France

  • The Louvre Museum has announced the rules for visiting its famed exhibits when it reopens on July 6. The museum has been closed since March when France’s coronavirus lockdown went into effect. During that time, it has been offering virtual visits of its exhibits. With France’s lockdown finally lifted for the Paris region, the museum and its staff are preparing to again welcome visitors. But the rules for anyone to enter the museum will be quite strict, according to a press release from the museum. First, to gain entrance, visitors must purchase a ticket online in advance for a specific…

  • As the French summer tourist season arrives, one of the most appealing options for seeing this country is a trip along one of its numerous bike paths. Travelers like this choice because it gets them outdoors in a way that also offers some measure of safety and peace of mind. You can ride at your own speed, and keep as much distance as you want if you’re still feeling anxious about crowds while the coronavirus is still circulating. The nation’s tourist industry is promoting this because they’re eager to entice people to travel this summer to get some much-needed Euros…

  • Camping is finally on the rise in France and the folks at Glamping Hub have taken notice. Based in Seville, Spain, the outdoor accommodations company says its neighbor to the north has become one of its fastest growing markets. Glamping Hub focuses on unique, higher end outdoor experiences. It currently has 338 accommodations in France, according to partnerships manager Amy Ahlblad. “It’s one of our trending marketplaces,” she said. “We’re noticing a lot of demand from countries outside of France.” With camping seen as potentially an even more popular choice for the summer vacation period following the coronavirus lockdowns in France,…

  • France

    How to spend 48 hours in Lyon, France

    by Chris O'Brien
    by Chris O'Brien

    Visiting Lyon for the first time, it’s tempting to do nothing but eat your way across France’s third largest city. While it boasts plenty of cultural, historical, and architectural attractions, Lyon’s well-deserved gastronomic reputation means that a seductive plate of food seems to be calling out from every direction. The city has more than 4,000 restaurants and 19 chefs with Michelin stars. During a long weekend in Lyon, I managed to resist that siren song as much as possible so I could explore the city. Eventually, I just gave in, and happily so. France’s food culture in general is such…

  • Béarn is a one of those French names that has leapt into our view now and then without me ever having a clear idea of where it is or what it signifies. Sometimes it appears to be linked to Gascony and the Pyrénées but other times it’s described as its own distinct region. While the real D’Artagnon is the most famous Gascon of all, his fictionalized namesake in “The Three Musketeers” was from Béarn. It’s hard to nail down. Even doing a little research on the website for the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the department where Béarn is located, left me confused. On…

  • If you’re heading to the mountains this season but looking for something a bit more exciting than a hotel or bed & breakfast, you can now book a night or two in igloo accommodations scattered across the French Alps and Pyrénées. The igloos range from fairly basic snow structurs to ones that feature dinner, bars, and lively nightlife. All that under the relative isolation of a night on the mountain side. Here are 5 companies that offer 9 igloo accommodations. An Alpine Igloo Undiscovered Mountains has igloos in the Southern French Alps at the Orcières 1850 ski resort. Located at…

  • Saint Paul Saint Louis du Marais in Paris is a church so nice, they named it twice. Originally Saint Paul’s church, dating to 1430, was the main cathedral in this neighborhood. But it was destroyed in the Revolution. So Napoleon eventually designated this one, then called Saint Louis and dating from 1627, to be the new center of worship for this corner of Paris. But as a compromise, the local bishop eventually convinced him to add Saint Paul to the name, in memory of the one old one. Pleasing the parish, even if the final name is a mouthful.

  • A desire to visit a long-time friend living in the village of Sainte-Pierre-du-Val inspired our first real trip to the Normandy region. We had barely crossed the border into Normandy once before after camping in Brittany to make the obligatory visit to Mont-Saint-Michel. Having checked that legendary site off the list, we didn’t really have a big agenda when we arrived for a longer stay. So when our friend proposed a day trip to nearby Honfleur, we were game to venture into the unknown. Upon arriving, it was easy to see the allure. We parked near the old port, and…

  • France’s craft beer boom has been building slowly for several years, but the impact of this hops revolution really struck me one summer evening while meeting a friend for a glass of wine. We had sat on the terrace of a bar across from the Marché de Carmes in Toulouse and ordered two glasses of red wine. As we waited for them to arrive, I noticed something odd as the waiter continued to take other orders. Young, old, middle age, they were all ordering beer. I craned my neck around and couldn’t see another glass or bottle of wine in…

  • What I knew about Lille before last month was pretty much zero. Tucked into a far corner of France, close to the Belgium border, the city seemed about as far as one could get from our lives in southwest France. Having a few days to play while staying Paris, I decided to make a detour to Lille with my daughter. While I prefer the south, one thing that I do envy about Paris is the ease with which you can get pretty much anywhere in France by train. A trip to Lille is just one hour by TGV, which makes…

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