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Discover the history and culture of France

21st Sep 2011 by Travelsphere

France is a nation known for its food, culture and inimitable style - characteristics that make it highly popular among people embarking on touring holidays in Europe.

Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to destinations and attractions, which range from historic landmarks and quaint towns in the north to beautiful landscapes and glamorous resorts in the south.

Normandy and Alsace

The Normandy coast will be familiar to history buffs owing to its strategic importance during World War II. Travellers visiting the region on coach holidays will have the opportunity to take excursions to the landing beaches and Bayeux, home of the famous tapestry depicting significant moments and events from history.

Visitors will also have time to explore the port town of Caen, which boasts a castle and two impressive abbeys, among other attractions. One of the highlights of the tour is a trip to Mont St Michel, a striking medieval settlement located on a rocky island that has become one of France's most popular and recognisable tourist attractions.

Another scenic region in the north of the country, Alsace, can be explored during a short break in Strasbourg. The city is located on the border between France and Germany and combines cultural characteristics of both countries.

During their stay, holidaymakers can take a walking tour of Strasbourg and see its old quarter, canals and Notre Dame cathedral. Another included excursion takes visitors to Colmar and Kaysersberg, while an optional trip offers the opportunity to explore one of the region's wine routes.

The sun-kissed south

There are many ways to see the sights and attractions of southern France, a region whose climate and alluring coastal towns has ensured that it has remained popular among travellers for many years.

One option is to take a rail holiday through the heart of the south, starting off in Aix-en-Provence, a historic city where guests can walk along the Cours Mirabeau and take in sights including cathedrals, fountains and busy squares.

Travellers exploring this part of France can also stop off in the charming Mediterranean fishing village of Cassis, take in magnificent views of the Camargue from the lofty town of Les Baux and learn more about ancient landmarks in Avignon and Nimes.

Another popular part of southern France is the Dordogne, a picturesque area encompassing breathtaking green valleys, hilltop towns and sun-blessed countryside. An itinerary combining the region with Albi and Carcassone gives visitors the opportunity to take in some memorable local sights and visit locations such as the medieval city of Rocamadour.

Those interested in experiencing the glamour of the French Riviera can arrange a stay in the resort of Diano Marina and spend some time in Nice, Menton and Monte Carlo.

Paris

For people who have never visited France before, Paris will be at the top of their 'must-see' list. This enchanting city is brimming with attractions and activities, including famous landmarks and museums providing an insight into centuries of culture and creativity.

Travellers setting off on coach holidays can spend three nights in the French capital, with the first day focused on visiting locations such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, the Champs Elysees and the Louvre. Visitors will have the chance to explore at their own pace before the tour finishes.

Optional excursions showcase some of the city's other sights, such as the spectacular gardens of Versailles, whose grandeur and opulence reflect their regal heritage. Visitors with an interest in culture and the arts can visit Montmartre, a popular haunt for creative types, and see the Sacre Coeur church.

Another memorable way for holidaymakers to see Paris is to arrange a trip at Christmas and enjoy the city's unique atmosphere as it is illuminated for the festive season.


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