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MAP: Dive into our 10 refreshing places to cool off in France

From beaches to glacier lakes to wine cellars, we pick out some refreshingly cool beauty spots in France

There are many places around France where people can cool off on a hot day Pic: Vvvita / Shutterstock

With today set to be the hottest of this latest heatwave to hit France, we take a look at some of the country’s most stunning - and refreshing - landmarks. 

From beaches to waterfalls, from caves to wine cellars, there are many tourist spots worth visiting that do not necessarily mean sweating through two t-shirts. 

Check out our map of the different spots we have picked out, and below see enlarged pictures of the cool spots. 

Let us know at news@connexionfrance.com of any spots near you that you like to visit on a hot day or tell us about places you think we should add to our map. 

Read more: 19 French departments on orange alert as heatwave approaches peak

Arromanches beach

There are over 620km of coastline in Normandy, so there are plenty of beaches to go for a dip. One very nice spot is the beach at Arromanches-les-Bains in Calvados. 

Pic: Siem de Vos / Shutterstock

Paris parks

There are over 400 parks or green spaces in Paris, many of which make great havens from the roasting sun.

One of our favourites is the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement. Built on a quarry it is hilly with a lake, waterfall, bridges and, importantly, a lot of trees providing shade. 

It is worth noting that city authorities have created a map of 900 places to cool off in Paris, which you can see here

Pic: Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock

Lac de Gérardmer

There are many lakes around France and the Lac de Gérardmer is one excellent example. It is a glacial lake in Gérardmer (Vosges) and is located at over 660m above sea level. 

Pic: Sergii Zinko / Shutterstock

Wine cellars

You can also escape the heat in one of France’s 140,000 wine cellars dotted all around the country, many of which offer tours. The one pictured is located in Reims, the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region

Pic: barmalini / Shutterstock

Mer de Glace

Mountains are a great escape from the heat for those lucky enough to live near them. And what better destination than the ‘Mother of Ice’, a valley glacier located on the northern slopes of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. 

Pic: Svetlana Lokian / Shutterstock

Grotte de Choranche

Caves are another place to escape the heat and the Grotte de Choranche, located in the department of Isère and open all year round, is a good option. 

Pic: xdrew / Shutterstock

Calanque d'En Vau

The massif des Calanques is a protected national park home to 26 bays, called Calanques, that stretch from Marseille around to Cassis. Each bay is different in size and shape, but they offer excellent swimming spots. 

There are new restrictions on how many people can visit the Calanques each day, so if planning a visit you will need to reserve in advance. This is to limit over-tourism and damage to the landscape. 

The picture below shows the Calanque d'En Vau, the biggest and perhaps most spectacular of the Calanques.

Pic: Gaspar Janos / Shutterstock

The Padirac Chasm

The Padirac Chasm is the spectacular opening to a cave system in Lot (Midi-Pyrénées). The chasm is 35 metres in diameter and the great hole drops down over 100 metres – so it is safe to say it is not sunny down there. 

Below, there is an underground river that connects to a vast network that stretches for 55km underground. 

Pic: ETLI / Shutterstock

Caves of Sare

Sare in Pyrénées-Atlantiques is one of the most picturesque towns in France and its prehistoric caves are a sight to see. 

There is also a museum so you can extend your time out of the sun by even longer. 

Pic: Giuliano Del Gatto / Shutterstock

Le Faouët

Le Faouët is a commune in Morbihan, Brittany, that is surrounded by beautiful forests. 

There is a lot to do in the area, including visiting the chapelle Sainte-Barbe or walking along one of the rivers, including the Ellé, pictured below. 

Pic: Stephane Bidouze / Shutterstock

The above map is part of our ongoing series showcasing different elements of French society and culture through maps.

We have also written about French cheeses, funny commune names, local sweets and desserts, local aperitifs and many other topics.

If you have any suggestions for maps you would like us to make or think we should add anything to our previous articles, let us know at news@connexionfrance.com.

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