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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Dijon…More Than Mustard

For many people, the name “Dijon” only means delicious, spicy mustard. But maybe you didn’t know that the city of Dijon is the capital of the region of Bourgogne…in English, Burgundy. Now you’re getting thirsty because it isn’t just mustard you are thinking about! Burgundy is a region in east central France, southeast of Paris. We think of wine, but historically this area was the home of wealthy nobles more powerful than the king of France. In the 15th century…

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The Heart of Central France

We may think that only Paris and the coastal areas of France are of interest, but think again! There’s a lot to see in the heart of Central France, known by the French as “la France profonde”, or deep France. During your road trip toward the coast or Provence, you’ll likely pass some of these towns: Bourges, Montluçon, Limoges, Angoulême, and Poitiers. They make great detours as you cross the center of the country. In this post0, they are arranged…

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Your Essential Guide to the Loire Valley

Just over an hour south of Paris, France, is a place you might encounter in your dreams, yet you can go there and experience it for yourself. It’s the Loire Valley, known as the garden of France, a peaceful paradise of rolling hills covered by vineyards, fairytale castles, and charming, vibrant towns. So much awaits you to discover, eat, drink, and enjoy in the Loire River Valley.   (from the book A French Garden: The Loire Valley.)   For the last…

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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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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 seeing 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 in a Paris airport. Take the TGV for about  an hour and…

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