Deauville, France


Deauville is perhaps the most famed among all the towns of France for its beauty and luxury. This seaside city in Lower Normandy is known throughout the world for its five-star hotels, beaches, cultural festivals, casinos and horse races.

The town of Deauville was formally established in 1060 on the coast of Normandy. For eight centuries, Deauville remained a sleepy village on the English Channel known only for the excellence of its horse breeding. In the 1860s, however, fate decided to visit the small Norman town. Duke Charles de Morny, half-brother to Emperor Napoleon III, visited Deauville and was taken by its peacefulness and the beauty of its gardens.
The beach of Trouville town, near Deauville in Normandy, France
In 1862, the Duke bought 2.4 square kilometers of land in the vicinity of Deauville and began to turn the town into what it is today. De Morny funded the construction of the Deauville-La Touques Racecourse and the opening of a railroad line from Paris to Deauville. The elite of Paris soon heard about the beauty of Deauville and began to buy old Norman estates and build second homes in and around the seaside town. By 1870, Deauville’s fame as a center of luxury and recreation had been firmly established.

Deauville is still a prime vacation spot for the rich and famous. The town itself has a population of around 3,500 but contains dozens of hotels that range from the affordable to the extravagant with many deals being found on Among Deauville’s most famous accommodations are the 19th century luxury hotel Normandy Barriere and the castle-like Augeval Hotel.

If you have a taste for gambling, be sure to check out one of Deauville’s historic casinos. Casino Barriere de Deauville is the most famous of Deauville’s gambling houses and features all of the classic European casino games.

Deauville isn’t just for the high roller, though. This town is full of attractions that anyone can enjoy. The April Easter Festival of Classical Music is a must-see for the music lover, and the December Noël au Balcon street theater event is a Christmas festival like no other. If you’re a film expert, be sure to visit Deauville during its famous Deauville American Film Festival. This annual event attracts some of the world’s greatest actors, awards prizes to American movies and offers film viewings to the general public. Visitors who would rather enjoy the sea will love the beaches and resorts of the nearby Côte Fleurie.

No trip to Deauville is complete without a visit to the 19th century Deauville-La Touques Racecourse. Horse breeding and racing is at the heart of Deauville’s history. Whether you’re a gambler or you simply enjoy the thrill of the race, you shouldn’t miss Deauville’s unparalleled horse racing.


Musee du Louvre, Paris, France


The Musee du Louvre in Paris, France is one of the most historic and fascinating museums in the entire world. More than eight million visitors experience the wonders of The Louvre each and every year. Without a detailed look at the actual exhibits, you could still enjoy the unmatched views of Parisian architecture at its finest. For your educational and viewing pleasure, there are over 400,000 different items and exhibits within the massive Louvre museum. You could spend two whole days wandering around, and you may still not have enough time to appreciate all the amazing arts of human creation houses within the massive museum.

Musee du Louvre, Paris, FranceYou absolutely can’t miss the Mona Lisa when you visit the Musee du Louvre. No other work of art in any medium and in any country has been studied as much as the Mona Lisa. This is the painting that put Leonardo da Vinci on the map, and it cemented his legacy as one of the greatest artistic minds in the history of civilization. The Mona Lisa exhibit gets crowded during the evening hours, so the best time to see it is definitely as early in the day as you possible can go to that part of The Louvre.

Another attraction not to be missed at The Louvre is the Venus de Milo. This ancient Greek sculpture depicts the goddess of love, Venus, in human form. It’s been said that this work of art was crafted around 100 BCE. Nobody knows exactly who sculpted it, but it’s supposed to be attributed to Alexandros of Antioch. The statue stands nearly seven feet tall, and it is made out of marble. You’ll want to take plenty of pictures of it to share with your friends and family back home. The statue is simply one of the greatest art masterpieces ever seen in the entire world.

The Musee du Louvre in Paris is one of the attractions that all world travelers should see at least once. The atmosphere created by the unmatched art found here invites you to get in touch with a higher plane of visual perception. Humans benefit greatly from viewing art and pondering its meaning. This is one way in which people keep their minds healthy and active. You can stop at The Louvre today and add this incredible museum to the list of places you’ve visited. This is an experience that you’ll never forget as long as you live.


