The world's most popular tourist destination revealed!

The world's most popular tourist destination revealed!

France is still sitting pretty as the world's most popular tourist destination.

The UN's World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said on Wednesday 2 August that it has been the most-visited country in 2016, despite concerns over terror attacks.

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France welcomed 82.6 million visitors in 2016, which did see a drop of two per cent on the previous year's figures but was still enough for the country to stay on top.

The United States came in as second most popular, followed closely by Spain. The US saw 75.61 million visitors, a drop of three per cent, while Spain was snapping at its heels with 75.56 million, an increase of 10 per cent.

With just under 60 million visitors, China came in at fourth place, and Italy stayed at fifth place.

The country that made the most from tourism in 2016, however? The United States, which took in £130 billion, followed by Spain, which took £45 billion.

It's no surprise France reigns supreme as the world's top tourist destination. One of the most stunning, culturally rich and well-known countries of the world, France offers something for everyone any time of year. Whether you fancy a city break in Paris or Marseille, a ski holiday in the French Alps, a relaxing rural escape in Bordeaux or Brittany, or soaking up the sun in the glamour of the Riviera, the country is diverse enough to give you any type of holiday you wish.

Best beaches in France (according to TripAdvisor reviewers)
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Best beaches in France (according to TripAdvisor reviewers)

Biarritz's Plage de la Cote des Basques comes top of the Tripadvisor's Travellers' Choice list of best beaches in France - and reviewers cannot stop raving about it. This expansive stretch of golden sand lures sun worshippers from far and near, and it's one of France's most popular surfing beaches. The views towards Spain are spectacular.

Best hotel with a sea view: Le Regina Biarritz Hotel and Spa

Palombaggia beach is one of five beaches in Corsica to make the top ten best beaches in France. Just a few kilometres south of Porto-Vecchio, this beautiful curve of white sand and warm turquoise water is set against a background of pine trees, juniper bushes and red rocks. Expect crowds in the summer months: Palombaggia's restaurants, water sport rentals and holiday villas have developed at a rapid rate in recent years, so visit off season to get the “postcard” image of it. 

Best hotel on the beach: The Grand Hotel Calla Rossa

Right on the border with Spain, Hendaye (Basque: Hendaia) is the most south-westerly town and commune in France. This Basque resort has a 3km long sandy child-friendly beach, and is popular with divers, sailers, kayakers and surfers alike. The beautiful gothic Abbadia Chateau Observatory watches over the town - well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Top hotel with beach view: Hotel Serge Blanco and Thalassotherapy Centre

The beautiful beach of Le Touquet Paris Plage, on the coast of the Nord Pas de Calais region of northern France, is a a mere two-hour drive away from the French capital, while the Brits can get there in just 20 minutes thanks to flights from Ashford, Kent. This vast expanse of wide sand and dunes and pretty town make it a wonderful year-round area to explore.

Best hotel with a sea view: Novotel Thalassa Le Touquet

 Pampelonne is the longest, most famous (and therefore most popular) beach in St Tropez. In high summer, this three-mile sandy stretch lures more than 30,000 people per day. Now a playground for the rich, famous and debauched, this beach has historical significance too: it was the key site of the Allied landings at the end of the Second World War. 

Best hotel on the beach: Hotel La Residence de la Pinede

Santa Giulia the second of five beaches in Corsica to make France's top ten, is spectacular, with unbelievably clear waters and white soft sands. The sea here is shallow and calm, and its lagoon-like properties make it particularly popular with families. 

Best hotel with a sea view: Hotel Castell' Verde

Petit Sperone, near Bonifacio, in the south of Corsica, boasts outstanding naturally pristine pearl white sands and aquamarine waters. Petite Sperone (the smaller and quieter of the two beaches here) can be reached by foot in around 15 minutes, along Piantarella, or you can hire a kayak.

Best hotel with a sea view: Hotel U Capu Bianco, Bonifacio

This lovely beach, 15 or so kms from the pretty village of Piana, remains relatively undeveloped and offers spectacular scenery. This spot is famous for being the landing place used by the submarine Casabianca to land the first cargo of arms for the 'Pearl Harbour' mission in December 1942. 

Best hotel with a sea view: Hotel Scandola

Espiguette is the king of the Languedoc's beaches: miles upon miles of sandy dunes mean you'll always be able to find a quiet spot, even in peak season (which means that its outer reaches are popular with nudists).

Best hotel with sea view: Hotel Splendid Carmargue

Beautiful Paloma is a small shingle beach with a verdant backdrop at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, on the French Riviera. This is a favourite of the jet set and celebrities, and is surrounded by some of France's most expensive villas and hotels.

Best hotel with a sea view: Hotel Royal Riviera


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