Visit of Paris in english
Visit France in less than a month(a click on the picture for the French version)
This list of a tourist tour of France is not exhaustive of course but it was chosen for individual tourism with rules to see the maximum in a minimum of time. It was ridden by enthusiasts, it is free and we do not intervene in any way in this proposed circuit. Comments are lived. For us it is absolutely necessary to see in France where the culture is omnipresent during the holidays or a quick trip.
Note: France has been plagued by severe terrorist attacks but it does not assume any concern. Good to know know that in France you will have 50 times less chance of being killed by guns than in the United States. (30 000 deaths against 2600).
The wonders of France
Your jet will land at Charles de Gaulle airport Roissy, without fear it is well signposted. It is advisable to choose your hotel well in advance and if possible in the perimeter of Paris. To join the capital the traditional taxi, the bus or the RER (commuter train 10 euros approximately). Two days are necessary to visit the main Parisian sites except Versailles. To enjoy Paris well, your trips will be on foot, possibly by metro that has Paris almost exclusively underground. Their website in several languages HERE. Rates are very variable try rather tourists like "Paris visit or Mobilis" from 8 to 11 euros.
Start the first day with the emblem of Paris Eiffel Tower the visit is worth a look even if long queues stretch before the boxes of access. You can rest in the Champs de Mars gardens or have lunch on the floors of the tower. Join the Arc de Triomphe and Place de l'Etoile by the bridge and Avenue Jena (do not forget to climb to the top of the arch which offers a breathtaking view of the French capital). go down the Champs Elysées while strolling, on your left the Lido on the right lower the small and big palace then you will arrive at the obelisk of concord. Take the banks of the Seine and the gardens of the Tuileries. Two choices are available to you, either visit the Louvre (and its Mona Lisa) or Notre Dame de Paris a little further away. I would encourage you to choose Notre Dame because the Louvre requires more time. For a detailed plan it's HERE. Here is a busy day especially if you walked as we walk. Back to your hotel. For your meals nothing to say all the good Parisian brasseries will fill you with their culinary benefits. Enjoy your meal
Second day to the Louvre museum (12 euros) it is open from 9 am to 18 pm and sometimes the nocturnes it is closed on Tuesday, for more information it is HERE. This is the most visited museum in the world and when you've done it, if you get there! you will realize the immeasurable wealth of France, culturally speaking (and remember that this museum is not only related to the Mona Lisa ...). Former refuge of several kings of France it is right after the revolution that appears the sketch of creation of the museum. Know that the Louvre has more entries than the Eiffel Tower. We leave north but I urge you to take the metro (station Louvre) and go back to Montmartre, it is a must in Paris. Pigalle, Moulin Rouge, Sacred Heart, Place du Tertre and so on. (Watch out for commercial traps of the many glaucous cabarets of Pigalle except the Moulin rouge of course). You are in shape take the stairs to go to Sacré Coeur if there is a funicular access. The sight of the sacred heart on Paris is unique. I urge you to eat instead of the Tertre located behind, typically Paris. The museum of Montmarte is amazing do not forget it. If you have time, I urge you to go to a unique place in the world it is the cemetery of Father Lachaise the most visited cemetery in the world, where a considerable number of known or unknown personalities are buried there. 70,000 tombs, most of them from Jim Morrisson (Doors) to Chopin via Moliére and Eugene Delacroix, and French Yves Montant and Simone Signoret. Back to your hotel with a little Parisian brasserie for a gourmet hour. As an aside, I would like to point out that Paris is often filthy and has sometimes rather doubtful frequentation (20 offenses / 1000 inhabitants), like most major cities. You have been warned...
We finish Paris (photo notre dame)
Last and third day in Paris dedicated exclusively to the castle of Versailles (entrance 18 euros). The best web site for all your questions regarding Versailles is HERE. To get to the Palace of Versailles by taking the RER Line C, get a Paris - Château de Versailles Rive Gauche title zones 1-4. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and let yourself be guided by the magic of the gardens and the demure of the Sun King and following.
The next day departure for TOURS (department of Indre et Loire 240 km south west of Paris) 140 000 inhabitants Tours, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as a cultural landscape.
