iPhone panorama photograph of the World Heritage Site listed Citadel in Eastern France, near the Swiss border. Click the photograph to see a larger image.
The Citadel occupies eleven hectares on Mount Saint-Etienne, one of the seven hills that protect Besançon, the capital of Franche-Comté. Mount Saint-Etienne occupies the neck of an ox-bow formed by the river Doubs, giving the site a strategic importance that Julius Caesar recognized as early as 58 BC. The Citadel overlooks the old quarter of the city, which is located within the ox-bow, and offers a magnificent view of the entire city and its surroundings.
The fortification is well preserved. Today it is an important tourist site, with over a quarter of a million visitors per year, due both to its own characteristics and because it is the site of several museums (source: Wikipedia.org)
When most people think of France the first thing that comes to mind is probably its capital, Paris. There are plenty of other delightful destinations to visit if you are thinking of heading there for a holiday – not least of which is the South of France.
This part of France offers many different experiences and opportunities for you to explore, so whatever kind of holiday you are after you will be sure to find it here. For example one area of the South of France which is particularly famous is the Cote d’Azur. This is also referred to in English as the French Riviera. Whichever name you refer to it by, you will love the many tempting venues you will find here.
One of the most popular places to go on the French Riviera is Cannes – home to the film festival and also to wonderful weather virtually all year round. If you are looking for a beach holiday coupled with a delightful town to wander around, you could do a lot worse than to visit Cannes.
Musicians playing in Avignon - Photo: Kate Buckland
Another reason why the South of France is loved by many tourists is that it has some superb cities worth visiting as well. Marseille has to be top of the list here, being second only to Paris in terms of the largest city France has in its midst. You will find Marseille to the east of Nimes and to the west of Nice, and its coastal position means it has the best of both worlds when it comes to offering sensational views in all directions.
If you think the best holidays in the South of France are all connected with big cities and equally big beaches, you can think again. There is more to appreciate here as well, including the potential to go skiing.
The Pyrenees, one of the world’s most famous mountain ranges, lays along the border that France shares with Spain. It is here that you can indulge in some serious skiing when the weather is right.
Try Tourmalet for size, which is a huge ski resort towards the eastern end of the Pyrenees. Cauterets is slightly more central to the mountain range but not much further to the west, so you can see you have a great choice of where to ski each year.
There is no doubt that most people can find something that appeals to them within the great range of diverse activities it is possible to do in the South of France. From a beach holiday to a skiing holiday; from rolling countryside to bustling cities, there is an amazing array of things to do here. With cheap calls to France available all year round, you can always phone direct to book your accommodation for the perfect trip as well.
Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.
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Discover why the Eiffel Tower expands during Paris’ high season. Tour the wild beaches and gin-clear waters of Corsica’s Bouches de Bonifacio. Pick up a bottle of locally made cider along Normandy’s Route de Cidre. Get an Alpine adrenaline rush heli-skiing above Chamonix. In This Guide: Seven authors, 195 days of research, 157 maps, 105 glasses of wine. New color food chapter detailing regional specialties and country-wide staples. Interviews with a perfumer in Grasse, a Michelin star-awarded Lyon
France looks even lovelier when seen from two wheels.Itineraries to suit all fitness levels. Elevation charts and detailed maps. Comprehensive listings for sleeping, eating and facilities along the way.
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South Of France Fact Sheet
Southern France (or the South of France), colloquially known as le Midi is a loosely defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Gironde, Spain, the Mediterranean, Italy, and Switzerland south of the Jura Mountains. Le Midi includes:
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (French pronunciation: Provença-Aups-Còsta d’Azur) is one of the 22 regions of France.
It is made up of:
* the former French province of Provence
* the former papal territory of Avignon, known as Comtat Venaissin
* the former Sardinian-Piedmontese county of Nice, whose coastline is known in English as the French Riviera, and in French as the Côte d’Azur
* the southeastern part of the former French province of Dauphiné, in the French Alps.
