Guide to France

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Paris, capital city of France

Paris is a city of many names. It has been nickname the City of Romance, the City of Lights and also the Tourist City. And of course, Paris is the capital city of France. It is not only the commercial, cultural and diplomatic center of France, it is also the commercial, cultural and diplomatic center of Europe. 36 of the Fortune Global 500 companies has its headquarter the Paris Region, mostly in La Défense. International organizations that have headquarters in Paris include UNESCO, the OECD, the ICC and the informal Paris Club.

Paris is located somewhere in northern France with the scenic river, Seine, running down its middle. The population of metropolitan Paris is 12 million.

It's most famous icon is the Eiffel Tower, the most recognizable icon in the whole world, and it grace the left sidebar of this blog. It is easily the most popular tourist attraction. Other notable tourist attractions in Paris includes the Louvre with the Pyramid designed by world famous architect I.M. Pei, sitting smack in its middle. Famous paintings including Mona Lisa are housed in the Louvre. The Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) with its distinctive Gothic architecture is also a popular tourist draw. Not too far from the Eiffel Tower is the Arc de Triomphe. If you are keen to see high-kicking cabaret dancing and musical shows, go to Moulin Rouge.

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posted by Peter at 8:05 PM 0 comments

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Vacation rentals for France and the rest of the world

I have visited Paris before in the 70's. There were no such thing as Internet then. Now with this great modern extremely useful creation, you can do lots of things, like booking your accommodation in France ahead of your arrival, something I was unable to do in the 70's. So now you know how fortunate you are. Anyway if you plan to go to France, book your accommodation online in the convenience of your home via FRANCE VACATION RENTALS.

The above site is not for France alone. You can book holiday accommodation around the world at vacation rentals. And it is not only for vacationers looking for accommodation. Vacation rental property owners can gain wide exposure for their rental properties by clicking on "List my rental" at the top right of that page. And you don't need to worry if your property proved to be popular and you get lots of booking, for you don't need to pay referral fees. You only pay an annual fee and that is it.

France have some wonderful beaches fronting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. However, I doubt very much if you can get the warm, crystal-clear emerald water that you can get in Hawaii. And you will get a difference in customer service. Refer to this post FRENCH CUSTOMER SERVICE to read about what that blogger has to say. And my personal experience when I visited France in the 70's? The French are chauvinistic, very proud of their French language and hate English speaking people. How do I know? I have tried asking for help in English in France before. The people in Hawaii are very friendly.

If the above convince you to visit Hawaii, book your accommodation via Hawaii vacation rentals. However is not a single almost homogeneous piece of land like France. It consist of hundreds of islands and atolls, but there are only 8 main islands. There are shades of differences between the islands. Kauai has a Garden of Eden like environment while Oahu, with Hawaii's capital city, Honolulu, is more

Garden-of-Eden-like Kauai a world away from Oahu, with the urban metropolis of Honolulu as its hub, is more urban. Hilo of the Hawaii Big Island is more mountains, volcanoes and nature while Kona is more beaches and big hotels. Maui has black sand on one beach and red sand on another. Maui is the second largest island of Hawaii and reputedly have some of the most friendly and welcoming people. Maui is multi-cultural with many of its local residents have Caucasians, Chinese, Portuguese, Samoan, Tongan, Korean, Puerto Rican, African American and Okinawan ancestry. Maui must be one of the more attractive island of Hawaii based on the number of people who have visited Maui before and eventually decided to settle down there. It also have Wailea, a town with many high class hotels, holiday resorts, condominium, exclusive golf courses and tennis clubs. It attracts lots of celebrities. Paris Hilton is a frequent visitor, among others. Paris Hilton was reported to visit Maui after her recent release from prison. Wailea is expensive, but there are cheaper alternatives.

If you plan to visit Maui, book your accommodation via Maui vacation rentals.
posted by Peter at 5:04 AM 1 comments

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Reasons to visit the Dordogne region of France

Reasons to visit the Dordogne region of France
by: Marcus Smith

There are many reasons to visit and explore the Dordogne region of France. Some of the key highlights inlude:

Lascaux caves

The prehistoric paintings at Lascaux are probably the most renowned cave paintings in the world. The cave paintings you can now visit are a copy of the prehistoric paintings contained in the original Lascaux caves, 200 metres away, because human breath was damaging the originals. The replica paintings have been made using the same materials and techniques as were used for the original paintings, 19,000 years ago.

