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France

page pixBehind the familiar images – the Eiffel Tower, the Loire chateaux, the D-Day beaches – lies a country rich in history, natural beauty, local custom, and a lot more variety than you’d expect. How do you decide where to go?

If it’s your first trip, you may opt for the classic sightseeing of Paris, the Loire and Normandy – a triangle that contains much of the history of France, magnificent palaces, and of course, Paris.

If you love to follow the sun, you’ll think of Provence and the Riviera, and the dappled scenes of Impressionist painting.

If you’re a wine lover, you’ll want to explore one of the famous wine regions like Bordeaux or Burgundy.

But there’s a lot more – and if you’re an explorer, there are many hidden corners of France for you to discover and find for yourself your own special ‘corner of France.’

Alsace

Where? Eastern France, bordering Germany
Famous For: Strasbourg Cathedral, route du vin (wine road), romanesque and medieval architecture, colorful villages, Vosges mountains
Special events: Christmas markets, wine harvest
Major towns: Strasbourg, Colmar, Mulhouse
Accessible by: Train, car, air (Strasbourg). Good connections to Germany and Switzerland

page pixBurgundy (Bourgogne)

Where? Eastern France
Famous For: Wine villages and vineyards, wines of the Côte d’Or, Renaissance architecture, medieval abbeys, historic home of Dukes of Burgundy
Major Towns: Dijon, Beaune, Auxerre, Autun
Accessible by: TGV from Paris

Rhone-Alps

Where? Eastern France, bordering Switzerland
Famous For: Beaujolais wines and wine villages, lake and mountain scenery, Alpine sports andresorts
Major Towns: Lyon, Grenoble, Annecy, Evian
Accessible by: TGV from Paris to Lyon

page pixProvence

Where? Southcentral France
Famous For: Roman ruins, Impressionist painters, charming villages and market towns, wildlife in the Camargue, mild weather
Special events: Antiques markets at l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Festival d’Avignon, bullfights at Arles
Major towns: Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Marseilles
Accessible by: TGV from Paris, air via Marseilles, Nice or Montpellier

Riviera (Côte d’Azur)

Where? Southeastern France, along the coast of theMediterranean
Famous For: Glamourous resorts, warm climate, outstanding range of art museums, perfumes, spectacular coastal scenery, perched villages
Special events: Cannes Film Festival, Grand Prix (Monte Carlo), Carnaval (Nice)
Major towns: Nice, Cannes, Saint Tropez, Menton
Accessible by: Air to Nice, TGV from Paris

page pixLanguedoc-Rousillon

Where? Southern France, east of Provence and north of the Pyrenees
Famous For: Walled medieval city of Carcasonne, Cathar history, Roman architecture in Nîmes
Major towns: Nîmes, Montpellier, Béziers
Accessible by: Train from Paris, air from Paris to Montpelier

Midi-Pyrénées

Where? Southern France, east of Languedoc and north of the Pyrenees
Famous For: Pink city of Toulouse, beautiful villages, Toulouse-Lautrec museum at Albi
Major towns: Toulouse, Albi
Accessible by: Train from Paris, air from Paris to Toulouse

page pixAquitaine - Dordogne

Where? Southwestern France
Famous For: Prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux and Les Eyzies,picturesque villages and castles, truffles
Major towns: Bergerac, Sarlat, Périgueux
Accessible by: Train from Bordeaux

Aquitaine - Bordeaux/Gascony

Where? Southwestern France
Famous For: Fine wines, elegant architecture, St. Emilion and vineyards, coastal resorts, Basque country and the Pyrenees
Major towns: Bordeaux, Biarritz, Pau
Accessible by: Air to Bordeaux via Paris, TGV from Paris

page pixIle de France

Where? Surrounding Paris
Famous For: Palaces (Versailles, Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte), Chartres Cathedral, St. Denis, Senlis, and ...DisneyParis
Major towns: Versailles, Chartres,Senlis
Accessible by: Easy access by train from Paris, including day tripping

Loire Valley

Where? Western France, southwest of Paris
Famous For: Renaissance chateaux of great variety and beauty, mellow countryside, outstanding parks and gardens, Chartres and Bourges cathedrals
Major towns: Tours, Blois, Angers, Saumur
Accessible by: TGV from Paris

page pixNormandy (Normandie)

Where? Northwestern France
Famous For: Bayeux tapestries, le Mont SaintMichel, D-Day Invasion Beaches, resort towns, seafood, Monet’s garden at Giverny, Rouen cathedral
Major towns: Rouen, Le Havre, Honfleur, Caen, Bayeux
Accessible by: TGV from Paris

Brittany ( Bretagne)

Where? Extreme Northwestern France
Famous For: Dramatic coastal scenery, Celtic heritage, prehistoric stone circles
Major towns: Quimper, Concarneau, Rennes, St. Malo, Dinan
Accessible by: Train from Paris

Auvergne

Where? Center of France
Famous For: Ancient volcanic landscape, Le Puy shrine, outdoor activities, spas
Major towns: Vichy, Clermont-Ferrand
Accessible by: Train from Paris

 

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