Considering its numerous world-renowned landmarks, first class art museums, galleries, refined culture standards, romantic language, rich gastronomy, wonderful wines, gorgeous botanical gardens, lovely and varied landscapes, and globally respected music and fashion scenes, it is quite easy to understand why France has been one of the world’s top tourist destinations for quite some time. What adds to the experience of visiting France after exploring Paris is gaining valuable insights into the country’s diverse regions – and at least some of their distinct characteristics: Normandy and its romantically illuminated island of Mont St-Michel, the fantasy-like châteaux of the Loire Valley, the internationally acclaimed vineyards surrounding the Aquitaine and Bordeaux regions, the bucolic charms and Roman ruins of Provence, the forward-thinking culture of Lyon, the Flemish flair of Lille, the German-influenced jewels that are Strasbourg and Colmar, the Italian-influenced, and ever-so-stylish French Riviera. The list truly goes on and on.
Worth noting is that France is as attractive to nature seekers as it is to architecture buffs. To name but a few quite popular natural attractions: the mountainous Alps and Pyrenees, the cliffs and sand dunes of Brittany, and the colorful and exotic scenery of not just the Côte d'Azur but Corsica island as well. What’s more, France provides ample opportunity for outdoor activities like skiing, surfing, and trekking. With so much to see and do, tourism-equipped France truly pleases millions of visitors each year.
Boasting grandeur architecture, the Grimaldi family’s Prince's Palace, graceful streets, green and fountain-filled parks, and absolutely stunning views, one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated nations packs a lot into a little piece of land. Monaco is best known for the annual Monaco Grand Prix motor race and the Monte Carlo Casino. Although motor racing, gambling, and the flaunting of worldly goods are indeed characteristic of Monaco, you do not need to be the jet-set type to enjoy a stay here. There is more to this marvel than its yachts, glitz, or glamour. Its wards (neighborhoods) contain generations of history, and each features attractions like as Monaco-Ville, a picturesque quarter perched onto a rocky headland extending into the Mediterranean. An eye-catching urban settlement such as this is gorgeously located between the Alps and the sea, with the French Riviera to the west and Italian Riviera to the east. Monaco unquestionably merits a visit.
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Did you crawl into my head to find out what I was looking for in a travel itinerary? A fully planned out trip, from start to finish, with each day filled to the brim? Directions on how to get from one place to another? A checklist of amazingness is what I call it. Your stories are pretty funny too, but they’re helpful at the same time. Your book is a combination of travel advice and travel companion. I feel like we know each other now, or at least I know France (not as good as you, though).
I was born in France but my family moved me to America when I was a child. I always wanted to travel back, but I never wanted to feel like a tourist when I went. Your itinerary helped me accomplish that, and it showed me where to find the most historically and spiritually significant places in the area. I feel like I finally found answers to the questions about my heritage that have been haunting me for years. Thanks a thousand times for your amazing research, Charlie.