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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A French Festival Near You

Whatever time of year you visit France, there will be a French festival happening somewhere. Even in the dead of winter, you’ll find a festive gathering, such as a music festival or a Christmas market. Here’s a summary of festivals in France throughout the year! Mid-February: If you’re near Nice, check out the Carnaval. If you like over-the-top floats, entertainment, and animation…and crowds, this is for you. Have a look at this video to get the flavor:  http://en.nicecarnaval.com/videos February (2nd…

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Three French Christmas Markets: A Video Journey

Come visit three Christmas markets in different regions of France! One of the wonderful things about Christmas in Europe is Christmas Markets. France has its share! Here are three of them, Alsace (the region closest to Germany), Provence (has its own southern style), and Paris. You’ll see some similarities and some differences. Hope you enjoy them. (These are not my own videos, but those of other travelers.) The first Christmas video is in Alsace, home of the most legendary Christmas…

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15 Things to do in Paris in the Rain

Paris had record rainfall in the month of May this year. The rest of France was not spared, either. I was in the Languedoc region in late May and took my turn dodging raindrops. The weather in Europe can be touchy. Fortunately, the sun shines frequently in the late spring and summer, what do you do in Paris when the météo doesn’t cooperate? Here is a list of 15 things to do when it rains (and I purposely avoided the…

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10 Day Trips Under Two Hours from Paris

You’re visiting Paris for a week or more. But wouldn’t it be nice to take a day trip elsewhere to get a different flavor? Here are some towns you can get to in two hours or less to enjoy a day trip from Paris that offers a different slice of this wonderfully varied country! Amiens In Amiens, you’ll see the 13th-century Cathedral Notre Dame, the largest Gothic cathedral in France. It is one of the main attractions of Amiens. Then…

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