From the iconic buildings and classy cuisines of Paris to the vineyards of Champagne, most travelers are more than aware of France’s impressive (and romantic) resume, and already have the country of culture high on their traveling hit list.
Paris doesn’t disappoint for certain, with the grandeur of the Seine (and it’s infamously divided east and west banks), the elegance of Notre Dame and the romance of sunset over the Eiffel Tower. Best of all, it’s not just the sites that are enchanting. People watching is second to none! Paris’ joys lie equally in the stuffy waiters, the coffee shop intellectuals and the enthralling old-town backstreets. Then of course there’s the Louvre, La Centre Pompidou, Montmartre… better put that flight back.
If you’re stacked with cash, head for Monte Carlo and the sunny playground of the rich and famous, or Nice, or St Tropez, which all offer similarly plush jet-set lifestyles. The French Alps – towered over by massive Mont Blanc - overlook lush alpine meadows in the summer, when the sound of cowbells fills the air, and transform into classy ski resorts with pulsating après ski for the frenzied winter seasons.
The fairytale castles of the Loire Valley evoke childhood fairytales, and can be viewed in comfort whilst sipping champagne in the basket of a hot air balloon, or stayed in for a couple of nights of four-poster lavishness. Normandy has the haunting sites of the D-Day landings and those poppy fields, as well as horses and bows and arrows in the Bayeux Tapestry, while Brittany’s impressive beaches and prized seafood draws in the yachties. Then there are the endless alluring small towns, where locals really do wear striped t-shirts, drape themselves in strings of garlic and sell potent soft cheeses from crumbling market stalls. And in France, it feels painfully sophisticated.
There are some things you just have to experience before you die: frogs’ legs, snails, baguettes, real creme brulee and cheese on the slopes of the Alpes and a respectful glance at the sites of the D-Day landings. France won’t let you down, and you’ll leave feeling just that little bit more cultural, and, just maybe, wishing you didn’t have to.
Last modified on 12/05/2015 - 19:19
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