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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...

Chocolate macarons recipe

French macarons
Here Emilie Thyebaut, Founder of France Just For You , shares her favorite recipe for making Chocolate Macarons! These normally turn out better if you're baking them on a dry day rather than on a rainy day. Homemade chocolate French macarons (Photo © : France Just For You) Ingredients For about 20-25 macarons Biscuit: 3 egg whites 200g powered sugar 125g almond powder (grounded very thin) 30g sugar 15g bitter cacao (French brand Van Houten) 20 drops of red food coloring Ganache filling: 120g baking chocolate 80g butter...

Crêpe Suzette recipe

Crepe suzette recipe
As Lent and 'Pancake Day' approaches, we would like to share with you our favorite recipe for making a Crêpe Suzette. Ingredients: 110g/4oz plain flour sifted 2 eggs 200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water 50g/2oz butter 1 medium orange, grated zest only 1 tbsp caster sugar 150ml/5fl oz orange juice (from 3-4 medium oranges) 1 medium orange, grated zest only 1 small lemon, grated rind and juice 1 tbsp caster sugar 3 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau 50g/2oz unsalted butter RECIPE FOR ABOUT 15 CREPES - INSTRUCTIONS Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl...

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...

Brioche des Rois Recipe

French brioche recipe
The Brioche des Rois (the Kings' Brioche) is a popular sweet treat in the Provence region of France, traditionally eaten in celebration of Epiphany, on January 6th. Its name refers to the three Kings' arrival to visit the baby Jesus. Nowadays, this bread-like sweet loaf is eaten throughout January to celebrate the new year with family and friends, regardless of religious background. Here is a delicious recipe for you to try at home: Ingredients: 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup warm milk 1 tablespoon dry yeast 5 oz flour 3 eggs 4 1/2 oz soft butter 4 oz small, diced candied fruit 1 tablespoon...

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...

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...

Seven Wonders of France

Pont du Gard best places in France
There may only be one ancient wonder of the world left – the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt – and France does not feature among the modern wonders of the world. However, for those who are interested in discovering the most wonderful places in France, we have compiled this list, and we're calling it ' The Seven Wonders of France '. Marqueyssac Gardens in Dordogne As a nod to one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon , we are starting our French Wonders list with one of the most beautiful gardens in France . The ...

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...

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