Regional France

Gourmet, Grande and Gorgeous

While many who visit France stay close to Paris, to really sample some of the quintessential experiences in this incredibly diverse country, you'll need to go and visit some of Frances unique towns, cities and resorts.

For gourmet travellers, look no further than Bordeaux or Lyon for delectable food and wine experiences. Located in the centre of the country, Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital, while the famous vineyards of Bordeaux place the city in one of the premier wine regions of the world.

History buffs will love the ramparts and old city walls of the southern city of Avignon, while the twin 17th-century Fort Saint Jean and Fort Saint-Nicolas flank the stunning Mediterranean harbour city of Marseilles. Awarded the prestigious European Capital of Culture for 2013, Marseilles is also home to the numerous art galleries, an opera house to rival Paris, and a thriving hip hop music scene.

Once you are on the Mediterranean coast, it's hard to pass the glorious exotic French Riviera for sun-drenched style and sophistication. From the beautiful beaches and harbour of Nice, to the red carpets of Cannes prestigious film festival and the world-famous Old Casino in Monte Carlo in the principality of Monaco, the French Riviera is an essential experience to savour.

Insiders' Tips

  1. Light up Lyon: Lyon's Festival of Lights in December is the most important event of the year and features light shows by professional artists from all over the world.
  2. Visit the Stunning Parc du Chateau: The Tour Bellanda offers breathtaking views of Nice and the Baie des Anges on one side, and the port on the other.
  3. Monte Carlo's Golden Circle: Whether you want to spoil yourself or just enjoy some window shopping, this is the city's best shopping district.
  4. Strut the Red Carpet: Catch Hollywood and European cinema's biggest stars at the Cannes Film Festival.
  5. Le Tour de France: 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of this world-famous bike ride. The race traditionally finishes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
  6. Wine tasting in Bordeaux: Indulge in some of the best French wines on a tasting tour through the Bordeaux vineyards.

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