Corsica, Island Paradise in the Mediterranean

Among the islands that bask in the sun of the Mediterranean Sea, the 4th largest is Corsica, a stunning natural paradise. It’s no wonder it was nicknamed the Island of Beauty. Corsica lies 100 miles from the French coast. Although the island is closer to Italy, it has been French since 1768. Despite its French identity, most of the town names and the vibe of this rocky island are distinctly Italian. Two-thirds of the island is mountainous, with 20 mountain…

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10 (or more) Ideas for Your Next Trip to France

Happy New Year! You might be planning (or dreaming about) your trip to France in 2019. I thought it would be a great time to bring up some previous posts you might want to read (or read again) to give you ideas! Here are 10 of them. (Just click on the link!) Eastern and Northern France Try Annecy, with its pristine lake and lovely canals. Annecy, Jewel of the Alps. In the Bourgogne region, head to Dijon, where there’s much…

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Toulouse: A Pink Jewel in the Southwest

In the southwest of France there’s a happening place… In fact, it’s the 4th largest city in France (but has kept many charming aspects) and has the most booming economy of the country. Where is this city? Toulouse, otherwise known as the Pink City, named for a special rosy-colored terracotta stone used for many of the buildings. Why is Toulouse so popular? The climate is nearly perfect. It’s under 100 miles away from the Mediterranean and not much further from…

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Dordogne: A Southwestern Wonder

Many regions in France are named for rivers or other natural features. Dordogne, a peaceful and wildly beautiful region, is named after the Dordogne River, a tributary from the Gironde River, which flows from Bordeaux and on to Auvergne. My last post covered the beautiful, volcanic region of Auvergne. Now we travel west from the Massif Central mountain range (though still in rugged hill country) and it is there we find ourselves in Dordogne, known to the French as Le…

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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…

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Atlantic Coast Islands: Ile d’Oléron

Ile d’Oléron This small island of about 108 square miles off the coast of LaRochelle has had a presence since the 12th century. But like Ile de Re,it has a different rhythm, one that’s designed to recharge your batteries. It, too, is a popular tourist destination, but don’t worry, you won’t be mobbed by happy tourist crowds. The pace is gentle, and it’s all about enjoying yourself. And eating good seafood, of course. You can get there by car, since…

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