Destination Corsica: Why Not Choose… Ajaccio?
As well as having a rich and important history, Ajaccio is also a modern city with many secrets to share. Take a walk in the charming little streets of the Genoese Old Town, discover Napoleon Bonaparte's life story, or simply relax for a moment on the fine sand of a magnificent beach. Culture, nature… Ajaccio has everything you need for a wonderful holiday!
Omnipresent History and Breathtaking Landscapes
Step back in time in the Genoese Old Town: the soul of Ajaccio. Every road and every monument in this area is a clue to the city's past, going right back to its foundation by the Genoese in 1492. The 16th-century citadel is absolutely unmissable. It was originally just a dungeon with a lower enclosure, but was successively transformed until it became this imposing building. Architecture enthusiasts should make a beeline for Ajaccio Cathedral (or the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral), dating back to the Renaissance and displaying typical Counter-Reformation architecture.
As the birth city of Napoleon Bonaparte, Ajaccio pays an extraordinary tribute to the former emperor, whose presence is felt everywhere in the city. Visit the Bonaparte House Museum, admire the Imperial Chapel containing the graves of his parents, or visit the City Hall, where the emperor's death mask is on display.
If you love painting, hurry to the impressive and sublime Fesch Museum, with its collection of paintings by Cardinal Joseph Fesch, as well as splendid Italian works from the 14th to the 19th centuries (Botticelli, Titian, etc.).
And for an unusual way to explore the city, why not choose the charming Petit Train d’Ajaccio tourist train?
Now leave the old town by crossing Place de Gaulle, also known as Diamond Square, which separates the Genoese part of the city and the new areas. Again, on this side of the city, Napoleon is everywhere! On Place Casone (or Place d’Austerlitz), you can admire a replica of the statue of Napoleon at Les Invalides in Paris, or visit Napoleon's Grotto, where the emperor spent his childhood dreaming of conquests and glory! For history lovers, the A. Bandera Museum retraces the entire history of Corsica.
After this whirlwind of cultural and historical sightseeing, you deserve to enjoy Corsica's simple pleasures. Sip a drink on one of the lively and sun-kissed terraces on the Tino Rossi port, or simply enjoy a moment with nature: fine sand beaches, red sunsets over the sea… here, Corsica reveals its most beautiful landscapes.
If you're able to go a little further afield, don't hesitate to head west, towards the Pointe de la Pirata then the Îles Sanguinaires (Bloody Islands). Famous worldwide for their striking views, these islands are a true haven of tranquillity. It is here that Napoleon I took refuge so he could reflect in peace!
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Old Town: tread the streets of the Genoese Old Town and trace the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte. Sample the Mediterranean charm of this area, with its many little cafés and excellent restaurants.
Ajaccio Cathedral: in 1559, the Council of Ancients submitted a request to the Senate of Genoa and Pope Gregory XIII, asking for a new cathedral for Ajaccio. Replacing the Cathedral of Saint-Croix, the new cathedral was completed in 1593, and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin.
The Bonaparte House Museum: the house where the Emperor was born now contains a museum on the Bonaparte family. Furniture, paintings and decorative items submerge you in the atmosphere of the late 18th century. It is undoubtedly the most unique and illustrative place to understand Napoleon's life.
The Imperial Chapel: forming the right wing of Fesch Palace (in the shape of a Latin cross), this chapel is an official historical monument. Blessed on 9 September 1860, it is the sanctuary of the imperial family. In the crypt, certain members of the Bonaparte family have been laid to rest, including Napoleon's mother and father, as well as his uncle, Cardinal Fesch.
The Fesch Museum: palace built according to the wishes of Cardinal Fesch. When he died, he left over a thousand paintings, items of furniture and works of art. The Museum's collections were later enriched by further donations and bequests. Today, Fesch Palace's collection of Italian paintings is second in size only to that of the Louvre. A breathtaking display!
Place De Gaulle: this square separates the Old Town from the new neighbourhoods. Right next to the sea, you can admire the 1865 monument to Napoleon and his four brothers.
Place du Casone: Place d’Austerlitz, known as Casone Square in memory of an old building. According to legend, Napoleon would often come here as a child. Sheltering under two large rocks (hence the name "Napoleon's Grotto"), the young boy, fascinated by famous historical figures, would dream of conquests and glory.
The old Tino Rossi fishing port: this leisure and fishing port on the Mediterranean is a beautiful place to stop off in the heart of the Imperial City. The many shops, the beaches, and the historical centre will add further charm to your stay.
A Cupalatta: discover the secret life of tortoises and turtles. Unique in Europe, this 2.5 ha park is devoted to the rearing, study and protection of tortoises and turtles from all over the world.
La Punta Castle: a fantastic monument midway between Ajaccio and Paese di Lava! La Punta Castlewas built between 1886 and 1891, by the Pozzo di Borgo family, with stones from the Tuileries Palace in Paris. In a wild, natural setting, the castle sits at an altitude of 600m, overlooking the Gulf of Ajaccio.
A Wide Spectrum of Flavours
Combining the influences of its French and Italian neighbours, Corsican cuisine offers great variety. Many dishes and desserts use sweet chestnuts, and wild boar features heavily in the excellent charcuterie: lonzu, coppa and figatellu will bring a little local character to your plate!
Cheeses also take centre stage: brocciu is a cheese with the AOC/AOP (controlled/protected origin) label. It is made with goat's and/or sheep's milk, which is found in many traditional recipes, but is also drunk in its natural, fresh form.
For something sweeter, tryfiadone, a typical Corsican cheesecake using brocciu, and canistrelli, dry biscuits made with wheat flour, white wine and sugar.
April: The Pays d’Ajaccio celebrates spring
Discover the traditions, heritage and environment of Corsica and the Pays d'Ajaccio. The festival includes: guided tours, polyphonic concerts, walks and hikes, via ferrata and canyoning, cookery workshops, wine-making and gastronomy events.
April: Catenacciu in Sartène
Taking place on the evening of Good Friday, the famous and colourful nocturnal Catenacciu procession is the oldest religious tradition in Corsica.
April-May: Art’èGustu Festival in Corsica
A festival of art and taste, Corsican style. Taste typical Corsican produce from around a hundred producers: olive oil, honey, chestnut flour, charcuterie, cheese, wine, confectionery...
June: Feast of Saint Erasmus in Ajaccio, Bastia and Calvi
Fishermen's associations have made the Feast of Saint Erasmus (Sant'Erimu), patron saint of sailors and fishermen, into a time of celebration when you can taste freshly caught, grilled fish.
August: Napoleonic Days in Ajaccio
Every year in Ajaccio, the Napoleonic Days are celebrated alongside the religious ceremonies of the Assumption. Military reconstructions in costume, shows, marches, processions and a ball take us back to the time of Napoleon's Great Army.
Destination Corsica: Why Not Choose… Bastia?
