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France 2014

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Nice, France
I loved this delicate church nestled among tropical palm trees - the epitome of Nice! French, man-made beauty rubbing shoulders with tropical playground surroundings.
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Nice, France
While troubled artists like Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin were drawn to the sombre color palettes deep in the rural Vaucluse region of Provence, more chipper painters like Matisse and Chagall made their home in sunny Nice. Local tour operators...
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Aix-en-Provence, France
It would be hard to do better in Provence than in a city that is named after the region, right? Totally right. Aix-en-Provence is the region's most delightful, easily accessible and interesting mid-sized city, and its markets are not to be missed....
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69 Cours Mirabeau, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
My friends and I stumbled into Le Splendid to grab some lunch and escape the rain. The menus were hand written on large chalkboards that they carried over to the table for you to look at. I decided on the tarte du jour which had smoked salmon,...
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13260 Cassis, France
The Calanques de Cassis are also of Marseille, and stretch the swath of scenic coastline between the two cities. You can hike around and enjoy the French national park on foot, or tour by sea. This photo was taken on a 3-hour boat tour that...
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Aix-en-Provence, France
The small town of Aix en Provence is underrated. A great spot to hide away for the weekend and close enough to the French Riviera (especially with a French mad man driving you there), it is a real pleasure to walk its streets, admire its...
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Miramas le Vieux, 13140 Miramas, France
My first day in the South of France, I spent the June afternoon on a borrowed bike, coursing through olive trees around hilltop villages... Although Provence is just a few hours' train-ride south of Paris, when you step off the TGV, you encounter...
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Velleron, France
Early summer in Provence--cicadas in the trees and lines of lavender stretching to the horizon under a Van Gogh sky...Clichéd it might be, but the setting is heady...
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Montagne Sainte-Victoire, 13126 Vauvenargues, France
From any corner of Aix-en-Provence, they say, you can see the Mont St. Victoire. I don't know if that's entirely true, but the white limestone mountain does seem to be everywhere when I live in Aix for a few months, peeking over olive groves and...
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Route de Sorgues, 84230 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Every guest room in this 19th-century castle (whose name means “small rocks”) overlooks the vineyards of France’s famous wine region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just outside Avignon. The kingly decor includes canopied beds, and...
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84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
A short train ride from Avignon to L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue and an even shorter walk from the train station to the market, you'll find the linens, lavender and soaps of Provence, some good brocante treasures, local art and plenty of good food. Make...
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13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
A sundial in the medieval center of St.-Rémy-de-Provence...Its inscription distills the allure of the South of France: "It is always time to do nothing." Relax. Find a hammock, sip a pastis, inhale the lavender-scented air...
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84220 Roussillon, France
There is a small, rural village in Provence called Roussillon known for its large ochre deposits found in the clay surrounding the village. You can even visit the ochre quarry nearby, now unused. The village itself is situated on an ochre ridge...
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13210 Avenue Dr Edgar Leroy, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy from May 1889 until May 1890. During much of his time there he was confined to the grounds of the asylum, and his works are great studies of the landscape and...
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84400 Saignon, France
Though my favorite Provencal hotel is now gone from Saignon, it is still the quintessential, hilltop town worth visiting when you're biking, hiking or driving through this area of France. The dreamy town center (all of three streets) will provide...
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12 Rue de Sainte-Cécile, 84580 Oppède, France
Oppede-le-Vieux is a hidden treasure in Provence that so many visitors miss and I'd encourage you to put it (and a stop at this enchanting little cafe) on your must-see list. Due to the design of this hilltop town, you'll have to park in a...
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84220 Roussillon, France
Beyond the French Riviera are small towns and villages that you can easily explore if you have access to a car. One May, seven of us rented a car (yes we were cramped in a tiny French model) and we left our hostel in Avignon for a day trip around...
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Arles, France
Wandering through the narrow streets of Arles, France, was like stepping back in time. Everything felt so magical and surreal.
