France Tourism offer everything from medieval cities, alpine villages to Mediterranean beaches. Paris is famous for its fashion houses, art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The French are renowned for their high culture, gastronomy and wines. The ancient cave markings of Lascaux, Lyon’s Gastronomy, the Roman theater and opera House and the Palace of Versailles are some of the French wonders into which you can immerse yourself. Normandy and the Loire Valley are two of France’s most visited destinations.
Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is a very interesting abbey built on an island on the mudflats that is cut off when the tide comes in. Over time, high tides and human interference caused silt to build-up around the bay. By 2006, the nearly landlocked Mont-Saint-Michel no longer resembled an island. A project to restore the Mount to the sea was launched in the same year. A new dam designed to gradually sweep away the silt and sand has begun to operate on the Couesnon River. The old parking lot at the foot of the rock has been demolished and moved to a new area near the bridge, on the mainland. World Heritage marvels, the Mont-Saint-Michel and the Bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel are returning to their true natural setting after 10 years of major works. Now in spring or exceptionally high tides, the Mount reverts to being an island for several hours at a time. The base of the Mount’s outer ramparts then find themselves underwater. The Mount is cut off from any access for pedestrians. The phenomenon only lasts a few hours at a time, but it is a novelty that had not occurred for over 130 years!
The Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is often called the “Valley of the Kings” because of the high concentration of castles. Chenonceau is a fascinating Château and it is one of the best-known chateau of the Loire valley. The chateau was built over River Cher. The chateau’s other specialty is that it was built, maintained, protected, loved and fought for by an almost uninterrupted succession of women spanning four centuries. Some of the the worlds best vineyards are in Bordeaux. Visit Cadillac, Pauillac, Saint-Émilion and Libourne. A must for anyone interested in the best of French culture, lifestyle, wine and food. The south has Lyon with Fourvière Hill, the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The old town of Lyon, is named the St. Jean district, with unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.”
There is a deep attachment fro Notre Dame felt by Parisians and people all around the world. Although the roof and spire of the monument were destroyed by the fire, the structure of the building are saved which means reconstruction of the Gothic UNESCO World Heritage Site is possible. The site of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux has already set up a site to collect donations to rebuild Europe’s most visited monument. France is preparing to mobilise its best craftsmen – many of whom have ancestral expertise – to rebuild Notre-Dame, which inspired Victor Hugo’s novel. Some architects are already seizing the opportunity, as they did for restorations undertaken in previous centuries, to conceive a reconstruction faithful to the original but using the latest technology. Following the fire on 15 April 2019, the building on the Île de la Cité is closed to the public until further notice, as is access to the forecourt, the cathedral towers, its treasures and its crypt.
France Escorted tour to Normandy and the Loire Valley – Tour EU1601
4 days short The East of France
Paris and Normandy – Cruise BD115
8 days – Monet’s Gardens, Notre Dame and the charming harbor town of Honfleur.
A Taste of Bordeaux – Cruise BD114
8 days – Start from Bordeaux, and visit Cadillac, Pauillac, Saint-Émilion and Libourne.
Provence on the Rhone – Cruise BD116
8 days from Lyon, visit Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône. Hunt for truffles, learn Provençal cooking, and trace the steps of famous artists in Arles.
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