If you cannot resist the charm of old Mediterranean towns, with their picturesque narrow streets enlivened by painted shutters and their squares that contain so many mysteries of the past, then welcome to Bastia! Founded in 1381 by the Genoese, this art and historical town will offer you the chance to discover all its treasures for an unforgettable stay.
Terra Vecchia, or the old town, the heart and soul of Bastia
With its bandstand, statue of Napoleon, coloured facades and its terraces of cafes, Saint Nicolas Square is the preferred meeting place for the people of Bastia. It is also the heart of Terra Vecchia, the old town. Discover the historic district of the Old Port, which has kept all its authenticity with its buildings with coloured facades and its recreational boats which are reflected in the water. As you stroll along the wharf, venture onto the Dragon jetty where you will enjoy an exquisite panorama.
History and architecture lovers will be able to admire the churches of Saint Jean-Baptiste and Saint Charles Borromée, founded in the 17th century, as well as the Oratories of the Saint Roch Brotherhood and the Immaculate Conception, which are also among the must-see monuments of Terra Vecchia.
Finally, do not forget the market square and its fragrant stalls. And for more craft discoveries, Napoleon Street is also full of shops selling regional products and very good restaurants.
Terra Nova, or the citadel, the cradle of the town
For a gentle transition between the old town and the citadel, cross the Romieu Garden, a true haven of peace in the heart of Bastia.
Then enter the citadel. While you wander through its paved narrow streets with ornamented gateways, it will reveal all its secrets. You will see how pleasant it is to stroll through this authentic maze built in the pattern of a checkerboard. You will then discover the former Governor’s Palace, which now houses the Municipal Museum, rich in exciting collections. Visit the Sainte Marie Cathedral, which houses an extraordinary processional statue of the silver Virgin from 1852. And do not miss the Sainte Croix Chapel and its extravagant rococo decor, with its ceiling decorated with cherubs and gold covered arabesque stucco on a blue background.
If landscapes allure you at least as much as historical buildings, you will not be disappointed in Bastia. To enjoy a view overlooking the Old Port, the southern wharf offers an ideal viewpoint.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Saint Nicolas Square: with a length of 280m and width of 80m, Saint Nicolas Square is among the largest in France. It gets its name from a church and former hospital built in these surroundings during the Middle Ages. These buildings were demolished in 1889 in order to enlarge the square and extend the Paoli boulevard.
The Old Port: nested in a small cove at the foot of the citadel , it welcomes both fishing and recreational boats. Overcome with multi-coloured buildings, it is especially lively after dark, when its restaurants and cafes are taken by storm during the peak season. For an overall view of this small port, go to the end of the Dragon jetty, which was built in the 19th century.
The Saint Jean-Baptiste Church: opening onto the market square and overlooking the Old Port of Bastia, this church stands proudly in Terra Vecchia. Built between 1636 and 1666 in the location of a former chapel, it is said to be the largest church of Corsica. Equally interesting, the interior of the church is of Baroque style and features stunning marble decorations as well as trompe-l'œil paintings.
The Oratory of the Immaculate Conception: completed in 1609, this small chapel, which is very sober on the outside, houses some treasures nevertheless. There are, for example, magnificent wood carvings completely covering the walls and even rich silks that are restored regularly.
The Market Square: nicely bordered by old houses and the former Town Hall, this square is a true focal point of the town. Each morning, there is a traditional market offering many local gastronomic products in a typically Mediterranean atmosphere.
The Romieu Garden: suspended on the hills leading to Terra Nova, this garden forms a kind of bridge between the Old Port and the citadel, the ideal place for a small relaxing break before entering the citadel. Away from the hustle and bustle of Bastia’s centre, its quiet and relaxing green setting offers breakthtaking views of the small port and the Dragon jetty.
The Governor’s Palace: the history of this palace begins with the construction of a Genoese tower in 1380. As it transformed over the years, it later became the place of residence for the Genoese governors, before being transformed into barracks and finally becoming the property of the town of Bastia once again.
The Bastia Museum: the museum showcases representations of the town, reconstructions of interior or architectural elements originating from the houses of notables of the 17th century, alongside symbols of Genoese governance and portraits of the main captains of the Corsican industry in the 19th century.
The Sainte Croix Chapel: built in the 15th century and then rebuilt at the start of the 17th century, it is without doubt the most ancient chapel in the town. Lost in the middle of the coloured houses in the citadel , it is recognised first of all by its pebble mosaic forecourt. Inside, enter the chapel of Saint Augustin and Sainte Monique, then into the chapel of the Crucifix and the Miracles. Finally, you can admire the impressive high-altar made of polychrome marble, from the late 17th century.
The Sainte Marie Cathedral: dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, this magnificent cathedral built from 1604 to 1619, houses an extraordinary silver statue of the Virgin, a true masterpiece of art carried in procession through the streets of the town, every 15 August. The cathedral will reveal the original decor of dazzling richness, which was widely enriched in the 19th century.
An island of a thousand flavours
In Corsica, living traditions nourish gastronomy, which takes the top spot. Here, you will be able to savour the authentic products of the region where the scent of chestnuts and citrus fruits intertwine, along with the salty sweetness of the charcuterie and creamy cheeses. In addition, the island has a unique insular vineyard, more than 2000 years old.
Among the specialities of Bastia, you can enjoy fresh sardines stuffed with brocciu, a cheese made from curdled sheep’s milk. And on Saint Joseph Day, you can enjoy panzarotti, delicious small round doughnuts made from chickpea or rice flour, covered with sugar.
19 March: Saint Joseph Day
This day is particularly important for Bastia, whose Saint Joseph is one of the patron saints. Every 19 March, the people of Bastia come to honour their patron saint by carrying his statue in procession up to the Saint Marie Cathedral.
June: Saint Antoine Day
This other patron of Bastia is celebrated with great fanfare at the Saint Antoine Convent, from the 16th century, whereby services, processions and fairs take place throughout the day.
November: “Musicales de Bastia”
This festival “of all types of music” presents concerts with local and nationally renowned artists.
November: Arte Mare Festival
This Mediterranean film and culture festival, the oldest of Corsica, has established connections between a reaffirmed Corsican culture and neighbouring Mediterranean cultures.
From one bit of paradise to another
Connected to Nice Côte d'Azur airport twice a week, Bergerac airport is more than just a stopover. Stepping out of the plane, you are transported to a wonderful setting. From medieval towns to castles, vineyards to gardens, discover one of France's most beautiful regions: the Périgord.
Let us immediately debunk a legend... The famous Cyrano, man of letters and swordsman who inspired Edmond Rostand, never showed his face, or, indeed, his nose - his rock! his peak! his cape! - in Bergerac. The city nevertheless made use of his colourful character to build its reputation. From the Grappe de Cyrano, a renowned motorcycle competition, to the "Botte de Cyrano", a fencing tournament, through "L'Assiette de Cyrano", a gourmand gathering in midsummer, Roxane's secret lover is everywhere. The city centre even boasts two statues to his memory, much appreciated by the tourists, who vie with each other to pose at their feet, and turn to give the camera... their best profile!
