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You might be surprised to learn what were once considered “provinces” in France are now considered “regions.” In total, France has 18 regions all with their own capital city. Here are some of our favorite regions to explore on one of our across France that you’ll definitely want to check out deciding where you want to go and what you want to see on your France tour.
Travel to Normandy to stand on the Pointe du Hoc, overlooking the beaches where soldiers fought in World War II. Most France tours to Normandy include a visit to pay respects at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent, near Omaha Beach, where Allied Forces landed on D-Day. Visit Rouen, the capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral - a masterpiece of Gothic style and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. Wander through the narrow streets to the Old Market Square, where a more modern church commemorates the burning of Joan of Arc in 1431. Visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay. Spend time at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England. One of our favorite places to see on a tour through Normandy is the hilltop abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. Situated on an island, the abbey is reached by a bridge across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defenses huddles the small town - it's one street containing shops, cafes, and hotels.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine is an area famed for its wine, beaches, and rustic countryside. The historic region encompasses the southwest corner of France, along the coast, and where the country borders Spain, what’s known as The Northern Basque Country. Tours that visit Aquitaine often stop in Bordeaux, Fort Médoc, Cadillac, Blaye, and Libourne. Bordeaux, the regional capital, proclaims itself the wine industry capital of the world. A french trip to Bordeaux offer views of thousands of vineyards, breathtaking backdrops, wines, and cultural treasures. The legendary Médoc region abounds with prestigious wine châteaux. The medieval town of Saint-Émilion is an ideal place to wander through cobblestone lanes lined with wine shops and bakeries. Lucky visitors to Saint-Émilion can enjoy a wine tasting in the cellars of a Grand Cru estate. Libourne’s market is the heart and soul of the town; offering the freshest vegetables, the ripest cheeses, the most luscious fruits, the loveliest flowers, and a chance to chat with the local producers and growers.
Travelers on Île-de-France tours will most certainly visit Paris but should also take the time to explore La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny, and Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles). On a tour through the Île-de-France region, immerse yourself in beautiful Paris, the City of Light. You’ll see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the steps of Montmarte, the famous bridges that cross the River Seine, the obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde, the busy Champs Elysées, and Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe. If you’re an avid foodie, Paris is an absolute delight. Visit markets and head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. Visit Monet’s home in the village of Giverny, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years. Monet also often painted the little riverside town of Vernon, so you are likely to recognize scenes the master rendered in oils.
In the south of France, the region of "Languedoc- Roussillon" (known as “Languedoc”) recently merged with the neighboring region of Midi-Pyrénées to form a new region under the name "Occitanie" Visitors to France often seek Languedoc tours to see the famous three-tiered, retired aqueduct known as the Pont du Gard. The region is also one of the top producers of wine in France, so you’re guaranteed gorgeous rolling hills, a mild climate, and a lot of wine to sample.
The Loire River in the Centre region of France is lined with magnificent châteaux that embrace the gorgeous landscape and celebrate fine food and wine, making the region one of the most attractive destinations in France. On Loire Valley tours, visitors will often seek to experience the fairytale châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau. Head to Château de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious sustainable gardens, and make sure you don't miss the water, ornamental, and fragrant kitchen gardens. Another château not to miss in the area is the famous Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture.
Perhaps two of the most famous areas in France, Burgundy and Provence offer visitors the region’s incomparable wine and cuisine plus access to art and history. During the lavender season, approximately mid-June to mid-August, your travels should take you to the famous lavender fields of Provence. If you're in the area, you'll want to travel to Arles, a city that has existed since the sixth century BC when the ancient Greeks founded it and named it Theline. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there. Stroll the very streets made famous by the artist. It was also here that the Romans built their first bridge across the Rhône River, creating a vital overland route between Italy and Spain. At a point on the east bank of the Rhône River before a wide delta, the walled city of Avignon is one of the most fascinating towns you can visit in southeastern France, with a host of historic gems to explore—including the fortress residence of rebellious popes who broke from Rome, known as the Palace of the Popes.
Can't decide which cities and places you want to visit in your France tour? Make it simple by starting with the Best of France tour to help narrow down your search.
If you only get to see one city on a French vacation, the best place to visit i is Paris. Visitors flock to Paris to explore the mecca of fashion, food, art, and more. If you're there, try to catch the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower up close or from the deck of a riverboat cruising the Seine. Travelers can dedicate full days to exploring the Louvre in Paris and strolling the nearby gardens of the historical Palace of Versailles.
If you have more time to spend in this gorgeous country, we highly recommend visiting the Loire Valley for the châteaux, Bordeaux for the vineyards and wine, Normandy for the history, Mont-Saint Michele for the photo opp, Basque country for the cheeses, and Giverny for a peek into Monet’s world. People come from far and wide to pay their respects or revisit the poignant D-Day Beaches and WWII sites throughout the Normandy region. Tours that visit Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and central France are also incredibly popular. The country is without a doubt one of the most memorable places you can explore in Europe.
No matter what specific experiences you’re looking for, our tours to France have a unique blend of the iconic and the lesser-known, so take a look at our available vacation packages and reach out to our team when you’re ready to start planning your France tour!How many days should I spend in France?
It's well known that a France vacation is something everyone should have on their bucket list. France is for lovers: lovers of art, architecture, history, fashion, cuisine, wine, and scenery—all the ingredients for a perfect vacation. In truth, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better location with something for everyone than France. From Parisian culture and cuisine to numerous historic landmarks, monuments, sculptures, and museums, you are sure to find multiple reasons to visit France.
Our tours in France give you easy access to explore one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, Paris, in addition to many other fantastic places and cities. If you have any other questions about France and how GET can help you plan your France tours, reach out to our team, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible!
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