That first glimpse of La Cité's sturdy, stone, witch's-hat turrets above Carcassonne in the Languedoc is enough to make your hair stand on end. But the region also has an international reputation for gastronomy, with exciting, new and well-established Michelin-starred restaurants dotted across its towns and villages. Its cuisine is similarly diverse, encompassing fruit, olives, herbs, seafood and lamb. When you're done, you can download your France travel guide to your phone or tablet, or print it as a PDF. This Unesco World Heritage Site near Nîmes in southern France is gargantuan: 35 arches straddle the Roman aqueduct's 275m-long upper tier, containing a watercourse that was designed to carry 20,000 cu metres of water per day. The city is also home to some impressive examples of Art Nouveau furniture and glassware hailing from the days of the École de Nancy, founded at the end of the nineteenth century by glass-master and furniture-maker, Émile Gallé. Take a trip to Epernay, the birthplace of Champagne. Switzerland. It remains one the planet's most visited tourist destination, meriting its standing with an almost overwhelming mass of historical treasures, storybook landscapes, and cultural idiosyncrasies. France Travel Guide . These road trips take you through some of the best of France with incredible scenery, fascinating history and, of course, superb wine. The graceful former capital, Nancy, is home to a major school of Art Nouveau and is well worth a visit, as is leafy Metz, with its sparkling new contemporary art gallery. Antibes. To be truly wooed, drive the Route des Vins d'Alsace in autumn, when vines are heavy with grapes waiting to be harvested and colours are at their vibrant best. Rolling hills with vineyards stretching to the horizon. The zoo holds a large number of rare species; many of them are photogenic mammals, such as snow leopards, Siberian tigers, dwarf hippos and a big number of monkey species. More than six million people visit the Eiffel Tower annually – and from an evening ascent amid twinkling lights over a flute of Champagne to a lazy lunch in one of its restaurants, every visit is magical. You need a car to get there – and to move around the site. Photograph by Christian Heeb, laif,Redux. Pétanque matches played after work and on weekends are part and parcel of the daily rhythm of life, especially in the south. Private companies, which also strive to maintain French traditions in arenas as diverse as haute couture, pottery and, of course, food, are perfect examples of this. This is prime Elsässisch-speaking country, a German dialect known to philologists as Alemannic, which has waxed and waned during the province’s chequered history. Feeding of animals takes place several times a day; the wolf-pack feed is the biggest draw. Read the Fodor's reviews, or post your own. If it nudges one of the other team’s balls, it’s made a “biberon”, or “baby’s bottle”. Walk around it alone or, better still, hook up with a guide in nearby Genêts for a dramatic day hike across the bay. Pedalling past open fields dotted with the world's greatest concentration of mysterious megaliths gives a poignant reminder of Brittany's ancient human inhabitants. France Travel Guide When it comes to tourism in France, Paris is at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists and for a good reason. 4.6 out of 5 stars 549. “Faire la Micheline” means to turn up for a game without your own set of boules. Enjoy! We still need to wait, but we would love to give you some ideas to dream about, so that when you are ready to travel, you know where you want to go … From our spectacular mountain ranges to our warm sandy beaches, from our astonishing historic towns to our charming little villages. In 1916, aiming to break the stalemate of trench warfare, the German General Erich von Falkenhayn chose Verdun as the target for an offensive that ranked among the most devastating ever launched in the annals of war. Enjoy exploring the charming streets, stopping off for macarons in delightful little cafes. This is white wine country – if you do spot a local red, it will invariably be a Pinot Noir. Onions, too, crop up frequently on menus, either in the guise of a tart (tarte à l’oignon), made with a béchamel sauce, or as flammeküche (tarte flambée), a mixture of onion, cream and pieces of chopped smoked pork breast, baked on a thin, pizza-like base. • France has a long secular republican tradition dating back to the revolution of 1789. Train services are admirably efficient, as is the road network – especially the (toll-paying) autoroutes – and … France - Plan your trip (PDF Chapter) Details. You’ll see this Gallic version of bowls played on countless squares across the country, where groups of mostly middle-aged men in baggy shorts congregate around gravel-and-dirt boulodromes to lob heavy metal boules at diminutive wooden ones called cochonnets (literally “piglets”). From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Travel