The Lascaux cave paintings are mostly pictures of large animals, including the 'auroch' - a now extinct early relative of the ox (it is thought that the Auroch was worshiped as a sacred beast in prehistoric times). Truly a remarkable experience, and you quickly forget that you are looking at modern day replicas.

Sarlat

Sarlat is a beautiful medieval town a few kilometres north of the River Dordogne. The old town, dating from both medieval and renaissance times is a pleasure to visit, especially during the spring and autumn, or early in the morning. If you can catch the early morning sunshine on the yellow sandstone buildings, so much the better.

Wander through the back streets around the cathedral to get a feel for how the town must have been 500 years ago.

Les Eyzies

Les Eyzies is at the centre of a very beautiful area, in the Vezere Valley, with numerous cliff and rock formations, surrounded by rivers, hills and tranquil countryside. At the centre of prehistoric life in Europe, there are several interesting cave systems and prehistoric relics to visit around Les Eyzies.

Les Eyzies is also home to the National Prehistory Museum which houses one of the world’s most complete collections of prehistoric artefacts. Just a couple of hundred metres from the National Prehistory museum is Abri Pataud, a cro-magnon shelter dating back almost 40,000 years. The cave-lined Vézère valley has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

Chateaux

In the Dordogne region there are reputed to be 1001 chateaux. Many of the most magnificent are open to the public. Start perhaps with the Chateau de Commarque, Chateau de Castelnaud, or (my personal favourite) Chateau de Beynac, set high above the Dordogne river and the attractive village of Beynac.

Each has its own impressive tale to tell of centuries of conflict, often between the French and the English during the Hundred Years War, and each has its own magnificent views over the surrounding countryside.

Most beautiful villages

There are several villages in the Dordogne region that have received the prestigious ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’ award. These include Monpazier, a perfectly preserved medieval bastide town to the south of the region; La Roque-Gageac, a picture postcard village spread out along the Dordogne river, with troglodyte dwellings and a tropical garden spreading up the cliff behind; and Beynac, mentioned above for its castle but equally attractive as a village in its own right

Several other villages in the immediate vicinity also have the award.

The Dordogne region provides a glimpse into a world virtually unchanged as the centuries have unfolded, and a visit is always an unforgettable experience.

About The Author
Marcus Smith lives in, and writes about, France. For more information about the Dordogne region visit North of the Dordogne and for France in general visit France This Way.

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posted by Alan at 6:03 AM 0 comments

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Discover the Paris-Beauvais Airport

Discover the Paris-Beauvais Airport
by: Jeff Steiner

Over the last few years there has been an explosion of cheap flights to a number of high profile tourist destinations in France. Budget airlines like RyanAir and easyJet are now offering daily flights to such well-known French tourist destinations, as Paris, the French Alps, Toulouse and the south of France.

These cheap flights often arrive at out of the way unknown airports. Airports, that before the low cost flights arrived where little used. Take for example, Ryan Air’s flights to Paris. They arrive at the Beauvais-Tille Airport, a little known regional airport north of Paris.

Beauvais Airport is a small local airport typical of those used by no thrills airlines like RyanAir. You get what you pay for, space is limited. Never the less the Beauvais Airport has everything that any airport needs. There is friendly staff, restaurant and bar, overnight parking and of course because it is small you don’t have to walk far to get to your flight. There is also car hire on the airport grounds and local hotels nearby.

The best way to get to Beauvais Airport is with the regular shuttle service. This coach service runs between the Beauvais Airport and Paris and is timed to the RyanAir flight schedule. Buses leave from Paris three hours before each departure and from Beauvais Airport 20 minutes after each arrival. The coach leaves Paris at Porte Maillot (Metro and RER stop Porte Maillot) on Boulevard Pershing, near the Concorde Hotel. Coach tickets can be bought online (They need to be obtained more than 24 hours in advance. There is a 2-euro processing fee when you buy on the Internet) or at the coach station in Paris or of course at the Beauvais Airport. Seating for the coach is reserved for those passengers with a airline ticket.

