Have you been to France? If so, chances are you’ve visited Paris, seen the Eiffel Tower, explored the Louvre, and walked along the Seine. But France is full of other wonders to see, and today we’ll talk about a few of them that are off the beaten path that you can find on our culinary tours in France.
Perhaps it’s a misnomer to say this is a lesser-known site, located as it is in Provence near the French Riviera. This river canyon – formed by the Verdon River – is a deep fissure flanked with verdant landscapes and stark limestone cliffs, and crowned by the stunning turquoise water of the river. Although popular with rock climbers, our clients tend to enjoy the hiking paths during their culinary sojourns!
This large square in the city of Nancy will make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. The Lorraine region itself is an interesting place to visit – full of both French and German history, plagued by wars for centuries, and yet still boasting such gems as the “Place Stan’.” This pedestrian-only square is flanked by the Hotel de Ville, the Musée des beaux-arts, the Opera, the Arc Héré (named for the architect who designed it).
This eight hundred-year-old marvel is breathtaking to behold, towering up from the city of Reims. Considered by many the single greatest example of Gothic architecture and art, it is where the French Kings of old were crowned. It has survived throughout the centuries despite periods of war and destruction (the cathedral was damaged extensively during World War I), and each year welcomes one million visitors who come to witness its remarkable beauty.
The term “calanques” merely indicates steep, narrow inlets along the Mediterranean coast, but the word has come to be synonymous with the famed Massif des Calanques in southern France between Marseille and Cassis. These stunning, stark white cliffs and inlets provide a perfect backdrop for the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean.
This six-span stone arch bridge was built in the 1300’s and spans the River Lot in the Midi-Pyrenees region near the village of Cahors. Although it holds no special historical significance beyond its age and its architectural and engineering qualities, it remains a symbol of Southwest France. Plus, it’s simply beautiful to look upon!
What are your favorite sites in France? Are there any outside of Paris?
By Peg Kern
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