Cruising French Waters

When we think of visiting France, we might think of visiting monuments, hopping the TGV (high-speed train), renting a car. Have you ever thought of French waterways? Much of French culture and history has occurred near rivers, so there is a rich supply of sites, towns, vineyards, nature, and attractions to see near the banks of French rivers and canals. Touring France by water, be it river or canal, is increasingly popular. As I started to investigate the options, as…

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Is France Expensive? Here are 21 Ways to Save Euros

Europe has a reputation for being expensive, and France is included in that assumption. But is it really? Like any other country, some things are more expensive and some are less. If you compare France with the U.S., you’ll find that in France… Gas is more expensive Telecommunications are less expensive (cell phone, internet) City housing can be expensive, but housing in smaller cities and suburbs is affordable. Medical care is much less expensive. Buses and subways are less expensive.…

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For Your Next Trip

Are you looking ahead to a trip to France in 2018? I hope that during the last year Oliver’s France has given you plenty of ideas for where to go and things to experience. There are probably enough fascinating places in France for a lifetime of vacations! Better get started as soon as you can! To help you with that goal I’d like to tell you about a couple of resources I have written. As you know, I don’t send…

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Worth a Detour

There are times to go to the big cities and renowned tourist sites. Then there are times to rent a car and wander. If you wander from one small town or village to another, perhaps near a larger city or tourist area, you’ll be amazed at what you may find. This is when you get into real France, meet the local people, sample their lifestyle, and perhaps feel like a local yourself. You’ll taste the culture in an authentic way,…

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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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A Twist on French Lodging

When it comes to accommodations, let’s think outside the hotel box. If you spend your vacations days on the run and use your hotel only to sleep, they are a good choice. You get exactly what you need, a bed, a shower and possibly some breakfast. But suppose you want a different lodging experience? You have choices in France. Here are some. I’ll cover apartment rentals in another post. Here we’ll talk about gites, villas, and chambre d’hotes. What are…

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