The travel time to Beauvais from Paris is about an hour and a half. Don’t let this throw you, yes that sounds long but getting to Paris’ main airports - Orly and Charles de Gaulle can at times take over an hour, if not longer depending on how you travel. All the cost of getting to the Beauvais Airport is not that much more than travelling to either Charles de Gaulle or Orly.

There are a number of other budget airlines other than RyanAir that serve the Beauvais Airport, including BlueAir, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Sterling European Airlines and WizzAir. These airlines fly to many major European destinations: Barcelona, Dublin, Copenhagen, Rome and Venice, just to name a few.

So if you are traveling on a budget should you use the Beauvais Airport? Is it really worth it? That depends; the flights offered can be a great value at times. Just know what you are getting into, you need to add 15 euros and about an hour and a half to each way (the cost and travel time of the coach). Also make sure there are not any other cheap flights going to another Paris airport, like Orly.

For more information about the Beauvais Airport see - http://www.beauvais-airport.com/.

About The Author

Jeff Steiner - Jeff Steiner is an American living in the French Alps. Over the last eleven years he has learned a lot about living and traveling in France. Which is why he created Americans in France.

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posted by Alan at 6:10 AM 0 comments

Friday, July 6, 2007

Visiting a Nature Park In The Camargue

Visiting a Nature Park In The Camargue
by: Jakob Jelling

The Camargue is a very interesting French destination where visitors can find a wide variety of different activities to do and spots to meet. This area is located on the Mediterranean coast, and it is highly recommendable for those who enjoy water and beach related activities to visit it.

One of the main places visitors can meet while being at The Camargue is Camargue Parc Naturel or Camargue's natural park. This park is of a great size and includs several different spots within its area. One of these areas is St. Maries de la Mer, a very interesting town offering several attractive spots to visit as well as amazing landscapes to observe. This town is famous due to its folkloric music which attracts people from all places all year around that come wishing to enjoy from close this unique art expression method.

In this area, visitors could also meet French ranches and observe how horses and bulls are bred in them. These ranches are locally known as manades always welcome visitors and allow them to observe from close this activity that is typical of The Comargue and its surroundings.

As it could be expected in an area famous by its natural park, the fauna and flora of it is very attractive and might be very interesting for visitors to observe. The Comargue contains several amazing ponds and plains, ideal for visitors to walk around and enjoy of the fresh air and beautiful natural environment while meeting them. The Launes Pond and the Port Gardian are examples of these natural spots which visitors should not miss.

There also are several other interesting places to meet and things to do while being at the Comargue. This area offers a great quantity of activities available to visitors, such as horseback riding, mountain biking, bull fights, races, sunbathing at beaches, practicing several different water sports, and going to discos, to theatres and to music shows as well. Among the places visitors should try to visit while being in this area there is the Baroncelli Museum, the Romanesque church, the Pioch Badet Tzigane Museum, Giraud and the Ornithological Park.

About The Author

Jakob Jelling is the founder of Eurotomic.com. Please visit France if you're planning a trip to France.

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posted by Alan at 6:39 AM 0 comments

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Champs Elysées

The Champs Elysées
by: Jakob Jelling

The Champs Elysées is one of the most famous areas of not only France but Europe and the entire world as well. This area can be visited through the Champs Elysées Avenue, which goes from the Arc of Triumph to the Place de la Concorde. This is one of the main spots which tourists who visit Paris could not miss, due not only to its beauty but also to its historic past.

The Champs Elysées Avenue contains several theaters, shops, cafes, restaurants and cinemas at its sides towards the western area, and the Jardins des Champs Elysées towards the area of the Place de la Concorde. This way, there is a wide range of different activities available to those visitors who might walk from one end of this Avenue to the other, so many that they might need more than one day to fully explore them.

