The Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera, stretches from the Italian border along the coast to Cassis near Marseille and extends more than 50 km north into the Alps. France’s Mediterranean coast sees more holidaymakers in July and August than any other part of the country. The most famous seaside resorts in the region are undoubtedly Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Nice. The entire area is rightly considered one of the most beautiful holiday areas in the world. The combination of palm trees, blue sea, beautiful beaches, charming towns and villages with elegant buildings against the backdrop of high mountains has been delighting travelers since the 18th century.
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Paris and its museums
Paris has countless museums. On the right bank of the river, west of the Quai d’Orsay behind the Eiffel Tower, you will find a number of museums and art galleries. This area is called Trocadero. The Louvre is located on the Champs-Elysées and is now one of the largest museums in the world. Some of the finest medieval tapestries in Europe can be admired at the Musée de Cluny. The Musée d’Orsay has an excellent collection of paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Musée Rodin is located on the left bank of the Seine. A visit to the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie is also a must. The Paris Museum Pass gives you free entry to over 60 museums and attractions in and around Paris, including the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles.
Bayeux is a city in Normandy. It lies near the coast of the English Channel and is worth a visit, among other things, for its world-famous tapestry in the Musée de la Tapisserie. The Bayeux Tapestry is one of the most important and exceptional historical testimonies of its time. It belongs to the World Document Heritage of UNESCO. The 70 meter long tapestry, best described as embroidery, beautifully and vividly depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in 1066. It begins with Harald II’s visit to William, Duke of Normandy, in 1064 and ends with the flight of the English army at Hastings. All the events in between are shown in great detail. Also worth seeing is the Notre-Dame de Bayeux cathedral and some museums, including the Musée Baron Gérard. The Musée du Débarquement in Arromanches near Bayeux commemorates the landing of the Allied troops and the battles of World War II.
Alsace Wine Route
The Alsatian Wine Route runs 170 km between the Rhine and the wooded foothills of the Vosges. The peaceful landscape of the wide plain is filled with vineyards and orchards. Winegrowing in what used to be the region and today’s landscape of Alsace has a long history. Wine was already being cultivated before the time of the Roman occupation. The origin of the vines is unclear, in contrast to other French wine varieties, the grape variety itself is more important and determines the taste of the wine than the condition of the soil or pressing and storage. Alsace produces almost exclusively white wines with a fruity and dry taste that goes well with the regional cuisine.
Rennes, the old provincial capital of Brittany, is a good starting point for excursions into the highlands. The sights of Rennes are the Palais de Justice, the Castle, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée de Bretagne, which strives to preserve Breton culture.
Paris & Ile de France
Central Paris covers an area of 105 sq km, small enough to explore in a day. The Ile-de-France region is almost congruent with the Paris metropolitan area. It is one of the most visited regions in the world. The main attractions in the center are cultural monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré-Coeur or the Moulin Rouge. Also in the Ile-de-France region is the Palace of Versailles, which, like the Louvre and Notre Dame, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A visit to Colmar feels like being transported back to the Middle Ages. Colmar is one of the most beautiful cities in the former region and present-day Alsace region and is located in the center of the Alsatian wine region. It is located on the Alsace Wine Route. Carefully restored half-timbered houses stand on either side of the narrow, winding cobbled streets. The former 13th-century Dominican Convent of Unterlinden is now a museum and houses some important works of art from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Strasbourg in Alsace
In the past centuries, the former regions of Alsace and Lorraine changed their nationality several times in the course of repeated military conflicts between Germany and France. Since 2016, the two former regions, together with the landscape and former region of Champagne-Ardenne, have belonged to the Grand Est region. The major cities in the region are Strasbourg (Strasbourg), Metz, Nancy and Colmar. Strasbourg is by far the largest and most important city and is the capital of the Grand Est region. Today the city is the seat of the European Parliament. Strasbourg has a multitude of historical buildings and a wonderful cathedral, the well-known Munster. The historic old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the Advent season, the Strasbourg Christmas market is a major attraction.