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The Best of France

Our Post-Quarantine Road Trip Through Provence

Pont du Gard on our road trip through Provence
One of the reasons we're able to offer unique experiences and visits to hidden gems as part of our self-drive tours is because we’re often on the road researching and looking for ways to continually improve our tours. After eight weeks under lockdown during the pandemic, we were of course itching to get back out on the road again. Of course, we never tire of exploring our beautiful country. But we also wanted to check how the pandemic had affected travel in France, our favorite sites to send travelers to, and our partners at the Bed & Breakfasts we work with. So we decided to take a road...

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...

Is it safe to travel to France in 2020? [Covid-19 update July 2020]

lavender fields in the luberon, provence
We understand that travelers will be worried about the risks of traveling while the coronavirus pandemic continues across the globe. We will update this post with the latest information about France regarding travel, safety measures and the benefits of traveling in late 2020 and 2021. In June 2020, after lockdown had ended, we hit the road and left our home in the Loire Valley to visit some of our favorite parts of France. We felt very safe at every attraction, B&B and restaurant we visited. People are still being careful about observing the social distancing rules. And apart from seeing...

Interview: life as a winemaker in the Loire Valley

purple grapes with fall colors
This month we are dedicating our blog to one of our favorite themes - Wine! Living in the Loire Valley, we are lucky to have plenty of vineyards and wineries within close proximity. One of our favorites belongs to one of my high school friends, Clothilde Pain. She is a fantastic winemaker and makes delicious and very innovative wines . Her father is also a winemaker. In fact, my father used to buy wine from her father; and now I buy wine from her. It has become a family tradition! The key to success, she says, when it comes to making wines lies in obtaining optimal maturity...

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...

Your France Road Trip Playlist

A fun way to prepare for your road trip around France is to compile a playlist of French music to listen to on your drives between stops. You can also listen to these before you travel, and choose your favorite songs. Immerse yourself in the French lyrics, melodies and rhythms, as you look forward to your vacation! Search for the following songs on iTunes, Spotify, and Deezer. You can also listen to them on YouTube, just to see if you like the style! Oldies Yves Montand A Bicyclette Edith Piaf Edith Piaf was one of France's most famous international starts of all time. A...

10 French series to watch on Netflix

watch french series on netflix
At the time of writing this post, 1.5 billion people around the world are in some form of enforced confinement due to the Covid-19 epidemic. As many of our readers had plans to travel to France this year, we want to help keep your travel dreams alive. Our wishes for all our readers and travelers is for you to be immersed in French culture, and really understand what it means to be French - from the humor, to the food, to the sceneries and our traditions. Here we have selected a variety of French-language series of diverse genres. We have tried to include something for everyone, and many of...

Travelers' story: our love affair with France

Roscoff France self drive tour
Last month, Ben and Jane Lintott from South West England, UK, reached out to us to share their France Just For You travel story in our newsletter. As they have such a lovely story about their relationship with France and their travels through the country over many years, we wanted to share it here on our blog. As told by Ben and Jane Lintott, UK From childhood caravan/RV holidays to buying a house in Dordogne, we really have come full circle in our love affair with France! Childhood holidays in France Before our trip with France Just...

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...

Movies to watch before you visit France

movie theater - best movies about france
By Naomi Dalton A great way to start immersing yourself in French culture and language before visiting France is to watch a few French movies or movies set in France. The first French-language film I ever watched was Les Visiteurs with actor Jean Reno (of Leon fame). We were in French class at school and our teacher let us watch the film as it was the last double lesson before we finished for the holidays. Prior to that, I’d always been too lazy to watch foreign language films - reading the subtitles seemed like too much work! But we all found Les...

Books to Read Before Your Trip to France

books - Novels set in France
As part of preparing for and getting excited about your trip, we recommend immersing yourself in literature, films, and music related to France! You can learn a lot about our country from the things people have written, and their descriptions of the landscape and the people. In this post, we have included a selection of ‘easy reading’ and classic novels set in France. Stuff Parisians Like - Olivier Magny This is a tongue-in-cheek, short book about the qualities and flaws of Parisians. Many things are very true in this book, as you may discover on your trip to Paris! We like this synopsis of...

The Best Souvenirs from France (and where to find them)

French Macarons - Best souvenirs from France
If you're visiting France this year, you will certainly want to buy some souvenirs and gifts to bring home with you. But sometimes it's hard to find things that are absolutely authentically French, as opposed to things that are made and imported from elsewhere. Here we recommend some very French and high quality souvenirs for you to look for in different regions in France. Your own signature perfume (French Riviera) France is famous for its designer perfumes, such as Chanel, Clinque, Lancôme and Jean-Paul Gaultier. But why not create an extra special souvenir of your trip to France? Visit the...

8 Of The Most Beautiful Cities in France to Visit in 2020

Aix-en-Provence - most beautiful cities in france to visit
If you are anything like us at France Just For You, you may already be planning your vacations for 2020! If you’re planning to visit France, we recommend making a list of the French cities you would like to visit. This will help you to plan out your travel itinerary. Start with the cities, then research the small towns and villages you would like to visit between each city, and then plan your driving route. Of course, if you would like to book one of our self-drive tours , we will take care of all of the planning, so you don’t have to! Here we share some of our favorite...

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...

Hidden Gems in France: escape Europe's tourist crowds

Calanques Provence - hidden gems in France
There has been a lot in the news lately about the problem of ‘ overtourism ’ in some of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. And tourist crowds can be a real turn-off when you're looking for a relaxing, authentic experience of another country and its culture. Our travelers seek more authentic experiences away from the tourist traps. They want to meet the locals and explore destinations by heading off the beaten track . Luckily, we have all the insiders’ knowledge about many hidden places...

Explore the best prehistoric caves in France

Padirac Chasm - prehistoric caves in France - bucket list
For travelers who are interested in geology, caves and prehistoric art, there are many prehistoric caves in France that are worth visiting. Some are the original caves and some are replicas - but both types are worth visiting. Here we list some of our favorite caves in France, any of which we can try to include in your itinerary . All of the below are located in the Dordogne and Lot region s of southwestern France, except for the Chauvet cave, which is in Provence . Lascaux Cave Of all the prehistoric caves in France, this is one of the most famous. Discovered on 8th September 1940 by 18-year...

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...

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