Auvergne: Discover and Delight

I first heard about Auvergne, a region in south central France, from my friend Françoise, who is from there. She always talked about how beautiful the landscape is. She never mentioned the volcanoes, so I was surprised to learn that Auvergne has the most volcanic areas of France and of all Europe. Dormant volcanoes form chains of wooded mountains for some beautifully rugged scenery, one of the area’s best features. Where is it? Auvergne lies just below the center point…

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Traveler’s Guide to the French

We love traveling to France… drinking in the picturesque views of villages, castles, rolling fields, open markets. We love the food, the beverages. And what about the people? They are part of the cultural tapestry that is France. Without them, you have buildings and streets, but no life. For decades and perhaps longer, Americans have held a stubborn belief that the French dislike them. I’m not sure where this began and how it has persisted. There were periods where we…

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Ski the French Alps

It’s not too early to think about skiing, and who has better resorts than France? In recent years the level of French resort accommodations has become consistent in quality and comfort. France provides a huge variety of ski experiences with resorts of all sizes, types, and altitudes. From huge, glamorous resorts spreading out for miles across the Alps to the smaller, simpler, less pricey and more homey destinations, there is a ski “station”, as they are called, for every taste…

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Parisian Café Culture

The Parisian café is something of an icon, one that exists everywhere. It is almost as synonymous with Paris as the Eiffel Tower, complete with the row of round tables facing outward to the sidewalk. Even though the weather in Europe can be fickle, small tables outdoors grace many sidewalks around the capital city, and there will always be someone parked there with a newspaper, an espresso, or a café crème. The very first Parisian café was opened in 1672,…

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Cycle France, for a Change of Pace

If biking has ever had a role in your vacation plans—and even if it hasn’t—consider renting a bike in France and exploring in the open air. Why is France an ideal place for bike tourism? Many regions are flat or only slightly hilly, so you can focus on enjoying where you are instead of learning gears and struggling up mountains. If you ride only occasionally, or you have various biking levels in your group, this will please everyone. There is…

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Annecy, Jewel of the Alps

Annecy, nestled near Switzerland and Italy, has been called the pearl of the Alps. See it and you’ll agree. It has also been named the Venice of the Alps, an image that leads us to the river Thiou, as well as canals and bridges that weave through the town’s medieval Vieille Ville, or Old Town. It sits close to the Swiss border, just 25 or so miles north of Geneva. Annecy’s population remains small, around 50,000, since it is hemmed…

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