Tours, Gateway to the Loire Valley

Tours, France is often called the Gateway to the Loire Valley, because it’s a great jumping-off point for visiting the many sites along the rich river valley…such as chateaux and vineyards. Despite this ideal centrality, you don’t want to neglect visiting this bustling city itself, located between two rivers, the Loire and the Cher. It’s not far from Paris, so ideal for a side-trip or if you’re arriving at a Paris airport. Take the TGV for about an hour and…

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Cassis, France: the Petit French Riviera

Cassis, France; Riviera, France travel

If you’re hitting the French Riviera but want to avoid the big glitzy destinations, don’t overlook Cassis, France. It’s kind of glitzy in its own way, but on a smaller scale. You can find it just east of Marseille on the southern coast touching the Mediterranean. It’s well-known for wines, beaches, and cliffs called calanques. Nearby is the cozy beach town of La Ciotat and between the two visit-worthy towns is Cap Canaille, the highest coastal point in France, and one…

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Aside from Castles, Fun in the Loire Valley

Among travelers familiar with the Loire Valley, the first image that comes to many minds is castles. It’s true that the Loire Valley, just one and a half hours from Paris, is rich with history displayed in sumptuous castles. But there’s more. Much more. Turn your attention to these exciting activities in France’s garden, giving you even more reasons to plan a visit there! You can combine a couple-day trip with a vacation in Paris. It’s easy to get there,…

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10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Paris

Is your desire to be non-touristy the next time you visit Paris? Maybe you’ve already participated in the Must-See crowds many times. Try some unusual spots in the City of Lights. There are Plenty! Here are 10 (in alphabetical order) to try! Belleville Neighborhood  One of the most artsy and ethnically diverse communities in Paris is Belleville, a neighborhood straddling both the 19th and 20th districts. There is a distinctly bohemian flavor in the 20th. Like many formerly working-class neighborhoods,…

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Nice: A Warm Heart in France

Nice, France Each time you visit a place it sets down new, deeper layers in your soul. My most recent trip to Nice, France, my third, was like this for me. The first two times I’d zipped through like so many tourists do, in a day or an afternoon. This last time I had the opportunity in a long weekend to soak it in, to wander the maze of Italian-flavored streets, their candy-colored buildings towering overhead. Getting Around Nice Nice…

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A Normandy Road Trip

What is Normandy most known for? If you ask an American, he or she will likely say D-Day, the decisive battle of World War II. But if you ask the French or other Europeans, in addition to D-Day, they may tell you horse racing or cheese. Surprised? How about apples? Normandy is the leading apple region in France, with 800 varieties and many products made from them. Some of these products are Calvados (apple brandy) and cidre, a beverage traditionally…

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