OTHER FRANCE DESTINATIONS
Brittany's coastline incorporates peninsulas, rocky inlets and cracked granite cliffs. Inland, exposed moorland conceals sheltered, wooded valleys interlaced with rivers and streams. The varied coastal and inland habitats make this an ideal holiday destination for everyone. The interior of Brittany is sparsely populated and features pleasant little villages, each with its own café, bar or restaurant. The political center of the region, Rennes, has a bohemian Latin Quarter with an excellent nightlife and plenty of good shops and restaurants.
Burgundy, also known as Bourgogne, is situated in the mid eastern section of France, encompassing the départements of Côte d'Or and its capital, Dijon, Saône et Loire, Niéve and Yonne. The best time to visit the area is during the spring and summer. Largely renowned for the wine produced in the region, the most ardent wine connoisseurs recognize Burgundy as perhaps the world's most prominent wine producing region.
Few places reveal an authentic sense of "la France profonde" like the Dordogne Valley. Stretching due east of Bordeaux, it features incomparable architecture, history, gastronomy and natural beauty. Its abundant activities and landmarks make the Dordogne especially fun for families. At Lascaux and Les Eyzies, see the wonders of Prehistory - cave paintings and sculptures dating back 28,000 years. Dramatic cliff-side chateaux and honey-colored stone bastide towns offer rich evidence of more "recent" medieval history.
The enchanting small town of Le Vigan is situated 60 kilometres inland from Montpellier in the beautiful Cevennes region which constitutes the western side of Provence. The drive up from Montpellier is breathtakingly beautiful and such a contrast to eastern Provence and the Languedoc to the west. This is the area of rocky gorges, spectacular wooded landscapes and ancient limestone caves. Until the beginning of this century, the pretty hamlets were devoted to the silk industry. Now the area is still a fascinating and beautiful place to visit, and a paradise for those interested in hiking and canoeing.
In the heart of Gascony the vineyards around Condom, Auch and Eauze produce Armagnac, the famous regional brandy aged in oak barrels. Visitors are attracted to this region for its hearty cuisine, the friendliness of the Gascon people and the beauty and peace of the countryside. The chateau we have for rent near Eauze has a tower dating from the 12th Century.
The five départements of Hérault, Gard, Lozère, Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales, combine to form the region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Bordering Provence to the east, and Spain to the south, the region is dominated by an abundance of historic sites, sophisticated cities, an impressive coastline and countless vineyards. Languedoc takes its name from the langue d'oc, which is a language similar to today's Catalan, with the province of Roussillon in the south of the region also known as French Catalonia.
The Midi-Pyrénées is the biggest region in France, and is larger in size than Luxembourg and Switzerland respectively. To match the vastness of the surface area, the landscape is just as stunning, with a patchwork of lakes and rivers. The Pyrénées rise splendidly in the south and stretch the length of the Spain Basque border. Each of the eight départements is individual in characteristics, but most are enveloped by the warm, easy-going nature typical of the southern climes. The Spanish way of life is not unfamiliar in the Midi-Pyrénées and many Spanish traditions have been absorbed into this French region as a result. The regional capital, Toulouse, is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and the fourth largest in the country.
Facing the English Channel, Normandy has a windswept coastline where sandy beaches and chalk cliffs make it an ideal destination. The coastline along this part of Normandy is known as the Côte d'Albâtre, in recognition of its alabaster-white chalk cliffs. The ocean swells and currents are continually eating away the soft chalk leaving stranded pinnacles, arches and caves. Inland, Normandy is a region of shallow green valleys and wooded hills. To the north the River Seine loops its way to the sea at Le Havre. Other major rivers are the Dives, the Orme and the Douve.