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Fantastic France

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The country I spend the most time in (outside of the US), I am completely enamored and head over hills in love.
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14 Boulevard Fernand Point, 38200 Vienne, France
Exceptional fine dining in the beautiful gardens of La Pyramide, in the Rhone-Alps region, near Lyon, presenting Marinade de filets de Maquereaux Comme une Escabeche, Pulpe d'Aubergines et Fenouil Croquant.
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29 Avenue du 45 Ème Parallèle, 26600 Pont-de-l'Isère, France
Tuna tartare Napoleon at Chez Chabran ~ a not-to-be-missed dining room, when traveling through the Rhone-Alps.
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Les Hautes Roches, 86190 Quinçay, France
Les Hautes Roches is a luxury Relais & Châteaux hotel with rooms set into the rocks of the cliffs above the Loire river. It has a gastronomic restaurant and is a great base for visiting the Loire Valley.
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Rochemenier, 49700 Louresse-Rochemenier, France
Located in the Loire Valley, Rochemenier is a village with a lot of caves. Nothing unique about that except that there are a lot of people still living in them! There are restaurants and shops, a great museum, many homes and at least one church...
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24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France
Sarlat is a picturesque medieval town located in the heart of France, and although it is one of the most beautifully restored and preserved towns representative of 14th century France, or Europe for that matter, due to its isolated location, it...
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L'Île-Rousse, France
For our first visit to Corsica, friends encouraged us to start in the south- the Michelin-starred stronghold of the island and beachy birthplace of Napoleon. But crisp turquoise water and a mountainous landscape awaited to the north. We began in...
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Place d'Armes, 57000 Metz, France
The landmark cathedral of Metz is an awe-inspiring structure in one of northern France's most beautiful cities. Beautiful stained glass by artists like von Munster and Chagall and one of the highest naves in the world make this worth checking out....
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Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13281 Marseille, France
Situated at the highest point in the city of Marseille lies the Notre-Dame de la Garde. From this view you can see the sun setting along the Mediterranean sea and small islands made famous from the novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo." Just...
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73000 Chambéry, France
A nice hike to the top of this 1500 meter mountain leads you to the Croix du Nivolet which overlooks Chambery in order to keep the residents safe. As you are hiking you will experience amazing views of the town, the Alps and the largest lake in...
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Mer de Glace, 74400 Chamonix, France
Snaking, cracking, shimmering a brilliant blue in places and revealing mystical frosts in others, the Mer de Glace displays nature in all its force. France’s longest glacier stretches 4.3 miles and is over 650 feet deep. Quite literally...
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74120 Megève, France
Megeve is a wonderfully charming ski village near Mont Blanc with a splendid selection of restaurants, hotels and shops, esp. the charcuterie in the center of the village sells the most wonderful selection of local delicacies, like the saucisson...
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Lac Leman has the most spectacular view of the French Alps as a backdrop, and you could bike around it for days and even weeks visiting and staying at charming little villages and towns along the way....
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Last summer, Tim and Kathy Turner took a break from the Mont Blanc hiking circuit for a night at Refuge des Mottets, a French backcountry lodge decorated with cowbells and old iron cookware. The Turners, from the United States, were the only...
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8 Rue du Palais de Justice, 69005 Lyon, France
My sister and I went exploring the city center in Lyon and came across a bakery we knew we had to eat at. I don't think there was a boulangerie we didn't go into while in France. This one we realized specialized in brioche praline - which we...
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21200 Beaune, France
Tucked away on a side street in Beaune, you will find the enchanting Caves Madeleine. It is a wonderful little gem that locals frequent because of its incredible food and wine selection. Seating is communal, which instantly gives an air of...
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Annecy, France
Come explore this lovely city near the French Alps.
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Reims, France
Underground tour was very informative, about 60 feet below street level, and ended with a tasting...
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11 Rue Saint-Michel, 22200 Guingamp, France
So after seeing an absolute 4 star restaurant near St. Michele in France we decide to go. The food and location was amazing. nearby the chef owns his spice shop and when you walk in the spices are on display. This shot represents more than just a...
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77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
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Faux de Verzy, 51380 Verzy, France
Thrill-seeking visitors can soar high in the forest canopy on zip lines and ropes courses in this adventure park near Reims. For a different kind of heart-racing experience, cross the suspended footbridge to access the Perching Bar, a modern...
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1 Rue des Unterlinden, 68000 Colmar, France
You'd be excused for thinking that this is a picture of Germany because it does have the traditional German style houses. It actually belonged to Germany for a brief time in history. It was taken from France in 1871 and was eventually given back...
