When people think of France they tend to always have a picture of the Eiffel Tower in their minds. Paris the city of romance – the city of lights and springtime. However France is a little bit more than that city – in fact it’s a lot more.
Imagine if you will arriving at the Paris airport. Charles de Gaulle. You get into a cab and ask the driver ‘take me to the most interesting place within 49 miles of Paris.’
What do you think the reaction would be? It’s impossible – there cannot be an answer. France is the most incredible country. You want food – fine. Don’t leave Paris. Restaurants with some of the best food in the world are within an easy walk of your hotel. But wait. You must be crazy. Wake up in the morning and head to Marché d’Aligre. Best fresh veggies and fruit in the city. But why stop there?
Get in your hire car and head out of Paris. You want to get a bit arty? What about Monet? One single hour and you will be in the garden that gave Monet the inspiration for some of his greatest works. Visit Giverny and enjoy the inspiration of the artists home.
And if you ignore Versailles you need to lose your head just like Marie-Antoinette. She may have said ‘let them eat cake’ but she did also have some really good gardeners. Any visitor to France who misses the absolute beauty of these gardens is doing themselves a grave disservice.
However let’s be honest. France the home of some of the best wines in the world and the place that gave us the best bubbly in the world – champagne. If you do not visit these vineyards your trip to France would have been in vane. Without those vines it’s missing out on a whole lot.
Do the labels Veuve Clicquot or Möet and Chandon ring a bell? Well, those are part and parcel of a number of tours that are offered to those who visit France. If you don’t like Champagne then you will still love the beautiful countryside where the grapes that fuel this bubbly are grown. And there are some of Frances most wonderful eating opportunities and and among these vineyards.
But perhaps you want to stretch your legs a bit more really explore the gastronomic experience that is France?
Well possibly explore the areas outside Lyon. Great access via train and places like Bourg-en-Bresse. Wonderful old world feel and some fantastic eateries. Combine this with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals and you have the recipe for a fantastic day out. Add in some exquisite shops and an easy walk around town and you have the French experience in a nutshell.
You must leave Paris. Get on the train and set out to explore. France is more than its capital city. The further you go from the Eiffel Tower the more wondrous the country becomes.