders described voluptuous, plying across the valley. You have to take the pitch to embrace these cingles , wide curves with deep blue contrasts with the color fields of the mosaic of meadows and trees. We discover from the top of the natural viewpoints , carved from dense thickets. At sunset, the view is mesmerizing .

Besides his lashes, Limeuil, built on a steep promontory, is worth a visit: it is ranked among the «most beautiful villages in France».

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/cingles_de_limeuil_et_de_tremolat.jpg

Cingles Trémolat, Dordogne, France.

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5. Massif of Sidobre (Tarn)

Welcome to the largest granite plateau in Europe, dating back 245 million years. A country where the strange hills, forests and streams are home to giant blocks. A few kilometers from Castres, this extension of the Massif Central is a permanent contradiction between chaos of rocks and green haven. Must passages are trembling rock of Seven False , a stone of 900 tonnes to seven meters high and Peyro Clabado , classified historic monument  : 780 tons of rock laid in balance on a base of one square meter.

guided tours, 1 hour, 30 per day, from the Office of Tourism Sidobre with discovery of a career (05 63 74 63 38).

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/sidobre_0.jpg

Massif du Sidobre, Tarn, France image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/all/themes/zen/lonelyplanet/images/creative-commons.png

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6. Ploumanach (Côtes d’Armor)

The pink granite rocks carved over thousands of years by waves and wind are the hallmark of this stretch of coastline aptly named Pink Granite Coast . Midway between the resorts of Perros-Guirec and Trégastel, the Ploumanach natural site unveils the most famous colors. By borrowing the coastguard path, find the rock Lovers of the Sea Turtle and the Skull , among other specimens, which get their name from their surreal shapes. The occasion also a sunset masterful sun .

Consider offering you a nap on a rock warmed by the sun.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/ploumanach.jpg

Ploumanach, Côtes d & # 039; Armor, France.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/all/themes/zen/lonelyplanet/images/creative-commons.png

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7. Chaos de Montpellier-le-Vieux (Aveyron)

This is an unusual walk that promises the labyrinth of rocks of Montpellier-le-Vieux . His distorted shapes due to the limestone and the effect of water. This gray stone city of the Causse Black puzzling and gives pride to the imagination. While the Bear and Crocodile watch over the plate, you will pass between the legs of the Sphinx , under the Arc de Triomphe and the gate of Mycenae. With good shoes, spend a whole day exploring its natural shelters that served to animals and to humans.

The site offers five waymarked walks, a visit by train and the opportunity to practice the via ferrata. Open from March to November.

8. Circus Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval (Haute-Savoie)

This huge limestone amphitheater is the largest mountainous circus of the Alps, nestled in the Giffre Valley . At the foot of steep cliffs, the height can reach 700 m, we realize the power of nature. Especially in spring, when dozens of waterfalls wake up to offer a visual spectacle and sound unique. Everywhere, water gushed from the walls, though with a star, the Rouget waterfall , in which its high-volume and height (90 m) has earned the nickname »  Queen of the Alps  «.

An interpretive trail laid lets hiking in the circus and leads to the Fond de la Combe, where the glacial valley closes (www.savoie-mont-blanc.com).

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/cascade_du_rouget.jpg

Circus Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, Haute-Savoie, France.

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9. Rougiers de Camarès and Marcillac (Aveyron)

The Nature sometimes reserving many surprises, it’s a trip to Mars that invites us here on earth two rougiers Aveyron . As the name suggests, the Rougier de Marcillac , north of the department, and that of Camarès , in the south, are of red brick, due to soil rich in iron oxide. Formed between 290 and 250 million years ago, in what constituted areas of lagoons and deltas, in a tropical climate, hot and humid, both natural micro today worth a visit for their special atmosphere … and beauty  !

For practical information, visit these sites: www.aveyron.com, www.tourisme-aveyron.com, www.paysageaveyron.com

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/rougiers_de_camares_et_de_marcillac.jpg

Rougiers de Camarès and Marcillac, Aveyron, France.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/all/themes/zen/lonelyplanet/images/creative-commons.png

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10. Mont Aiguille (Isère)

Sometimes needle , sometimes molar , it changes according to the place where we admire … With its unique silhouette, visible for kilometers around, the Mont Aiguille , on the eastern flank of the Vercors, is considered the cradle mountaineering . Climbed for the first time in 1492, the tower quadrangular limestone rises to 2086 m and stands out clearly from the Vercors . Result of strong sedimentation the vertiginous walls of Mount fascinate mountaineers but its ascent remains difficult. However, a marked route allows to walk around on foot.

Count 1 100 m elevation and 7:30 walk to go around the Mont Aiguille (to split it in two steps). IGN maps n os 3236 and 3237 OT.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/mont_aiguille.jpg

Mont Aiguille, Isere, France.

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