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Giverny, France
The sun was warm and had a different illumination that came through this photograph of Monet's gardens. This father and child felt like a moment in time captured that could be 1811 or 2011.
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23 Rue Jean Larrive, 69003 Lyon, France
Best frites (aka French fries) EVER. They were hand-cut by the 87-year old owner, Madame Giraud. I wrote about her in my AFAR article about Lyon's bouchons. These frites were pure heaven paired with Madame's steak with brown butter. (Yes, I did...
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4 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France
An incredible French restaurant called Les Bateliers lies over the water just near the Rue Turenne Bridge in Colmar, France, providing a one of a kind view of the colorful historical architecture. If you had to choose one place to eat in Colmar,...
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Annecy, France
Annecy is a beautiful town in the Haute-Savoie region of France. It has a quaint downtown, beautiful parks and a cool film festival. But if you grab a bike and head 5 minutes out of town you will a huge park with bike-only trails the go for miles...
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86 Quai de la Loire, 37210 Rochecorbon, France
The dozen carved-rock rooms at this former home for monks overlook the Loire River just outside Tours. Some recently redecorated rooms feature bold, bright patterns on the walls and textiles that will make you feel like you’ve taken a vow of...
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156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France
This odd-looking blimp is actually a quenelle de brochet, one of the quintessential foods of Lyon. They're big dumplings made out of pike fish, covered in Sauce Nantua, a classic French sauce made with crayfish. Daniel et Denise, owned by an...
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Le Bourg, 24540 Biron, France
It was about eight years ago this month that I knocked on the doors of this B&B in the village of Biron (population 140) in the Dordogne. I drove from my home in Brussels and when I got off the highway in the Dordogne, I had to stop every few...
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Quai de la Poissonnerie, 68000 Colmar, France
Peaceful atmosphere, quaint colourful houses, beautiful lanes...those are things that make this area special! Not as touristy as La Petite France in Strasbourg, it gives you a chance to enjoy the tranquility and romance. And don't miss the photo...
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La petite France for me is the cutest area in Strasbourg. Really enjoy the historical atmosphere here. .. Just walking around, watching people while having a cup of coffee, taking some pictures and a boat tour to see those timbered house... C'est...
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Petite-France, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Divided by canals from the Ille River, La Petite-France is another reason to visit Strasbourg. There are a number of tiny cafes and shops along the cobblestone roads, as well as the option to view the village from boats that ride the canals. We...
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Canal du Midi, France
We had long heard of the idyll and relaxation of cruising on a self-piloted, private canal boat in southern France. The voices said: No worries about navigation, you can't get lost! Visit small French villages and see the lavender covered...
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21200 Beaune, France
Nestled in the quaint town of Beaune, the Hôtel de la Poste is an enchanting place to call home while exploring the various wine regions of Burgundy. With 36 rooms, 2 restaurants and 1 well-stocked bar (shown above), you really will want for...
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21200 Beaune, France
Want to feel like a local? Go to the the Saturday Market in Beaune. This is THE social event of the week, and literally the entire town is in attendance. Farmers, vendors, artisans and the like all congregate in the city center, culminating in...
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2bis Place Saint-Germain, 89000 Auxerre, France
Having descended the stairs from the Abbey of Saint Germain to its basement, this is what you will find. You can wander freely among the catacombs that reside below the abbey. It may sound a bit backwards, but for this small town adventure, you...
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2bis Place Saint-Germain, 89000 Auxerre, France
You know Paris. You know Beaune. But do you know anything about Auxerre? Auxerre is a small town that resides directly in between the two aforementioned cities, and it's filled with a few cultural treasures. One such find is the Abbey of Saint...
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Rue du Soleil, 73440 Val Thorens, France
A feeling of exclusivity prevails at Cheval Blanc. The hotel is situated in the mountain garden at the highest altitude of France’s Courchevel ski resort, anchored to the ground by the Dior and Louis Vuitton boutiques at its base. Fur, velvet, and...
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2 Rue Claude Ramey, 21000 Dijon, France
If the ironwork throughout the Les Halles covered market in Dijon, France, reminds you of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, there is good reason. Gustave Eiffel, a native son of Dijon, designed the market in the 19th century. One of France’s largest and...
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Rue du Château 30, 7021 Mons, Belgium
We had heard about this charming little castle in Le Havre and went to check it out and on that day there was a big Civil War reenactment right next to the castle. We could not believe our eyes and tried getting some info but nobody spoke English...
