Fun in France
A friend is planning a trip to France, and I have been trying to give some tips based on my time living in Nice. My personal experience is limited to the South of France, but I’ve read and seeing about much more of the country while studying French at university and since then in my travels and there are some definite must-do’s:
Stay in a Historical Building
Imagine driving up a long and winding drive with a sprawling historical estate ahead of you. Wandering the stone corridors and sleeping in ancient rooms, gazing out of the windows, looking at a view shared with many generations of previous inhabitants.
Many historic buildings have opened their doors and you can now stay in a French chateaux or palace. Of course, you won’t have to suffer the discomfort and draughts from hundreds of years ago. These chateaux have been maintained to the highest of standards to ensure a very high quality of living for those lucky enough to be staying.
Follow the Wine
France produces some of the best wines in the world. You can visit some of the lesser-known wine regions and experience everything they have to offer. Many vineyards offer guided tours of the vines and cellars or ‘caves’. They talk you through the whole process from growing to bottling and storing. And if you like your fizz, follow one of champagne trails and visit the makers.
France isn’t just about sunshine and vineyards. It offers some of the best skiing destinations in the world, and there are a wide variety of options for beginners or experts. Just make sure you pack well and plan ahead as some of the resorts are booked in advance.
Visit Food Markets
France is famed for its food as much as its wine. Many regions boast daily or weekly food markets which vary in size, depending on the area. These food markets really show France at its best. Look out for local specialities and delicacies – think olives, goats cheese, bread, wine and fruit. Many markets take place in the morning and so just make sure you rise early.
Stroll in Beautiful Gardens
Many gardens are attached to exquisite chateaux but several are notable in their own right. You can find small Alpine gardens and stunning 18th-century masterpieces of design – something for everyone.
There are so many more than these five reasons for visiting France. I spent one of the best years of my life living on the coast in Nice, and have been talking about arranging a trip to Franc for a canal boat holiday in the near future. This is one of the best things about it – it’s versatility, but whether it’s for a traditional beach vacation or a tour of the wine regions, you can expect exceptional food, world-class wine and accommodation that is second-to-none.