Overlooking the Rhone River on the western edge of Provence is the brilliant city of Avignon, France. Here, cobblestone lanes lined with towering plane trees swirl within the city’s medieval walls. Outdoor cafes sprawl into the squares where visitors and locals enjoy the sun and a glass of France’s best wine. While its long heritage plays a critical role in its success, Avignon is a very modern city with all the beauty, spirit, and French-ness that Provence has to offer.
One of France’s most distinctive geographical areas is found in the Camargue. This flat wetland area is one of Europe’s largest wetlands areas. The Camargue is a protected area with hundreds species of birds, white Camargue horses, black bulls, rice paddies and salt flats. Located on the Mediterranean coast and very close to Arles, the Camargue became a regional park in 1970. The main town of the Camargue is St. Marie de La Mer, but also the town of Aigues Mortes with its salt flats and pink lake attracts a lot of visitors in summer.
The Lavender Fields of Provence
The blooming season of lavender fields in France is from June to August. The best time to see these beautiful lavender fields can vary slightly from year to year depending on rainfall and temperature. Just be aware that it is the hottest and the most crowded season. I would recommend you to visit the fields just after the bloomings starts, towards the end of June and just before the end of the season, beginning of August.
There are many lavender festivals in Provence during the blooming period if you’re in the area at the time. Most of them are a one-day event. The theme is lavender and there’ll be a huge amount of locally produced lavender products to sample and to buy, but you will also experience local traditions like food, folk music, and arts & crafts.
Bordeaux’s emblematic architectural heritage consists of a clever mix of modern and ancient: from the 15th-century city gates to the maze of medieval streets, and from the sumptuous peristyle of the Grand Théâtre to the modernism of Miroir d’eau – the largest of its kind – which perfectly complements the classicist style of Place de la Bourse.
Saint-Emilion is a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area. It is a very unique site were world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture and great monuments are a perfect match.The legend tells us about a monk from Brittany who fled from Vannes, his hometown, to seek refuge in one of the natural caves in a place called Ascum bas (former name of the village) in the 8th century.
His name was Emilion. Living the life of a hermit he accomplished a few miracles and rapidly became famous in the region and even far beyond its border s. Soon he had many disciples and with their help he evangelized that place and made it become a great religious center. Even after his death his followers carried on his legacy and even called the town after him: Saint-Emilion. From the 9th century to the 19th century men had the will to mine the soil in order to standardize the whole architectural looking of not only the city of Saint-Emilion but also a few ones in the region (such as Bordeaux for instance). Nowadays the extraction is over but there are still 200km of underground galleries under the village and its vineyard standing as a proof of that activity.
The Alabaster Coast
This 80-mile-long stretch of coastline runs between Étretat and Dieppe in Normandy. It shares the same geology as the coast around Dover, and the sea has carved the same sheer cliffs and rock arches and stacks from it. Not that they will be there too long – the soft chalk rock is eroding back a couple of metres each year. The Alabaster Coast gets its name from the milky white colour of the waters along the coast where the rock’s being dissolved.
Corsica is often left off the list when planning the perfect Mediterranean getaway. But, that hasn’t stopped around three million people a year, from all over the world visiting the small French Island, to experience the natural beauty on offer. In fact, the Ancient Greeks dubbed it kalliste which translates to ‘the most beautiful of all’. One trip to is enough to understand what they mean, with mountainous regions, coastal cities, rugged terrain and charming hilltop villages. Corsica is an attractive place for those with a love of the outdoors. Imagine enduring a hike up Monte Cinto, Corsica’s largest mountain, or taking a dive in the emerald clear waters along the coast. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a more laid-back break, as there’s still plenty on offer, from white sandy beaches to a mouth-watering cuisine.
Far from the sea and full of history, Rouen is often overlooked in favour of more iconic sites like Mont-Saint-Michel, Saint-Malo, and Étretat. After all, it’s doesn’t lie along the Norman coastline, nor is it particularly close to any other point of interest other than itself. But, truth be told, no trip to Normandy would be complete without dedicating at least a few hours to exploring what this French city has to offer. From food to towering spires to medieval architecture there’s plenty to see and do. Here’s a quick guide to Rouen; all of the places you can’t miss and the sites you should make sure to see.
Lyon has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the great gastronomical food cities of the world. Although a lot of the city’s great food can be eaten in restaurants, even more of it is sold for reasonable prices at local markets and shops
Every town in Alsace France is like a postcard, beautifully coloured house’s small streams and stalks nesting on roofs. Alsace towns make you feel like you are stepping into a 1600’s canvas painted by one of the masters. Colours and designs hit you from all directions. You drive through the countryside and you see miles and miles of grapes and produce growing as far as the eye can see. It is an amazing area on the French/ Geman Border. Wine and produce are the order of the day or week when visiting Alsace region. Some of the finest wines in the world come from this Region.
The Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a little ways out from Paris, so expect a long day. From start to finish, the tour lasted about 13 hours including driving time
There are more castles in the Loire Valley than you could see on one short vacation, but chateau tours will bring you to a few of them and give you a sense of the region’s history.