Normandy, France

Normandy is located on the northwest coast of France and is home to apple orchards, lush landscapes, rugged cliffs and fresh cheeses. Some of the main industries in the area include cattle breeding, cider manufacturing and fishing. Because of its stunning beaches, nice weather and beautiful countryside, the province is a perfect place to visit at all times of the year.

Some of the cities in Normandy consist of Caen, Rouen, Le Havre, Deauville and Cherbourg. While in Caen, you can visit the Chateau de Caen Castle, or you can the Ladies Abbey and Men’s Abbey. Caen also contains the Caen Memorial that recalls World War II. On the Seine River, you can find the city of Rouen, a main port city. Deauville is a resort city that boasts numerous horse shows.
Stone Arch in Normandy coast in France
Other than Paris, Normandy is the second most visited destination in France. The area is famous for the D-Day invasion that occurred during World War II. Normandy is home to fascinating museums, historical monuments and interesting memorials remembering the invasion. One of the most famous attractions is the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which is located in Rouen.

While in Normandy, you can visit Mont Saint-Michel, one of the wonders of the western world. You can also visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, or you can go to Giverny and visit Monet’s Gardens. The architecture in Rouen is exquisite, and the old port in Honfleur is fascinating. You can even tour the President’s Cheese farm.

When visiting Normandy, you must visit the breathtaking beaches. The coast of Normandy is tranquil, and the beaches are lovely. Some of the beaches include Sword Beach, Juno Beach, Gold Beach and Omaha Beach. You can take a few days to tour the invasion of the beaches, and you can remember the tragic events that occurred on June 6, 1944. It will be a somber and unforgettable experience.

You can easily get to Normandy by taking the train from Paris. You can also ride the ferry from England, or you can fly into some of the local airports. The area contains interstates and roads, so you can drive to Normandy.


Eiffel Tower, Paris, France


First time visitors to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France may not realize there is so much more to do than simply gaze upon this spectacular structure. Even return guests might not realize just how much there is to see and do in the area.

The Eiffel Tower itself is a must see when in Paris. Don’t be afraid to explore its many wonders. At a height of 300 meters, the first floor alone is home to exhibits about the Eiffel Tower’s history, a cinema, gift shop, restaurant, and even a post office where you can send postcards back home with the official Eiffel Tower mark. On the next level guests can enjoy fine dining in the Jules Verne restaurant, followed by champagne on the third floor. One can even go ice skating on the rink that lies 57 meters above Paris. The experience is enhanced with music and light effects.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, FranceAfter touring the Eiffel Tower, one can stretch out and relax at Champ de Mars. Located between Ecole Militaire and the tower, this park was the 1889 site of the world exhibition when the Eiffel Tower was first constructed. Now it is a wonderful grassy area, perfect for soccer, picnics, and concerts.

Don’t forget to take in a few of Paris’s fabulous museums while visiting. The Musee du Quai Branly is a mismatched collection of old and new art from places like Africa, Asia, and the Americas. An interesting feature of this quirky spot is the living wall. Comprised of over 150 types of plants, it is surrounded by jungle gardens and swamps. The nightly light show is not to be missed.

The Musee Rodin is another exceptional museum nearby the Eiffel Tower. Once the private mansion of the artist Auguste Rodin, it now houses his many sculptures, including The Bronze. His controversial piece, The Gates of Hell is located in the surrounding gardens. There is even a room dedicated to the work of his student and mistress Camille Claudel.

An excellent way to end a day in Paris is with a Seine River dinner cruise. The Seine River is a beautiful site by day, and it is simply enchanting once the sun sets. The river winds through Paris where dinner guests can view the Pont Alexandre lll bridge and the city’s most beautiful buildings such as Invalides and Grand Palais.


Dordogne Valley, France


The Dordogne Valley, France has seen times both brutal and sublime down through the ages. This was the stomping ground of the Hundred Years War, where the English and French battled fiercely, and many towns changed hands time and time again. With 1000 castles, fortified towns and picturesque medieval villages, the entire area draws visitors in droves, especially in the summer months of July and August.