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Place de la Loge, 66000 Perpignan, France
We were in our last day of hiking on the border of France and Spain, heading down to the sea. It was mid morning and the sun was in prime form for a late September day. You could see our destination in the distance, knowing that we needed to be...
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Grand Place 12, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Every year in the merry month of May you can find me in the main square in Mons partaking in the annual beerfest. Well, I say annual but really they tend to have impromptu beerfests there and about from time to time as well. Mons is in the south...
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Boulevard de Parc, 77700 Coupvray, France
Growing up I did not have access to anything like Disney so for a weekend I too was a kid again and love it :). I loved the rides and I really loved the parade. Both the kids and us were mesmerized by the colors and music. I recommend going during...
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27 Rue des Tonneliers, 67000 Strasbourg, France
I am a die-hard cheese fanatic, so when I heard Strasbourg, France had an entire restaurant dedicated to my favourite dairy product, I had to visit. La Cloche a Fromage, refers to the glass dome the French place over their cheese boards, and this...
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Route de Laguiole, 12210 Laguiole, France
Renowned chef Michel Bras is passionate about the rustic terrain and cuisine of his native Aubrac, in south-central France. His contemporary glass restaurant is perched on a hilltop, its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking stone outcrops and...
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73250 Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny, France
If you ever have a chance to visit the sleepy town of St. Pierre d'Albigny, do it. This is the quintessential French town. Just beautiful. Stay at Chateau des Allues.
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34390 Olargues, France
Rented a place just outside this quaint little town for a week's worth of R&R. The town was a short walking distance and I made the trip every day to visit the cafe for refreshments and also the fact that they had a pinball machine! You don't find...
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Reims, France
If you find yourself making the 1 1/2 hour journey from Paris to Reims, you may be on your way to tour the authentic champagne vineyards of France. This city has much more to offer than just bubbly, though. A lovely little downtown is home to...
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272 Avenue Michel Croz, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
The idyllic town of Chamonix will demand your time and attention with its enticing cafes, bars, shops, and other distractions. But don't succumb to the enticement at the expense of nature. The fact is that the true beauty of Chamonix has been...
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Mons, Belgium
Mons may not be as spectacular as Brussels or other cities in Belgium but it is very charming and worth a visit. The Grand Place is riddled with cafes, there are festivals all the time so even though it's small it offers lots of fun. Together with...
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11 Place Antonin Poncet, 69002 Lyon, France
How is it possible to combine the savoir-faire of a Michelin-starred chef, the conviviality of the typical French brasseries, and a check that won't require you to remortgage your house? While this would be called pretty much impossible anywhere...
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Last August I joined Matt Hunter and a group of other riders for an incredible mountain bike ride around Mt. Blanc. The, approximately, 100 mile route travels through France, Italy, and Switzerland on it’s way around the highest peak in the Alps,...
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95700 Roissy-en-France, France
I have never looked forward to layovers at De Gaulle airport. However, we had to stay overnight on our last trip as we couldn't get a same day connection coming from southern France. We were too tired to go into Paris, but at least wanted to get...
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2 Place du Mail, 26230 Grignan, France
Every French child knows Françoise-Marguerite de Sévigné, better known as Madame de Sévigné, whose letters to her daughter were the subject of many a childhood dictation. Above the lovely hilltop village of Grignan sits the chateau, home of Mme de...
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Dordogne, France
The apéritif of choice in the Dordogne (and in many parts of France) is this sweet dark liquor called walnut wine, but there's nary a grape in site. The vin de noix is made from young green walnuts harvested between La Fete de St. Jean (June 24)...
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Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix, France
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. It's a narrow river valley which houses everything from rock-climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, and on both sides of the river the peaks of the French...
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15 Pl. de la Pucelle, 76000 Rouen, France
If you're attending the 2013 Impressionist Normandy Festival starting this month in Rouen, check out the 78-room Hotel de Bourgtheroulde. The 15th century Gothic-style stone mansion is a French Renaissance masterpiece located within walking...
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03200 Vichy, France
Very few things in life get me more excited than the idea of a day at the spa. And I think I just had the best experience of my entire life. Vichy is perhaps best known for its major role during World War II, when the French seat of government was...
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50 Rue Henri-Poincaré, 54000 Nancy, France
Stopped in the Excelsior after trekking around nancy because we needed a coffee. The place was getting crowded with people coming in for their lunch but the manager was happy to put a little round table next to the bar for us to enjoy a hot java....
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32 Rue Raymond Poincaré, 54000 Nancy, France
Stopped by this brasserie/restaurant that specialized in Alsatian food, which basically means lots of fatty pork! It was delicious and if you have a stomach that can handle lots of greasiness, this is the place for you.