It encompasses six departments in south-eastern France, bounded to the east by the Italian border, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and by the principality of Monaco, to the north by Rhône-Alpes, and to the west by Languedoc-Roussillon, with the Rhône river marking its westernmost border. The six departments are:
The largest cities in the region are Marseille, Nice, Toulon, and Aix-en-Provence, each with a population exceeding 100,256 inhabitants as of the 1999 census. The richest part of the Region is Nice’s metropolitan area.
The Tour Barberousse (Redbeard Tower) in the coastal village of Gruissan in the Aude region of France. The tower is all that remains of a castle built at the end of the 10th century to observe the approaches to the harbour at Narbonne and to guard against seaborne invasions of the city.
Family Touring Holidays in France
France has numerous fascinating areas to explore if you have a touring caravan or motorhome and there are absolutely thousands of campsites that welcome touring holidaymakers with their own caravan, motorhome or tent. And because the climate is slightly better than in some other countries such as the UK, you will find people go touring as early as April right through to October, which is when most camp and touring sites are open in France.
Although if you are thinking of taking your family touring holidays in France in the summer holidays you may have to pre-book to get a pitch at some of the more popular caravan sites, especially in places like Brittany, which is one of the most popular camping and touring holiday areas in France, but there are many to choose from and you can often just pull up and arrange an overnight stay, or if you want to see the sights in a specific area, then you could always book a whole weeks holiday, or two, on a particular caravan site.
Family Touring Holidays in France – touring sites
Most touring sites will offer pitches with an electric hook-up and some also include water, some others will even have pitches that cater for sewage disposal for the black tanks that you get within a motorhome and if not, they have on-site facilities at set points for your waste water and emptying out your cassette toilet or porta-loo. In fact, last time we were in France, we noticed that a lot of the larger service stations also have points that you can empty out your waste tanks, which is great for when you are travelling through France.
But getting back to the touring sites; the amount of facilities available on lots of caravan and camping sites in France (not including the basics), means that you may find you just wish to stay put and enjoy what is on offer, such as swimming, tennis, fishing, the bar and restaurant, clubs with entertainment, children’s playgrounds and much, much more, which are normally free to use bar certain activities that you may have to pay a fee for, such as a fishing permit, playing pool, hiring cycles or using the gym.
And overall, these types of camping sites are of excellent quality and make an ideal family holiday where the children are very well catered for but these can range in price quite dramatically, for example, if you want to be situated near the Cote D’Azur and the French Riviera, the cost for a pitch can be anything up to four times that of a touring site in Normandy! Also, they do vary in cost according to the time of year and the amount of different facilities on offer plus some charge extra if you just turn up rather than pre-booking, so it is always a good idea to check out a few sites in different areas before you go on your holiday and we always ensure we have the different sites and their details on hand whilst we are touring.
However, if you would rather have peace and tranquility whilst on holiday in your caravan or motor home, then there are also numerous sites which offer the more mature family, and you can find some beautiful settings that range from lakeside views to being situated in a forest where you can watch the wildlife roaming, or why not meet up with some other like-minded people whilst staying in the grounds of a French Chateau. The choice is immense and on some of the sites you could even get to experience activities such as horse riding, artery and clay pigeon shooting.
Mind you, if you are towing a large caravan or have a large motorhome like a Winnebago, then it is also a very wise idea to check the terrain of your desired destination, as some of the campsites may not be accessible. One particular place we went had such a narrow track running up to the site that it would have been impossible to get a 36 plus foot motorhome round the bend and into the gate at the entrance and as for reversing, we wouldn’t have liked to try that with a caravan!
Yet even if you do not own your own caravan or motor home, although it will add to the cost of your holiday, you can still enjoy your family touring holidays in France with freedom by hiring one for a week or two, which is also a good idea to see if you will end up enjoying the whole experience, before investing your hard earned money on the purchase of a caravan or motorhome.
