Culture and the sea - a winning combination

With such an array of museums, castles, historic sites, aquariums and archaeological ruins, in France, you can nourish your brain while filling your lungs with invigorating sea air. The scenic French coast is unique in that it's home to numerous museums and tourist sights where you can fully embrace the local culture. It's the perfect holiday for both the body and mind.

• Caen - a place of remembrance Caen's memorial (External link), dedicated in large part to the Second World War, is quite unique. Through its skilful layout, film presentations and photographic displays, the museum's message to visitors is not to forget this period in history through the slogan "Never Again."

Carnac (External link) - prehistory brought to life One of the world's key prehistoric sites, Carnac and its museum retraces the development of mankind from a period around 450,000 years ago. The collection is one of the most comprehensive anywhere in the world, with over 6,000 exhibits on display. During your stay in Carnac, make sure you also visit the famous rows of menhirs at Kermario, where 982 stones are laid out for eternity.

• La Rochelle - 20,000 leagues under the sea Discover a peaceful underwater world in one of the largest and most stunning aquariums in Europe, where you'll be spellbound by the vibrant colors of the 10,000 species from tropical and Arctic waters that live freely in the aquarium's tanks. And with an audio guide to help you, you won't miss anything there is to know about this exciting underground world.

Biarritz (External link) - a window on the Orient Fans of Asia will now be flocking to the centre of Biarritz to visit one of the 5 largest Oriental museums in Europe. Asiatica has over 1,000 fascinating works of art on display from prehistoric times to the present day, covering the area from India to China.

Marseille (External link) - a unique château An austere fortress built on an island off the coast of Marseille, the Château d’If was once a famous prison. Nowadays you can visit its imposing fortifications and its legendary dungeons which inspired Alexandre Dumas in writing his novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.

Nice (External link) - a showcase for modern art If you're an admirer of the work of artists such as Klein, Warhol, Arman and César, then don't miss the superb MAMAC, Nice's Contemporary and Modern Art Museum, with its outstanding collection of works by great modern masters. (External link) (External link)

• Monaco Discover the ancestor of French and European oceanographic museums. This geant building, created in 1910, overlooking the Mediteranean, offers its visitors a stunning collection of marine species.

Contacts

Mémorial de Caen (External link)

Musée de la Préhistoire (External link)

Alignements de Kermario (External link)

Aquarium La Rochelle (External link)

Asiatica (External link)

Mamac (External link)

Musée Océano (External link)

Paris