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Place Stanislas, 54300 Croismare, France
One of my favorite cities in France is Nancy. Other than the outstanding Place Stanislas, which is France's most beautiful square, the city is also a center for the art nouveau period with many buildings scattered around the city as well as the...
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10-12 Rue des Boulangers, 68000 Mulhouse, France
Mulhouse is located in the Alsace region of France, which means that the place looks somewhat German and there is very good win from the area.
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Rue d'Amérique, 55270 Montfaucon-d'Argonne, France
I stumbled upon the Montfaucon American Monument while trying to find the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery ( which is about 10 miles down the road). In the year 567 a monk, St. Balderic, said he was guided to the hill where the monument now stands...
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12 Rue Sainte-Claire, 74000 Annecy, France
If there is one thing France is famous for, I bet the gastronomy would rank pretty high, way before the châteaux and wines. And what is French gastronomy without a healthy dose of cheese, right? At Le Fréti, they take their fondue very seriously....
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4 Rue Beauvau, 13001 Marseille, France
Despite a recent overhaul, this 19th century hotel and former artist hangout in Marseille has retained not only its classic charms – antique furnishings and Provençal fabrics in each of the beautifully-appointed 73 rooms – but its inimitable views...
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Cour de la Gare, 21000 Dijon, France
On the last leg of a trip in May 2013, we took the TGV from Dijon to Paris, on the way passing beautiful fields of mustard in bloom. We'd seen fields like this from the air on the way to Prague, in Poland and into Lyon, but didn't know what they...
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Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune, France
In three previous trips to Burgundy we had not taken the time to visit the Hospices de Beaune, despite being in town each time. In May we corrected the error and were very pleased to learn the history and take in the beauty of this unique hospital...
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10 place du Pasquier de la Fontaine, 21190 Puligny-Montrachet, France
Our May 2013 trip brought us back to the charming wine village of Puligny-Montrachet in the Cote d'Or as the wisteria were in full bloom. There was a lot of rain this spring, and perhaps that made a difference, as I don't recall this beautiful...
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9-11 Avenue de la République, 21200 Beaune, France
While his girlfriend seems uncertain about her tasting, the young gentleman is ready to give it a try. We've stayed three times at a charming chambre d'hote in Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy, a few kilometers from Beaune. Luckily, each visit has...
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115, chemin de Kandahar, Mont-Tremblant, QC J8E 1E1, Canada
La Savoie sits in the center of the base village and is one of the best dining experiences you'll find. Greeted at the table by small glasses of free wine, welcoming staff and the scent of cheese, one could simply not go wrong with anything on the...
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Collioure, France
The Plage de Port d'Avall is one of several options for a day on the beach, and the views from this crescent shaped slice are spectacular. As you swim, sunbathe, or play water games, you are always treated to a view of the harbor, the city center,...
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Bât A4, Parc Valad, Impasse Paradou, 13009 Marseille, France
While Marseille is now home to several spectacular museums and a burgeoning dining scene, the bulk of your visit should be spent by the sea. As of last year, Les Calanques- limestone sea cliffs and Fjord-like inlets - are considered a national...
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64250 Espelette, France
Like most of the quaint towns in the Basque country, Espelette is brimming with cultural and culinary riches. Just twenty minutes from the coast and hugged by mountains, this town of 2,000 is best known for the pepper of the same known grown...
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Place de la Clautre, 24000 Périgueux, France
A trip to Périgueux, the capital of the Dordogne department is a wonderful weekend excursion from Bordeaux. An easy train ride brings you through pastureland and forests, and deposits you in the center of this town that has existed since neolithic...
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13260 Cassis, France
Of the dozens of calanques — limestone cliffs and inlets — tracing the Mediterranean shoreline between Cassis and Marseille, the Calanque d'En-Vau is the most beautiful. On any given day from May through September, the beach and the calanques are...
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21000 Dijon, France
What an amazing impression the gargoyles of Notre Dame in Dijon make, leering down at you with grotesque stone faces. Added to the facade of this medieval church in the 19th century, the gargoyles serve no other function than to grimace and gape,...
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34500 Béziers, France
They call it an incredible feat of civil engineering. They say it is one of the longest canal systems in the world, the most spectacular man-made waterway. They inscribe it a World Heritage Site. But the Canal du Midi is a living work of art that...
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11000 Carcassonne, France
Carcassonne looks like it was cut out of an animator's scrapbook of fantastic castles. But this is the real thing. The last stronghold of the Albigensians or Cathars who, unfortunately for them, took a different view to the catholic church on a...