France is consistently the most visited country as a tourist destination and for good reason, history, food, culture and climate all contained within a country that offers a variety of each as one travels east to west and north to south. Family touring holidays in France allow the freedom to explore all these aspects of France The many regions are all fiercely proud of what they bring to the table, whether it be fine Parisian dining or a more robust seafood platter fresh from the Mediterranean in Cannes or Nice. It is the sheer scale of what is available that makes the country such a great destination for a touring holiday. If the weather isn’t great in Biaritz pack up and try the must in Djon. If it’s too hot on the south coast, head up into the mountains for some montagnard fare in an alpine town of Briancon or Grenoble. It’s all available and with a fantastic motorway system that spans in any direction, with touring holidays in France by motorhome in France, the world really is your oyster. Because of the popularity of motorhome holidays, it is probably wise to plan ahead especially if visiting the most popular resorts such as Brittany in peak season, but as there are literally thousands of campsites around the country even if one is full it won’t be much of a drive to find another one just up the road. Not all campsites come with the necessities, so it is also wise to do some research first, but this type of holiday has to be one of the most … Video Rating: 0 / 5
Illustrated with clear city and regional maps plus graphical route information, this guide allows the holiday-maker to explore all of the popular sights of Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley. There are details of over 150 key locations, focusing on tourist attractions, accommodation, entertainment and sightseeing. The guide allows travellers to create their own itineraries and to plan a uniquely independent holiday. Along with practical details of roads and routes, it provides advice on sce
The beautiful and diverse country of France is said to be the most popular tourist destination in all the world. One of the reasons for this popularity is because France is home to some of the best and most famous tourist attractions that can be found anywhere. Every year, millions and millions of people travel to the various French cities and towns to enjoy their holidays in the renowned “French style.”
For many, the wonders of France make it a dream destination for a wide variety of people with different tastes and interests. There are grand castles to explore, magnificent cathedrals to take in and be inspired and awed by, beautiful examples of ingenious structures and remarkable architecture, fascinating art museums and history museums, enchanting shopping venues, and spectacular hotels. Add to these marvels the ready availability of world-class French cuisine, and it is no wonder why people love to take in the French experience.
In addition, France also boasts some of the most stunning and amazing mountains, rivers and landscapes, not to mention the spectacular beaches, especially in the sun-drenched south of France. There are so many famous tourist attractions and interesting sites to see and experience in France that the list is almost endless.
One of the best known and most easily recognized attraction in all the world is the incredible Eiffel Tower. Located in the heart of Paris, it is acknowledged as one of the greatest masterpieces of human ingenuity, skill and accomplishment on the planet. The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 for the International Exhibition of Paris and is now considered the historic landmark of the country. The 300 meter tall tower has become the major tourist attraction of France.
Wikipedia says: The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, nickname La dame de fer, the iron lady) is an 1889 iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tallest building in Paris, it is the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair.
The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world from its completion until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France after the 2004 Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.
The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.
The structure was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets, in a structural design by Maurice Koechlin. Eiffel was assisted in the design by engineers Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin and architect Stephen Sauvestre. The risk of accident was great as, unlike modern skyscrapers, the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. However, because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May. The tower was much criticised by the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. Newspapers of the day were filled with angry letters from the arts community of Paris (paragraph courtesy of Wikipedia)
The Louvre Museum, also in Paris, is one of the most visited museums in the entire world and another of the grand attractions in France. The museum is home to some of the most spectacular art exhibitions and collections of art from many periods that span various eras.
The Palais du Louvre - Photo: Phil Wiley
It is also perceived to be world’s greatest art museum and has many gallery exhibitions that showcase some of the best paintings and drawings from the world’s masters of art. The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the prized works of art featured in the Louvre and this beloved work of art is one of the attractions that draw people to the museum.
