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 →

Discovering New Places In Paris

New places in Paris

[Update: Sadly, the La Jeune Rue project has run into problems and is not being pursued any longer due to accusations of mismanagement.]

I still haven’t seen everything in Paris and likely never will…which is perhaps why I keep returning. A number of places in this list which I visited over the past few days are new for me. I had visited Canal Saint-Martin years ago, but never fully appreciated what it was like as I hadn’t gone far enough north. This time I covered the entire canal. And while Montmartre was packed with tourists, I did enjoy a new street leading there: Rue des Martrys–sophisticated and quiet. Civilized.

If you have done the Top 10 or Top 20 that every guide suggests, try these places for something refreshing and different. Continue reading →

So Many Loire Valley Chateaux To See In A Week

Chateau de Chenonceau-some truly unique Chateaux

For the first week of my trip, my firend Judy joined me in visiting 11 chateaux in the Loire. When (not if) you go to France, the Loire should be on your list of “must-sees”. The architecture is stunning and each chateau is unique in its own way whether it be the landscaping, the gardens, the interior design, or the architecture. On this trip (Judy’s first and my fifth to the Loire), we visited:
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 →