France is divided into 27 administrative regions, each offering something unique for the seasoned traveler. Depending on your preferred climate and interests, take a look at the following three charming regions in France, just waiting to be explored.
Brittany, in the north-west of France, boasts 2,860 kilometers of coastline and is therefore an ideal destination for those who enjoy exploring the coast but don’t necessarily want too much heat and sun; it is an excellent place to pursue a love of sailing and fishing.
You can visit the art museums, or follow one of the tourist art trails across the countryside or along the coast; find out about the customs, myths, legends and stories of the region, explore the castles and forts, and visit a traditional festival.
Brittany is famous for crepes, which are served with cider, and galettes (round, buttery biscuits). However, the best thing about Brittany is their wonderful seafood, including oysters from Cancale and Riec-sur-Belon, and mussels from the bay of Mont Saint-Michel, served in restaurants with sea views. La Paix Hôtel Contemporain is a four-stars hotel in the town center of Brest, ideally located for shopping and the Château de Brest, which dates back as far as the 3rd century.
Aquitaine is in the south-west of France on the border with Spain. On the west side is the Atlantic Ocean, so the region benefits from the influence of the Gulf Stream and has a mild climate. Along with the amount of sunshine hours, a holiday here can feel like a stay in the Mediterranean, and it makes a perfect destination for those who enjoy the outdoors. There are 250 kilometers of coastline, and huge sand dunes, including the 104 meters high Dune du Pilat at the Bay of Arcachon.
Perhaps you would prefer to walk in the mountains or the wooded valleys, or the Pyrenees. Visit one of the many nature reserves, or get active and go surfing, sailing or canoeing. Cycle along the network of cycling tracks or go horse riding. Bordeaux is perfect for history and wine lovers – visit the gothic cathedrals and 17th century mansions, as well as a vineyard where you can learn about the famous Bordeaux wines.
Pays de la Loire
Pays de la Loire is famous for its spectacular castles, or “châteaux” – there are over 100 in the region. The châteaux of the Loire Valley are located along the Loire River from Nantes, Angers, Tours, Blois, and Orléans to Gien in north-central France. The beautiful historical castles were where the French royalty liked to spend most of their time in the 16th century. Visit the fairy tale Château du Rivau, which was visited by Joan of Arc in 1429. Château du Rivau is a genuine medieval castle and has beautiful gardens, art, sculpture, and Renaissance stables.
The medieval fortress of Amboise overlooks the Loire River, and was originally built by Charles VIII in the 15th century. Visit churches, abbeys and cathedrals, or take a hot air balloon flight over the Loire Valley. You could even sleep in a real French château; conveniently located near Blois, the three-stars hotel Château De La Rozelle is a restored 17th century château for visitors who want an authentic, historical experience.