The Musée du Louvre (French pronunciation: [myze dy luv?]), or officially Grand Louvre — in English the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre — is one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. It is a central landmark of Paris and located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are still visible. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being confiscated church and royal property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The size of the collection increased under Napoleon when the museum was renamed the Musée Napoléon. After his defeat at Waterloo, many works seized by Napoleon’s armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic, except during the two World Wars. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. (paragraph courtesy of Wikipedia)
One of the premier holiday destinations in France is the city of Cannes, which offers a wide array of attractions for visitors. The town is located in a picturesque region of France called the Cote d’Azur, or the Azure Coast. Cannes is probably best known for the annual, international event that it hosts every year, which is the Cannes International Film Festival.
It is also celebrated for its gorgeous beaches, the chic and trendy culture, and its exciting and hip nightlife. Cannes is also home to some amazing art museums, historic churches and landmark sites which are also impressive to tourists.
Other must-see tourist attractions that can be found in and around the town of Cannes are St. Marguerite Island and St. Honorat Island. These beautiful little islands are known for their striking scenic charm and the historic monasteries that are located there. Le Suquet is actually Old Cannes and it offers tourists breathtaking views of the beaches of La Croisette and is a marvelous place for an evening stroll.
Keeping the Kids Entertained While Camping in France
Come summer time, camping in France is one of the most popular holiday options for families in the UK. Thousands of families flock across the channel each year, taking advantage of the sunny weather, regional attractions and the many well provisioned campsites in France.
There’s nothing better than a family holiday when it everything goes well but when the children squabble and become bored, the parents start to get stressed, and everyone returns home far less relaxed than when they started! If you want to enjoy a fun and (almost!) stress free French camping holiday, here are a few tips on how to plan your trip…
Choose Your Region
There are attractions to be found in every part of France, but it is best to choose one that ties in with your mutual interests as a family. If your children are fans of the great outdoors, a camping holiday in the French Alps or the Jura will place you in amongst some of the most spectacular woods and mountains in France. Beach lovers should head to the Cote d’Azur or to the Vendee, the two best stretches of coast in the country. While if fine food and high culture are what keep you entertained, Brittany and the Loire may be the best choices, or perhaps a campsite near Paris. Each region has its own individual character – make sure you choose the right one for you (and your kids!)
Camping in France – Pick Your Campsite Carefully
It pays to choose your campsite in France with care – different campsites offer very different facilities and holiday experiences. More lively campsites can be perfect if you’ve got older children and like a few late nights out, but can be too loud and crowded for smaller children. Equally, a quieter campsite may leave older kids bored stiff!
Having the right facilities can make or break a holiday, especially when it comes to kid’s clubs – many of the larger campsites in France have dedicated children’s clubs that can be great for keeping the kids entertained (and out of your hair for a few hours!) Read up on any prospective campsites carefully, and make sure it has everything you and your family needs.
Camping in France – Research the Local Attractions
Once you’ve selected a specific region and an individual campsite in France, research the attractions in the local area. Children’s interests can change from day to day, and it is good to have a range of options researched and available – if the family is in the mood for some fun family entertainment, a theme park like Disneyland Paris can be ideal. If it is culture you are after, a visit to Mont St Michel or the Loire Chateaux may be in order. For a great family day trip you can suggest a visit to fun resort towns such as Nice and Les Sables d’Olonne.
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Of course, it is essential that you read up on the finer details of opening times or prices – it is no fun driving for hours to reach an attraction only to discover that it is closed, booked out, or prohibitively expensive! But so long as you have a good range of days out and local attractions thoroughly researched before you go, you’ll never want for something to do whilst camping in France.
All very basic advice, but the key to a really great French camping holiday amounts to little more than thorough research and careful preparation – follow these simple steps, and you’ll be all set for a truly outstanding holiday experience!
Lorraine Waddell is the brand and advertising manager of Canvas Holidays, one of the leading European camping and mobile home holiday operators in the UK. With over 40 years of experience, Canvas offer superb options for camping in France as well as trips to Italy, Spain and a total of 9 European countries.
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