France Hotels, Attractions & Travel Guide
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France Travel Guide
An overview of France - from major hotels, attactions and localities to climate and weather information.
The French capital of Paris is the most visited city in the world and the main attractions in the city are many. These include the monumental Eiffel Tower which is one of the largest buildings in the world, Arc de Triomphe built by Napoleon to commemorate the victorious French Army, the cathedral of Notre-Dame built between the 11th and 13th centuries and is one of France’s finest examples of Gothic architecture, and Disneyland Paris which is a superb family vacation spot. The city is also home to famous museums like the Musee de Louvre which was once a fortress in the Middle Ages, a royal palace in the 16th century and is home to the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo; and Musée d'Orsay which is a magnificently restored railway station. Other notable cities in the country include Avignon which is home to the remarkable Pope’s Palace, Saint-Benoît-du-Sault on the Loire River and Toulouse on the River Garonne. Other places include Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and picturesque Nantes.
Among the country’s most stunning Mediterranean beaches are those found on the French Riviera, in Languedoc-Roussillon and on the island of Corsica, where water sports like swimming, snorkelling, diving, sailing and surfing are very popular during the summer season. Skiing enthusiasts will enjoy France’s wonderful skiing resorts with their alpine setting. Agricultural and eco tourism are quite popular in the inland areas surrounding the wine valleys and mountainous sites. These include areas like Centre-Val de Loire, Poitou-Charentes, Burgundy, Limousin, and Auvergne.
Several luxurious spas and natural wellness areas can also be accessed in the country. France is also home to dozens of remarkable gardens including the Park of Ruins of the Château de Kintzhei in Alsace, the stunning gardens of Aquitaine including those in the Pyrenees-Altantiques, the beautiful gardens if Auvergne with the famous Puy-de-Dôme and the gardens of Burgundy, Brittany and Ile-de-France among several others.
France has many pilgrimage sites, museums and gardens. Popular pilgrimage sites include Le Puy En Velay, Mont-Saint-Michel which is referred to as the “wonder of the west”, and the Paray-le-Monial. Among the great museums of France are the War Museum and Grand Palais, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Decorative Art and the Museum of Folk Art and Traditions. There is also the Balzac House, Cluny Museum, Grevin Wax Museum, Victor Hugo House and the Arab World Institute. A trip to the Money Museum, the French Monuments Museum, Picasso Museum dedicated to the famous artist, Rodin Museum, Science and Industry Museum and the Arsenal Pavilion is highly recommended. All these can be found in Paris along with several free and interesting museums. France’s numerous art galleries, especially those in Paris is a must see. The area of Northern France has several remnants from historical wars which affected the country.
Other attractions in the country include Palace of Versailles, Rocamadour, Chenonceau Castle, the Walled Town of Carcassonne, Sacré Coeur Basilica, and the Regional Nature Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne.
France has several wonderful world heritage sites and attractive spots. These include the inland Val de Loire where agro-tourism flourishes, the stunning Canal du Midi which is one of the best inland waterways in the world, the Franche Comte, Ile-de-France and Normandy area among others. The country is well equipped with cinemas, restaurants and bars, theatres and music and art institutions which contribute to the lively cultural vibes in the country.
There are also many enjoyable annual events which include Semaine de la Francophonie in March, Fête de la Musique in June, Lire en fête in October and the National French Week in November. Public holidays like Pentecost in Easter, Veterans, Armistice and Remembrance Day in November and Victory Day in Europe are usually greeted with enjoyable festivities. There is also the Great Wines Fair in the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris Fashion Week in March which attracts many international guests, Paris Film Festival, Nemo Festival, Paris Marathon, Annual Jazz Festival and the European Health Summer Games among many others.
France has a variety of climatic types. Most places like Paris experience temperate winters and mild summers while areas surrounding the Mediterranean have hot summers and wet winters in the south west. The North West area has a nice climate of cool summers and mild winters. Along the German border in places like Alsace, summers can be very hot and winters very cold. France’s mountainous regions which include the Alps, Pyrenees, Auvergne with its alpine setting have very cold and snowy winters making them ideal winter get away for skiing enthusiasts.
In France, especially in Paris, there are several top rated hotels available. The country offers a wide variety of accommodations depending on your location and time of year. There are hundreds of youth hostels, thousands of campsites, self catering villas and houses, bed & breakfasts and gîtes d'étape which are more like overnight stays for hikers, like a mountain hut. During the winter, luxurious winter hotels and chalets offer great accommodations while several holiday homes, apartments, forested cabins and camp sites and hotels can be accessed all year round. There are excellent beach resorts on the French Riviera and other Mediterranean seaside settings. In Paris, the Disneyland Resort provides excellent options for families at places like Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Newport Bay Club. Other popular hotels include Hotel Pont Royal, the Montalembert Hotel Paris, La Tremoille and the magnificent Tiara Hotel Chateau Mont Royal. You will also enjoy the five star treatments at the Le Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice, the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Chateau Eza in Provence Alps. France has something exciting and satisfactory in store for everyone- families, couples, groups and business travellers and fun seekers.
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