Best French Getaways (Outside of Paris!)
It may be hard to imagine feeling the necessity to skip town when the capital has so much to offer. But to really understand France - its people, culture, values and storied past - you'll need to reach beyond the well-heeled streets of Paris. Some of these spots make ideal day trips from the city while others deserve your undivided attention. All are picture- perfect so keep your cameras handy.

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river, hammock...bliss: a stay along the Sorgue

Summer, mid-afternoon in the South of France--there's no better place to be than in the shade, cicadas singing overhead, taking a nap in a hammock hung from a medieval village-wall by a lazy, quiet river...

My wife and I were visiting friends in the Provençal village of Le Thor. Their house was built in to the medieval wall, with just enough space between the wall and the river for a few chairs and a hammock. Close to Avignon, but off the beaten path, the surrounding sunflower fields were the perfect place for tandem-bike-rides...we kayaked in the Sorgue river, floating down past the village walls to the Romanesque church...and after a snack of olives and pastis, it was my turn for a 'sieste' in the hammock...

Ah, the allure of villages in the South of France; pick one and stay a while. Soak it up.

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