Discover our 10 favourite destinations, to experience the best Lorraine has to offer.
A weekend isn’t enough to see all the beauty of Lorraine, an authentic and preserved travel destination. For those unfamiliar with the diversity of Lorraine’s culture, here’s the top 10 favourite places, to discover the best of this French region with a lot of heart and a story to tell.
For wide open protected spaces and rustic landscapes, head to the Lorraine Regional Nature Park and enjoy a getaway along the country roads and marked hiking trails, on foot or by bike. Don’t miss: the fascinating dance of the migratory birds from one of the 7 observatories of the Park at Domaine de Lindre, the Lachaussée nature reserve or Madine Lake. The biggest lake in the region is popular with the locals for its sandy beach and seaside atmosphere.
Verdun has become the symbol of the First World War by the intensity and length of the battles that were fought there. The battlefield is a 17,000-hectare lunar landscape, a unique place, preserving sites and vestiges of this horrible war. Discover: the exceptional displays of the completely renovated Verdun Memorial Museum, the Ossuary of Douaumont, an imposing construction that holds the unidentified remains of 130,000 men, the forts of Douaumont and Vaux, the Trench of Bayonets, and more.
Head off to conquer the West of the Vosges, and discover two unexpected relics: the birthplace and home of Joan of Arc with its interpretive centre in Domrémy-la-Pucelle and the spectacular Gallo-Roman site in Grand. Its 232 m² mosaic is considered the largest known work in Europe.
With its architecture typical of 18th century spa towns, its casino, its race track and its golf course, the town has retained an instantly charming retro atmosphere. Enjoy the pleasures of the regenerative qualities of the waters at “Vittel Spa” in a modern and comfortable setting.
In the shadow of the mountains, the road winds its way up between the pine trees to reach the ridges of the Vosges Mountains. The horizon opens onto a breath-taking panorama of the famous blue line of the Vosges. From the highest summit, the peak of Hohneck, take a long walk in the upper mountain pastures before stopping for a break in an authentic farmhouse inn.
Immerse yourself in the heart of the Age of Enlightenment at the Château de Lunéville with its French gardens and Bosquets Park. Just nearby, another universe of refinement unfolds with Baccarat, the famous crystal company known the world over. Its unique creations are on display in its new museum in the former director’s residence.
Nestled between Nancy and Metz, spanning the Moselle River, you’d never know this calm and serene town was internationally renowned. Around the world, pipes and manhole covers carry the stamp of the town’s steel production. But Pont-à-Mousson was also home to a Jesuit university known around Europe, which explains the incredible architectural heritage of the town. An authentic treasure waiting to be discovered.
Climb aboard for a journey through time with the imperial quarter (a candidate for the UNESCO world heritage list), medieval streets and the impressive Centre Pompidou-Metz, a masterpiece of French contemporary art that puts on an original and significant annual programme of exhibitions and events. Currently on display: two major exhibitions “Sublime. The Tremors of the World” that explores the ambivalent fascination with the forces of nature and “Musicircus” presenting around forty flagship works of the collection of the Centre Pompidou-Paris. The masterpieces include the painting La Noce by Marc Chagall, the reconstitution of Salon de Réception by Wassily Kandinsky and the majestic mobile of Alexander Calder.
Only 30 minutes by car from Metz, Amnéville-les-Thermes has a host of unique activities in the heart of the forest with a one-of-a-kind concept. This out-of-the-ordinary tourist centre combines relaxation and leisure activities with 3 spas, one of the largest zoos in Europe, Snow Hall: the longest indoor ski slope in the world, a casino, a golf course, and more. Not-to-be-missed: Villa Pompéi, a luxurious spa with an ancient Rome atmosphere and its mirabelle plum massage, the iconic fruit of Lorraine.
On the German border, the town of Sarreguemines takes advantage of its location with its fantastic bike paths along the Franco-German Saar Canal. Discover its two museums dedicated to faience earthenware and the extraordinary garden, all of which can be easily visited by bike along the canal. A unique heritage that is worth the trip to this charming little border town.