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If you need to get away for the summer and want to stay within Europe, one of the most beautiful and versatile countries around is France. From the Alps to the Riviera, there are always new experiences, places to explore, and people to meet. Known best for inspiring love, having great wine, making some of the best food in the world, France is also home to some of the best spas, resorts, and museums in the world.
Of particular interest within France is the art culture, with the Louvre, other museums, and even modern art streets catering to art lovers from around the world. Long seen as one of the most inspirational places on Earth, Paris brims with artistic talent, while areas bordering Germany and the Alps are filled with artists trying to find new inspiration among scenery that would ignite the passion of even the most cynical individuals. Exploring the various art shows, museums, and installations throughout the country is a trip that anyone interested in art can get behind.
For those looking to have a much more relaxing experience, luxury homes with plenty of charming bakeries, bright sun, and even private pools can be found around the country. The houses to rent in France are generally very well taken care of and intended to be a get away where you can get away from it all and enjoy yourself without having to leave the house. During the winter they are the perfect place to sip on hot chocolate, burrow into a warm blanket, and watch the snow fall. During the summer they provide spacious outdoor spaces in which relaxation and rest can be found on even the most troubling of days.
Those who are looking for a bit more fun in the sun will of course enjoy spending time along the Riviera. Renting boats or going to spas in this area is one of the most amazing experiences on the planet, with specialty treatments that have been passed down from generation to generation. The clear and somewhat warm water in the area also welcomes beach goers who want to enjoy themselves in a climate without harsh weather. During the winter months, the waters are still picturesque and quite still, making them more enjoyable to walk alongside than those in areas where angry waves and frequent storms make themselves known.
Assuming you want to travel around the country and try some of the bolder offerings within France, there are more than a few suggestions available to you. They are best divided into two groups – culinary and activity based. Although some regions will provide a bit of both, most areas have a specialization that allows them to offer the best experiences in the world, rather than forcing themselves to try and become a jack of all trades. This has allowed the traditional methods and recipes to be preserved and improved upon, with whole regions dedicated to creating only the finest of ingredients.
Almost all of the truffles in the world are imported from France, with harvesting taking place in a very traditional manner, rather than having a large scale operation. This makes it an almost religious experience to try decadent meals prepared with fresh truffles pulled from the ground only that day. Some restaurants focus on the flavour of the truffle itself, while others focus on creating a culinary experience that rivals any you have ever had before. Unlike other areas of the world, the supply here is not so limited, making dishes that are infused with truffles or feature them prominently much more common and allowing you to develop a truly deep appreciation for their aroma, flavour, and texture.
With a history going back over 500 years, wine making in the French countryside might be one of the most famous parts of the country when mentioned abroad. However, the best wine and that which has been aged to perfection is generally only available from the vineyards themselves or the restaurants that are directly affiliated with them. Wine tours are common, with the ability to purchase bottles of particularly interesting vintages almost always provide. For rarer offerings, upscale restaurants near the vineyards that offer local food will generally have access to them when the public doesn’t.
The Champagne region of France is also the only area where real champagne can be made and bottled, making it worth a trip to sample some of the best varieties. The ability to master this particularly difficult production process is one that has taken centuries to perfect. The region has extremely strict regulation on the production process, even down to the growing of grapes and the conditions in which they are to be kept. The result is a superior product that must be sampled for yourself.
One of the most historically rich areas in all of France, this small abbey and island are one of the most breathtaking sights in all of Normandy. Riding horses across the rippling sand and exploring the Mont itself is an experience unlike any other. Guided tours personalized based upon your historical interests and budget can bring the entire region to life. After a long ride, walking along the beach and reflecting upon the Celtic legends of death, life, and an afterlife is a great way to spend a cool evening.
Overall, vacationing in France is what you make it, with many different experiences compromising a rich tapestry on which to leave your mark. Anyone who has visited France knows that despite being known for the best food in the world, the region also has some of the best experiences, offering once in a life opportunities to enjoy yourself and learn more about one of the most influential countries in the world. Whether you want to eat, drink, explore historical sites, or simply relax in a home custom built with relaxation and pleasure in mind, France is the best place for your next vacation.
This is a sponsored guest post written by Fabiola Acosta for Luxury Retreats.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.