France: Country Overview

There is more to this country than baguettes, champagne and brie; though one can’t complain about their cuisine!

You can’t speak of France without mentioning Paris. After all, the dazzling capital is known as the City of Lights and Love. When visiting France, there are many iconic attractions to cover. Most notably, the Louvre Museum, which is perhaps the best known museum in the world; the Eiffel Tower, which offers some dazzling views of the city; Sacré Coeur, the basilica which sits in the artsy district of Montmartre and also happens to be the highest point in the city; the Moulin Rouge, known for its beautiful can can dancers and plumed outfits; and the Champs-Élysées, the best known street in the Paris which is lined with trees, posh boutiques, restaurants, and cafes.

Outside the French capital, there are many places worth exploring. Bordeaux in the southwest will have you raising your glass and saying santé; this region is known for its red wines. The Loire Valley is another great destination for wine aficionados, as it produces white and sparkling wines; but isn’t the only reason to visit the area! The Loire Valley has been dubbed ‘the Garden of France’ and boasts some world renowned castles which only add to the natural scenery.

If warm waters are what you are looking for, then you need not look further than the Mediterranean shores. The French Riviera is synonymous with glitz and glamour. Known as Côte d’Azur by the French, its pebble strewn shores draw out the rich and famous to play. Some of its best known beaches include St. Tropez, Nice, the small principality of Monaco, and Cannes, which is also home to the Cannes Film Festival. But there is more to this region than sun and beaches alone! One cannot forget the perfumeries of Grasse, the glass blowers of Biot, or the pottery makers in Vallauris. The Riviera is also home to local museums and galleries which hold the works of many renowned artists, including Picasso who was inspired by the region’s scenery.

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