While they are a required stopping point for any visiting tourist, these two sculptures are not the town's only assets - far from it ! A town steeped in art and history, Bergerac has much more to offer visitors. Beautiful walks, to begin with... Here, the squares, streets and alleys will take you back in time. Going out for a stroll, the timbered façades of medieval houses and the turrets, arcades and cross windows of Renaissance homes catch the eye, and lead you on to the bank of the Dordogne, stronghold of the gabares. These flat-bottomed wooden boats were used until the mid nineteenth century to transport a large part of the goods sold in the Bergerac shops. Now motorised and shaded by large white awnings, they offer pretty river cruises to explore nature and enjoy the calm.
From the town to the vineyard
Another historical site very popular with tourists is the "Cloître des Récollets". This cloister is visited less for the beauty of its walls than for what they harbour : the flower of the 900 native vineyards. This 16th century building is in fact the home of the Hose of the Bergerac Wines. You will find there the nine Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) that surround the city. For instance, Pécharmant, whose slopes give rise to powerful and generous red wines, which after being laid down for a few years, will delight the most exacting palates. Another one is Montbazillac. This is the world's biggest sweet wine designation. Its wines can be paired ideally with foie gras, poultry in cream sauce or Bleu d'Auvergne cheese. Laid down for ten or twenty years in a good cellar, this suave white competes with the best nectars of its kind, developing sublime aromas of peach, honey, acacia flowers.
The charm of old stones
In addition to its wine road, Bergerac offers guests many other picturesque routes. The hometown of French singer Pascal Obispo is the doorway to one of France's most beautiful regions : the Périgord. It is also the capital of the Perigord Pourpre (purple, after the hue of its vines in the fall), one of the four perigourdine counties. Among its main jewels : the English bastides , these new cities born in the 13th century of the will of the Kings of England, anxious to establish their authority in Aquitaine. These medieval towns today some of the many tourists' top destinations... British Like Tony Blair, their ex-Prime Minister, the subjects of Elizabeth II love the region, to the point where 2000 of them have actually moved here. What do they seek? What everyone expects from travel: pleasure and emotion. And they can be found in the thousand details that delight visitors along their strolls: in the archways, the timbered houses, the battlements, the churches, abbeys and castles.
More pleasure and emotion… The Bergerac country and its neighbour, the Salardais, also called the Black Perigord (because of its holm oak forests, dense and dark, that cover the area around the town of Sarlat, a jewel dating back to the Middle Ages) appeal to holiday-makers' palates with a particularly delectable cuisine. On the menu: foie gras, truffles, duck magret and confit goose, among other joys of the palate. Food so rich a little effort is required to keep your figure. But all's well since the region offers many sports activities! There's 600 kilometres of water courses for canoeing, many leisure resorts featuring lake or river bathing, and 7000 kilometres of signposted paths you can hike or ride on a horse or bicycle. The less active can stroll through outstanding gardens, visit feudal or Renaissance castles and visit the Périgord caves - Tourtoirac, Le Grand Roc and Proumeyssac- to admire stalactites and stalagmites, or gaze in wonder at the cave paintings in Rouffignac and world-famous Lascaux, which are proof, should anyone need it, that the region has been inspiring mankind for many millennia!
Must-see in Bergerac and its surroundings :
The Maison des Vins de Bergerac : to discover local vines, their nine designations and taste some of their best ones with local oenologists.
The Bastides trail : for the charm of the old stones of these medieval villages. Some must-see places: Lalinde, a village surrounded by the waters of the Dordogne, Trémolat, nestled in one of the river's meanders, Limeuil, voted "One of France's Most Beautiful Villages", and of course Monpazier, considered the most beautiful bastide in France, with its fortified gates, its Place des Arcades and the Market on Place des Cornières.
A gabare cruise : sail serenely along the Dordogne river in a wooden boat to discover the region, its natural beauty and its architectural heritage from another angle.
Gouffre de Proumeyssac : this is the largest cave open to visitors in Perigord. Nicknamed the Crystal Cathedral, this immense vault displays a formidable concentration of crystallizations. Stalactites and stalagmites made all the more impressive by a lights and music arrangement.
Sarlat-la-Caneda : the capital of the Perigord Noir has preserved its medieval heritage, one of the most beautiful in France, yet open to modernity as demonstrated by the works of Jean Nouvel, born in the area and one of the best architects in the world.
Lascaux Cave : its polychrome cave paintings are renowned throughout the world. Their fame was such that the breath (and consequent carbon monoxide) of the hundreds of thousands of visitors almost caused their destruction. Consequently, today visitors must go to Montignac to admire a faithful reproduction of the one known as the Sistine Chapel of the Périgord.
Destination the Basque Country: Why Not Choose… Biarritz?
An ideal destination for both families and couples, Biarritz is the perfect place to explore and relax. The city is at its most beautiful in summer, ready to offer the best of its magic to both locals and visitors: its old port, its beaches, its bucolic walks, and the cultural treasures of its fascinating museums.
A City of the Sea
Biarritz is first and foremost a city where life revolves around the sea. Feel the call of its beaches, which are wonderful for long walks or swimming during bathing season. Obviously, it is also a top surfing destination! Recognised as one of the best surfing spots, it attracts enthusiasts from around the world. For its investment in this discipline, in 2015 it was awarded the 3 star "Ville de Surf" (Surfing City) label from the French Surfing Federation.
If you love the ocean, there are two magnificent museums on the subject: the Cité de l’Océan, an entirely new space dedicated to understanding and protecting our seas, and Biarritz Aquarium, which is one of the largest aquariums in France, with around fifty aquariums and several thousand species.
If you prefer the therapeutic benefits of the ocean to its choppy waves, Biarritz has a long tradition of marine treatments, with a thalassotherapy offer covering the full range of needs: seaweed wraps, massages, exfoliation, balneotherapy… It’s time for some pampering!
...a City of Sport
Surfing isn't the only sport in the spotlight in Biarritz. The city has the second oldest golf course in continental Europe (created in 1888), whilst "Aupa BO" (the rallying cry of Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque supporters) can be heard at every rugby match. They take their rugby seriously here! At the Biarritz Olympique History Museum, you can see all the press cuttings and over 1200 team photos from 1900 to the present day. All the disciplines of the multi-sports club are covered, including amateur rugby up to 1998, of course. The first floor of the museum is devoted to professional rugby from 1998 onwards. On a more traditional note, Basque pelota, which exists in over 20 variants, is still very much alive in the Basque Country.
...a City of Culture
What's more, Biarritz also has a very diverse cultural scene. Visit the Biarritz History Museum, where you can learn about life in the city in different periods, through a variety of documents, objects, uniforms, paintings and posters. Take a stroll around Les Halles indoor market, and sample some Basque specialities and local produce. And don't forget to make the most of the surrounding countryside. With its green, wooded landscape of hills and mountains, the Basque Country is a wonderful place for walks. You might even see a Pottok: the small mountain horse that lives wild in the area!
