Reawaken your passion for beauty, living and loving in this sophistication capital of Europe. The French do things differently as you will notice the moment you set foot in the country. They pride themselves on their culture, their writers and cinematographers, their sense of fashion and beauty, their philosophers and painters, and above all their language. It is the language of love, so they say. So don’t come with your English language skills to France, you will be snubbed; it is after all just a bad imitation of French.
You can excuse the French their arrogance, it is after all the country that brought us the enlightenment, Descartes, Voltaire, Versailles, driving on the right side of the road, and much more. There is a certain charm in their haughtiness, something perhaps quintessentially French about it. It belongs to France as a glass of wine for lunch does, or the baguette does, or that delicious yet smelly French cheese does, and even as the ever-striking French worker does. Without any of this, France would not be France.
So sit back and idle in one of the many pavement cafés, visit a Paris fashion show, enjoy the warmth of the Côte d'Azur, taste wine in a chateaux outside Bordeaux, cycle or drive along the Loir, ski the Alps, mingle with the nouveaux riche in Cannes, and more.
Whether you love art, music, literature, haute couture, cuisine or romance, France has it in abundance and variety.
Highlights from France
- Awaken your sense of romance in Paris the city of Love. Stroll along the Seine at sunset, climb the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre, walk under the Arc de Triomphe, shop on the Champs Elysees, walk the cobbled streets of Montmartre or just sit in one of the many café’s and watch life go by
- Gape in awe at the splendour of the French court in Versailles
- Visit the Loire Valley chateaux and castles, with Chateaux de Chambord as the highlight
- Go to Brittany (aka Bretagne, aka Beizh) to see a Celtic part of France, with its picturesque fishing villages and Arthurian legends
- Watch the Mont Saint-Michel rise out of thin air on the coast of Normandy
- Travel the Cote d’Azur, and mingle with the jet-set in Nice or St. Tropez, or catch a film at the Cannes Film Festival
- Taste wines around Bordeaux
- Ski the Alps in Chamonix
- Follow Matisse and Chagall’s lead and admire the gorgeous landscapes of the Provence, don’t forget to stop by Avignon while you are there
- Drive along the winding roads of Corsica (aka Corse) and explore this fascinating island in the Mediterranean
Hints and Tips for France
- Let’s face it, the French don’t speak English very well, and they don’t want to speak it. Unfortunately they often don’t seem to appreciate you trying to speak French either, as if your bad pronunciation is an insult to their language. You will just have to live with it, grit your teeth and persist. You will eventually be served, believe me.
- In general the country side is a lot less hostile to ‘stupid’ foreign tourists than Paris, which has a reputation to uphold. If you think you are the only one who thinks Parisians are snobs, talk to any French person who doesn’t live there, you will have a lot in common.
- French motorways charge toll, except in Brittany.
- When driving in France remember you need to have a breathalyser kit on you, or you will be fined if stopped and asked about it.
- For those of you who come from left-driving countries, they drive on the right in France as in the rest of Europe!
- To keep costs down, camping is a good option, and buying your own food at the many local markets or small grocery stores.