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 #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:
- Chateau d’Artigny (in Montbazon and built between 1912-1929)
- Chateau de Chissay (in Chissay-en-Touraine, 13th Century),
- Chateau de Tertres (in Ozain, 19th Century)
Experience #2: Paddling A Kayak Under The Pont Du Gard In Provence
2. Paddling A Kayak Under the Pont du Gard in Provence: This experience has been done twice and to see the mammoth Pont du Gard in your view while padding on the calm River Gardon is something everyone should try. You are outfitted with a big waterproof “barrel” to store your picnic lunch and belongings as well as life vests. You start the journey in Collias and can make it a half day or full day outing. From Colias to the end takes about 2.5 hours. Kayak Vert then transports you back to Colias to get your car.
Experience #3: Running In The Marathon Du Medoc
3. Running In The Marathon du Medoc: yes it was 42.2 km but what an experience and every water station had wine and food! There was a party atmosphere and although I drank wine and ate oysters, beef, chips and ice cream along the way, I finished the race only a bit slower than a typical marathon race. So many people are dressed in costumes and everyone is very friendly and not just because of the wine.
Experience #4: French Immersion Experience At Ecole des Trois Ponts in Riorges
4. French Immersion Experience at Ecole des Trois Ponts in Riorges: to be immersed in French morning, noon, and night and at all meals was taxing at times on the brain; however, the environment was so relaxing and enjoyable that one sometimes forgot one was a “student”. In addition, the food was absolutely delicious. Hat’s off to the staff at the Ecole, particularly to head teacher, Valerie and founder, Rene. I created a blog when I attended and recounted what each day was like. Check out the posts here:
Experience #5: Having A Picnic Dinner On The Pont Des Arts
5. Having A Picnic Dinner On the Pont Des Arts: When dusk arrives, the crowds come out to the Pont Des Arts with their picnic dinners of baguettes, cheese and wine. Sometimes some musicians come out to play as well. It is a big party with joining! The Pont Des Arts is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the river Seine near the Louvre.
Check ou the list of the Top 100 Experiences In France (in progress)