The Jardins des Champs Elysées is a very beautiful place to visit, especially for those visitors who enjoy nature. This place contains amazing gardens, highly cared and carefully arranged combined with fountains, and providing an overall image of a healthy and cared open space.

The Champs Elysées Avenue is the first choice for any important celebration in Paris. During celebrations such as New Year's Eve, this area receives an amazing amount of people who congregate at it. Also, national events such as the commemoration of historical events are held on the Champs Elysées Avenue and the surrounding area.

The Champs Elysées Avenue became such in the 1600's after the Medicis decided to create a path surrounded by trees in the area. Before that, this area consisted on fields and gardens, and it was not until much later that it did take the form of Avenue which nowadays has.

In 1994, the Champs Elysées Avenue area was redesigned and had a few changes which made it have a slightly different appearance. Among the main changes visitors could observe, there is the addition of more trees and the creation of pedestrian zones at the side lanes, very convenient for tourists who wish to observe the area while walking.

About The Author

Jakob Jelling is the founder of Eurotomic.com. Please visit France if you're planning a trip to France.

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posted by Alan at 6:32 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hotels in Strasbourg: how to choose the right one

Hotels in Strasbourg: how to choose the right one
by: David Brights

Going to visit Strasbourg won't forget to choose the best hotel in the city. There are a lot of hotels in Strasbourg to all tastes. The hotel and its location greatly imports. If you arrive in Strasbourg on business you'll choose one hotel, but if you a tourist you hotel must situated in the center between the world-famous tourist attractions. Welcome to Strasbourg!

Strasbourg is a frontier French city. European character of Strasbourg is based on its long and rich history. Before Strasbourg was a free city of the Holy Roman Empire and now it is a capital of Europe and the world. Also Strasbourg is home to major international organizations without being a national capital.

Strasbourg is not only a business center as you can think, it is also home to numerous parks and gardens, charming old quarters like "La Petite France" and the area around the Cathedral. The Ill River winds around the city and encircle the center of town, where a large part is intended only for pedestrians.

You should visit Strasbourg to feel the spirit of the city. Preparing for the journey, first of all you should determine dates of your trip and then you need to buy airline tickets and choose and book a hotel.

Flights to Strasbourg are available from all major airports of the country and world wide. You can buy tickets in air companies in your country or with help of internet. Most of air companies have the latest best flight deals on flights to Strasbourg.

As regards the hotels, there is the wide choice of hotels in Strasbourg to all tastes. To choose the suitable hotel you should look through the catalogues in your travel agency or in internet. You can ask your agent to show you the most popular hotels in Strasbourg or the hotels' rating that will help you in choosing the right one. Also you can ask the agent to advise you the hotel which fits you most of all. Just will say what kind of hotel you want, which services must be in it, in what part of Strasbourg it must be situated, etc. and qualified stuff of travel agency will sort out the hotel which suites your interests. You can choose hotels which are situated near the famous attractions or near beautiful parks. Sure several of them can cost enough, but there are a lot of special offers for hotels in Strasbourg:

- If your travel is planned in low season then you can expect the prices will be lower that usually.

- You'd like to make your vacations unforgettable: the hotels offer special week-end prices that can help you to save some money. It's nicely, isn't it?

- Booking on-line through the internet you can get special internet offer for any available accommodation on your travel dates.

- You decided to visit Strasbourg spontaneously and would like to make the trip immediately? Well, you can reckon on "last minutes" hotels' offers.

The hotels usually participate in different Preferred Hotel Programs that are organized by travel agencies or internet booking companies. The preferred hotels featured in catalogues or on websites and offer an excellent service and quality. Such hotels are highly recommended based on the mentioned criteria and feedback from previous guests.

Large companies are able to offer the most competitive rates due to the high volumes of reservations they deliver to the hotels and their personal relationship with them.

There are a lot of special offers for accommodation in Strasbourg. Just ask you travel agent about special offers when you book the hotel or look through the internet sites that offer services in booking hotels in Strasbourg. I'm sure you'll find the best hotel!

About The Author

David Brights writes for Show Cheap Hotels where you can find out more about cheap hotels and other topics.

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posted by Alan at 6:26 AM 0 comments