France boasts a staggering number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – 43 of them, which is more than almost any other country in Europe (only Italy and Spain have more)
Fascinating, diverse and staggeringly beautiful, they range from masterpieces of Romanesque, Gothic and modern architecture, to outstanding examples of civil engineering and prehistoric cave art. Here, Lyndsey McKinnell, of French family holiday specialist Siblu Villages, lists ten of the best.
Canal du Midi
Built in the 17th century to link the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, the Canal du Midi is a miracle of civil engineering which stretches some 240km, and includes no fewer than 328 locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels and other structures. The course of the Canal du Midi runs from to Toulouse (where it connects with the Canal de Garonne, thus linking it to the Atlantic) to Séte on the Mediterranean, through Unesco-listed Carcassonne as well as historic Béziers. Beside the sheer technical feat of building the canal, one of its most endearing features is the way its creator, Bézier-born engineer Pierre-Paul Riquet, blended it so beautifully into the surrounding landscape.