Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Tour de France

France is the most visited country in the world. It offers a wide array of holiday attractions: great cities like Paris, Bordeaux, Strasbourg Marseille, Nice and Lyon, glorious golden beaches in the French Riviera, an impressive number of monuments, lovely countryside, verdant vineyards, incredible mountain scenery, and amazing things to do from skiing to enjoying the theme parks.

Paris, the City of Lights, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. This romantic city has attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre Museum. There are so many things to see and do in Paris and just as many places to enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
A great way to begin the day is with breakfast of steaming coffee and flaky, freshly baked croissants on a buzzing Paris boulevard. For those on a family holiday with children, Paris and its surroundings are also home to some great theme parks like the Parc Asterix and Disneyland Paris. The Parc Asterix, located 35 km north of Paris, is an Asterix and Obelisk themed amusement park with an array of rollercoasters, and takes visitors on a journey through ancient Gaul, the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages right up to the 21st century. Disneyland Paris, often referred to as Euro Disney, is on the wish list of the young and the young at heart.
The Atlantic Ocean borders the west of France. In the north, Normandy and Brittany have rolling hills, rugged coast, sandy beaches, quiet little harbour towns and luxury resorts like Deauville. They have a distinct atmosphere and you can still sense the Celtic origin of the region in its inhabitants.
The Champagne-Ardenne wine region located in the north east of France is renowned for its production of the bubbly- Champagne! The historic city of Reims is the gateway to this region.
In the east of France are Alsace, Lorraine, and Burgundy regions. The landscape has rolling hills and beautiful cities such as Metz, Strasbourg, Nancy and Dijon. It is famous for its many wines, including the magnificent Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
In the centre of France is the fabulous Loire Valley with many great castles and beautiful towns. Tours, a city of captivating charm, is the gateway to the Loire Valley, fairytale Chateaux country. Chartres is best known for the Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Alps are great for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. Chamonix is a must-visit ski destination as are the quaint towns of Annecy and Grenoble.
The sprawling vineyards and the medieval charm of the Aquitaine region need no introduction. The elegant city of Bordeaux is an interesting blend of tradition and modernity. The promise of the sea in Biarritz is an instant lure for sun worshippers.
The Riviera in the South of France with its lovely beaches and good food draws tourists and celebrities alike. Provence is dotted with pleasant small villages. Languedoc has its own language and culture. The medieval town of Carcassonne is a must-visit destination The Pyrenees, a great mountain range separating France from Spain, has opportunities for hiking and skiing. Embark on a spiritual quest with a trip to Lourdes.
Each region of France unravels itself through its unique monuments, its cuisine, wines, its way of life. Each province of France has its own identity, something truly distinctive from the rest that makes it so special, so different and yet an integral part of France.
Whether your idea of a holiday in France is strolling hand in hand along a cobble-stoned boulevard, enjoying with the kids at the theme parks, spending a relaxing afternoon sipping coffee, or glamming it up for an evening of wining and dining and then a trip to the Opéra, France has something for everyone.
A Tour de France is certainly a unique and fabulous way to experience France. 

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