Nimes and Arles: Visit Ancient (and Modern) France

You can enjoy modern France and be intrigued by Ancient France in two towns in southern France: Nimes and Arles. They aren’t far apart, so you can satisfy your historical curiosity alongside contemporary French culture on the same trip! (It’s like visiting Rome and France at the same time!) Nimes is a mid-sized city in the south of France close to Avignon (50 minutes drive southwest on the A9 & N100 routes). It lies in the area known as Languedoc,…

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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…

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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…

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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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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…

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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…

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