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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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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...
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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...
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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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64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
A short drive from the somewhat more crowded beaches and pinxto stands of San Sebastian, Spain, the twin towns of St Jean de Luz and Biarritz in France are worth the drive (and the $20 Euros in highway tolls!). The water is too rough for children,...
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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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Chapitre, 13001 Marseille, France
While living in Paris as an undergrad, I bought a train ticket to Marseille on a whim. It was a weekend trip, and I didn’t take anyone with me, nor meet anyone there -- no plans at all. The countryside passed in sweet silence on the 3-hour TGV...
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Without a doubt Versailles is the most luxurious palace in Europe, built to astound visitors and impress the king's subjects into awed submission with crystal chandeliers, gilt, and fine art. This opulent monument is also attractive...
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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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41700 Cheverny, France
We were in the Loire Valley for the wedding of friends, and the one day when there were no real festivities, we planned to bike from Blois (where we were staying) to Chateau de Cheverny. It had been some time since I'd biked a long distance, let...
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Arles, France
Looking down the rooftops of Arles from the Arles Amphitheatre.
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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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84250 Le Thor, France
Ahh, to lie in a hammock on a summer afternoon in the South of France... My wife and I had gone to visit friends who lived in LeThor, a town of a few thousand on the banks of the Sorgue River in Provence. (Between the very visited cities of...
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5 Place Gabrielle Andéol, 84190 Gigondas, France
A friend of ours in Avignon took us on an amazing tour of this small part of the Rhone wine region. It included lunch at l'Oustalet (restaurantoustalet.com)in the small town of Gigondas. We sat outdoors and had an amazing meal. The place settings...
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3 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
While on a trip to the wonderful Provence region of France, one of the best days was the day we visited Saint-Remy. It is beautiful in itself, but one of the true gems of the area is Joel Durand's chocolate shop. We had the honor of a private...
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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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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 bathrooms built into the...
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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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12320 Conques, France
Conques, located in the Midi-Pyrenees in the south of France, is not an easy place to find. Unless, of course, you're hiking the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. The medieval village, which boasts a gorgeous cathedral and an ample amount...
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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...