West/Southwest

Versailles: Château and City

Versailles: Château and City

When people hear the name Versailles, they often think of the opulent château. The Château de Versailles is a must-see on many a tourist’s list! This was where King Louis XIV moved when he wanted to escape to the suburbs. But did you know that the town of Versailles...

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Cognac, France: Town and Taste

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...

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Adventures on the France-Spain Border

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...

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Bordeaux… More Than Wine

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...

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La Rochelle: Medieval Port on the Atlantic

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...

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What is the Languedoc ?

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...

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Toulouse: A Pink Jewel in the Southwest

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...

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Dordogne: A Southwestern Wonder

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...

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Atlantic Coast Islands:  Ile d’Oléron

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...

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Atlantic Coast Islands: Ile de Ré

Atlantic Coast Islands: Ile de Ré

If you think French islands, you might think of Guadeloupe or Tahiti. Many French islands can be found in Caribbean or Pacific waters. But did you know there are dozens of islands around the entire coastal outline of mainland France? Two such treasures are Ile de Ré...

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