Collected by Grace Burns
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...
50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
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...
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...
Place Saint-Paul, 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...
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...
Mas antonelle le petit, 13200 Arles, France
On the marshy plains of the Carmague in southern France, where cowboys and cattle still roam, sits a most remarkable restaurant with a most unremarkable name: Chez Bob. Chez Bob, you say? Yes, that’s right—while at first blush it may seem as...
453 Avenue Henry Clews, 06210 Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France
Chateau de la Napoule is a beautiful old castle located right on the Mediterranean in the south of France. You can go into the gardens and the inside of the castle or you can lay on the beaches outside. There are many places nearby for small hikes...
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...
2 Montée des Moulins, 84000 Avignon, France
Escape the hot, rabbit-warren of medieval streets in Avignon for the cool and shady oasis of Rocher des Doms. The park is a popular spot for families to relax and offers stunning views over the town of Avignon. It is also an easy access point for...
77950 Maincy, France
Those who faithfully follow the guidebooks on Paris and its environs will undoubtedly find themselves journeying 10km south west of the capital to Versailles to discover the Sun King’s gilded emblem – an impressive if grandiose symbol of royal...
41150 Chaumont-sur-Loire, France
Not only is this a beautiful château but is has an incredible view of Loire Valley. Besides the chateau which often houses an art exhibit on its top floor, there are multiple gardens on the grounds that are gorgeous. There is a garden festival...
Place Charles de Gaulle, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. One of the lesser-known, but just as incredible, châteaus in the suburbs of Paris. I flew to Paris and was wandering around the grounds of the beautiful château forty-five minutes after leaving the airport . The...
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....
23 Rue Jean Larrivé, 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...
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...
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...
1 Château du Petit Thouars, 37500 Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, 37500 Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, France
It only looks like pita but this round, airy Fouée bread, a traditional specialty of the Touraine province in France, has a distinct story and utility of its own. According to legend, the Fouée emerged when bakers would test their wood ovens by...
06320 Cap-d'Ail, France
I took a bus from my hostel in Nice to this little town called Cap D'ail. Across from the bus station I saw a sign for what seemed like a trail. I crossed the road and down the stairs, through a tunnel and voila, discovered a path that hugs the...
Plaza los Terceros, 41003 Sevilla, Spain
Unlike Granada the tapas in Seville do not come free with your drink, however they can be worth their price. My favorite tapas spot has become "La Huerta" in plaza Teceros, or the bar with the blue tables. My favorite dishes are Bunuelos de la...
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