Guide France. France boasts metropolitan powerhouse cities that represent the countries accumulation of wealth, evident in the astonishing variety of places to visit, from the Dordogne's prehistoric cave paintings and the Roman monuments of the south, to the Gothic cathedrals of the north, the chateaux of the Loire, and the cutting-edge architecture of the grands projets in Paris. Welcome to France France seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with … $4.95 USD. Drink-wise, France boasts some of the best wines, and of course, there is Champagne. Yes, food and drink can be cheap if you eat at the markets but, generally, accommodation and transportation cost a lot and it takes a delicate balancing act to visit France on a budget. As the proud home of Mathias Grünewald’s magnificent Issenheim altarpiece – on display in the Musée d’Unterlinden –the town is a magnet for tourists all year round. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines. So check out our France Travel Guide and many articles on France below so you don’t miss all that France and the big city of Paris have to offer. A thirty-minute drive north of Metz lies Amnéville, an easy-to-overlook town off the A31 motorway. For most people, however, it’s the unique characters of the regions that will define a trip. For your average Frenchman, any recipe for a relaxing summer’s evening would have to include the three Ps: plane trees (or palms at a pinch); pastis; and that most quintessentially French of games, pétanque. Kelby Carr. The dramatic play of tides on this abbey-island in Normandy is magical and mysterious. Travelling around France is easy. Tick of the main sites on the checklist; the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. By the time the main battle ended ten months later, nine villages had been pounded into oblivion. The climate in France can be tricky to navigate when deciding the best time to visit. And, most insulting of all for wannabe pétanque players from the UK, “faire de l’anglais” describes a totally hopeless throw. With over 60 years of experience assisting travelers visiting Paris, Nice, Bordeaux and beyond, Auto Europe is excited to share our knowledge with you in this up-to-date France travel and driving guide. Some come to follow the trail of France's great philosophers, writers and artists, or to immerse in the beautiful language it gave the world. Gastronomically no less renowned than other French provinces, Lorraine has bequeathed to the world one of its favourite savoury pies, the quiche lorraine, and an alcoholic sorbet, the coupe lorraine. per chapter. Despite the long, tall bottles and Germanic names, Alsatian wines are unmistakably French in their ability to complement the region’s traditional cuisine. The Battle of Verdun opened on the morning of February 21, 1916, with a German artillery barrage that lasted ten hours and expended two million shells. All of these crazy celebrations should be on your calendar this holiday season. The valley is riddled with beautiful châteaux sporting glittering turrets and ballrooms, lavish cupolas and chapels. When in doubt, hang back, copy what everyone else does, and go left for the first one. Here’s a rundown of the very best castles in the region: Bernstein Explore the marvellous ruins of this castle perched 562m up on a rock overlooking Dambach-la-Ville. A whole lexicon has evolved around pétanque to describe different throws and scenarios. No elements found. Traditionally it’s served with large helpings of smoked pork, ham and sausages, but some restaurants offer a succulent variant replacing the meat with fish (choucroute aux poissons), usually salmon and monkfish. The extraordinary painted panels are the work of Mathias Grünewald (1480–1528). Bustling Mulhouse stands out for its industrial heritage and entertaining nightlife. For the French, it’s a national institution; a symbol of unity; a chance, as the riders pit themselves against the toughest terrain the mighty héxagone can throw at them, to admire the scenic splendour of the country in all its summer glory, with the fields of the Garonne’s sun flowers in full bloom, the Côte d’Azur at its most sleek, and the craggy Alps basking under boundless blue skies. Many dream of its joie de vivre shown by the countless restaurants, picturesque villages and world-famous gastronomy. Cake-lovers should try kugelhopf, a dome-shaped cake with a hollow in the middle made with raisins and almonds. On the rest of the panels, you’ll find a truly disturbing representation of the temptation of St Anthony, who is engulfed by a grotesque pack of demons; note the figure afflicted with the alarming symptoms of ergotism. Free download . The Dune du Pilat is a 'mountain' that has to be climbed – and gleefully romped down at speed. Disputed for centuries by French kings and the princes of the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently embroiled in a bloody tug-of-war between France and Germany, France’s easternmost