Coastal Secrets #2: Sanary-sur-Mer

Nestled between the larger towns of Toulon and Marseille you’ll find another seaside treasure, Sanary-sur-Mer. If you’re making a trip to Marseille, it’s not very far to visit Sanary, La Ciotat, and Cassis. Don’t you just love these small French beach towns?! Sanary was established as a fishing village in the 16th century but really became a tourist destination around the 1980s. it’s a place to enjoy the beach life on a village scale. There are small beaches, with an…

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Coastal Secrets: #1 La Ciotat

Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the Riviera without the price and snob-appeal? To taste the South of France coastline without the packed beaches, the secret is to aim smaller. The next few posts will feature French coastal towns you might not have ever heard of. You can discover many of them tucked in between renowned destinations like Nice and St. Tropez. They are hidden treasures along the French Riviera, worth a serious look if you want a slower pace…

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St. Malo: A Treasure on the North Coast

St. Malo is an intriguing walled city perched on the northwest coast of France. I’d heard of it for years (people pronounced in French like: Samma-low), and I finally had the chance to go. It faces England across the Channel, and sometimes the winds of the Atlantic will make it chilly, even in summer. Still it is SO worthwhile to visit. It isn’t far from Dinan and Dinard, two nearby towns worth seeing. You can hit all 3 on a…

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A Taste of Provence

I plan to write a lot more about Provence in posts to come, but wanted to give you a taste in pictures. These photos include some of the seaside areas of smaller towns you might not know,as well as the rugged charm of inland Provence. This is just an appetizer, so I’ll share more details in future episodes. For now, taste the banquet!             

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Another World… La Défense

Looking out from the Eiffel Tower to the west, you’ll see a far-away cluster of skyscrapers. You might wonder if a mini New York City was transplanted there. No, it’s La Défense. If you’ve taken public transportation in Paris, you’ve likely seen the words as a stop on the RER train or the Line 1 Métro, a station flung out to the extreme west of the city. What is La Défense? A neighborhood? A monument? Well, sort of… both.

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The 10 Best Parks in Paris

In a city of 2 million residents, the need for more housing (not to mention financial opportunity) didn’t prevent the French government from prioritizing  green spaces.  Paris parks are not plots of grass or playing fields. The aesthetic design that has gone into the creation and maintenance of these oases will surprise and delight you. Including at least one picnic during your trip will balance the urban hustle of the city with a peaceful, floral getaway. Here are 10 Paris…

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