Wednesday, January 27, 2021


France Flag

Why visit France?
Truly offers something for everyone whether to enjoy the alpine villages, beautiful architecture, casinos, cathedrals, caves, chateaus, culture, cycling, classical art, fashion, fishing, gardens, hiking, historic villages, history, medieval cities, mosques, mountain climbing, museums, national parks, nightlife, palaces, religious abbeys, religious monuments, rocky coast, sailing, shopping, sidewalk cafes, skiing, sophisticated cuisine, spas, thermal-spring baths, variety of landscapes, vineyards, water sports, and wildlife.

Strausbourg, France. Photo Credit: Monika Neumann/Pixabay 

A popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Bucket List Destination
  • Cruise: Disembark/Embark
  • Groups: Family, Friends, Incentive Travel, Multigenerational, Reunions
  • Milestones: Anniversary, Birthday, Honeymoon, Retirement
  • Romance

Paris, France. Photo Credit: Walkerssk/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, art, beret, champagne, cheese, chocolate, cognac, couture clothing, crystal, gloves, hand blown glass, lace, macarons, mustard, porcelain, pottery, perfumes, scarves, tapestries, truffles, and wine.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Andouillette (sausage). Basil Salmon Terrine (like pate). Bisque  (soup). Bleu de Bresse (cheese). Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage (cheese). Café Liégeois (dessert). Camembert (cheese). Cassoulet (meat casserole). Chartreuse Elixir Végétal (vegetable dish). Coq au Vin (braised chicken). Croque Monsieur (hot sandwich). Duck Jus. Éclair (dessert). Gratin Dauphinois (gratin potatoes). Mille-Feuille (custard dessert). Mousse au Chocolat (dessert). Pan Bagnat (sandwich). Pot-au-Feu (stew). Roquefort (cheese). Steak Frites (steak and fries). Tourin (garlic soup).
  • Local Drink to Try: Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis Brut NV Champagne, Beaujolais Nouveau (wine). Bordeaux Red (wine). Champagne Leclerc Briant Cuvée Extra Brut NV, Crémant d'Alsace (sparkling wine). Dubonnet (sweet wine). Noilly Prat (vermouth). Pastis (anise flavored spirit).

Dining out, do not ask for French Bread, after all all their bread is French made.

Château de Chambord, Chambord (Centre Region), France. Photo Credit: JEROME CLARYSSE from Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • In 600BC, Colony of Massalia founded (Marseille). 
  • In 121BC, Romans settled (southern Gaul).
  • During 1860, "couture"  originated (Paris).
  • In 1723, Maille was founded in Marseille (high end condiments).
  • In 1854, Mariage Freres founded (high end tea).
  • In 1924, launched Deaflympics a version of the Olympics but for the deaf.
  • In 1940, invaded by Nazi Germany and Italy.
  • In 1971, created the environment ministry. 
  • In 2013, legalized same-sex adoptions.
  • Denim fabric originates from Nimes (south).
  • Including territories has the most time zones (12) of any country.
  • Only the Champagne Region may use the word "champagne".
  • Gorges du Verdon is considered one of Europe's most beautiful river canyons.
  • Their driving age is 18.
  • Ranks as the world's fifth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Welcomes over 89 million visitors annually. 
  • Oversea regions include: Adélie Land, Amsterdam Island, Clipperton Island, Crozet Islands, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Kerguelen Islands, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Réunion island, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Scattered Islands, St. Paul Island, Saint Pierre & Miquelon, and Wallis & Futuna.
  • Has four major rivers Garonne, Loire, Rhône, and Seine.
  • Second most environmentally-conscious country in the world.
  • Founding member of the United Nations.
  • Fourth-largest donor of development aid in the world.
  • Home to one of the largest aerospace industries in the world.
  • Host the largest and oldest military parades of European countries.
  • Approximately 6.2 million visit the Eiffel Tower (Paris) annually.
  • Most visited attractions include: Arc de Triomphe, Carcassonne, Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, Château de Versailles, Mont Saint-Michel, Musée Picasso, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Pont du Gard, Puy de Dôme, and Sainte-Chapelle.
  • The Louvre Museum is the most visited art museum in the world, with over 5 million visitors annually.
  • The French Riviera area (southeast) has 3,000 restaurants. 
  • Loire Valley is the leading region of castle visits.
  • Has 37 UNESCO's World Heritage sites.
  • One of the world's largest producers of electricity.
  • Second most extensive rail system in Western Europe.
  • Home to the world's tallest bridge, Millau Viaduct.
  • It's estimated nearly 500 million speak French worldwide.
  • Has 43,180 buildings protected as historical monuments.
  • Saint Sernin Basilica (Toulouse), is the largest romanesque church in Europe.
  • Children's fairy tales: Bluebeard. Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty and Bluebeard by a French Author (Charles Perrault, 1628-1703).
  • Birthplace to world's first female filmmaker, Alice Ida Antoinette Guy-Blaché  (1873-1968).
  • Gender equality in the workplace leader.
  • Offers over 400 varieties of cheeses.
  • Michelin Guide has awarded 620 stars to restaurants.
  • Popular beer brew regions are in Alsace, Lorraine, and Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
  • Reunion Island leads their rum distillery production. 
  • Each wine region offers a unique blend of grapes and soil; Alsace (northeastern), Beaujolais (south), Bordeaux (southwest), Bourgogne (eastern), Champagne (northeast), Corsica Island, Languedoc-Roussillon (southern), Loire Valley (northwest), Provence (southeast), Rhone Valley, and Sud-Ouest (southwest).

