TGV Express Train Route Map.
Stroll through Vieux Lyon on the banks of the Rhone River. Roman remains show where Lyon started; great museums uncover the history of Lyon.
Roman France or Gaul was vitally important to the ancient Roman Empire. The ancient Romans built magnificent cities and left marvelous engineering works. Here is my list of the top Roman sites.
Train travel to the ski-in-ski-out car-free village of Avoriaz in Samoie-Mont Blanc from London. It's the easy and fastest way to travel.
Visiting a champagne house or a vineyard is one of the great pleasures of the region. You learn about the complex process that goes into producing champagne knowledgeable, English-speaking guides, and of course, taste the amber nectar at the end. Here is a guide to visiting Pommery and other champagne houses in Reims.
Memorials and sites of World War II are dotted throughout Normandy, though the D-Day Landing Beaches are the most famous. Running along the glorious sandy beaches of Normandy, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword each have their own story in the events of the last part of World War II. If you can, start at the Memorial de Caen to get an overview of the 20th century and its major world wars.
The Loire Valley is a wonderful place to visit, with its châteaux being the top attraction. From the Middle Ages on the French nobles and kings built their glorious palaces along the river banks. Here is my pick of the ten you should see along the banks of the Loire River.
The Eastern stretch of the Loire Valley stretches from Nevers up to Orleans. Here you'll find both the Cher and the Loiret departments with some wonderful gardens. Some come with a chateau, others are private. Ainay-le-Vieil is a stunning privately owned chateau with a series of gardens taking you through every mood and style.
The western end of the Loire Valley region is centered around Blois and Tours and takes in the Loir-et-Cher and Indre-et-Loire departments. Here you'll find gracious chateaux and some wonderful gardens. Chaumont is famous both for its beautiful white chateau overlooking the river, and for its gardens and annual international garden festival which takes place from April to October.
France has a long tradition of jazz festivals. It all began in World War I with soldiers who were black musicians bringing their new music to Europe. Then musicians like Sidney Bechet and Archie Shepp settled in France; the 1934 the Quinetette du Hot Club de France was formed in 1934 and gypsy music became incorporated into the new sounds. In 19498 Louis Armstrong played at the first jazz festival in Nice, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Les Baux de Provence is one of the most popular sites in the south of France. Now visitors can also visit the Carrières de Lumières, in the Vale of Hell just outside Les Baux. It’s a limestone quarry that is used for extraordinary sound and light installations that last for a year each. In 2013, it’s Monet, Renoir, Chagall...Journeys around the Mediterranean.
The superb Abbey of Mont St Michel is one of the great sites of France and the most famous French monument outside Paris. The UNESCO site is on an island that houses a jumble of monastic buildings and houses in the narrow medieval streets.
This tour takes you from the new military cemetery at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) to the area around Cambrai and a recently discovered tank from the Battle of Cambrai and finally to the village where the soldier-poet Wilfred Owen died and is buried.
How and why to take the train from London and the U.K. to your French ski destination. The advantages of the train over the plane includes time, convenience and pleasure.
Fontenay Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Burgundy is extraordinarily complete. This vast monastic complex near Montbard in the Cote d’Or makes a great side trip if you’re exploring the wine region of Burgundy or the Burgundy Canal.
Cluny in Burgundy is known for its great abbey, the largest church in Christendom until St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican was built. It is the Saone Valley’s major tourist attraction and is a good place to visit if you’re travelling around Macon or doing the Burgundy wine routes.
There’s a surprising amount of places to visit in Angers, but dominating the whole of the town is the impressive Chateau. Not much is left apart from the walls and towers, but inside you’ll come across one of the great treasures of France –- the Apolaypse Tapestry.
Conques is a stunning medieval village with the world-famous abbey of Sainte Foy and a superb medieval gold reliquary. The setting of Conques is beautiful, perched on the slopes of a wooded gorge in the valley of the little river Dourdou, a tributary of the Lot.
Le Thoronet Abbey is one of the gems of the south of France. The third of the great Cistercian abbeys of Provence, it has remained remarkably intact. Hidden away in a wooded valley the well preserved buildings give a very real sense of life in the Middle Ages.
Avranches is one of Normandy’s oldest towns. It’s a pretty place at the mouth of the river Sée and just 25 kms (14.3 miles) from Mont St Michel which you can see just over the bay. It was from Avranches that General Patton began the advance which destroyed the German Panzer counter-offensive on July 31st, 1944.
The Escoffier Museum in Villeneuve-Loubet shows the life of the chef Auguste Escoffier. It's a great food museum in the house where he was born and makes an unusual visit on a vacation in the south of France.
The chic Deauville beach resort in Normandy is elegant and fun. It’s a great place for a short break from Paris and is near the Normandy D-Day landing beaches. Deauville has iconic hotels, tempting restaurants and the famous American Film Festival in September.
Seillans is a delightful fortified hilltop village in the Haute-Var region of Provence. Set above the surrounding countryside its steep cobbled streets and shady squares are typical of the 'perched' villages that dot the surrounding countryside.
This road trip is a fabulous drive, a switchback of a journey that takes you all around the Gorges du Verdon in Provence, the French Grand Canyon that challenges the Grand Canyon in the U.S.-- though it’s on a smaller scale. This suggested itineray takes your around the southern rim (the left bank or rive gauche) to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and back along the northern rim (the right bank or rive gauche).
Travel by train from London to Nice. Here is my guide on how it works, timings and how to make the best of a wonderful trip through southern England and through some of the most beautiful parts of France.