One of the key stops for any Eurotrip is, of course, classic France. Steeped in history, soaked in viticulture and wreathed with gastronomic delight, France is sure to please those who have a taste for the finer things in life and here are the must-sees:
Of course. Paris is the main attraction in France due to its sheer cultural significance. Housing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, the Champs-Élysées and the Arc De Triomphe all scattered around the weaving Seine, Paris is indeed for lovers. Each of these romantic and edifying monuments needs a day to itself – so spend your time sampling globally-worshipped cuisine and sipping authentic Sauvignon blanc as you flit from one to the next.
Are you a fan of champagne? Then come to Champagne. Northeastern France is positively ripe with vineyards, chateaus and opportunities. Visiting between October and November will up your chances of visiting as many independent wineries as you can, and it’s just the right time for the rolling slopes to turn red and gold post-harvest.
Chateaux and castles
Like the rest of Europe, France is speckled with hundreds of castles (chateaux) and fortified townships. Hilltop gem Carcassonne is one of the most popular, with an honourable mention to the jaw-dropping splendour of Chateau de Chambord in its wild deer-spotted forests. Some of these chateaux are available to stay in, hotel-style – so keep an eye out!
Narrow, cobbled lanes. Raw, crooked timber. Bright licks of paint. Crawling ivy and warm golden streetlamps. Christmas markets, fresh flowers and the smell of baking bread. That’s how you experience the fairy-tale towns of France! In Colmar, Strasbourg or Riquewihr you won’t even know what year it is. Many of these half-timbered homes and stores have survived from the 15th century.
Taking the coastal approach? You want to be in Nice. Located on the Cote d’Azur and wreathed in glittering turquoise water, Nice has museums and markets open year-round. Opt for a coastal cruise if you’re feeling luxurious, or stay on land and enjoy fresh local seafood prepared the French way. Try Bouillabaisse (fishermen’s stew) with an earthy Bandol rosé for the ultimate seaside gastronomic experience.
Departing the major city centres and weaving through pristine rolling meadows will undoubtedly bring you to a provincial market. Here you will find vendors hawking anything from vibrant sunflowers, lavender and lilies to locally grown produce such as goats cheese, summer cherries and rich marinated olives. Special mention to the village markets in Aix-en-Provence and Antibes.
The enchanting island of Normandy is topped by a crowning glory - the medieval monastery known as Abbaye du Mont St-Michel. The imposing monument and surrounding town were built atop a granite outcrop in the middle of a river estuary as far back as 708 AD. But Normandy is the spot for history buffs both medieval and mid-century, as it’s where the Battle of Normandy took place in June 1944. If that doesn’t mean much to you, the Battle of Normandy came to be known as the largest amphibious invasion in history and marked the beginning of the end of World War II!
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