Coiled between lake and mountains, Annecy deserves all year round its nickname "The Venice of the Alps". This harmonious city allows you to travel through time, from prehistory to the present day, before following the tracks of the Princes of Savoy... And eating next to the purest lake of Europe while enjoying the numerous festivals and cultural animations. The city is also turned towards sports. The ski resorts are near the city and accessible by bus. A biking trail all around the lake lets you explore the shores.
Welcome to France
Bergerac is situated in the heart of the Périgord Dordogne region, on the west coast of France. The ancient city of Bergerac is compact in size and characterised by its elegant Renaissance buildings from medieval times. Gourmet restaurants, street entertainment and the fact that almost all of the city can be seen on foot is part of its charm. Bergerac is renowned for its wine, and a short trip to the outskirts of the city reveals a landscape of vineyards that produce some of the world’s finest vintages.
They all used to come here – from Napoleon III to Frank Sinatra. Biarritz used to be the Monte Carlo of the Atlantic coast. The glamour has faded, but thanks to windsurfing and other water sports, the city has rejuvenated. It is now the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend break, complete with some of the best food around.
Bonifacio is on the extreme south of Corsica, only a few kilometres from Italy. This beautiful city is full of secrets and of history. You will be surprised by the extreme bright colours. The shining sea and the "maquis", as well as the fierce white limestone, give an impression of wildness. Nature is luxurious and you will see thousands of fish swimming around you. The warmth of the climate is also the warmth of the inhabitants. As thousands of visitors every year, you will definitively want to come back!
An exciting history, an unbeatable wine culture and world-class gastronomy lead visitors to speak in lyrical terms about Bordeaux. Large, charming pedestrianized streets in the centre make the city attractive for shopping while the evenings have the attractions of the opera, bars, shows and dance. Above all, Bordeaux is a city to enjoy.
Welcome to Brest - The city with over a thousand years of history and secrets that have been buried for centuries. Located on the tip of Brittany, Brest has been one of the key cities in countless numbers of battles throughout history and is currently home to France’s second naval base. Have a tour and discover a city that is known for its breath-taking landscapes and coastal areas. Take a boat ride to the nearby seahorse-shaped islands of Ouessant and Molene for an unforgettable experience. As the European capital of marine science and technology, museums such as the National Maritime Museum and Océanopoli will make you an enthusiast of the seas and sea life with fascinating displays and interactive activities. With a full calendar of events offering the visitor entertainment year-round, come and explore this city of history and beauty today.
Located in South of France, Carcassonne is situated at the crossing of two major routes: from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast and from the heart of France to Spain, both used since antiquity. It is a beautiful and diversified region but the city itself has enough to fulfil your curiosity. The medieval fortified Cité is a UNESCO world heritage site. No wonder that Carcassone is home to a unique historical and cultural past. If you add the local traditional dishes, the hospitality of its inhabitants and some of the best vineyards in the south of France, your stay will be a most memorable one!
Located at the foot of the chain of eight volcanoes, Clermont-Ferrand is the natural capital of "Massif Central", the very attractive Auvergne region which offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The city is at the gates to the huge Natural Volcano Park with its diversified areas of mountains, valleys, plateaux and plains. “Clermont”, as the French usually call it, is home to a great historical, cultural and archaeological heritage and a centre for the arts. You will enjoy charming walks to explore its historical centres.
Often called the 21st arrondissement of Paris, Deauville has been the go-to destination for the upper crust of French society for decades. Today it is a spectacular seaside resort town sporting grand promenades, glamorous casinos, a pair of thoroughbred horse racetracks and plenty of chic visitors.
Dinard, set on the dramatic coastline of Brittany in northern France, has long been a fashionable destination for holidaying French urbanites. Characterised by its long, and often wide, tree-lined boulevards that converge on elegant squares full of chic restaurants and creperies, the city juts out seawards and is, therefore, surrounded on three sides by beaches and the sea. For sailing, watersport and beach enthusiasts, it means that the coast is always within easy walking distance away.
Grenoble is the gateway to the Alps and a geographic crossing where the rivers Isère and Drac meet. With Switzerland to the north, Italy to the east and Provence to the south, the city is surrounded by three mountain chains. It is a cosmopolitan city with cafés, museums and restaurants. Best of all, you can see the Alps from almost every street corner.