In Tours passes a sublime river the Loire but also the Cher and along or between the two stand the most beautiful castles of France. To have them all visited I urge you to go in the four below to take your time and listen well to the truculent, historical and amazing stories that made them famous. Use the audiophone and choose your languages.
Castles of the Loire (photo Chenonceau)
Chenonceau: built on the Cher and not the Loire is by far the most beautiful. Entry € 10. A very engaging story that never ends where the queens and favorites of France have the beautiful part, they loved, administered and even protected. A women's castle, then. Beautiful gardens, exciting intrigues, excellent hospitality and even a restaurant make it our favorite. I think in 2012 he was more visited than Chambord. So no deadlock if there must be one, it will be the one.
The closed Lucé Amboise not very far from the royal castle of Francis I. Entry 14 €, the most expensive but also the most informative because it was the home of Leonardo da Vinci until his death. 80% of the visit is devoted to the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci. For those who love geniuses and their unimaginable creations. Attention not easy to park the motorcycles and even less the cars.
The castle Villandry for once at the edge of the Loire. This castle that does not have a great history has absolutely incredible gardens. And the word is weak because to succeed a kitchen garden of this size with real vegetables as well arranged, is remarkable. In addition he was saved and restored by a Spaniard Dr. Carvallo and his American immigrant wife swallowed up his fortune. So to see absolutely.
Chambord: in Sologne, the gigantism gigantic of King François 1st. It is the best known of castles and the most photographed, but know that it is a castle without gardens are only gigantic meadows that border a forest no less huge and filled with deer and wild boars. look at the central staircase it is strange and of course unique, your brain will take a hit at the level of understanding, because we do not cross people who go down .... An update is needed in 2018 because this castle has benefited from colossal work and completed today.
Brittany a must in France
We head towards Mont Saint Michel and Saint Malo: the beautiful Brittany.
This choice was made for the few kilometers separating these two mythical places: 50 kms. By cons of your departure from Tours you will have to count 330 kms north / west.
Mont Saint Michel: UNESCO World Heritage Site is a rocky island but also an official town in the department of Manche. Only defect success that attracts a crazy world: more than 3 million visitors a year. A statue of St. Michael placed at the top of the church rises 170 meters above the shore. Take good shoes that climbs and the stairs at the top are severe. More information on Mount is HERE.
Saint Malo historic city. This city of 45,000 inhabitants deserves your visit if only to see its spectacular tides and its old town surrounded by spectacular ramparts. Countless monuments are to visit but inside the historic city, do not pass next to the Cathedral Saint Vincent or the castle of Saint Malo. And of course you wander on the ramparts to digest your omelette mother Poulard taken to Mont St Michel, an institution.
We take the road south direction Bordeaux. leave early because you are 530 kms or 5 hours away.
Bordeaux: city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the capital of Aquitaine, is one of the most beautiful cities in France. It is bordered by the Garonne and Estuiare de la Gironde which gives it access to the sea and has 250 000 inhabitants intra muros.
Bordeaux and its wines but not only ... (photo dune of Pilat)
Bordeaux is a historical heritage too little known, amazing river cruises, obvious gastronomy of course and especially the castles and terroirs, with exceptional wines that have made its reputation. The largest and oldest wineries of fine wines in the world. For more information it's HERE. I would add that in Bordeaux the most pleasant is to stroll in the pedestrian streets or on the new quays renewed (Quai des Chartrons) with in the background the beautiful bridge Chaban Delmas in honor of the former mayor of the city .
To visit some famous wine chateaux is HERE.
To the south and near Bordeaux you will find the Arcachon basin with an undeniable charm. The city of Arcachon has everything a small town can bring with the addition of a fish auction and oysters known worldwide. But the charm of the basin comes mainly from the basin itself and its beaches in fine sand or even grassed with in the distance the island of the birds and opposite the Cap Ferret reputed for its secondary residences of charm and its lighthouse which overhangs all the passes of Atlantic entrances.
To return to oysters some indications for your future tastings
- Those of Banc d'Arguin have a sweet, milky and marine flavor.
- The Bird Island (in the center of the basin) with plant and mineral aromas.
