• France Regions

    From Switzerland to Burgundy: A Memorable Travelogue

    Travel to Beaune and Montreaux with me! Recently, we found ourselves in Montreaux, Switzerland for a travel convention. In Montreaux you are on the shores of pristine Lake Geneva, on the Swiss side Friendly travel tip: Switzerland is on the Swiss franc, not the euro.  But it’s 2019 and we did not trade any money in the age of plastic and chipped cards.   You do get to choose which currency you want to be billed in when they run the card.  I have no idea whether you can save a few centimes doing that.   We literally just alternated the currency choice.  A weird temperature blip/micro-climate allows palm trees to grow along…

  • France Regions

    Forty Great Places to See in Normandy, France

    A list of the best things to see in Normandy, France 40 different places to visit and explore in France’s historic Normandy region. From William the Conquerer to the D-Day events in 1944. 1. MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS ET DE LA DENTELLE ALENCON A permanent lace exhibition, featuring the famous Alencon stitch, is just one of the major attractions at Alencon’s museum. Also exhibited are French and foreign paintings (from the 15th to the early 20th century) and an amazing collection of 19th century Cambodian items. Several temporary exhibitions are organized each year (program on request). Open: Year round – Closed on Mondays in the off season and on 1/1,…

  • France Regions

    Canadian Normandy D-Day Tour Stops

    Back to the Canadian Normandy D-Day Tour booking page. BERNIERES-SUR-MER This tiny village was liberated street by street in heavy hand to hand fighting on June 6, 1944 by the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada unit. JUNO BEACH CENTRE Dedicated on June 6, 2003, the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles is the most important stop on our Canadian Normandy d-day Tour. The center reflects the passionate vision of Canadian D-Day veteran Garth Webb. Mr. Webb wanted the sacrifice of Canadians in France to be commemorated and celebrated at the Centre. BENY-SUR-MER Canadian soldiers who died on D-day and early in the Battle of Normandy are buried at the Canadian Cemetery in Beny-sur-Mer.…

  • France Regions

    Caen, France – Capital of Normandy

    Some of the main points of interest in Caen, France Caen is the capital of the Normandy region of France. It was the home of William the Conquer in France. Today the city serves as an important hub of commerce, history and Norman culture. Below are just a few of the highlights of the area in and around the city. Bayeux Click here for information about the famous Bayeux tapestry and surrounding town. Caen War Memorial Visit our Caen War Memorial and D-Day Tours webpage for complete information and tour booking. Chateau Ducal Built around 1060 by William the Conqueror to house his residential palace, the Chateau Ducal is one of the…

  • France Regions

    All About Amazing Bordeaux, France

    How pretty is Bordeaux? Well, when Napoleon III commissioned Baron Haussmann to spruce up the squalid streets of Paris, Haussmann looked to the grandly-scaled avenues and elegant buildings of Bordeaux as his inspiration. Bordeaux is a small city with a worldwide reach, thanks to the wine business it has dominated since at least the 13th century. Vinexpo, the largest wine fair on the planet, is held here each June. Local wines with international fame include the First Growths of Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion, Château Mouton-Rothschild. Visit Bordeaux with us. Take a Bordeaux Day Trip From Paris. Though there is no subway, an easy to use tram system winds…

  • France Regions

    17 Great Hotels in The South of France

    Luxury in the wonderful South of France Great location, great service, memorable food – all these hotels have that, and more. The list is in no particular order; it made sense to us to let all hotels be viewed as equals. Hotel Martinez had the benefit of being the first hotel we chose for the list this year, so it occupies top slot for no other reason than that. Enjoy! Also, see our “Best Hotels in Paris” and “Best Hotels in the Rest of France” lists. 1. HOTEL MARTINEZ – CANNES Classic luxury in the middle of Cannes The Hotel Martinez has been a presence on the Croisette since the…

  • France Regions

    19 Great French Hotels Not in Paris or Provence

    French hotels and regions worth discovering Great location, great service, memorable food – all these French hotels have that, and more. The list is in no particular order; it made sense to us to let all hotels be viewed as equals. Grand Hotel Barriere had the benefit of being the first hotel we chose for the list this year, so it occupies top slot for no other reason than that. Enjoy! Also, see our “Best Hotels in Paris” and “Best Hotels in the South of France” lists. 1. GRAND HOTEL BARRIERE – DINARD The gorgeous Brittany coast is graced with five stars in Dinard. Located on the Côte d’Émeraude of Brittany, the…

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    Loire Valley Wine and Castle Tour – Schedule

    Back to the Loire Valley wine and castle booking page. MONDAY AND THURSDAY Chambord is the biggest Loire castle, yet was only built as a hunting lodge for King Francois I. It’s been suggested, but not proven, Da Vinci had a hand in its design, but it’s attributed to Phillipe Delorme. Unique architectural features such as the minaret-like spires and grand double helix staircase add to its distinction. Onsite is the Museum of Nature and Hunting, and an especially rare collection of tapestries. Designed by the same architect who created Blois,  has stayed in the Count of Cheverny’s family almost continually since it was built in the 16th century. Intact interiors and priceless antiques…

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    Loire Valley Day Tour – Villandry and more Castle List

    CHATEAU D’AZAY-LE-RIDEAU Azay-le-Rideau is dramatically situated on an island in the Indre river, its architecture appearing to rise right out of the water. The plush interiors are decorated in the Italian Renaissance style popular when it was first built in the 16th century. One of the newest exhibits is in the attic, showing the complicated beam and buttress design needed to hold the massive roof. VILLANDRY Villandry features the finest formal gardens in Europe. The dilapidated gardens and castle were restored to their 16th century glory in the 1900’s, by a wealthy American heiress, Ann Coleman, and her French husband Joachim Carvallo. It takes 8 gardeners working full time to…

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    Loire Valley Chambord, Chenonceau and More Castle Tour Info.

    CHATEAU DE CHENONCEAU Built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, Chenonceau was disassembled, torched, demolished and rebuilt successively from the 11th century until 1513. It’s most known for the arched bridge at its base joining the château to the river’s opposite bank. A couple of centuries of crumbling disrepair was finally addressed right after World War II by the current owners (the family Menier, heirs to a chocolate-making fortune). Other than the Royal Palace of Versailles, it is the most visited château in France. CHATEAU D’AMBOISE The village of Amboise is anchored by the grand Château Amboise, along the river Loire, just 20 minutes from…