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Cité de l’Océan: this new discovery space focusing on the ocean is a unique chance to expand your knowledge, thanks to its fun and original approach. Where does sea water come from? How are waves made? Did Atlantis really exist? Would we be here without the ocean? Is it in danger today? Step inside to get all the answers.
Biarritz Aquarium: opposite the Rocher de la Vierge, the aquarium invites you to discover the seas in an original way. A large 1500m3 tank houses hammerhead sharks, rays and barracudas. A voyage of discovery beneath the waves!
The Old Port: one of the prettiest places in Biarritz. Below the coast road, you can find a slightly more authentic spot: fishermen, traditional little restaurants and a few old boats with peeling paint...
Biarritz Lighthouse: built in 1834, standing 73m above sea level and proudly boasting 248 steps, it overlooks the Cape Hainsart, which marks the boundary between the sandy coast of the Landes and the rocky coast of the Basque Country.
The Grande Plage beach in Biarritz: one of the largest beaches, stretching from the north to the south of the bay. It is in the heart of the city, with shops, cafés and restaurants all in easy reach.
The Rocher de la Vierge: a reminder of the miraculous night-time return of local fishermen during the huge storm of 1864. The bridge was rebuilt in 1887 by Gustave Eiffel.
Biarritz History Museum: housed in a former Anglican church, this museum is devoted to the city's past. In 1986, the Amis du Vieux Biarritz (Friends of Old Biarritz) Association took over the building, to revive the city's most prestigious memories. The porch features a memorial to the English officers who fell in the battles of the Napoleonic Wars fought in Biarritz in 1814.
Lake Marion: get your nature fix! Just a stone's throw from the city centre, this bucolic leisure and family walking site is a beautiful nature and relaxation spot. Fisherman, sports lovers and walkers all come here to unwind.
Les Halles indoor market: fish, sushi, truffles, Italian and Moroccan specialities: this market is a sensory and visual melting pot!
Biarritz Olympique History Museum: rugby fans, especially Biarritz Olympique supporters, will love exploring the collections.
A Foodie Holiday
In the Pays Basque, as you would expect, seafood takes pride of place. Try ttoro, a traditional fish stew resembling Provençal bouillabaisse, or marmitako, a kind of ragout using tuna. In the land of the Espelette pepper, there's no avoiding piperade, made with chili peppers, fried onions and tomatoes. You should also try another local dish: axoa, a veal and pepper ragout seasoned with Espelette pepper. For dessert, sample the traditional gâteau basque, made with shortcrust pastry and almonds. Wash it all down with sagarno, literally meaning apple wine: the emblematic drink of the Basque country.
March: Biarritz Maïder Arosteguy
Historical competition held every year, attracting Europe's best surfers. It is one of the oldest surfing competitions in Europe. Over the years, this event has come to mark the start of the surfing season in France.
June: Les Casetas
This celebration involving bodegas and restaurants on the Basque coast kicks off the summer season in Biarritz. This friendly celebration for all generations is a unique opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful sites on the Basque coast.
June: Les Océanes de Biarritz
A combination of events, concerts, surfing, exhibitions and a gastronomy competition on the Port des Pêcheurs, to celebrate the ocean and the start of summer.
July-August: Les Scènes Estivales
Every year, Biarritz's events agency (Biarritz Evénement) offers locals and holidaymakers a programme of events to make summer nights go with a bang. There is a variety of music: jazz, pop and rock, but also salsa and Basque dance.
December: Biarritz en Lumières
The city's festival of light is undoubtedly the event most beloved by locals! This huge and popular celebration brings dreams alive in the urban space, showcasing the very best creative illuminations.
Destination Aquitaine: Why Not Choose… Bordeaux?
Often described as the pearl of Aquitaine, the city of Bordeaux is still known as sleeping beauty, because of its peaceful, historical city centre. Yet in recent years, the city has woken up: many buildings have been classified as historical monuments and certain neighbourhoods have even made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. Obviously, tourists also flock to Bordeaux to visit its wine cellars and taste its grand cru wines!
Abundant Architecture and Culture
Start your exploration in the Old Town, inside the old city walls. You will soon see that the city truly makes the most of its magnificent architectural and historical heritage. The gates at various points around the circumference of the Old Town (Porte de la grosse cloche, Porte Cailhau, etc.) are magnificent mediaeval remains which are sure to please history lovers.
From Saint-André Cathedral to Rue Sainte Catherine and the Place des Quinconces, you will discover that every monument and every street contains something of the city's unique cultural riches.
The Port de la Lune, a UNESCO World Heritage Site created during the Enlightenment, is an exceptional urban and architectural site.
The city has plenty for art lovers too, with numerous museums. To find out all about the history of Bordeaux , from prehistory to the present day, visit the Museum of Aquitaine, and don't miss the fascinating section on the role that the city of Bordeaux played in the slave trade. You can also visit the Fine Arts Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Customs Museum (the only museum on the history of customs in France), or the Wine and Trade Museum.
Need a moment's respite? Take a break in the splendid Public Garden, where you will find a magnificent arboretum!
The World's Wine Capital!
Aside from its historical heritage and its cultural diversity, the capital of the Aquitaine region is world famous for its wines. Some even consider it the world's wine capital. And with good reason: Saint-Emilion, Sauternes, Pomerol… the wine-growing domain around Bordeaux produces the most prestigious vintages! Your holiday wouldn't be complete without tasting a good Bordeaux cru, or taking an excursion in the Bordeaux region. The Bordeaux wine trails are a great way of discovering the most esteemed château wines. Why not take home a few bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour or Château Margaux?
Top 10 Must-Sees
Saint André Cathedral: the most beautiful religious monument in Bordeaux, which although it cannot compete with Amiens, Chartres or Reims, brings a little something unexpected and charming, particularly with its independent spire.
The Aquitaine Museum: museum of the archaeology, ethnology and history of Bordeaux, which presents the history of Aquitaine from prehistory to the present day, with almost 70,000 items.
The Palais Rohan: this magnificent building was the city's archbishopric at the end of the 18th century, then became the City Hall in 1835. The sober, Louis XVI-style architecture welcomes you into the courtyard of honour with a sculpted gate flanked by columns.
The Contemporary Art Museum: the CAPC stands on regenerated former brownfields, like a symbol of Bordeaux's renewal. As its name suggests, contemporary art takes centre stage.
The bell-tower of the Basilica of Saint Michael: France's second tallest bell-tower, it stands 114m high, offering a unique view of the city. However, it is above all famous for its crypt and its mummies: a terrifying sight!
Place des Quinconces: on the banks of the Garonne, this huge esplanade surrounded by trees is the largest square in Europe. The Girondins Monument is one of the emblems of the city. All year long, the square hosts fairs, concerts and other cultural events.
The Port de la Lune: this treasure on the UNESCO World Heritage List bears witness to over 2000 years of history. From the 16th century to the 20th century, the left bank was the main site of this very active commercial port. The port was then moved downstream, so this zone is now only used for leisure boats and the old hangars have been replaced with pedestrian and cycle routes to shops.
