Cognac, France: Town and Taste

 Cognac: It’s not just high-end French brandy. It’s also a town of over 18,000 inhabitants. Cognac lies about 60 miles north of Bordeaux (100 km) and is close to the towns of Angouleme and Saintes. In Cognac, there is more there to see than only Cognac distillery tours and stores. Alongside this charming, small town lies the Charente River, which cuts the town into two parts. The larger area is on the left bank near the ocean. On the right…

Continue reading

Adventures on the France-Spain Border

The France side of the France-Spain border might be out of your way, but it’s well worth the detour. In this southwest corner, you’ll discover a wide variety of towns and experiences, from glitzy beaches to pilgrimage sites. Starting in the far southeast corner of this band of land between the two countries, a new trip itinerary awaits you! You can fly into Toulouse and work your way westward in a rental car. Perpignan A mid-sized town on the Spanish…

Continue reading

Bordeaux… More Than Wine

When you hear the name Bordeaux, most people think of wine or vineyards… St. Emilion, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec…enough to make you reach for a stemmed glass and a chunk of cheese. But you might be amazed to know other outstanding features of this southwestern city and region of France. Bordeaux is the fifth largest city in France, but it is often thought of as “little Paris.” Think of the typical architecture of Paris for a moment…wide avenues, regal stone…

Continue reading

French Beaches: Roundup

When you think of French beaches, you may think of St. Tropez or Nice. But there are many French beaches that, while popular with the French, aren’t necessarily overrun with tourists and sun-seekers. Crowds are thinner, prices are lower. The whole experience is less competition for beach space and more a peaceful visit full of memories. (and not lacking sun and sand, either!) Oliver’s France has given a glimpse of some of these beaches that aren’t as well-known to tourists…

Continue reading

La Rochelle: Medieval Port on the Atlantic

La Rochelle is a city on France’s west coast, a city whose port was an important trading and fishing center from the 11th to 14th centuries. During this time, the city was protected by towers at the port. Today, you can see and visit these icons of the city. This seaside town has a rich maritime and Huguenot background with museums to suit history-lovers. From La Rochelle hundreds of French immigrants went to Quebec in 17th and 18th centuries. Many…

Continue reading

What is the Languedoc ?

What is Languedoc France? It’s a region in France that covers the western curve of the Mediterranean coast. It extends from Provence to Spain and includes La Camargue, Montpellier, Nimes, and Ales, and embodies the South of France with fewer rugged hills. The Languedoc is one of the warmest, windiest, and driest places in France with a coastal area that, unlike Provence, is flat. There are long, sandy beaches, fishing towns, resorts, and medieval villages. All that you’d expect from…

Continue reading