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How to spend a day in St Malo, Brittany

The beach at St Malo, Brittany
The lovely port city of Saint Malo is a popular tourist destination and one of the jewels of the Brittany coast. In 2018, Saint Malo Beach was named the nicest beach in France . Here we give you an overview of the history of this charming town and some things to do and see in Saint Malo if you plan to spend a day there. The History of Saint-Malo Saint Malo's position on a rock at the mouth of the Rance estuary has offered the city an excellent natural defence against invaders since pre-Roman times. Interestingly, the walled city of Saint Malo was in fact named after a Welsh...

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Montmartre

Place du Tertre in Montmartre
We think that the best way to explore a place is to see it through the eyes of the people who live (or have lived) there. Here we provide a self-guided walking tour of the Montmartre district of Paris, which has historically been known for its arts scene. You will walk in the footsteps of some of its most famous former inhabitants . Some of Montmartre's most famous inhabitants French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was active in the late 19th century (during La Belle Époque ) and became famous for his paintings and posters depicting life and...

The Hidden Gems of the French Riviera

Villefranche sur Mer
I grew up in the Loire Valley, so my family didn't venture as far as the French Riviera for our summer beach vacation. We tended to head to the expansive sandy beaches of the Normandy coast, or to the beautiful Saint-Malo in Brittany. I was actually in my late 20s and seven months pregnant the first time I visited the Côte d'Azur. Guillaume and I had just started France Just For You and we wanted to visit the regions in France that we hadn't been to before. It was a long but scenic road trip through the winding mountain roads as we headed to the warmth of the Mediterranean. Truth be told, my...

Things to do in Les Baux-de-Provence

From Les Baux de Provence Castle
On our self-guided tours , we take pride in sending our travelers off the beaten track. However, there are some places that, in spite of being very touristy, we recommend visiting nonetheless. Les Baux de Provence is a case in point. One of the most beautiful villages in France , this immense and superb stone fortress is without doubt one of the must-sees on the Provencal tourist trail. The village has been painstakingly restored over recent years and is now one of the most popular attractions in Provence. Its spectacular location upon a rocky outcrop means...

After the Fire: Notre Dame de Paris will rise again

Inside Notre Dame de paris before the fire
As I write this post, I join the rest of France and millions of people around the world who remain in shock following the fire that started on April 15th, 2019. For us, Notre Dame is more than a landmark and a place of worship. It is a work of art that has born witness to our history for the greater part of the last millennium. It is a symbol of human accomplishment and endurance across many generations. “It’s the very soul of Paris, but it’s not just for French people. For all humanity, it’s one of the great monuments to the best of civilisation,” said Barbara Drake Boehm, senior curator at...

Current and Upcoming Paris Exhibitions [Updated August 2019]

Musée de l'Orangerie Paris Exhibitions 2019 Places to visit in Paris
This post is updated periodically to include current and upcoming Paris exhibitons and events. If you're planning to visit Paris in 2019, you will surely be interested in finding out about the essential Paris exhibitions to check out this year. Here we have put together a comprehensive list of exhibitions we think people should include in their Paris itinerary, depending on the date of their visit and their specific interests. If you are doing a tour with us, be sure to let us know if you would like us to include a particular...

Menton Lemon Festival on the French Riviera

Menton Lemon Festival on the French Riviera
In 2019, the 86th annual Lemon Festival in Menton, known locally as la Fête du Citron , adopted the theme ‘Fantastic Worlds’ ( Des Mondes Fantastiques) . As soon as we know the theme for the 2020 festival, we will update this post. Video highlights: in 2019, the festival's theme was ' Fantastic Worlds' In this post, we will tell you a bit about the town of Menton, the most ‘Italian’ city in France and one of France’s prettiest hidden gems. Then we will list the confirmed dates and events for the Menton Lemon Festival 2020 and explain a little...

The Best Day Trips from Paris

Rouen - best day trips from Paris
If you're planning to spend a week or more in Paris, you may want to escape the city for a day during your trip. Here we suggest ten possible day trips from Paris. Bear in mind that it is better to have more than a day in some of these places. Normally we would recommend staying in B&B accommodation nearby so that you can arrive before or leave after the tourist crowds on day tours from Paris. Nonetheless, here are our top recommendations! Palace of Versailles The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles ( Myrabella / Wikimedia...

Where to stay in the Loire Valley

Loire Valley chateaux - where to stay in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley region spans 175 miles, so naturally the first question on many travelers' minds will be where to stay in the Loire Valley. This post looks at some of the most central and popular locations in the Loire Valley, as well as locations which are a bit more remote or farther afield. We explain the pros and the cons of each location and their position in relation to some of the Loire Valley's main attractions. We hope this will help you to decide which area would suit you best during your stay in the Loire. To travel to the Loire Valley is to experience 'the good life' in France...

