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Discover France
France is a truly magical place, from the glittering Eiffel tower on a Parisian night, to the small villages nestled amongst mountains, vineyards and flowers. It is no wonder that so many writers, designers and artists have found inspiration here. The food is rich and wonderful and the coasts rugged and beautiful. France is a place where dreams come true and romance blossoms.

Packed with a diverse range of landscapes, cuisines and activities, travellers to France can indulge themselves in whatever their hearts desire. You could spend many months here and never be at a loss for stuff to do.

Medieval Brittany will take you along spectacular coasts where the sea is littered with lighthouses and forsaken islands. The villages here are best visited in autumn when red leaves act as small bursts of color along foggy, cobbled streets.

The pretty island of Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon, is an often a forgotten paradise with lush forests, mountains, and stunning beaches.

The glamorous French Riviera is home to the rich and famous and hiring a convertible to drive along the Mediterranean Sea, will make you feel like a movie star, or a character is a James Bond film. Whatever the journey you wish to take, you will be sure to find pleasure in France.
 
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France can be an extraordinarily expensive place, but where there is a will there is a way, and budget accommodation is not hard to come by if you know where to look. Guesthouses, monasteries and hostels offer budget accommodation options and Easy-Jet, Ryan-Air and Eurolines will help you to get around cheaply. Hiring a car is the best way see the country and there are a range of price options to choose from. Be wise with your money when it comes to food. Markets will help you to save money on food without compromising on quality or deliciousness. Stay away from cafes and restaurants in touristy areas as they are often overpriced, and usually substandard quality.


How to plan your trip:
International flights into Paris are usually comparable to flights destined for Rome or London. If you find a flight significantly cheaper to another city in Europe, then it will work out cheaper to head to France internally from Europe.


Most people will start in Paris and make their way south to the Côte d'Azur. This is a stunning journey that will take you through the heart of France and from Marseille you can drive into Italy toward the beautiful Cinque Terre. Alternatively, head to the stunning island of Corsica and take a ferry from Bonafacio to Sardinia.


Instead of heading south from Paris, a western route will take you to the rugged coasts of Brittany and from here you can head south to Bordeaux to experience fine wine country before making your way to Toulouse and the Pyrenees- which leads into Andorra and Spain. This mountain range is outstandingly beautiful and if you pick the right season, you don’t have to share its wonders with many tourists.

DOMME, France

Transport:
The best way to really experience all that France has to offer is to rent a car and journey at your own leisure. Preferably, a small campervan is best, otherwise a small economy car and tent will work as well. A rental will cost between 18-35 euros per day. Make sure you select a company that allows you to drop the car off in a different city.

If you have time restraints, the next best option to get around is by train. Trains are well serviced and reasonably priced and will cost anywhere between 8 and 40 euros per journey. As fuel is expensive in Europe, taking the train can potentially work out cheaper than renting a car and will also take away the hassle of parking in big cities. All major cities in France are well serviced by metros and many are easy enough to walk around.

Accommodation:
If you have rented a campervan you should be able to park up in a secluded area without much hassle, just be prepared to move should a police officer come by and ask.
Hostels are the cheapest option for travellers who are using public transport.
Small boutique hotels or guesthouses, should accommodate couples on a budget.

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Paris

Urban nights:
Montmartre is a fabulous place for budget travellers to stay in Paris, and the bohemian suburb has many attractions right at its doorstep, from the Chat Noir to the Sacre Coeur. A dorm room in a hostel will set you back around 11 euros per night, or a double room, for a couple, in a budget hotel is around 35 euros a night. AirBnb is another great choice for couples looking to conserve money and some of the available apartments are stunning.
Check out www.staydu.com as an alternative to couch surfing.

Stay in nature:
You can reach out to some of the churches in rural areas and for a small fee or donation, they can provide accommodation and meals. Make sure you contact them well in advance of your arrival as it can be a slow process.
Camping in the valleys or along the coasts in the summer months is definitely worthwhile.

ANNECY, FRANCE


Where to spend your money:


Do:
The palace of Versailles is magnificent. The gardens form a labyrinth of well-manicured hedges and flowers that rest beautifully against the palace. In other parts, nature has taken over, with sparkling lakes where birds come to rest and the Hameau de la Reine is a stunning retreat near the Petit Trianon, which was specially built for Marie Antoinette. Inside the palace, there is the famed hall of mirrors, but the gardens are what make Versailles worth a day trip.

Located in the Nice prefecture, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a stunningly beautiful town on the Côte d'Azur. Even if you can’t afford to stay here, walking through the town and visiting the famous Grand-Hotel Du Cap-Ferrat will be sure to make your jaw drop. For around 60 euros a night you can stay in the beautiful nearby town of Beauleiu-Sur-Mer.

Colmar in northeastern France, near the German border, is a medieval and renaissance time capsule of bygone times. The timbered buildings are brightly colored and follow handsome canals adorned with stone bridges covered with hundreds of flowers. Be sure to sit back and enjoy a meal coupled with a riesling from the area.

A drive from Bastia in the north of Corsica across the mountains to Ajaccio and down the coast to Bonafacio is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. Along the coast of Corsica, age old forts and towns stand tall at the very edge of cliffs and look down over the aquamarine of the Mediterranean. Behind them are snowcapped mountains filled with forests, valleys, and ancient monasteries. If you’re not sold already, Corsican cuisine is arguably some of the best in the country.

Eat:
Crêpes originated in Brittany, France and there is no better place to eat them than here. Some places still cook them with a traditional cast-iron hot plate, over a wood fire. Pair the aroma of burning wood with butter, sugar, orange peel and grand-mariner flambé and it will really have your mouth watering for a crepe Suzette.

The French certainly know how to cook a duck and there are a million different ways to have the succulent bird in France. But perfectly cooked slices of duck breast on a fresh baguette with a side of duck-fat potatoes, onions and French mustard aioli is hard to beat. Otherwise, Confit-de-Cannard is made with the entire duck, so you can enjoy it in all of its glory.

Escargot makes the list! Some people may be put off by the idea of eating snails, but they are a delicious, rich, and buttery delight that are a signature of French cuisine. Once you have had them once, you will be wondering why you never had them before!

Drink:
There is more to drinking in France than wine, but the wine here is pretty hard to beat. Some of the best wine travels are in the monastic vineyards in France, that take you through medieval abbeys and convents with their own wine recipes dating back hundreds of years.

Outside of wine, the French make some awesome liqueurs and one of the most delicious is Chambord, a fusion of Madagascan vanilla, raspberries, Moroccan citrus, and cognac. A visit to the Loire Valley is a good excuse to indulge in it.

Lastly, celebrate every day in France with a glass of Champagne!

Now that you’re in France
The border region between France, Spain and Andorra is astonishingly beautiful. The Pyrenees mountain range will have you hiking amongst bright blue lakes, valleys of flowers and mountainous forests. The combination of French and Spanish flavors makes for a delicious cuisine, and you’ll never be short of impressive views.

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Natural Wonders

Urban Wonders

Curios

  1. great ocean road
  2. rooftop cinema melbourne
  3. quokka rottnest island
  4. Kakadu national park
  5. sydney opera house
  6. lake hillier pink lake
  7. great barrier reef
  8. luna park
  9. bonaparte

Corsica

Moulin Rouge

Mont St Michel

Cote 'D Azur

Montmarte

the Paris Catacombs

Provence

Carnival de Nice

Museum of Bonaparte Residence