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13810 Eygalières, France
Eygalieres is an endlessly charming, Provencal town, tucked just outside of the Les Alpilles range. In all of those years living, working and biking through Provence, I found no more perfect place for an espresso stop en route to and from some of...
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11 Place du Forum, 13200 Arles, France
Once known as the Cafe Terrace, this is the place captured so colorfully in Van Gogh's painting of Place du Forum in Arles, in September of 1888. Still in operation today and now named Cafe Van Gogh, it's a lovely little spot to have your espresso...
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84390 Monieux, France
I happen to be convinced that there's no dreamier a place that Provence, for 5 nights and 6 days of cycling, eating, experiencing and drinking up all that there is to love. The Backroads Casual Inn Provence Biking trip covers beautifully diverse...
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84160 Cucuron, France
We were staying in the tiny nearby village of Vaugines, which had only a small café. Our apartment host suggested Cucuron as a nearby place with more dining options and we were blown away by its beauty. In late September there were few tourists,...
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Mt Ventoux, 84390 Brantes, France
At 6,200 feet, Mont Ventoux—also known as the “Beast of Provence”—is the highest mountain in the Vaucluse region, and a popular part of the Tour de France cycling race. About half a mile from the summit stands a memorial to...
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57 Avenue de la Vallée des Baux, 13520 Paradou, France
In a quiet little village south of St Remy de Provence you will find this gem of a bistrot. It's a fixed price menu with just a few options but all oh so delicious. A red wine bottle is open and waiting for you at the table as you sit down. It's a...
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84220 Gordes, France
Our visit to Gordes was unplanned and unbelievable. When previous travel plans fell through at the last minute, we found our way here. Looking down on this scene with the town in the forefront and the moutains in the background ranks as one of my...
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Gorges de la Nesque, 84390 Monieux, France
Bienvenue to favorite bicycle ride in all of France. One that I did so often while living in Provence that my friends called it my 'church.' Aptly named. Depending on which direction you're coming from, you'll probably come through the small town...
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26110 Nyons, France
Each year, in the southeastern town of Nyons, specialists, producers and aficionados gather to taste the 'Huile Nouvelle' or New Oil, the oil equivalent of Beaujolais Nouveau, a celebration of the new harvest. It's a fun affair, with song and...
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Le Lautaret, 05480 Villar-d'Arène, France
At an altitude of 2100 meters, the Alpine Botanical Gardens at the Lautaret Pass in the Dauphiné Alps are a breathtaking (literally!) experience. If you love glaciers, fresh air, and botany, a visit to this paradise-like garden is a must.
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Lake of Sainte-Croix, France
Driving in the mountains and seeing gorges in France is an unforgettable experience. Here is a beautiful lake at the debut of spring, probably just a little too cold for swimming in.
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Lake of Sainte-Croix, France
A man-made lake, formed by the construction, between 1971-74, of a reinforced-concrete arch dam by the name of Dam of Sainte-Croix. The reservoir holds 761 million cubic metres of water, and the dam generates 142 million kWh of electricity per...
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Les Baux, 84410 Bédoin, France
We were on a trip through the perched villages of Luberon. On the approach to one of these ancient hillside villages, Les Baux, we came across what looked like a limestone quarry made up into a museum. Upon entry we were met with the most...
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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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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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Plage de Porto, 20150 Ota, France
The calanques in Piana, Corsica, are stunning in their beauty and grandeur. Photogenic and breathtaking at any time of day, this Debussy-esque sunset made me stop my car, climb some rocks and freeze un moment in time. This was my second time...
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Route des Sanguinaires, 20000 Ajaccio, France
Young and poor, but frequent-flier-mile rich, my wife and I were able to go to Corsica for our first anniversary...Staying with friends always helps...They lived in Ajaccio, (birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte), and at sunset one evening, they took...