Things to do in Honfleur, Normandy

Things to do in Honfleur, Normandy
If you're planning to spend a day in Normandy , the gorgeous little harbor town of Honfleur on Normandy's coast is a great option. The best of Honfleur can be seen in half a day, though you may like to stay longer and relax on Butin beach (la Plage du Butin) about a mile and a half from downtown. We found quite a nice short video that gives an overview of the lovely old town and the harbor. Where is Honfleur? On the Normandy coast, Honfleur is located on the estuary where the River Seine meets the English Channel. It is just across from Le Havre, which has the second largest...

Essential French Phrases for your France Road Trip

French conversation - Essential French Phrases for your French road trip
If you've never studied French before, or your high school French is a little rusty, it’s helpful to learn a few essential French phrases before traveling to France. This will give you more confidence finding your way around in France. You will know how to greet people politely before asking if they speak English, and it shows you're willing to make the effort, and French people will appreciate that. It might also help you make friends! Although many French people can understand some English, they tend to find it harder to speak, so they will feel more at ease if you show your willingness to...

7 beautiful French villages for your travel bucket list

Beautiful French Villages
Les Plus Beaux Villages de France Association consists of 155 of the most beautiful villages in France, worthy of any travel bucket list. These villages want visitors to experience the best of French culture and heritage beyond the most popular tourist sites. Most of these villages only have a population of a few hundred people, offering tourists a more intimate and authentic experience of our wonderful country. Here are seven of our favourite French villages. Gourdon, Provence The drive from Tourrettes-sur-Loup to the little French village of Gourdon offers some magnificent...

Hidden beauty on the French Riviera: The Lérins Islands

Lérins Islands Saint Honorat Abbey
We visited the Lérins Islands on our first research trip of the French Riviera , during the early days of France Just For You. We knew that we would include this region in our self-drive tours of France, so it was essential that we knew it inside out. Our first port of call on the French Riviera was Nice, and the crowded pebble beach there was nothing to write home about, though I did enjoy our swim under the stars that night. Only in the French Riviera is the sea warm enough to bathe in at night in October! But after a couple of days in this southern city, we felt that our whole experience...

10 of the best gardens in France

Monet's garden in Giverny - best gardens in France
One of the real beauties of France is its many gardens open to the public. They surround medieval castles, baroque palaces, and museums, and are a delight to explore and enjoy. Here we list some of the loveliest gardens to visit in France – a garden tour de France , you might say! Scroll down to check out the gardens in the French regions you'll be visiting. We hope that these beautiful photos will convince you to visit some of them! In and Around Paris Jardins des Plantes If you want to escape the city without actually leaving the city, we recommend taking a visit to the ...

France Wins the World Cup 2018

Twenty years after France won its first World Cup final at home in Paris, our team brings the golden trophy home for a second time , this time from Moscow. See this video of Paris paying homage to its national team. It was a dramatic end to an exciting month of football in Russia. The match against the strong Croatian team ended 4 - 2, including a stunning goal from Paris St Germain football club's latest star, 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé. making him the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Brazilian legend Pelé in 1958. France's manager Didier Deschamps also goes down in history...

6 alternative places to visit in Paris

Paris secret places
Most people who visit France will know about the most famous places to visit in Paris - the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Moulin Rouge, to name a few - and we agree that a visit to these places is a must! However, at France Just For You, we pride ourselves on sending our travelers to places that many tourists don't know about. We want you to have a truly unique and authentic experience of France. Here we suggest some alternative places to visit in Paris which you may not have thought of: Monet's Waterlilies at the Musee de l'Orangerie The Musée de l'Orangerie is on the other side of the...

The 130th Anniversary of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower anniversary in Paris
Any mention of France, and Paris in particular, will surely conjure up an image of the most iconic of icons, a symbol of romance and geometrical elegance. The Eiffel Tower in Paris (or Tour Eiffel de Paris, as it is called in French) , which celebrates its 130 th anniversary on March 31 st , 2019. With nearly 7 million people visiting each year and 250 million visitors in total since its inauguration in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most popular attractions. But not many people know the history behind it, or how the Iron Lady has managed to stay standing for so long. Here are...

10 of the best beaches in France

Best beaches in France
Many travelers feel drawn to France by its rich history, castles, gardens, cuisine and landscapes. Some of our most beautiful summer landscapes are on the French coast, so for those who plan to visit France during the summer months, we’ve compiled a selection of some of the best beaches in France, which would make a perfect day-trip to include in your tour of France . Saint Malo, Brittany Saint Malo is an old town steeped in history, and was recently voted best beach spot in France . Walking along the town’s cobbled streets may feel like taking a step back in time. High...

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