France is the world’s top tourist destination and for good reason. There’s a lot packed into just one country – artistic and architectural masterpieces, remarkable museums and natural landscapes, and a history harking back far beyond the Romans. You could spend a lifetime of holidays in France and still not come close to exhausting its riches. Landscapes range from the fretted coasts of Brittany and the limestone hills of Provence to the canyons of the Pyrenees and the half-moon bays of Corsica, and from the lushly wooded valleys of the Dordogne and the gentle meadows of the Loire valley to the glaciated peaks of the Alps.
Each region looks and feels different, has its own style of architecture, its own characteristic food and often its own dialect. France is about world-class art and architecture. It seduces with iconic landmarks known the world over and rising stars yet to be discovered. This country’s cultural repertoire is staggering – in volume and diversity. And this is where the beauty of la belle France lies: when superstars such as Mademoiselle Eiffel, royal Versailles and the celebrity-ridden French Riviera have been ticked off, there’s ample more to thrill. France is, after all, the world’s top destination with some 85 million visitors each year who flock to the land of the Gauls to feast on its extraordinary wealth of museums, galleries, ateliers (artist workshops) and hands-on cultural experiences.
Food is of enormous importance to the French and the daily culinary agenda takes no prisoners: breakfasting on warm croissants from the boulangerie, stopping off at Parisian bistros, and market shopping is second nature to the French – and it would be rude to refuse. But French gastronomy goes far deeper than just eating exceedingly well. Its experiential nature means there is always something tasty to observe, learn and try. Be it flipping crêpes in Brittany or clinking champagne flutes in ancient Reims cellars, the culinary opportunities are endless.
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