The Saint-Michel district: get lost in the streets of this area filled with designer shops and sunny terraces. At the nearby Place des Capucins, there is a huge market every morning.
Explore the Médoc: Margaux, Pauillac , Saint-Julien... These prestigious wine-growing communities are essential stops on the Médoc wine trail, right near Bordeaux.
Cap Ferret: if you're visiting in the right season, why not enjoy the charm of the Gironde's beautiful beaches and the coastal forest?
Indulge Your Taste-Buds!
Gastronomy occupies a very important place in the city, which is bursting with restaurants, wine bars and bistros of all kinds. Gourmets will want to explore the Saint-Pierre district and the areas around Place Gambetta and Place des Chartrons.
If you want to sample a regional speciality, try lamproie à la bordelaise (a fish dish using lamprey), entrecôte de bœuf à la bordelaise (rib steak with wine, shallot and parsley sauce), or foie de veau à la bordelaise (veal liver).
When it comes to sweet dishes, don't miss out on trying canelés. When you bite into one of these pastries, it is slightly crispy on the outside, yet melts softly in your mouth, releasing a delicious, sweet flavour of caramelised vanilla and rum onto your tongue. To be enjoyed without moderation during your stay!
February: Blaye au Comptoir in Bordeaux
The flagship wine event of the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. Dozens of winegrowers with the "Côtes de Blaye" appellation and restaurateurs of the Bordeaux region invite wine lovers to taste and discuss their produce.
May: Bordeaux Grand Crus Weekend
The Bordeaux Grand Crus Union holds a tasting weekend focusing on Bordeaux's wine appellations. At the stands and around the tables, you can meet wine producers, and of course the oenologists with the best noses. Perfect food and wine pairings guaranteed!
June: Chahuts Festival in Bordeaux
In the Saint-Michel neighbourhood, this arts and spoken word festival includes performances, readings and street theatre, in honour of the storytelling tradition and the love of words.
September-November: Mascaret, Bordeaux Occitan Festival
A festival devoted to Occitan culture in the Bordeaux conurbation. A rich and varied programme, with a very wide range of artistic currents and disciplines, allowing you to discover this still living culture: markets, exhibitions, conferences, concerts, cinema, theatre, storytellers and balls.
October: New Wine and Flea Market Festival in Bordeaux
On the 4th weekend of October, dealers of antiques and second-hand goods celebrate the coming of autumn with a flea market on Rue Notre-Dame. Almost 80 dealers come to sell their antiques. Stroll and hunt for bargains while you nibble on roast chestnuts and sip Federweisser (new wine), in between street theatre and other events.
Destination Brittany: Why Not Choose… Brest?
Looking for a holiday by the sea? In Brest, a city constantly influenced by the call of the sea, the waves await you. At the point of Finistère, it is a little like being at the end of the world. As they often say here: "The next city is New York!" Head for its magnificent bay and ports to taste the pleasures of the sea air.
Answer the Call of the Seas
A boat trip, bathing, walking along the coast… facing out to the Atlantic, Brest's stunning bay has plenty of beaches to enjoy. After an invigorating dip if the weather is warm, head for the commercial port, where a host of cafés and restaurants line the seafront. Or maybe you prefer the marinas with their trademark jingling masts? You'll adore the Port du Moulin Blanc and the Port du Château in Brest, or the Port du Tinduff and the Port de l’Auberlach in Plougastel Daoulas.
However, the best way to take in the beauty of the bay is on a boat trip, sailing in the wake of Bougainville, La Pérouse and other great seafarers who set off from Brest.
A City Packed with History
Once you're back on dry land, it’s time to explore the heart of the city.
Start by visiting Brest Castle, the oldest monument in the city. It is 17 centuries old and houses the National Navy Museum, which covers the whole military history of the city. After stopping to see the Pont de Recouvrance, immerse yourself in history at the Tour Tanguy Museum, with its models and dioramas. Nearby, you will find the Arsenal, one of the symbols of the city, created by Richelieu in 1631.
In Brest, time has left its mark, and each neighbourhood bears the traces of its past. From Vauban's projects in the 17th century to the reconstruction of the city between 1946 and 1961 after much was destroyed in the Second World War, the city's architecture is steeped in history.
An Enchanting Territory
The Pays de Brest, surrounding Brest Métropole Océane, is made up of four distinct territories. In the north is the Pays des Abers, Côte des Légendes, which will take you from the beautiful beaches of Brignogan to the tortuous stretch of Aber Wrac’h, near Plouguerneau. To the west, the Pays d’Iroise, where with winding coastal paths and crashing waves, the wonders of the coast are laid before you from Plougonvelin to Conquet, and from Porspoder to Ploudalmézeau. Meanwhile, in the Pays des Rives d’Armorique, you can visit Landerneau, with its 500-year-old inhabited bridge and its majestic river running through the town. And finally, there is the Crozon Peninsular, which has 400km of marked trails for keen walkers. Visit Crozon or Camaret, idyllic seaside villages where time is governed by the tides.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Jardin des explorateurs (Explorers' Garden): this garden is the legacy of Brest's important contribution to the 18th-century maritime expeditions. It contains a collection of plants brought back by four explorers who left from Brest, split into five geographical zones: Asia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and South America.
Brest, port of records: Brest now has a promenade dedicated to record-holding seafarers. With its 18,000 hectares of exceptional coast, Brest has long been a departure and arrival port for sailing records: the Jules Verne Trophy, around the world, the Atlantic crossing...
Questel Fort: built on a 6 hectare site, this fortified and renovated building overlooks the Valley of the Allégoet: an affluent of the Penfeld. After much work, access to the main ogive dating back to the 18th century, which was blocked by stones and has now been cleared, is well worth the detour. While you're there, the fort offers lovely walks through its well-sheltered green moats, its underground sections, its steps, scarps and counterscarps.
The banks of the Penfeld: the upper valley of the Penfeld offers ample inspiration for wandering imaginations. There are magnificent walks, and benches or lawns perfect to rest on. These highly historical places have regained one of their past vocations: as somewhere to relax within a stone's throw of the city.
The Bay of Brest with a boat trip on the Brestoâ: all aboard the Brestoâ to sail to Brest or the Crozon Pensinsula. Admire the beauty of the bay. At lunchtime, treat yourself to a lunch cruise with oysters, white wine and strawberries from Plougastel!
The Morgat Marine Caves: our cliffs have many secrets, with deep caves hidden away in the stunningly coloured cliff face... Make sure you take a tour inside the Morgat Marine Caves.
The Fort of Bertheaume: this fort in Plougonvelin is not to be missed, standing 37 meters high and accessible via a footbridge over the waves!
The Brest Arsenal: a collection of military and naval buildings in the Penfeld river. It is France's second naval base , after Toulon . In Brest workers' language, the Brest Arsenal is also known as the "arsouil".
