In thinking about a French trip, it easy to imagine bright landscapes, magnificently flowered meadows, or cities characterized by splendid European architectural charm. But away from these images there are emotions and feelings that no photograph or guide will ever describe.
To absorb the whole soul of France one should spend their holiday traveling from art cities like Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg to Nice and St. Tropez in the French Riviera, passing through the fragrant lavender fields of Provence.
But there is no need to take a whole week off from work to experience what this country has to offer. Amazingly, most of its 22 regions offer a little of all that diversity.
So just a weekend is enough to enjoy the experience of the trip by following a few simple tips. Avoid highways and favor driving through typical countryside roads, which are easy to find and very well marked. Despite the web being full of hotels, why not look for something different? It is simple to reserve a more classic accommodation like a “chateau”, a “maison d’hotes” or an old castle – real noble palaces where tourists can enjoy the unique experience of past decades and far from stressful city centers. The best part is that many of them are managed by families, which offer amazing locations at reasonable prices. In most cases the family is the owner, thus they are very careful about your stay and needs, unlike a chain hotel. Furthermore, in doing so, one concretely and directly contributes to keeping alive what undoubtedly are “patrmoine de l’humanité” (world heritage).
Big cities are well connected and not so far apart, thus easy to reach by car or train. Many buses depart hourly from Paris to countless cities across the country. This makes it easy to spend a day in a tourist city and the other in a less common site, out of the urban centers. Fine bistros are aplenty in both big and small towns. Wine, champagne and other specialties like croissants are easy to taste. Each region has its peculiarity in terms of customizing these delicacies, so it is fascinating to experience the variety.
France is undoubtedly one of the most amazing and spectacular places in the world, because of its cultural heritage and its territory that offers the sea, hills and flatland all within easy reach. It is one of the nations most visited every year- the perfect country where to spend a cultural or romantic weekend, discovering where the river Seine flows, the great vineyards or strolling down the representative streets which are so often seen in movies and read in poetry books. Just don’t be afraid to depart from the beaten track.