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84220 Gordes, France
In the early hours of a summer morning I visited the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque in Provence near the crumbling hill town of Gordes. It was completely silent, with not a soul about. A purple swathe of lavender cut a dash as it graced the old...
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Old Marine Dr, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Rolling through five countries in 14 days, the opulent Pride of Africa whisks passengers from the tip of South Africa to Tanzania’s largest city. The trip includes two nights at a five-star game lodge, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and...
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5 Rue Jaubert, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
You can find a Paul around any corner in Aix…or Paris…or anywhere in France I’m pretty sure. But, whereas chains in America aren’t usually the best of the best, Paul is a perfect example of how great French chains can be. Pastries are baked...
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84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
I have selectively framed food photos from my travels for my kitchen and this photo might be a new personal favorite! Not to mention that the olives were some of the best I've had the pleasure of eating! If you are looking for a Sunday outing...
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84250 Le Thor, France
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...
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10 Rue de la Paix, 06360 Èze, France
A maze of narrow medieval streets wind up and down this village perched along the Grande Corniche. The ruins of a château are now an exotic garden, and the 18th-century neoclassical Notre Dame of the Assumption church is a national monument....
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1 Carshalton Rd, Banstead SM7 3JA, UK
This year both of us desperately wanted to visit Provence in South France to witness the gazillion lavender farms. For some reason we could not, and boy were we disappointed. Not for long. Enter Mayfield Lavender Farm. This 25-acre farm is located...
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84100 Orange, France
Orange is a charming little town, located in the south of France. Although it may not be as sophisticated as some of the more tourist-driven towns and villages in Provence, it has one of the most well-maintained Roman theaters in Europe. It also...
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Arles, France
Looking down the rooftops of Arles from the Arles Amphitheatre.
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27 Rue des Cordeliers, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Unfortunately, I haven't been to enough European Christmas markets to know whether this one is truly extraordinary, but I really love the marché de Noël in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. The little stalls are set up along the Cours...
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30700 Uzès, France
On sunny Wednesdays (and there are many of those in Uzés), wedged in between the honey making nuns and the olive farmer, Mr. Bruguier sells the wine from his family estate on the market square. He greets his customers like old friends and makes us...
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51 Rue des Arènes, 13200 Arles, France
With a small chalkboard that posts the menu for the day, don't come to La Charcuterie for an extensive menu. Instead come for a small list of well prepared dishes, many consisting of the "less popular" parts of the animal. For obvious reasons, the...
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Avenue des Alyscamps, 13200 Arles, France
The Alyscamps is home to one of the most famous sites of necropolises of the ancient world. Because Roman cities traditionally forbade burials within city limits, it was traditional for the roads immediately outside a city to be lined with tombs...
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6 Place de la République, 13200 Arles, France
The cathedral and cloister of the Église St. Trophime in Arles are truly a must for anyone who appreciates art history and sacred spaces. The buildings were classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, a project on the Worlds Monument Fund,...
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400 Route du Pont du Gard, 30210 Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France
This amazing ancient Roman aqueduct highlights the brilliance of the Roman engineers.
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Route Neuve, 84220 Gordes, France
Gordes is one of those perched villages in Provence. A quintessentially beautiful village - essentially empty when we visited in March. Every turn in the village was picture postcard perfect including this path we stumbled upon on the way to our...
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Annecy, France
While it would probably take well over a lifetime to visit all of France's picturesque and welcoming villages, there is, in my opinion, a simple solution to this "problem", if there ever was one. It's called Annecy. And it's wonderful. Sights in...
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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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Annecy, France
This small Alpine French town really reminds you of Venice.
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Annecy, France
Come explore this lovely city near the French Alps.
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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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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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Main St, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044, USA
New York is a city with endless sights and diversions but time usually constrains most tourists and rarely do they get to see beyond Manhattan, save for DUMBO perhaps. Roosevelt island is a local gem, often left unvisited even by New Yorkers...