provinces, Alsace and Lorraine, share a tumultuous history. eBook. Marseille, in particular, has a host of exciting new cultural institutions, a legacy of its year as European Capital of Culture in 2013. Millions more watch on television – though few of them are cycling aficionados. Add to Cart. Be it fresh fish by the port in seafaring Marseille, early summer's strings of pink garlic, Cavaillon melons and cherries all summer long or wintertime's earthy 'black diamond' truffles, Provence thrives on a bounty of local produce – piled high each morning at the market. France is located in Western Europe, bordered by the English Channel and Bay of Biscay, with Belgium and Germany to the north, Switzerland, and Italy to the east and Spain to the south. During the twenty-odd years of his office in the mid-eighteenth century, he ordered some of the most successful construction of the period in all France. Alsace’s less prosperous and less scenic neighbour, Lorraine, shares borders with Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium. The highlights are the locally made Bugatti models: dozens of alluringly displayed, glorious racing cars, coupés and limousines, the pride of them being the two Bugatti Royales, out of only seven that were constructed. The city of Nancy, on the River Meurthe, is renowned for the magnificent place Stanislas, cited as a paragon of eighteenth-century urban planning and today the finest in France. Alsatians are fond of their pastries. The north experiences similar weather to the UK, often being wet and moderately unpredictable. Living Language French, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning Living Language. The main sights are reached via two minor roads that snake through the battlefields: the D913 and D112. We may even recommend a product or two which we think you'll find appealing. He lived out his final years in aristocratic style in the capital, Nancy, which he transformed into one of France’s most beautiful towns. Things Not to Miss in France • Visit wineries in … This road also represents the region’s chief tourist raison d’être – wine – best accompanied with a regional cuisine that’s more Germanic than French, although you’ll find plenty of creativity in modern Alsatian cooking. Your travels to France would not be complete without visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower in the heart of Paris. A noticeably wealthy province, Alsace has historically churned out cars and textiles, not to mention half the beer in France. Kelby Hartson Carr is a former resident of Nice, France who has written multiple guides and articles about French tourism. Here's all you need to know. Featured Stories. Book. Said by Celtic mythology to be a sea tomb to which souls of the dead were sent, Mont St-Michel is rich in legend and history, keenly felt as you make your way across the bridge – or barefoot across rippled sand – to this stunning architectural ensemble. But – our tip – much of Champagne's finest liquid gold is created by passionate, small-scale vignerons (winegrowers) in drop-dead-gorgeous villages, rendering the region's scenic driving routes the loveliest way of tasting fine bubbly amid rolling vineyards. The game was invented in 1907 in the town of La Ciotat on the Côte d’Azur by an enthusiastic bowler whose rheumatism prevented him from making the usual extended run up. The food revolves around Alsatian classics, such as choucroute, all accompanied by local wines (or, in a bierstub, beer). Nice's Carnaval, with roots going back to the 13th century, really came into its own in the 1870s, with the advent of elaborate floats, masked costume balls, and batailles de fleurs, in which young women riding in elegantly decorated carriages would shower the crowds with fresh-cut flowers.A century and a half later, much remains the same. Instead, he devised a version of his favourite sport in which the bowler’s feet stayed planted firmly on the ground (pieds tanqués). Post-ride, try to unravel the mystery from the soft-sand comfort of La Grande Plage, Carnac’s longest and most popular beach, with a 2km-long stretch of pearly white sand. No region is such a market-must. Getting Around France. In our France Travel Guide for Kids you will find some interesting travel information for children and families that was chosen and researched by kids, especially for kids. Whether you are looking for the best restaurants, museums, places to visit, and things to do, France Travel Blog has it all. Some phallic fertility cult? The fourteenth-century Porte Chaussée guards the river-crossing in the middle of town. It was extensively damaged during the Thirty Years’ War but there’s still plenty to see, including beautiful gardens. Colmar’s foremost attraction, the Musée d’Unterlinden is an even richer experience after a lengthy period of renovation and extension. But the main attraction is the zoo – one of the largest in France. Nearby, a simple engraving lists all the years between 450 