Articles on France by Kyle the Vagabond:
Maybe it’s the food, or maybe it’s the wine, but no matter what it is, there is something quintessentially romantic and charming about France. Art lovers in Paris can let time fly by at the Louvre, you can hang with the gargoyles at Notre Dame, and architecture buffs can simply gawk around the palatial grounds of Versailles. The beaches of the southern Riviera teem with trendy celebs and oversized yachts, and quaint hamlets in the hill and wine country make for relaxing stopovers set away from it all. Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in the world class surf of Biarritz and the mountains of the French Alps, and once again, there is all the food and wine to hold anyone over between adventures.
Euro; Exchange Rate: 1 Euro = $1.46 (April 29, 2011). For currency conversion info visit xe.com
When to Go:
The majority of France has a temperate climate, with cool winters and warm summers. The Mediterranean region sizzles during the summer months as beachgoers flock to the azure shores, and winter along the Riviera sees mild air temperatures, but chilly water. The mountainous Alps region in the east is host to the winter sports world from December-March and can get quite chilly. Paris and the northwest coast can get chilly, wet winters with moisture coming in off of the Atlantic, and overall spring is just about the best time to be anywhere in France.
The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks
1. Enjoy a baguette in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris
My favorite garden in Paris, little kids sail boats on massive fountains while joggers jog and lovers lounge.
2. Stroll through downtown Montpelier
A bustling main street with mini architectural replicas of the Parisian originals
3. Chill on the beach in St. Tropez
Trendy couples drop off their dry-cleaning on mopeds set against a megayacht background, but the beach scene is removed from town and way more laidback.
4. Drive the Alsace wine road
Straight out of a fairy tale, tiny German villages cluster together amongst vineyards where castles and tasting rooms rule the landscape.
5. Explore the Alps in Chamonix
An jaw-droppingly picturesque valley, the highest mountains in Europe rise immediately from the narrow valley floor. Ski, hike, bike, climb–Chamonix is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
6. Wine tasting in Provence
Establish a base in Aix-en-Provence to explore the regions of Chateauneuf du Pape and Bandol
7. Spend an evening under the Eiffel Tower, Paris
A total European cliche, but nothing waxes more romantic than an evening under the lights of the world’s most famous tower.
8. Baguettes in the old quarter of Lyon
A far better choice than the modern parts of the city, the simple cafes of the old town provide the perfect perch for sitting by the river and listening to the church bells.
9. Grab a drink at Pub Thor, Nice
A Scandinavian themed bar that is set as if drinking in an underground cave, the music is lively and the grog is strong. Live out your caveman fantasy on the Riviera.
10. Explore the wetlands and white horses of the Camargue
A little known region of South Central France that feautures vineyards, marshland, and the gypsy beach town of Saint Marie de la Mer.
11. Learn about gladiators at the Nimes Colosseum
2000 years old and still kicking, the Nimes Colosseum is just as astonishing as the real thing in Rome.
Ready to go now? Search for cheap tickets to anywhere in France and get moving on your European adventure…