La Rochelle is more than just a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is an inevitable place visit on the coast as it is one of the largest French harbour cities in terms of business and tourism. But, with its 1,000 year history, it is also one of the best kept secrets in the region. You will be surprised by its architectural heritage, its unique atmosphere, the diversity of its museums and its eclectic nightlife. The area is quite warm thanks to the Gulf Stream and the insolation is remarkably high, on a par with the French Riviera!
Cap d’Agde, an authentic southern town on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Cap d'Agde in the Languedoc in the south of France enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and everyone agrees that it is a great holiday destination. Made up of 4 distinct and complementary sites, the area includes Cap d’ Agde's seaside resort, the historic Cité d'Agde and the fishing villages of Grau d’Agde and La Tamarissière. Located on a volcanic site between the Canal du Midi, the river and sea, Cap d’Agde boasts 3 ports, 14 km of partly wild and partly developed fine sandy beaches, a natural environment made up of parks, pine forests, closely protected marine areas, historical monuments, astonishing heritage, top quality sporting facilities and is a permanent whirl of activity.
Overlooking a river among green hills, Limoges has long been synonymous with the finest porcelain, while its tradition of enamelware goes back even further. Many sights and attractions are about that proud history. Those industries brought immense wealth to the town, reflected in many impressive medieval buildings built of local rose-tinted granite. The air of prosperity, style and joie de vivre continues today, with good shops and restaurants, plenty to do and always more to discover.
Lyon is usually called the capital city of gastronomy. For a long time, this was equated with sauces and a petit-bourgeois small town complex. But then the TGV high speed train linked Lyon with Paris and Marseille. Olympique de Lyon started to win League Championship after League Championship, and a new Lyon was suddenly filled with daring architecture, crowded cafés and avant-garde exhibitions.
Marseille is the undiscovered jewel in the crown of France’s Mediterranean coastline. Rocky Provençal hills look down onto the ancient port and the thousands of boats docked in its clear blue waters. Painters and other artists have all been seduced by the sunny climate and the hustle-and-bustle of the town. France’s second city has all you could ask for - beautiful beaches, ancient buildings, thriving arts, and a diverse and dynamic nightlife. Welcome to a place fiercely proud of its unique cultural heritage - Planète Mars.
Montpellier has become one of Europe’s newest holiday destinations. This is due to the combination of its proximity to the Mediterranean, its beautiful medieval city core and a vibrant nightlife (a quarter of its citizens are students). It is also a good destination for adventure seekers – the mountains of Cévennes are only an hour’s drive away.
A destination truly creative and attractive. Take the journey! Situated 30 minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean, on the Loire estuary, Nantes is a perfect gateway to the Brittany and the Loire Valley. Take the journey and follow the green line to drift through this 10-mile trail, with its thirty stops, from le lieu unique to the Île de Nantes. Along the way, let yourself be guided from a public work of art in a random side street to a remarkable element of our architectural heritage, from classic sites to little-known treasures, from an historical back alley to contemporary architecture, and from a surprising view of the city to an incredible sunset on the Loire estuary. This year, Nantes is celebrating the Thea Awards 2014 (world’s most original attraction) for the Marine Worlds Carousel and you are invited!
The Greeks and Romans did it, as did rich lords, film stars, artists and thousands of tourists. They were just going to pass by, but instead remained in Nice and along the Riviera. Some for just a few weeks, others for months and years. They were too captivated by the light, enchanted by the scents and charmed by the taste of olives, wine and succulent vegetables. All this with a chance to dabble their toes in a turquoise sea! In addition to this, a Nice Nouveau has evolved – a sassy Mediterranean metropolis with pulsating nightlife, new avant-garde hotels and daring art galleries. The most fashionable street, the Promenade des Anglais, is the Champs-Elysées of the whole Riviera. Have you already bought your return ticket?
Nîmes is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is also the city of spring, named after the Roman God Nemausus. In recent years Nîmes has been rediscovered as a weekend destination, thanks to in large part to its beauty, rich architectural heritage and proximity to both the Mediterranean and Provence. There are also many exciting restaurants in the city, including Aux Plaisirs des Halles by Nîmes’ large indoor food market.