and 1916 that Verdun has been involved in conflict. The diversity of France's beautiful landscape means there are many routes to choose from, so if you have a particular mission in mind, check out our range of itineraries, or alternatively plan a tailor-made trip with one of our experts. Defining beauty and wonder in southwestern France . Plan Your Trip. Copyright © 2020 Apa Digital AG, all rights reserved. The only pit stops en route are half-timbered villages and roadside wine cellars, where fruity Alsace vintages can be swirled, tasted and bought. Don't forget to look back when you leave to view the old city, beautifully illuminated, glowing in the warm night. The law is still in place, though no longer enforced. The classic dish is choucroute, the aromatic pickled cabbage known in German as sauerkraut. To this day, memorials in every village, hamlet and town of France are inscribed with the names of men slaughtered at Verdun. Along with its rather splendid cathedral, a strong dining scene (inspired by the Renaissance writer and famous gourmand, Rabelais, who lived here for two years), large and beautiful flower-lined public spaces and riverside setting, the honey-coloured city of Metz is something of an undiscovered gem. For truly fabulous beaches, however, head for the rugged island of Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon and home to an Italian-leaning culture and cuisine and some fascinating Neolithic sculptures. • In 1910, a law was passed in France forbidding couples from kissing on train platforms to avoid delayed departures. But we do accept advertising from hotels, chateaus and guest houses. Gewurztraminer Alsace’s most aromatic grape, with roses, lychees, honey, spices and all manner of exotic flavours. Taxes are high, at around 43 percent, but so is social spending, at almost 30 percent. Our travel guides review each region of France, then each regional travel guide has more detailed department travel guides, each in turn with reviews and guides for many of the most popular places to visit throughout France. France Travel guide. If you're contemplating a trip to France you'll want to be well prepared. Restaurants and hotels proliferate, many of them relatively inexpensive when compared with other developed Western European countries. Haut Koenigsbourg A massive pile of honey-coloured sandstone that sits astride a 757m bluff, this castle dates from the twelfth century. France Travel Blog is aimed to be the Best Travel Guide for France and Paris. From cycling between châteaux in the Loire, to biking among vineyards in Burgundy, here are ten of the best spots to explore by bike in France. © 2020 Lonely Planet. The red-and-white checked tablecloths, closely packed tables and decades-old bistro decor could be anywhere in France. Happy travels! The core of the collection is housed in a former Dominican convent with a peaceful cloistered garden; it includes the museum’s biggest draw, the Issenheim altarpiece, which is thought to have been made between 1512 and 1516 for the monastic order of St Anthony at Issenheim, whose members cared for those afflicted by ergotism and other nasty skin diseases. The difference here is the inclusion of juniper berries in the pickling stage and the addition of goose grease or lard. Ruined medieval castles are scattered about, while outstanding churches and museums are concentrated in the handsome regional capital of Strasbourg and in smaller, quirkier Colmar. 5.011 restaurants . Go tailor-made! Share Pin Email Tim Stocker Photography / Getty Images. It’s much cheaper to stay here than in neighbouring Colmar (or Basel), plus it offers the best nightlife in Alsace should you find yourself there over a weekend. Today the city has another connection to the capital in the much-lauded satellite branch of the Centre Pompidou. Other wines you’re likely to come across include the grapey Muscat, straightforward Sylvaner, and delicate Pinot Blanc/Auxerrois, which also forms the base of the region’s excellent sparkling Crémant d’Alsace. Start exploring here: Northern France with Brittany, Normandy & Paris. Try with pungent Munster cheese or rich pâté. Travel. 4.8 out of 5 stars 175. My Life in France This classic Julia Child book will make you fall in love with French cuisine. Free access. Most villages are medieval, built from golden stone and riddled with cobbled lanes, flower-filled alleys and hidden squares silent but for the glug of a fountain. The Neo-Gothic cathedral opposite the museum was built in 1866, replacing a twelfth-century church, yet its fourteenth-century stained glass is considered the most beautiful in the Upper Rhine; this is the only Protestant cathedral standing in a main square in France. Flowing for more than 1000km into the Atlantic Ocean, the Loire is one of France's last fleuves sauvages (untamed rivers) and its banks provide a 1000-year snapshot of French high society. Briefly speaking, the best time to visit is during late spring to early