Destination: France.

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France At A Glance


France seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board. Food is of enormous importance to the French and the daily culinary agenda takes no prisoners: breakfasting on warm croissants from the boulangerie, stopping off at Parisian bistros, and market shopping are second nature to the French – and it would be rude to refuse. But French gastronomy goes far deeper than just eating exceedingly well. Its experiential nature means there is always something tasty to observe, learn and try. Be it flipping crêpes in Brittany or chinking champagne flutes in ancient Reims cellars, the culinary opportunities are endless.

Franche Comté

Franche Comté

Besançon

Hugging a bouclé (hairpin curve) of the River Doubs, the cultured and very attractive capital of Franche-Comté remains refreshingly modest and untouristy, despite charms such as a monumental Vauban citadel, a graceful 18th-century old town and France’s first public museum. In Gallo-Roman times, Vesontio (over the centuries, the name evolved to become Besançon) was an important stop on the trade routes linking Italy, the Alps and the Rhine, and some striking remains of this period survive.

Les Dombes

The Departement of Ain got its name from the river crossing its territory which you'll find in the East of France inside the region of Rhône- Alpes.

Ain is surrounded by the region of Franche-Comté and the Jura Mountains in the north, Switzerland and Geneva in the east, the River Rhône and Lyon in the south and finally by the River Saône and the vineyards of Beaujolais and Mâcon in the west.

Ain is a place of totally different landscapes and is divided into four territories from which we visited the Dombes & Saône area offering amazing lakes and rivers amidst green rolling hills.

Who knows Les Dombes?

«Les Dombes» is the name of a plateau in Département L'Ain (Rhone-Alpes) north-east of Lyon an south-westerly of Bourg-en-Bresse, embracing Villars-les-Dombes, Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, and Marlieux, which is the center of this district. Roughly 300 mtrs above the sea level the Dombes are just a flat strech (exceeding 500 km²) , with a lake district, tiny villages, and with a substantial amount of historical buildings and castles - a very special and unique corner of France. This region has a splendid reputation for bird watching and fishing; there's a vast variety of ...

Trévoux

Trévoux is a tiny, quiet place situated at the banks of River Saône with an astonishing number of buildings which illustrate its status in times gone by. We have booked us into the hughe camp ground right aside the river. This was the starting point for our explorations in this city, other places and the region we visited for the first time. ...

Pérouges

Pérouges is a tiny village northeast of Lyon which is perched on a small hill overlooking the plain of the Ain River and has quite a lovely view of the surrounding area. Probably founded in the early 1100’s by a Gallic colony, the town has always been inhabited by craftsmen, mainly farmers, linen weavers, and wine makers. The town officially became French in 1601 and the textile industry boomed until the early 19th century when roads and railroads were re-routed which bypassed the town and the village nearly disappeared from the French map. ...

Châtillon-sur-Charlaronne

Nestling at the banks of a peaceful river in the heart of Dombes, the charming medieval town of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, known for its floral grandeur, is the home of wonderful heritage buildings within this magnificent floral setting. These include the picturesque half-timbered houses, old 17th-century wooden market hall, the stone gate of Villars, the Church of Saint-André in the flamboyant gothic style, Saint Vincent de Paul House, and the relics of the old castle. The floral bridges and riverbanks of the Chalaronne are ideal for a relaxed stroll and make an enchanting sight for all. ...

Villars-les-Dombes

Villars-les-Dombes is a tiny, quiet place right in the middle of the Dombes region with nicely kept old houses, the city hall opposite church and school with all the bustling children and the lake district in the neighbourhood. In this area called «The Land of the 1,000 ponds» you'll find an enormously streching birds park offering a hughe car park even suitable for camper cars. ...

Provence

Whether it's cruising the cliff-top roads, sunbathing on the beaches or browsing for goodies at the weekly market, the Provence sums up the essence of France – sexy, sun-drenched and irresistibly seductive.

Provence is made for explorers. One of the joys of travelling here is touring the back roads and soaking up the stunning variety of landscapes: fields of lavender, ancient olive groves, cliff-top roads, maquis-cloaked hills and even snow-tipped mountains. It's home to Europe's deepest canyon, oldest road and highest pass, all a dream come true for drivers – and finally there's the Mediterranean Sea itself, a bright mirror of emerald blue reflecting back craggy cliffs, white beaches and endless skies.

Grasse

Tour de Provence 2017

Those who want to visit Provence in Summer don't care obviously about the past 2,000 years. This region was the hub for party and events since the Romans erected their arenas and coliseums all over the country. In this respect there is only little change. You'll find enough events and festivals which are responsible for your sleep deprivation.

Grasse

Grasse, Capital of Fragrance

If a tourist travels to Grasse unprepared and expecting «... let's see if it's nice there» doesn't do himself any favours and doesn't do justice to the city and its residents in no way. However, knowing that Grasse is an international economic hub since the middle ages the ongoing flow of time becomes part of the presence and can be felt, smelled, experienced.

Cassis Revisited

The coastal route leading from the port of Marseille towards the south opens fascinating views, however, it abruptly ends in the wilderness of the Calanques' cliffs and canyons. Driving eastbound Route D559 leads through an awesome landscape to the wine farms surrounding Cassis, further to the terrific beaches of Sanary and Six-Four-les-Plages and again further to Toulon. ...