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile (Monument), Paris, France. Photo Credit: ian kelsall/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Carnival of Limoux, Comic-Con Paris, March for Life, The Cavalcade of Scaër, (February) César Awards, Fête du Citron, Lumières Award, Nice Carnival, Paris Carnival, Paris International Agricultural Show, Rétromobile, (March) Orléans Masters, Paris Half Marathon, Sanch Procession, Videoformes, (April) Foire de Paris, Humarathon, Monte-Carlo Masters, Nice Half Marathon, (May) Cannes Festival, French Open, Feria de Nîmes, Museum Week, (June) Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Champs-Élysées Film Festival, Corrida de Langueux, Solidays, Strasbourg Music Festival, (July) Africa Fashion Week Paris, Bastille Day Military Parade, Festival d'Avignon, Festival de Cornouaille, Japan Expo, Pablo Casals Festival, Paris-Plages, Tour de France, Vieilles Charrues Festival, (August) Maskarada, (September) Auray-Vannes Half Marathon, Feria d'Arles, Feria Festival, Lille Half Marathon, Marathon du Médoc, Paris Fashion Week, Paris-Versailles Race, Voiles de Saint-Tropez, (October) Marseille-Cassis Classique Internationale, Nuit Blanche, Open World Forum, Paris Games Week, Paris Marathon, Reims à Toutes Jambes, Salon d'Automne, Semaine Olympique Française La Rochelle, Toulouse Marathon, (November) Bal des Débutantes, Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon, French Riviera Marathon, Paris Independent Film Festival, Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, Paris Fashion Week, Student Yachting World Cup, Trophées UNFP du Football, and (December) Corrida de Houilles.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Victory Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Bastille Day, Assumption of Mary, All Saints' Day, Armistice Day, Christmas Day, and Saint Stephen's Day.

Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, France. Photo Credit: edmondlafoto/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Mediterranean Sea (south) offers the warmest waters.
  • Atlantic Coast area offers the best for surfing.
  • Plan meals accordingly as restaurants normally serve lunch between 12N-2PM and dinner after 7:30PM.
  • Rental cars are known break-in targets.
  • Car Rentals usually charge a surcharge for drivers  under 25.
  • High speed trains connect Amsterdam, Brussels, France, Geneva, London, and Zurich.
  • Military and Police routinely patrol public spaces.
  • Three course meals are common, starting with hors d'oeuvre/entrée (introductory course, plat principal (main course), and fromage (cheese course) or dessert. Sometimes a salad is offered before the cheese or dessert serving. 
  • “Smash and grab” robberies are known to occur.
  • Use of drones and footage is highly regulated. Violators subject to 75,000EUR fine and/or one year prison sentence. 

Sénanque Abbey (Village of Gordes), Provence, France. Photo Credit: Walkerssk/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with three months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Nice (French Riviera), France. Photo Credit: Prosag-Media/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - October
  • Coldest Month: December - March
  • Hottest Month: July 
  • Peak Season: June - August

Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France. Photo Credit: Denis Cheyrouze/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, Amiens Cathedral, Arles Roman and Romanesque Monuments, Belfries of Belgium and France, Bordeaux Port of the Moon, Bourges Cathedral, Canal du Midi, Cathedral of Notre-Dame Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau Reims, Chaine des PuysChampagne Hillsides Houses and Cellars, Chartres Cathedral, Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc (known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Ardèche), Episcopal City of Albi, Fortifications of Vauban, French Austral Lands and Seas, From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans the Production of Open-pan Salt, Gulf of PortoCalanche of PianaHistoric Fortified City of Carcassonne, Lyon, Historical centre of AvignonPapal PalaceAvignon Bridge, Saint-Émilion, Lagoons of New CaledoniaLe HavreMont Saint-MichelNord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, Fontainebleau, Palace and Park of Versailles, Banks of the Seine, Place StanislasPont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct), Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps, Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley, ProvinsPyrénées – Mont Perdu, Roman TheatreRoutes of Santiago de Compostela in France, Strasbourg, Taputapuātea, The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement, The Causses and the Cévennes Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape, The Climats Terroirs of Burgundy, Loire Valley, Réunion Island, Vézelay Church and Hill.

Honfleur, France. Photo Credit: edmondlafoto/Pixabay 

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

Rocher de la Baume, Sisteron, France. Photo Credit: Volker Glätsch/Pixabay 

                                           All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

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