- Those of Cap-Ferret opposite have delicate aromas of fresh vegetables and citrus fruits.
- Those of the Grand Bank have flavors of white fruits and roasted hazelnuts.
Avoid the bottom of Biganos basin, this small town has a factory whose foul smelling air emissions stink for miles around. Pollution not dangerous for the health but oh how nasty for the tourists that we are.
A few steps south of Arcachon you will find the famous dune of Pilat the highest dune of Europe, 110 meters high. Its ascent is done either sportily on foot in loose sand, or for non-sportsmen a staircase of more than 150 steps is in place on the left side. At the top the view is breathtaking. Essential camera.
The official site of the Pilat Dune is HERE.
The Pyrenees (pic du midi of bigorre)
We leave, this time we will go to the Pyrenean passes and the famous peak of the south (300 km). Two solutions are available to you: either fast by highway E70 and A64 until Tarbes then full south towards Lourdes, a beautiful pilgrimage especially if you are Christian, or by the D935. The goal is to arrive at the resort of La Mongie small town ski resort from where leave the funiculars for the pic du midi (altitude 2872 meters). The pic du midi is actually an astronomical station but also a television station. For more information it's HERE. The climb is fairy. I commit you to an unusual night at the top of the pic expatriation assured (attention few rooms reservation in advance essential).
If you have time you can go through Biarritz and then cross the Basque country to Saint Jean foot port, Oloron St Marie and Lourdes is a beautiful country you will not be disappointed.
French riviera Saint Tropez et BB
We head towards the Riviera the French Riviera.
It is a little far 700 kms but the beautiful French motorways will allow you a quick access. I urge you to make a visit by going to the amazing and real medieval city of Carcassonne, to enter the details of this historic site is HERE.
If the trip seems too long the halt midway is indisputably the city of Montpellier. Let yourself be tempted by a meal in the old Montpellier (street of the old mail and surroundings) or on the place of the comedy and its adjacent streets. If you are hooked to the sea Palavas is only 10 kms and many restaurants will attract your tasteful attention (the St Georges or Artimon for example) both located next to the casino, free advertising we live in the area. In details it is HERE.
Why did you choose the Cote d'Azur and so Saint Tropez? simply because it is the city reference on the Cote d'Azur, which does not know Saint Trop in the world? but that's not the only reason fortunately. Saint-Tropez remains an authentic fishing village with infinite charms. Go have a drink at Sénequier on the harbor in front of prestigious boats and watch the colorful crowd with a little luck you will recognize the plethora of artists who make and constantly remakes the life of St Trop. Historically it's the movie "And god created the woman" (1956) with Brigitte Bardot (still present at Madragde) who made it a world famous seaside resort. The beaches that surround it are of course in the same vein. More details on Saint Tropez is HERE.
Lyon and the Beaujolais (photo Fourviere)
We head towards the capital of Gaulles: Lyon. I urge you to join this splendid gastronomic city by the Napoleon road from Cannes to Grenoble that borrowed Napoleon I on his return from the island of Elba. Once in Grenoble a highway takes you to Lyon in 1 hour.
Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France of the greatest chefs (Bocuse, Blanc, Brazier ...) to the small caps of old Lyon (Saint Paul, Saint Jean ...). In the city center (the peninsula) the ideal is to walk there on foot. You will start from Place Bellecour by taking the rue de la République, pedestrian, until Terraux (city hall). Then go down to the Saône by the rue d'Algerie cross the bridge (Feuillée) and return to Bellecour by straying into the old Lyon where a multitude of traffic jams await you to enjoy a good meal. Rue Saint Jean is here a must. Before crossing the bridge that takes you back to Place Bellecour on your right you have the funicular that goes to Fourviére and its basilica our lady symbol of the city with the imposing statue of the sparkling virgin and golden that has protected the city of the epidemic of plague and thus became here its protectress. If you have some time left, head to the Golden Head Park with its zoo and beautiful rose garden where you will see the most beautiful roses in the world.