The Sadi Carnot Shelter: Brest's main underground shelter during the Second World War. In the night of 9 September 1944, it was the site of a terrible explosion which killed hundreds of people. Now an exhibition and commemorative space, it allows visitors to discover the history of the city during the Second World War, as well as the everyday life of its civil populations.
Brest Castle: built on Gallo-Roman foundations from the 3rd century, the castle was completed by Vauban in the 17th century. A demonstration of the power of the Counts of Léon up to the mid-14th century, an English enclave for fifty years, coveted by Brittany, England and France... in the Middle Ages the fortress at the end of the world was considered the strongest castle in existence.
What's to Eat in Brest?
Contrary to popular belief, in Brittany, they don't just eat crêpes! It is also a region where gastronomy sits side-by-side with traditions, and where chefs demonstrate great originality. Brest has plenty to get your mouth watering: strawberries from Plougastel, abalones from the Iroise Sea, sausage from Molène, lobster ragout, Kig ha farz (a sort of Breton stew, a speciality of Léon)... let yourself float away on an ocean of tastes!
January-February: Pluie d’Images Festival
Since 2004, this photography festival is one of the events which punctuate life in and around Brest. For this occasion, photography comes to cultural buildings, community centres, secular centres, libraries, schools, etc.
May: The Foire aux croutes
Every year, for three days over the week-end of Ascension, the "PLAGE GUERIN" association welcomes around 200 novice or experienced painters, allowing them to exhibit their works in tents or outdoors.
Every year, Astropolis brings together all the electronic music trends for three dizzying festival days around the city. There are giant concerts, club nights and electro afternoons... not to mention the explosive finale: a fantastic rave in the grounds of the Manor of Keroual.
July-August: Port Thursdays
An unmissable event in Brest, the Jeudis du Port (Port Thursdays) give summer a party feel, with music and street arts making up an eclectic program, in an impressive setting and a friendly atmosphere, with recognised or upcoming artists.
November-December: "Grandes Marées" High Tide Festival
This festival is the chance to discover Brest's historical and cultural heritage and the projects carried out in partnership with local associations.
Destination Normandy: Why Not Choose… Caen?
Ideally located between the picturesque Normandy countryside to the south and the charming Côte Fleurie (Flower Coast) to the north, the city of Caen invites you to discover its amazing historical heritage, its beaches... and of course its gastronomy! Come and discover a city that, despite the trauma of World War II, has been able to reinvent itself to deliver a message of peace to the whole world.
From the Middle Ages to the Landings: a City Full of History and Emotion
Start your discovery of Caen by diving deep into the Middle Ages, back to the days of William the Conqueror. A visit to the Château Ducal (Duke’s Castle), with its ramparts, keep and stunning views of the city, is absolutely essential. Within the ramparts, you will find two large museums: the Musée de Normandie (Normandy Museum), which traces the life of the region from prehistoric times to the industrial revolution, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts), with its extensive collection of European paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries.
As you leave the park of the château, take a stroll through the bustling and charming Vaugueux district, whose cobbled streets and many newly established restaurants perfectly combine history and joie de vivre. Then take the time to discover the marina and walk along the Quai Vendeuvre next to the Bassin Saint-Pierre.
Marked by World War II, the city of Caen is inseparable from its Peace Memorial, which offers a journey throughout the 20th century. A wonderful message of peace.
Right next to the Memorial, the Colline aux Oiseaux floral park is an immense green space dedicated to peace, inaugurated on the 50th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
Finally, take advantage of your visit to Caen to go to Bayeux, half an hour's drive away, and visit its famous Tapestry Museum. This incredible embroidery measuring 70 m long and 50 cm high offers a unique depiction of medieval Europe.
Top 10 Must-Sees
Château de Caen: built in around 1060 by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of England, the Château Ducal is one of Europe’s largest fortified enclosures. The ramparts, Porte des Champs, the vestiges of the great keep, the Hall of the Exchequer and Saint George’s Church are testimony to the glorious past of the Château.
Musée de Normandie: located within the Château Ducal, this museum is the result of archaeological and ethnographic work undertaken after World War II. It houses all the finds made on the site since the excavations carried out in 1944. Migratory flows, conflicts, wars, revolutions... the museum describes the life and the important events that have marked the region of Normandy.
Musée des Beaux-Arts: the fine art museum located in the heart of the Château de Caen, in a contemporary building, houses one of the largest collections of European artwork in France, with some 350 paintings dating from the 14th century to the modern day.
Abbaye aux Hommes: the abbey church, a masterpiece of Norman Romanesque architecture, influenced the construction of abbeys in England, particularly with its three-level elevation and harmonious façade. The chancel, altered during the 13th century in a Gothic style and in perfect harmony with the nave, has housed the tomb of William the Conqueror since 1087.
Abbaye aux Dames: consecrated in 1066 under the name of the Sainte Trinité (Holy Trinity), this Benedictine abbey was home to young girls from the Norman aristocracy up until the French Revolution. Over the centuries, the convent gradually deteriorated; at the beginning of the 18th century, the abbess Madame Froulay de Tessé undertook its reconstruction, which took almost a century (1702-1788).
Port de Plaisance: located in the heart of the city centre of Caen, on the Bassin Saint-Pierre, the marina is the ideal stopover to discover the city, its historic districts and its shops. A stone’s throw from Caen’s old town and the Château, this is a haven of peace on a human scale.
Peace Memorial: from the origins of World War II to the end of the Cold War, the visitor displays of the Caen Memorial tell the terrible story of these parts of the 20th century. Initially dedicated to the Battle of Normandy, the museum has since expanded to cover the entire 20th century.
Colline aux Oiseaux Floral Park: a former quarry that became a city landfill from 1923 to 1973, Colline aux Oiseaux has been gradually developed into a landscaped park. Take a stroll through the many themed gardens, including an exceptional rose garden, and discover the animals of the region in the Normandy farm.
Landing Beaches: all along the Normandy coastline, from Cherbourg to Ouistreham via Bayeux, the five landing beaches – Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach – form a circuit that retraces the events of 6 June 1944.
Bayeux Tapestry Museum: the precision and detail of the Bayeux Tapestry provides a unique depiction of medieval Europe. It measures 70 m long by 50 cm high. It first describes Harold’s journey to Normandy with all its adventures, then shows Harold’s return to England and his coronation, and finally the preparation of the expedition organised by William, the crossing of the Channel and the Battle of Hastings.
Noble Produce for Sophisticated Dishes
With its lashings of butter and cream, Normandy cuisine is not known for being diet friendly. But it is precisely this famous produce that gives it all its flavour! Cheeses, especially Camembert, Livarot, Pont-l'Évêque and Neufchâtel, can be found in all good restaurants. And the humble apple, the undisputed queen of the region, comes in a thousand and one delights: alcohol (cider, Calvados, Pommeau), as an accompaniment to meat, and of course in desserts. Another speciality not to be missed: Teurgoule, cinnamon-flavoured baked rice pudding cooked over low heat for hours.