autumn, when the temperature is warm and crowds are not swarmed with tourists. Impossibly perched on a rocky peak above the Mediterranean, gloriously lost in back country, fortified or château-topped… Southern France's portfolio of villages perchés is vast and impressive, and calls for go-slow touring – on foot, by bicycle or car. The Centre Pompidou-Metz, the first decentralized branch of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, opened with much pomp and ceremony in Metz’s Quartier de l’Amphithéâtre in May 2010. Snow-sports fiends fly down slopes on skis or boards in order to savour the breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and surrounding mountains. To the west, Brittany is renowned for its Celtic links, beautiful coastline, prehistoric sites and seafood, while the Loire valley, extending inland towards Paris, is famed for soft, fertile countryside and a marvellous parade of châteaux. For its spectacularly grand centre, Nancy has the last of the independent dukes of Lorraine to thank: the dethroned king of Poland and father-in-law of Louis XV, Stanislas Leszczynski. Train services are admirably efficient, as is the road network – especially the (toll-paying) autoroutes – and cyclists are much admired and encouraged. Beyond it, further along rue Mazel, a flight of steps climbs up to the towering Monument de la Victoire, where a helmeted warrior leans on his sword in commemoration of the 1916 battle, while in the crypt below a roll is kept of all the soldiers, French and American, who took part. From colonial history to fishing techniques, aeroplane design to textiles, and migrant shepherds to manicure, an array of impressive collections can be found across the nation. Our favourite: exploring the region’s best Champagne museum, the Musée de la Vigne et du Vin, in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, followed by a tasting and lunch in the village at Le Mesnil. Romantic hill towns and castles, meandering river valleys, and oceans of vineyards carpet this country's landscape. For the next twenty-odd years he lived on a French pension in northern Alsace, but after fifteen years Stanislas’s luck changed when he managed, against all odds, to get his daughter, Marie, betrothed to the 15-year-old king of France, Louis XV. Enjoy a glass of authentic bubbly whilst taking in the beautiful landscape of rolling green hills. Pinot Noir is used for light, fruity reds and rosés. France Travel Guide. Rough Guides® is a trademark owned by Apa Group with its headquarters at France Travel Guide. Here's what you need to know about buying property around the Med. Travelling around France is easy. Bolstered by his daughter’s marriage, Stanislas had another spell on the Polish throne from 1733 to 1736, but gave it up in favour of the comfortable dukedom of Barr and Lorraine. Whether you have a day, a week, or a month to explore, Paris is a travel experience in its own. The luridly expressive centre panel depicts the Crucifixion: a tortured Christ turns his outsize hands upwards, fingers splayed in pain, flanked by his pale, fainting mother and saints John and Mary Magdalene. • France remains by far the world's most popular tourist destination, with some 82 million visitors annually. Because the Tour de France is far more than a mere bike race. There’s also the most expensive Bugatti in the world today, priced at a cool €1.6 million. More Romanesque churches follow the pilgrim routes through rural Poitou-Charentes and down the Atlantic coast to Bordeaux, where the wines rival those of Burgundy. Combine a village visit with lunch alfresco – La Table de Ventabren near Aix-en-Provence is one such dreamy address that you'll never want to leave. Dive in deep to France's food and drink culture, that will have you eager to travel to France as soon as you can. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. Winemakers take advantage of the long, dry autumns to pick extremely ripe grapes producing wines with a little more sweetness than elsewhere in France, but good wines will have a refreshing natural acidity, too. Developing with speed and panache is a third section: the Quartier de l’Amphithéâtre, south of the train station, heralded by the Centre Pompidou and the adjacent sports stadium – shops and offices are slowly following. Restaurants and hotels proliferate, many of them relatively inexpensive when compared with other developed Western European countries. Not only is the coastal panorama from the top of Europe's largest sand dune a stunner – ogle at the Banc d'Arguin bird reserve and Cap Ferret across the bay – but nearby beaches have some of the Atlantic Coast's best surf. The battle concentrated on the forts of Vaux and Douaumont, built by the French after the 1870 Franco–Prussian War. “Faire la chanson” refers to attempts to distract the opposition by chatting between points. It is one of France's most popular drives – and for good reason. 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