Sanary Revisited

Sanary is an insider tip for more than 100 years. Coming from Marseille the route via Bandol is recommended. Taking its bypass means to miss a sea spa popular since the beginning of the 19th century situated along a lovely bay. Then you directly bounce into Sanary-sur-Mer which looks back on a somewhat turbulent history: After 1933 Rene Schickele got his friends to join him - Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, brothers Mann, Erwin Piscator, Ernst Toller, Franz Werfel, and many others. ...

Les Calanques

Marseille lies just next to the wild and spectacular Parc National des Calanques, a 20 km long area made of rocky mountains poking out of the turquiose Mediterranean sea. The cliffs leave some space for tiny idyllic beaches which only can be reached by boat. Anyone who'd love to visit the Calanques between October and June should follw the marked paths ...

Aix-en-Provence

A pocket of left-bank Parisian chic deep in Provence, Aix is all class: its leafy boulevards and public squares are lined with 17th- and 18th-century mansions, punctuated by gurgling moss-covered fountains. Haughty stone lions guard its grandest avenue, cafe-laced cours Mirabeau, where fashionable Aixois pose on polished pavement terraces sipping espresso. ...

Sanary-sur-Mer

Pretty as a picture, seaside Sanary-sur-Mer is a stroller’s dream. Watch the fishers unload their catch on the quay, or admire the traditional fishing boats from one of the seafront cafes. Wednesday’s colourful market draws crowds from miles around. Shops line interior streets. ...

Marseille & Château d'If

For many years, the busy port city of Marseille has suffered from a serious image problem. Dismissed for its down-at-heel reputation, urban decay and often alarming crime statistics, it's long been the black sheep of the Provençal coastline. But while it’s gritty, and not always pretty – Cannes or St. Tropez, ...

Cassis

Nestled at the foot of a dramatic rocky outcrop crowned by a 14th-century château (now a hotel open only to guests), this little fishing port is all charm, hence the enormous crowds that pile into its Vieux Port with its bustling restaurants, play on its shingle beaches, visit its terraced vineyards and ...

La Ciotat

All along the coast line over a distance of more than 20 kilometres La Ciotat and the sea are like an old couple. In the west you find the Calanques having the highest cliffs of Europe and their peak 394 m high Cap Canaille. The east features Golf d'Amour with its fine sandy beaches and many jetties. ...

Le Castellet

The village of Le Castellet is located at the peak of one of the many hills which slopes are covered with wine. The car must be parked nearby the village which must be checked out by foot inside its mideval walls and building as old. The narrow lanes grant shadow and are refreshing cool when the sun burns ...

Toulon

Toulon still is a special tip. It is one of the most important ports of France and it's the head quarters of French marine. But Toulon is a charming city as well offering all the beauty of the French Riviera and cordiality of the people living there. Only offering? No. The visitor becomes part of everything and dives ...

Nord-Pas de Calais

Overlooked for too long.

France’s refreshing Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been overlooked by travellers for too long. The region has embraced the jokes about chilly weather and yokel locals while quietly transforming into a world-class destination with a daring arts scene, clutch of historic sights and irresistibly rugged charm. Here are five experiences not to miss in northern France this year.

Experience the Ch’ti craze

A new craze for northern France was born after the 2008 release of ‘Bienvenue chez les ch’tis’ (translated as Welcome to the Sticks; a ch’ti is a term for a northerner and a type of regional French slang). Ever since this affectionate satire, the unpretentious warmth of northerners has been a mainstay of French popular culture (sparking offshoot TV shows about no-nonsense northerners and their exploits).

‘A stranger coming to the North cries twice,’ according to the movie. ‘Once when he arrives, and once when he leaves.’ When the time comes for you to leave behind the Nord-Pas-de-Calais's quaint and quirky towns, rich history and hearty cuisine, we think you’ll agree.

5 Reasons For 1 Trip To Northern France

France’s refreshing Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been overlooked by travellers for too long. The region has embraced the jokes about chilly weather and yokel locals while quietly transforming into a world-class destination with a daring arts scene, clutch of historic sights and irresistibly rugged charm. Here are five ...

Boulogne-sur-Mer

The country's most important fishing port, Boulogne-sur-Mer makes a pretty good first stop in France, especially if combined with a swing north along the Côte d'Opale. The Basse-Ville (Lower City) is a bustling but uninspiring assemblage of postwar structures, but the attractive Haute-Ville ...

Saint-Omer

Although it was as early as 637 that a monk called ‘Omer’ after whom St Omer is named, was sent to evangelise Therouanne, it was not really until the 13th Century that it rose to some degree of prominence, becoming as prosperous as Bruges, another medieval town surrounded by water. The work which began on the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral at that time took three centuries to complete. ...

Bergues, Bethune

A new craze for northern France was born after the 2008 release of ‘Bienvenue chez les ch’tis’ (translated as Welcome to the Sticks; a ch’ti is a term for a northerner and a type of regional French slang). Ever since this affectionate satire, the unpretentious warmth of northerners has been a mainstay of ...