If you don’t care for crowds, visit at any other time of the year. Be aware, though, that in winter months, many hotels, restaurants and attractions close, although enough places stay open to tempt hardy winter travelers. Try for May, June and September for a less peopled, though still busy time to visit. The weather is usually fine, most venues are open and prices are 40 percent less than during the peak season.

Dordogne Valley, FranceKnown to the French as the Périgord region, the Dordogne Valley calls for many repeat visits to fully experience all it has to offer. Magnificent prehistoric cave paintings, the myriad castles and chateaux, the wide flowing river Dordogne and France’s favorite foods, truffles, porcini, foie gras, walnuts and fine wines, all combine to make the Perigord an unforgettable experience. With old growth oak forests, dramatic limestone cliffs with castles carved from stone on top, the winding river and the prettiest towns in France, the Dordogne seduces and charms all visitors. Even in the midst of jostling crowds, one falls in love with the place and wishes never to leave or always to return to this most magical countryside.

While many of the towns are downright gorgeous, there are some that shine, such as La Roque-Gageac, a town built at the foot of a towering cliff right smack up against the river, and Beynac, a medieval village perfectly preserved with a spectacular castle looming above the village nestled into the cliff. Domme, a bastide or walled town, offers incredible views of the verdant countryside and surrounding villages. Les Eyzies is home to the Musee National de Prehistoire, devoted to times ancient, a fitting museum for this timeless region. If the prehistoric beckons, an exact replica of the Lascaux caves allows visitors to experience an almost religious feeling of awe at the detailed artistic paintings of 17,000 years ago.

The prehistoric and medieval live next door to now in the Perigord, but now is when you’ll want to find one of the many restaurants to tuck into the region’s famed foods. Fois gras, walnuts, cepes, truffles and duck, the Dordogne valley serves up sublime food, all locally grown, raised and harvested, and all delicious. Perfect vegetables tasting like they’d just been plucked from the earth, combined in imaginative ways with tender duck breasts or lamb entice the taste buds. Try the famous cassoulet with meltingly good white beans, garlic, onions and rich sausages with the traditional confit de carnard. This is food for the gods, making any who savor it feel immortal.

Come to the Dordogne and find a region brimming with beauty, rich with history and culture and relish its simple sublime landscapes. Relax in a canoe heading down the curving, twisty river, stopping in at the many breathtaking towns and villages that dot the countryside. You’ll find the quintessential France of your dreams, and you’ll never want to leave.


France Pavilion, Epcot Center


Epcot Center’s World Showcase provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the unique cultures and traditions of regions from across the globe. The France Pavilion at Epcot Center is easily one of the park’s most popular destinations, as the area catapults visitors to the quaint streets of Paris. Complete with shops selling authentic French wares, architectural details reminiscent of the City of Light, and a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance, the French Pavilion is enough to convince even the most discerning traveler that they have crossed the ocean and are visiting the streets of Paris.

France Pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot Center, Walt Disney World, FloridaCulinary Exploration: Foods in the Pavilion
The foods and culinary traditions of France are perhaps one of the country’s greatest sources of price. Epcot’s France Pavilion does not neglect this phenomenon, but instead presents visitors with multiple opportunities to savor the delicacies of the “cuisine française.” Epcot guests can sample the scrumptious baked goods found throughout France in the Boulangerie Patisserie, while the Bistro de France gives visitors the opportunity to experience the hustle and bustle of a modern cafe. Les Chefs de France is another option in the France Pavilion, serving a wide selection of entrees that are typical of dishes served in the various regions of France.

Enjoying the Parisian Atmosphere

Perhaps one of the most incredible aspects of a visit to the French Pavilion is how successfully Epcot has managed to replicate the ambiance of a Parisian neighborhood. Street performers dot the landscape, just as the artists do on the streets of the French capital. Of course, Disney fans will not be disappointed to discover that the area serves as a second home to popular characters such as Belle and the Beast. Other French characters also make appearances in the France Pavilion, adding to the overall draw of this dynamic destination.

