Finding Your Happy Place In France

Happy Place: Luxembourg Gardens

Where is your “happy place”? That place that is a retreat from the stresses of work or just life. That place where you can relax, refocus, and recharge (the 3 Rs). By definition, happiness is a state of well being and contentment. My definition of happiness: France. This week I share with you 4 places in France that have brought me great happiness and I suggest how you can find your own happy place in France. Continue reading →

Before You Kick The Bucket: 5 Things To Do In France

Hot Air Ballon In The Loire Valley France Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? A list of travel experiences that you want to do before you die?  I started a list back in 2009 and to my surprise, I have crossed many off the list:

  • riding a camel into the desert (my camel did not smell, nor did he spit)
  • attend a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago (yes! 5th row!)
  • run (and drink my way through) the Marathon du Medoc (wine at each water station)
  • get up at sunrise to see Monument Valley in northern Arizona
  • hike in Cinque Terre, Italy

But there are some items on my bucket list that pertain to France and you might consider these for your next trip: Continue reading →

Visiting Some Of The “Plus Beaux Villages de France” In Provence

Les Plus Beaux Villages Provence

France has 156 villages which are deemed “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages of France). Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur has 10 of them and in the Vaucluse there are 7.   To qualify for this distinction, the village must be rural in size and have not have more than 2000 inhabitants.  One of the criteria is that is must have 2 protected sites or monuments. So when in Provence, check out these most beautiful villages! Continue reading →

What It’s Like To Take A Bicycle Trip In France

Bicycle Trip In France

I have been fortunate to have taken two bicycle trips in France. One took place in August 2002 in the Dordogne and Bordeaux and then in July 2006 in Burgundy with my friend Judy. Both trips were with the British company, “The Chain Gang Cycle Tours” and included breakfast, hotel room, dinner, bikes, and visits to wineries. Each day we did approximately 50 km on relatively flat terrain…. but not always. The most I rode on one day was 69 km. Continue reading →

Favourite Experiences: Provence (1)

Favourite Experiences: Provence

Provence is a region in the southern part of France covering the area just west of the Rhone River to the Italian border on the east. It is a favourite retreat for those looking for a relaxing vacation and who want some sunshine and warmth. The months May to September have the nicest weather, with July being the driest. You might want to avoid August as it is very crowded, particularly on the auto routes. There can be back to back traffic jams as this is the month the French take their vacations and head south….to Provence and the Mediterranean. But what a great region to explore!

Here are some of my favourite things to do or see in Provence: Continue reading →

Jan’s 5 Favourite France Experiences (Out of 100)

5 Favourite France Experiences

This is the beginning of my Top 100 list of great France experiences. I was only going to do 10, but there were so many to choose from that I decided I would simply list 5 and will keep adding on to the list.  So here are 5 that every traveler to France should consider:

Experience Chateau de Tertres, France.
Chateau de Tertres, France. Photo: J. Chung

Experience #1: Touring many Chateaux In The Loire Valley

1. Touring Many Chateaux In The Loire Valley (and staying in a few). I keep going back to the Loire to see the chateaux. While there are so many, I do love returning to Chateau de Chenonceau, which spans the River Cher. It is the second most visited Chateau in France (after Versailles). I have also been fortunate enough to have stayed in:

Continue reading →