Itineraries & Travel Tips | France Just For You
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Itineraries & Travel Tips

Exploring Le Marais district in Paris

Place Sainte Catherine in Le Marais, Paris
Many of our travelers want to spend a few days in Paris during their self-guided tour of France . In Paris, we work with a charming family-run boutique hotel in the fashionable yet quaint Marais district in the 4th arrondissement. TIP: There are a lot of different metro stations around Le Marais district. Decide which place you would like to visit first, and then see which stations are near. Also check which metro line will be most convenient from where you’re starting. Le Marais - our favorite district in Paris, full of charm and antiquity A cafe in Le Marais in Paris (Photo© Borya CC...

Monet at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris

Monet's water lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris
By Naomi Dalton As many visitors to France are only in Paris for a few days, they arrive with a ‘bucket-list’ of attractions they want to see. The most popular include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, The Musée D’Orsay , Notre Dame Cathedral and one or two places that are more specialized, relating to their interests, such as the Centre Pompidou Modern Art museum , or the Paris Botanical Gardens. One museum that is really worth a visit is the Musée de l’Orangerie . It’s only a 15-minute walk through the Tuilerie Gardens from the Louvre, so it’s convenient to visit...

France's wine regions and our favorite wineries

France's wine country, south of France vineyard
Many of our travelers ask to include a wine tour , wine-tasting or vineyard tour in their self-drive trips. Therefore, we wanted to write a post on some of the famous French wine regions, including some top tips on the best wineries and wines. Bordeaux Bordeaux , in the French region of Aquitaine, is one of the most famous French wine regions, along with Champagne and Burgundy. This is partly due to Bordeaux being next to the coast, which led to it becoming a major wine exporting region for centuries. Bordeaux became the main wine supplying region to...

Places to Visit in France during the Fall

Many of you will have had to cancel the vacations you had planned for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Like us, you probably can’t wait for life to return to something close to normality so you can enjoy doing the things you love - seeing friends, going out for dinner, and starting to make travel plans again. In this post, we’re going to fast-forward to offer you some inspiration for future Fall vacations. Depending on where you want to go and what you want to do, the fall can be an ideal time to visit France. September is often still warm but not as overwhelmingly hot...

How to Plan a Road Trip Through France

Mountain road - how to plan a road trip through France
A Step-by-Step Guide Photo © : Robbie Shade As expert trip-planners , of course we would love to craft a personalized self drive tour of France - just for you! Trip-planning is hard work and time-consuming, especially when you don’t know the country or the language. The advantage of using a local trip-planner is that you can let us do all the hard work, and all you need to do is look forward to your trip. The other way of looking at it is that trip-planning can be part of your adventure! That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide for planning a...

Our Guide to French etiquette

French dinner
Many travellers are nervous about inadvertently offending local people, or committing a ‘ faux pas’ , while they’re visiting another country. That’s why we only work with local people who we know will offer our travelers a warm welcome and be patient, helpful, and understanding as they learn about and adapt to the culture around them. The French may appear to be closed, indifferent or inattentive sometimes (particularly in restaurants and stores); but sometimes there’s a good reason for this. Like any nationality, we have characteristics and ‘quirks’ that are very particular to our...

10 Unusual Things to Do in France

Mont saint Michel away from the crowds
At France Just For You, we proudly specialize in the unusual! Our goal is to send our travelers off the beaten track to see France’s hidden gems and to try things they’ve never tried before. Whether it’s the food, the activities, the wine or the scenery you're excited about, here are some unusual things you can do on your trip to France, which you may never have done before (or do again!). And of course, if you book a tour with France Just For You, we can arrange for all of these unique experiences to be included in your self drive itinerary. GO ON A ‘MAMMOTH’ JOURNEY BY TRAIN THROUGH A...

A Guide to Nice Carnival 2020

Nice Carnival 2020 Night Parade
The Nice Carnival will run from 15-29 February in 2020 . It’s the most important event on the French Riviera, indeed, in the whole of France. Every February for two weeks , over a million people from all over the region, the country, and the world flock to the festival to enjoy and participate in the events and soak up the buzzing Carnival atmosphere. The Carnival’s theme for 2020 is “ King of Fashion ”. Expect flamboyant floats, colorful costumes and stunning parades reflecting a theme that is such a strong part of French culture. There will...

Things to do in Paris in December

Galeries LaFayette Paris in December
If you plan to visit Paris in December, wrap up warm and head out into the streets to soak up the Christmas spirit! From mid-November onwards, the City of Lights begins to live up to its name as Christmas displays are constructed in store windows, Christmas lights brighten the boulevards, and Christmas markets start popping up all over town. There are also special bus tours and river cruises along the Seine to see the Christmas lights, and several open-air ice skating rinks to choose from near Paris’s...

A road trip along the Normandy cider route

Calvados and Apples - Normandy Cider Route
The Normandy Cider Route , known as La Route du Cidre in French, is a unique well-marked route introducing travelers to calvados brandy and apple cider . As we head into Fall and the leaves start to display an autumnal array of yellows, oranges and reds, it is a beautiful time of year to explore the cider route in Normandy. Enjoy some apple cider and Calvados apple brandy from Normandy (Photo: OTI Bayeux-Bessin) If you’re visiting France from further afar, you may like to include a few days in Normandy...

Things to do in Cassis, France

The Calanques Creeks
Cassis, France. Approximately 15.5 miles south-east of Marseille, Cassis is a typical colorful Mediterranean port . This stunning area offers several pretty beaches , a historical harbor , impressive landscapes , and fine wines . Although the town of Cassis attracts the tourist crowds in the high season, it is nonetheless a lovely little coastal town to visit in the south of France. The bes t beaches in Cassis c an mostly be found in the famo us calanques , or creeks, just...

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 - self guided walking tour of 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...

3 days in Provence: Arles, Les Baux-de-Provence & St Remy de Provence

From Les Baux de Provence Castle - 3 days in Provence
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. Arles, Les Baux de Provence and St Remy de Provence are cases in point. Some of the most beautiful villages in France , Les Baux is an immense and superb stone fortress and without a doubt one of the must-sees on the Provencal tourist trail. Arles and St Remy remain very famous for their connection to Dutch artist Vincent...

Current & Upcoming Paris Exhibitions [Updated January 2020]

Musée de l'Orangerie Paris Exhibitions 2020
This post is updated periodically to include current and upcoming Paris exhibitons and events. If you're planning to visit Paris in 2019 or 2020, 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...

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 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. Its mild...

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. Video: Videoframe Vlog, YouTube 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...

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...

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