For those who feel passionate about all that France has to offer, the France Pavilion as Epcot is perhaps one of the most authentic French experiences on this side of the Atlantic. From the delicious foods to the charm of the performers and characters, there is truly something for everyone in this area of Epcot. In addition to the authentic shops, restaurants, and decor, the French Pavilion also offers visitors the chance to watch “Impressions de France,” a film giving a visual tour of the many attractions of the nation.


Gare de Lyon, Train Station, Paris

Europe is famous for their convenient train service and Paris, France is no exception. The many wonderful trains are served by famous train stations. Gare de Lyon, Train Station, Paris is one of those stations. It's also one of the six large railway terminals in Paris. This train station was named for the city of Lyon which is a popular stop for several trains on their way to southern France. Lyon is also a stop for many long-distance trains going to other destinations.

Gare de Lyon, Train Station, Paris, FranceLocated in the northern bank of the river Seine, the Gare de Lyon metro station is in the east of Paris, located to many hotels and Paris apartments. Serving the RER, regional trains and SNCF services that run to the southern and eastern destinations of France, Gare de Lyon is a busy spot. SNCF serves Lines A and B while RER serves Lines C, D and E.

The Gare de Lyon is over one hundred years old since it was built before 1900 for the World Exposition held that particular year. The architecture of this station is considered to be classic for that period in time in many ways. One of the corners of Gare de Lyon holds an enormous clock tower. This clock tower is reminiscent to Big Ben at the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament. This is quite a comparison.

Another historic remnant at Gare de Lyon is the Le Train Bleu restaurant. This quaint and ornate restaurant opened in 1901 and has never stopped serving meals and drinks to the many passengers and visitors since then. The 19th century artist, Albert Maignan, has a wall painting hanging right inside the Le Train Bleu which just adds to the restaurant's classic history. There aren't too many restaurants or bars that can stay in business for 110 years.

Gare de Lyon has high speed services that serve Paris to Lyon to Marseille, Paris to Geneva, Paris to Milan and other destinations. There are intercity services with Paris to Nevers to Clemont to Ferrand. To travel between other Paris main stations from Gare de Lyon, there are instructions to either walk, catch a bus or take a Metro Line to the other stations and nearby hotels an apartments in Paris.


Marseille, France

Drenched in sunshine on the southeastern coast of France, Marseille is part gorgeous, part gritty, and entirely alluring. Its crush of orange-topped buildings and twisting pathways take a seat beside a swath of Mediterranean blue. It is scrubbed in winter by Provence's infamous Mistral, the aggressive wind that leaves a fresh climate when it passes.

Humans have been living in Marseille, possibly France's oldest city, for nearly 30,000 years. It went from a Phocean trading port to a Roman property to a port controlled by varying European powers. It became a part of France in the late 15th century and went on to become an important player in the 19th century maritime trade.

Port of Marseille, FranceFishing boats bob lazily in the Old Port section after having hauled their catch in early morning. The local specialty, bouillabaisse, pays homage to the fisherman's craft. A massive stew of Marseille seafood, bouillabaisse marries such tastes and textures as octopus, John Dory, scorpionfish, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and saffron.

Churches are plentiful in this seaside location. In fact it is home to Europe's oldest house of Christian worship, the Abbey of St-Victor, which holds a procession of the Black Madonna every Candlemas. The massive Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, easily recognizable by its central dome and accompanying domed towers, is the seat of the Archdiocese of Marseille. Peering over Marseille from a point 532 feet above the city is Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, a basilica in the Roman and Byzantine styles made from a stunning bicolor combination of bricks.

It is easy to see how Marseille's saturated golds, aquas and emeralds inspired Cezanne's landscapes. Its rich culture and stunning views have proved as a muse for other creative names as well; the city can claim such famous sons as Valere Bernard and Andre Roussin.

The Stade Velodrome is home to Olympique de Marseille, the local football club which is enormously popular. Other sports that enjoy notoriety in the city are sailing, power boating and rugby. There are several golf courses as well, for those who like to tee off where the weather is often spectacular.

