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France is filled to the brim with fantastic locations for photography. So we are only going to cover our very top locations in this photography guide to France. We will start in the north before making our way to the east. We finish in France’s crowning jewel, Provence.

Loire Valley

The Loire valley located in the northeast of France is littered with chateaus and medieval villages located along the banks of the Loire river. From sweeping views over the river to a perfectly preserved chateaus. Or the winding cobbled streets of Amboise, it all provides a vista that won’t disappoint.

Top photography locations

  • Chateau de Chambord
  • Château de Chenonceau
  • Château de Cheverny
  • Azay-le-Rideau
  • Amboise
  • Blois
  • Saumur

Entrance fees – Towns are free but entry to Chateaus range from 5 to 15 Euro. Lots of the best shots of Chateaus are taken from a distance so you won’t need to pay an entrance for most. Unless of course, you want to see inside.

Best time to visit – The best time to visit the Loire Valley is during spring or autumn. This is when the summer crowds have left and the temperature is a little cooler. The Loire Valley is as lovely in spring when all the fresh blooms start to arrive as it is in autumn. You’ll be treated with rich yellows and reds that come to life in the early morning mist.

Top photo tip – Shoot sunrise on the river to capture the mist and really add some atmosphere to your shots.

Frances top photo locations

Loire Valley France

Champagne

The Champagne region is a relatively unphotographed location. But with half-timber medieval towns surrounded by grapevines, it provides some of the most sweeping views in all of France. So it could not be missed off in our photography guide to France. Compact and easily accessible, the Champagne region is one of the quietest and most beautiful landscapes in the country.

Top photography locations

  • Troyes
  • Hautvillers
  • Vezy
  • Ville-Dommange
  • Chamery
  • Oger
  • Cumières

Entrance fees – You can walk or drive the small roads amongst the vineyards for great views of the towns and villages. Use the grapevines as the perfect leading lines in your composition.

Best time to visit – The fall harvest is at the end of September and the grapevines look particularity stunning as the leaves turn yellow and the villages are shrouded in mist.

Top photo tip – Get up high above the villages to really utilise those leading lines of the vines.

vineyards france
Frances top photo locations

Alsace

Quaint and colourful towns with half-timber houses on the banks of the Rhine and surrounded by grapevines. That should tell you everything you need to know about this unique region. When you see it for yourself you will understand how it made it onto our list of France’s top photo locations.

Top photography locations

  • Strasbourg
  • Colmar
  • Riquewihr

Entrance fees – N/A

Best time to visit – Spring is delightful in the Alsace. Villages are full of flowers. Vineyards are green again and the weather is not too hot.

Top photo tip – Get up early and capture the villages as the locals go about their daily lives.

Frances top photo locations

Dordogne

Medieval towns and chateaus are scattered amongst the lush green and vibrant countryside that makes up the Dordogne. This is my personal favourite area of France to photograph. The perfectly placed towns are very quiet with almost all locations offering stunning views of the light brick chateaus. It’s also nice that the Instagram brigade don’t seem to have fully discovered the beauty of the Dordogne.

Top photography locations

  • Castelnaud-la-Chapelle
  • Beynac-et-Cazenac
  • La Roque-Gageac
  • Sarlat-la-Canéda
  • Rocamadour

Entrance fees – Entrance fees apply to some chateaus with prices ranging from 5 to 15 Euros

Best time to visit – May, June and September are all great times to visit Dordogne. The summer crowds haven’t arrived or have left after summer and the weather is generally very pleasant.

Top photo tip – Take a few steps backs to capture the setting of these stunning towns.

Dordogne france
Dordogne

Provence

From the lavender fields of the Valensole plateau to the picture-perfect villages of Gordes. Or from the bustling market towns of Avignon & Aix en Provence to the cultural hub of Marseilles the surrounding Calanques, Provence really does have it all. It will probably be top on most people’s list of France’s top photo locations

Top photography locations

  • Valensole Plateau
  • Gordes
  • Aix en Provence
  • Avignon
  • Bonniuex
  • Sault
  • Roussillon

Entrance fees – N/A

Best time to visit – Late June until mid-July when the whole region is covered in lavender. Especially the areas surrounding Valensole. This does mean the area will be a busier than usual but most photo locations are still relatively quiet and can be enjoyed freely.

Top photo tip – Scout the area and find a unique shot of the lavender fields that haven’t been shot a thousand times before. It’s easier than you might think.

Lavender fields in Provence France
Gordes France at sunrise

I hope you enjoyed our photography guide to France and if we have missed anything then let us know in the comments.


Jordan Banks is a successful travel photographer with almost 20 years of experience shooting assignments and campaigns for some of the worlds leading brands and companies. Why not join him on one of his France Lavender photography tours.


This Photography Guide to France and images are subject to copyright. Words and photos by Jordan Banks (That Wild Idea). Copying or reposting of photos or article elsewhere is strictly forbidden. Please contact us if you would like to use this feature on your website.

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