September: Presqu'île en Fête
Exhibition of old ships, sports activities on land and water – children’s regatta, “kayak polo”, introductory sessions – shops and craftsmen on the Quai Vendeuvre, concerts, street art shows and fireworks on the Bassin Saint-Pierre are all part of these port festivities.
September to February: Territoires Rêvés
Since 2016, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and Frac Normandie Caen have created a themed journey from their intertwined collections. Under the title “Territoires Rêvés”, the new exhibition is a collection of 35 works with a special focus on natural and urban landscapes.
October: Nördik Impakt
This electronic and independent culture festival is organised by ArtsAttack!, the association that manages the Le Cargö concert hall. It stands out in particular through the locations used, ranging from an apartment to the biggest halls in Caen to bunkers converted into clubs.
Destination Corsica: Why Not Choose… Calvi?
Fans of beaches and idleness, nature lovers for the scent of the maquis, great epicureans or experienced sportspeople: welcome to Calvi! With the small beach train or hiking, sailing and scuba diving baptisms, the tasting of local products and craft expertise as well as polyphonic songs: a generous and festive Balagne awaits you.
With its citadel and its marina “at the top”, and its narrow cobbled streets and sea front “at the bottom”, Calvi abounds with treasures to discover!
The Upper City: magnificent historical monuments
From the citadel of Calvi, built on an enormous rock overlooking the sea and surrounded by great walls, you will feel you have returned to the 16th century; but more importantly, you will experience a breathtaking view of the harbour and the surrounding land. Before entering the citadel, take the time to read the motto of Calvi engraved in Latin at the entrance, “Civitas Calvi semper fidelis” (Calvi is always faithful).
Do not miss a visit to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, where very old objects are displayed, such as the secular baptism fonts and the Black Christ of Miracles. And at the Saint-Antoine Oratory, you can see three murals from the 16th century and a painting separated in three parts representing the Crucifixion and the Annunciation, as well as a Christ on the cross from the 17th century.
Another point of interest: the Salt Tower. Built in 1495, this imposing tower is a former watchtower where salt was stored. The Sagonne Bishops’ House and former Governor’s Palace, two architectural wonders, will definitely leave you enthralled.
According to legend, Christopher Columbus came from Calvi; and despite its pitiful state, the house where he was born is still standing.
The Lower City: beaches, sun and the wonders of Corsican crafts
Calvi benefits from the beautiful setting of the Corsican coastline between sunny points, cliffs and coves, without forgetting the clarity of the water which is ideal for scuba diving.
In the harbour district, stroll along the wharf, wander through the colourful narrow streets or enjoy the view directly over the harbour from one of the many terraces and enjoy the lovely setting of the moored sailing boats.
“Rue Clémenceau” , a pedestrian street in Calvi, offers a relaxed and colourful atmosphere. This is where you will find all the craft shops: fashion, jewellery, textiles, local products... nothing is missing!
Finally, a quieter environment is also accessible. Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, take one of the paths that leads up to the Revellata lighthouse. Away from La Pinède and its bustle, the Revellata peninsula offers perfectly preserved nature and invites you to enjoy a moment of stillness and meditation.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Citadel of Calvi: in an unwavering setting with a wealth of history and heritage, the citadel rises with pride above the city. It invites you to stroll through its narrow cobbled streets and to discover the universe in which Christopher Columbus was born. Perched on its rocky headland, it offers a 360 degree panorama of the city, the marina and the mountains flowing into the sea.
The former Governor’s Palace: previously known as “Castel Nuovo”, this palace was the residence of the governors of Corsica. This massive building from the 13th century features a magnificent dungeon that can still be admired.
The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral: located in the heart of the citadel, this classical Baroque style cathedral dates back to the 13th century. Initially the property of the Genoese monastery, it was then built as a cathedral. As it was damaged several times and partially destroyed, a large reconstruction in 1567 gave it the appearance that it still has now. The interior, all white, contains many works of art.
The Saint-Antoine Oratory: very close to the Governor’s Palace, it is the headquarters for the brotherhood of Saint-Antoine, saint of the poor, which today still hosts meetings and brotherhood ceremonies (masses, patronal feasts, Tenebrae Service, Holy Week, etc.), as the building has never been desecrated.
The Sagonne Bishops’ House: built in the 16th century, this palace was the residence of the bishops, which was later acquired by the Giubegga family, after the Revolution. Its architecture is perplexing, as here, the spectacular Palace spreads out in all its splendour.
The House of Christopher Columbus: it is an old traditional belief in Calvi that Christopher Columbus was born in Calvi and not in Genoa. By wandering through the narrow streets of the Upper City, you will find a large square ochre-coloured house with a slightly dilapidated appearance. As you approach, you can read the commemorative plaque indicating that it was in this ruined house that the “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” was born in 1451, while Calvi was cited as emblematic and faithful of the Genoese.
The Revellata Peninsula: a magnificent point of greenery that stretches out into the sea, above the city, the Revellata abounds with beaches each as beautiful as the last. Small coves, white sand and turquoise water offer a simply beautiful setting.
The Revellata Lighthouse: a square tower with exposed stone work, this lighthouse rises approximately one hundred metres above the sea. Built in 1838, it forms part of the 5 lighthouses that surround the island. Today, it houses an Oceanographic Studies Centre.
The Notre-Dame de la Serra Sanctuary: by taking the picturesque path from Calvi to the Notre-Dame de la Serra Chapel, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views of Corsica. Perched on a headland, this small church offers a breathtaking view over the bay of Calvi and the Reginu valley. A must-see during your visit!
The Bonifato Forest and its Figarella River: approximately 20km from Calvi, this forest is a place for magical walks. The small Figarella river, composed of natural swimming pools, meanders along the forest path. You will be transported into a refreshing atmosphere which contrasts with the heat of summer.
Local products and exceptional flavours
In addition to the very well-known Corsican specialities, such as wild boar, lamb and grilled fish, Balagne offers a rich gastronomy. It produces delicious sheep’s milk cheese, Calinzana and Bastelicacciu, and in 2004, it obtained the “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” (Controlled Designation of Origin) for the “Olive Oil of Corsica - Oliu Di Corsica”. As a region that is also renowned for its honey, it operates 250 hives offering a high quality honey.
Finally, the more greedy will succumb to the fiadone, which is a sweet prepared with a brocciu (cream cheese) and lemon base, without a doubt the most popular Corsican dessert!
June: Calvi Jazz Festival
During the 5 days of this festival and as of 18h, the marina and the Saint-Antoine Oratory transform into concert venues. And at 21h, many concerts are also organised near the ramparts. Each year, this festival welcomes a hundred artists including known names of jazz as well as young artists.
July: Calvi on the rocks
A program of innovative and cutting-edge electro music in the enchanting seaside setting of the small Corsican city. Founded in 2003, Calvi On The Rocks is today one of the most popular French festivals and is always continuing to evolve.