Marseille Provence is the city's international airport, which hosts travelers from all over the country as well as from other points in Europe and in North Africa. France's high-speed train, the TGV, has a main terminal station in the city as well.



Toulouse, France

The city of Toulouse is one of the largest urban areas of France, with a population over nearly half a million residents. It is located near the Pyrenees Mountains, and is situated almost directly in between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Situated on the banks of the Garonne River, Toulouse it is one of the ultimate tourism destinations in France. With a unique history, rich heritage and plenty of historical and cultural landmarks, there is something for everyone in this French city. Enjoy recreational activities, fine dining and shopping opportunities, along with unique architecture and a friendly local population. Here is a brief guide to the history, economy and modern attractions found in Toulouse, France.

River Garonne, Toulouse, FranceAlthough archeological remains point to the settlement of Toulouse in the 8th century BC, little is known of the city until centuries later, when the pre-Roman area was better known as Tolosa. From the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD, Romans occupied the area and created many lasting sites which can be toured to this day. Many different cultures and leaders called Toulouse home in the following centuries as it passed hands from people to people, and the culture was absorbed by each to make the complex and diverse city that Toulouse is today.

Today, much of the economy in Toulouse is focused on science and technology. In particular, the emphasis is on biotechnology, aeronautics, space and technology. The large Airbus company is headquartered in the area, and many of the assembly bases are also in Toulouse. Many of the resident are connected in some way to this industry of aeronautics and space technology. It is also important to remember that well over a quarter of the residents in Toulouse are university students, many of them also pursuing similar fields of study. It can easily be said that Toulouse is the technological capital, and certainly the aeronautics capital, of France.

Although tourism is certainly a large part of Toulouse, it is not the largest industry. However, many visitors prefer this to larger cities like Paris as it offers a more realistic glimpse at day to day life for the French people. Some of the most fascinating historical and cultural landmarks include places like the 11th century Basilique Saint Sernin, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canal du Mid and the famous Cité de l'Espace, or "space city" which is an aeronautical museum full of fascinating local history and technology.



Nice, France

Nice has long been known as a significant part of the French Riviera. The sunny, warm Mediterranean climate and the blue waters of the bays could do no less than attract visitors, millions of them. Nice is the second most popular city in France, only after Paris, and has the scenery of dreams. Ascending from the bay, the city lies on the hills above the sea, ending in the mountains of the Ligurian Alps. The perfect climate is mild all year round, not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter.

Batted between France and Italy for centuries, Nice was finally claimed by France in 1860. Decades before, it was a resort spot where English aristocracy spent winters in the later half of the eighteenth century. The Promenade des Anglais, the walkway along the shore, was built for such visitors by beggars who came from the hills looking for food. This structure is the object of many photos of the area. Another familiar site is the Hotel Negresco on the Promenade built in 1912 by Henri Negresco. It remains a luxury hotel to this day.

Mediterranean Resort, Nice, FranceThe cuisine of the Mediterranean is featured in Nicoise cooking with olive oil and anchovies, among other delights. Local seafood and French wines are incorporated into local fare, naturally. Foreign cuisines are available as well in the Place Massena parallel to the Promenade in the downtown section. Restaurants, cafes and small shops provide all sorts of gratifications here, including gelati and other desserts. The Place Massena, a large open square, is also the site of many concerts, festivals and celebrations in the warmer months.

The Nice Jazz Festival, since 1948, has hosted just about every big name in jazz since its opening, including Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. It is held every July for eight days and nights with multiple stages going all at once in the Jardins de Cimiez. A Roman amphitheatre graces this location.

Other cultural activities include touring the Henri Matisse Museum and the Marc Chagall Museum, both artists having favored Nice for it's soft light and clear air. The National Theatre, opera house, concert halls, casinos and convention centers offer several forms of entertainment beyond the aforementioned stellar possibilities. Many travelers simply enjoy walking, basking in the sun and swimming, surrounded by the delightful Nice weather and spectacular views.