Alsace (below the clock of Strasbourg Cathedral)
It is now the belly full of the gastronomy of Lyon that one drives in Alsace by Dole and Belfort is less than 5 hours of road. First stop Colmar, then the floret Riquewhir and finally the Alsatian capital Strasbourg. Let's start with Colmar first: it is the capital of Alsace wines, from the small Venice to the interlinden museum it offers a peaceful and magical stay. Stroll along the quays of the fishmonger stop imperatively at the house of heads. Georges Duhamel wrote that Colmar was the most beautiful city in the world make you your own idea. Personally I was born there ...
After a restful sleep, we are ready for the next step I quote Riquewihr, the wine route. There have been other steps but this one deserves a long stop. Splendid flowery village on a hillside surrounded by a sea of vineyards as far as the eye can see.
A small train was necessary to make us the complete visit. Here we give it to our heart's content and we even come out of a shop disguised as ... stork. If you make gourmet purchases it is imperative to stop at Thierry and Cathy in the center of the main street, a caterer must. Peckish? go deep into the kitchen, you'll be thrilled
Today Strasbourg day with a visit to the Kronenbourg empire which now belongs to the Danish Calsberg. Here we learn that for a liter of beer you need 5 liters of water, 200 grams of malt, 10 grams of yeast and 2 grams of hops. We also learn that the gigantic Kronenbourg factory is no longer in Strasbourg but in Obernai. By against the tasting is good here but no more than 2 small glasses each announces Charline ...
Hop it! say the Alsatians! Here we are in the little France on the Ill river dare the fly boat. Personal headphones will transport you into the world of culture ... We take a breathtaking view of the European Parliament, seen from the channel the headquarters of TV Arte and the passage of a lock by the traditional method. I failed to tell you the splendid restaurant of the lunch "with the corkscrew". Not easy to house and serve more than 15 people each time. I am always amazed at the professionalism of these Alsatian restaurateurs. Impossible to leave Strasbourg without visiting its cathedral. This one has among others a perpetual calendar clock with automatons, the apostles, which every quarter of an hour are set in motion. Spectacular and grandiose which attracts strategic hours a crazy world. Tonight dinner will be at the Marronniers in the village of Stutzheim with Flammekuches specialty.
Back Paris (photo of the splendid Gravin museum)
Back in Paris, the Tour de France is over and I hope you have enjoyed it. If you have a day left, go for a walk on the Grévin museum side. Here we had forgotten that one, what a mistake. Located at 10 Boulevard Montmartre in the Ninth this theater offers a unique originality to revive most of the celebrities of this world. To do this, they build the frame of the clay based on clay and then attack the finish with wax and paint, they dress, sting hair one by one and after several months the result is breathtaking. This is for most cases the exact replica of the original. So you can take pictures with your idols and make friends believe that you are friends with Aznavour or Jean Paul 2, the bigger the better! hihi. I can not enumerate the potential of the Grévin museum, I think 300 characters at least, with a beautiful theater theater see photo opposite. Some miniatures on the margin show you the artistic quality of the reproductions.
Grévin's website HERE - entrance fee 20 euros according to - Metro at 50 m - The Grévin museum is a must in Paris.
It's over ?
All you have to do is leave France to bring your children (if you have any) to Marne la Vallee where the European Dysneyland proudly sits. It is the most visited place in France, in front of the Eiffel Tower. Eurodisney is the most beautiful thing that is built in France in recent years. Given the number of adults present I think I'm not the only one thinking this. Nowadays there is the main park and the studio park next to it. The entrance to the first is 52 euros. No need to take the tickets online because no significant discount and especially to appreciate Disney it is imperative that it does not rain, so the visit must be decided at the last moment. The wait at the checkout is 15 minutes on a Saturday morning, despite a crazy world. To know that the entrance fee opens the doors of almost all the attractions. As soon as you enter, you are immersed in the magic of the imagination. The entrance is Main Street, either on foot or in old stalls tirelessly crisscrossing the avenue or by the farwest little train who enjoys going around the park smoking with regular folk stops to the sound of his siren .
It's over, we leave and I wish you a beautiful holiday in our beautiful country and its unique cultural wealth. Below is a gift of the parade of Eurodisney on the day of their 25th anniversary.
Alain and Mireille Klein for tripriders.org