Few cities can match the kind of iconic status that Paris boasts in the imagination of travellers the world over. In fashion, gastronomy, the arts, she is queen. As you visit the different 'quartiers' of the City of Lights her moods shift from gritty to sophisticated, Haute Couture to punk. Paris is a true metropolis and there is always something new to discover beyond the legendary sights and museums we all know so well. This fabled city has a way of getting under your skin and feeling instantly familiar to all who wander her hypnotic streets and linger at her inviting cafes.
Nestled in the corner of rural south-west France stands Pau, the capital of the Béarn region and bastion of history and culture. The town occupies a unique geographical position in the foothills of the Pyrenees. With its awe-inspiring views of the mountain range, Pau is only a few hundred kilometres from the major towns of Bourdeaux and Toulouse and even closer to Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. A springboard to sunny beaches, snow-capped mountains, Pau’s pretty streets and excellent gastronomy are enough to ensure leaving will be difficult.
Located in the deep south of France, "Perpinyà," as they say in Catalan, is the capital of the Pyrénées Orientales. Perpignan’s geographical and cultural identity is turned naturally to Spanish Catalonia. It’s a border city, situated in an astonishing environment with one side on the Mediterranean coast and on the other side the highest mountains in the French Pyrenees. Perpignan is a busy place, at the crossroads of two countries, greatly influenced by the Mediterranean cultures and benefiting from 2500 hours of sun per year. No wonder that Salvador Dali saw it as the “Centre of the World”!
With 2000 years of history, dozens of monuments, impressive medieval streets and beautiful boulevards, Poitiers boasts a rich and fascinating heritage. But the city has more to offer than just memories, everything from trendy cafés and cool bars to a lively student crowd keep it young and vibrant.
Reims is one of France’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. It offers visitors an amazing choice of fine restaurants, brasseries and shops, lively nightlife, concerts, festivals and cultural events, and of course, world-famous Champagne houses to visit and sample the local nectar. With tree-lined avenues, elegant squares and a magnificent gothic style cathedral that played host to the coronation of several kings of France, Reims is a city for all occasions.
Located at the foot of the Massif Central and less than a two-hour drive from the Mediterranean, Rodez is the capital of the Aveyron Region. This picturesque region is one of the best kept secrets in France for foreigners, offering more attractions than you would expect. Rodez is surrounded by several villages-communities that contribute to the town as a tourist destination and that have great cultural and historical assets. While in Rodez you will enjoy city pleasures without leaving the countryside and vice versa. Just take your time since there is a lot to see in and around Rodez.
If you like food, art and architecture you will feel right at home in Rouen. You can find this historical capital right in the heart of Upper Normandy. Since being located on the banks of the beautiful Seine River, the French countryside and picturesque areas like Connelles and Val-de-Reuil can be found just around the corner. Walking through Rouen is like walking through history. This is truly a city with an abundance of lovely old buildings, markets and shops. Whether you are staying for long or just passing through, this town will certainly leave a lasting impression.
With the tiny rivers and narrow alleys, extraordinarly various architecture and the poetry which emerges from the magnificent historical centre, the Alsatian capital is simply delightful. A rich cuisine, a plentiful cultural life and a crossroads position in the heart of Europe are also plenty parts of this city. Both winter and summer, Strasbourg, which is classified as world heritage by the United Nations, is one of France’s most attractive and romantic destinations.
Toulon is genuine Provence – the real thing. It’s not one of those garishly painted souvenir shops smelling of synthetic lavender that some other Riviera towns have turned into. In this place ordinary people live and think just as they have always done along this gorgeous stretch of coastline. There are wonderful smells of lavender and thyme in the market places. The difference is that this is the real Provence. Like the sea breeze.
Take all the good bits from Paris – the sophisticated café society, culture, shopping and add a vibrant arty student population – place the city in the south of France, just close enough to Spain to absorb elements of its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, then – if you add a wash of pink across this image – you’ll have Toulouse!
The bright, lively capital of the Loire Valley region straddles not one beautiful river, but two – the Loire and the Cher – with the picturesque Vieux Tours old quarter lying on the long narrow peninsula between them. Brilliant modern architecture contrasts with an array of historic buildings, and all over France the city is famed for fine food and wine. There’s a sense that this is the place to enjoy the good life. No wonder the writer Honoré de Balzac called it “a smiling city”.