France Regions

Learn all about the different regions of France. From the snow capped Alps to the beaches of Provence to the rocky shores of Normandy and Brittany.

  • France Regions

    Discover Bayeux, France

    A short history of the charming town of Bayeux Bayeux is a small town that lies on the Aure River in Normandy, France not far from the English Channel in the “county” of Calvados.  It is located 16 miles west-northwest of Caen and roughly 166 miles northwest of Paris. The town is home to the famous medieval tapestry which bears its name. We offer a very popular overnight trip from Paris to Bayeux and the D-Day beaches. The town was first known as Baiocasses to the Gauls and Augustodurum to the Romans. The Romans later recast the town as a city named Civitas Baiocassium. In the 4th century the town became headquarters for…

  • France Regions

    Provence Mon Amour

    Before high fashion, multi course meals, political intrigues, grand boulevards and palaces, there was, and always will be, the French countryside.  All French regions claim to be the ultimate countryside experience.  Sorry everyone, but that honor belongs to Provence.  It’s the history, the food, the informality.  It’s something.  It is Provence. The Basics – Getting to Provence There are numerous ways to get to Provence from Paris. High speed rail from Paris to Avignon or Aix, or a meandering drive from Marseille, or rail from Marseille to an inland city and thence to the wonderful Provencal countryside. Personally, I have flown to London from L.A. (via Air New Zealand, one of…

  • France Regions

    Welcome to Magnificent Normandy!

    Intro to the Normandy Region of France The Normandy region of France combines a 360-mile coastline, including the dramatically evocative World War II landing beaches, with a verdant interior of lush farmland, bustling market towns, and historic landmarks such as the cities of Caen, Bayeux and Rouen. Gastronomic delights abound, from fine cheeses to cider and Calvados. Welcome to Normandy! A few fun quick facts about Normandy: That pat of butter on your plate in a Paris restaurant? It is almost certainly from Normandy. The port of Le Havre is France’s largest international shipping port, though in the 19th century, European immigrants to America always sailed out of Cherbourg. 300,000 troops landed…

  • France Regions

    Captivating Marseilles, France

    Get to know the city of Marseilles, the Gateway to Provence Marseilles is the second largest city in France, behind Paris, and has the varied population you’d expect in a port city which is one of the major European gateways to Africa. Cruise ships and freighters use the modern port, but all the charm is at the Vieux Port (Old Port), where smaller yachts, fishing boats and leisure touring boats jostle for slips. Overlooking the city is Notre Dame de La Garde, high atop a hill.  How old is the Old Port? It was founded by the Greeks around 600 B.C. However, the city goes back even further as far…

  • France Regions

    Welcome to the Amazing Loire Valley!

    Often called the “Garden of France” the Loire Valley is a place of vineyards, formal gardens and rolling green hills, dotted with more than a thousand Châteaux. Castle-building attracted the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and eminent architects and garden designers. To visit the Loire is to experience grand artistic visions. We offer three one-day itineraries to the Loire Valley from Paris Highlights of the Loire Valley Chartres – The world-famous cathedral of Chartres, which Rodin called the Acropolis of France, is a remarkable testament to medieval architecture. Must-sees include 12th and 13th century stained glass and a very rare collection of ancient musical instruments. The Old Town of cobbled streets,…

  • France Regions

    All About Charming Brittany, France

    One of France’s most rugged and friendly regions, Brittany is a fascinating mix of spectacular coastline, medieval towns, magical islands and inland woods. A Celtic duchy for more than one thousand years before its annexation to France in 1532, it is a land rich in culture, tradition and history. When you journey through the region, you’ll discover a people whose language, customs and dress remain a vivid homage to their past. We offer a Mont St. Michel Day Trip from Paris that stops in two of Brittany’s most interesting northern towns: Dinan and Saint Malo. Quick Facts: Places of Interest in Brittany Below is a list of some of the most…

  • France Regions

    Enchanting Antibes Juan-les-Pins History

    A short history of the city of Antibes Juan-les-Pins The history of Antibes Juan-les-Pins goes back several millennia. The site was first settled by Ligurians in the 5th century b.c. The city occupies a remarkable location: on one hand, a defensive site with a natural shelter; on the other, the convergence point for sailing itineraries along the coasts of Italy and Corsica. With the arrival of Christianity in the 3rd century AD, the city became a bishopric or diocese of the Catholic church. But the town, now named Antiboul, would soon experience difficult times, as Visigoths, Saracens, and hordes of Barbarians spread terror throughout the region for centuries. The insecurity…

  • France Regions

    The Glorious History of Mont Saint Michel

    A brief history of Mont Saint Michel abbey in Normandy, France Perched high on a 264-foot rock formation on the Atlantic coast where the historic regions of Normandy and Brittany meet in France, sits the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont Saint Michel. Mont Saint Michel is one of the most visited sites in Europe. The area around the abbey of Mont Saint Michel is known for the dramatic tides that roll in and out daily from the Atlantic Ocean. During the highest tides the abbey is completely surrounded by water. During low tide the flat marshes provide food for the world’s only herd of salt water plant eating sheep.…

  • France Regions

    Amazing Chambord Castle: A Short History

    Chambord castle, a monument to the Loire Valley kings When Francois I ascended to the French throne in 1515 he immediately set out to reconquer the Italian province of Milan. The city, once in French hands, was lost by his predecessor Louis XII. The ambitious young King found military success easily in northern Italy. Upon his return to France he began to build the chateau. The design of the castle was directly influenced by the Renaissance architecture he had seen in Italy. The castle still resembles a medieval stronghold (a central keep flanked by four large towers, two wings, a curtain wall enclosing it all), but, many Italian ideas are…