Destination Auvergne: Why Not Choose Clermont-Ferrand?
Looking for charm and authenticity? This is the place for you. Just a stone's throw from the Chaîne des Puys and its green pastures, Clermont-Ferrand has everything you need, whether you're young or old, and whether you're looking for fine dining, tranquillity, art or thrills. With a rich history which has sculpted and marked its architecture and culture, the city and its surroundings will constantly surprise you with their diversity.
Clermont-Ferrand: Points of Interest
A Little History…
Founded over 2,000 years ago, the town of Clermont was marked by several events: the Battle of Gergovia, the coming of the Visigoths and the Vikings, the construction of a Roman cathedral in the 10th century, then the difficult fusion with the town of Montferrand, its rival at the time, which was completed in the 20th century. Today, Clermont-Ferrand is the prefecture of the Puy-de-Dôme department.
Activities to suit everyone
Cultural activities – With monuments museums and art festivals, you won't have time to get bored. Get ready to be surprised by the city's diverse architecture: from the medieval ramparts of the historical centre to the ESACM Art School, and from the Roman cathedral to the many bourgeois mansions. In the 20th century, industrial development, particularly due to the success of the Michelin factory, changed the urban structure to make Clermont-Ferrand the dynamic city it is today.
Sports activities – What better way to explore the city than by bike? With its 77km of cycle paths, the whole family can burn off some energy. Or get out of the city for some fresh air, and discover Auvergne's countryside by bike (12,000 km of marked routes) or on foot for amazing hikes. If you're a thrill-seeker, you won't be disappointed: you can admire Auvergne's volcanoes and the city itself from above, whilst paragliding or microlighting, or from a hot air balloon. Love rugby or golf? You're in for a treat: you can indulge your passion at the ASM stadium or on one of the Puy-de-Dôme's golf courses.
Tranquillity – Relax after a full day: stretch out and sink your feet into the grass in the city's parks and gardens (the jardin botanique de la Charme, jardin Lecoq, parc du Creux de l'Enfer and parc de Montjuzet), which will delight both young and old. If you feel like a dip, cool off in one of the nearby lakes and water bodies, offeringmany leisure activities.
Refuel over a good meal – Your holiday wouldn't be complete without tasting Auvergne's copious and delicious food!
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Place de Jaude – The historical and cultural heart of the city, the Place de Jaude is the starting point for your adventure. Begin by admiring the surrounding architecture, showing the succession of different styles in the city from Ancient times to the present day. Pause in front of the imposing bronze statue of Vercingetorix on his horse, sword in hand, victorious before Julius Caesar's troops. Let the feeling of calm wash over you among the many fountains and ornamental trees (magnolias, tulip trees) in the square. Finally, step inside the "Galeries de Jaude", which are a match for any Parisian department store.
The Notre-Dame-du-Port Basilica – Built at the start of the 12th century, the basilica underwent a complete restoration ending in late 2008. This key architectural and sculptural site is not to be missed, as proven by its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The historic centre of Montferrand – Take a stroll through this protected area, and marvel at its private mansions from the 15th and 16th centuries: the Fontenilhes, Fontfreyde and Albiat mansions, as well as many others.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption – Climb to the top of this superb cathedral for an unbeatable view from the La Bayette tower. The fruit of 7 centuries of construction, this lava stone building will delight Gothic art enthusiasts.
The Henri-Lecoq Museum – Botany, geology, mineralogy, palaeontology, zoology, history of science and technology… This natural history museum is a shrine to the region's heritage, with its astonishing 650,000 items and specimens.
The Aventure Michelin – You can't think of Clermont-Ferrand without thinking of the famous Michelin. Relive the history of this brand and discover its future with a 2,000m² scenographic circuit.
ASM EXPERIENCE – Rugby fans won't be disappointed: discover the life and secrets of the ASM (Montferrand Sports Club) with a guided tour of the stadium and a theme park like no other in France: a 600m² space devoted to rugby!
The Gergovie plateau – Take a family walk around the site where, without any magic potion, Vercingetorix dealt the Roman Empire its only defeat during the Gallic Wars. POW!
Vulcania – Unique in France, this theme park will delight both young and old. Its dynamic attractions, films, exhibitions and interactive discoveries will allow you to learn everything about the life of volcanoes. Located 15km from Clermont-Ferrand.
Chaîne des Puys and Lemptégy Volcano – Marvel at the unspoilt majesty of Auvergne's Volcanoes. Stroll on the slopes or step into the heart of a real, 100% natural volcano, adapted into a living museum for all to enjoy.
A Taste of Auvergne
Auvergne's reputation for good food is well-established, and the portions as generous as the people who live there. Fine charcuterie, truffade (potatoes and Salers cheese), aligot (mashed potato and fresh Tomme cheese), fruit gums and candied fruits (specialities since the 17th century), AOC wines from the slopes around the Limagne plain and the volcanic foothills of the Chaîne des Puys: the region is known for its food and drink. In particular, Auvergne is a major cheese region, producing a quarter of France's AOP (protected designation of origin) cheeses. If you like your cheese, there is a huge variety to sample: Saint-Nectaire, Cantal, Salers, Fourme d'Ambert and Bleu d'Auvergne. Try these and more on a trip along the Auvergne AOP cheese trail.
January: The Andros Trophy: famous car racing championship on ice, in the mountains. Now environmentally friendly with its 100% electric vehicles!
February: The International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand itself: enjoy over 7000 short films from all around the world!
March: The Vidéoformes Festival will immerse you in the digital creation and culture driving our everyday lives.
April: The Puy-de-Mômes Festival, with various shows (theatre, dance, puppets, music, circus) entirely dedicated to childhood and youth, to enjoy as a family.
May: Nomadic arts all around the city of Clermont-Ferrand: discover artistic creations and attractions.
May/June/July: The Europavox Festival,3 days of festivities centred around the best music scene in Europe.
December: The Christmas market brings happiness to Place de la Victoire, for the whole month. Fancy riding the Big Wheel on Place de Jaude?
December to March: Flea market on Place des Salins, every Sunday from 07:00 to 13:00.
Destination Corsica: Why Not Choose… Figari?
With its idyllic beaches, its secret coves, and its rugged, steep mountains, Figari is an exhilarating place for a holiday. Soak up this mixture of rugged and sensual landscapes, of harsh nature and delicate perfumes. Enjoy a wonderful break in the sun by the sea, or experience the thrills of hiking and water sports in an unbelievably beautiful and unspoilt natural setting.
A Dream Holiday for Romance or Outdoor Sports
In Figari and the surrounding area, you'll have ample choice of things to see and do! If you're a hiking fan, start at the Naséo sheepfolds, then walk towards the Uomo di Cagna. The ascent to this granite boulder balanced over the void is worth the effort, even though the summit is not particularly high. When you get the top, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the whole far south of Corsica, right out to Sardinia. The Gulf of Figari has many hidden gems: heavenly beaches, a charming leisure port and a dream spot for kite surfers. There's something for everyone!
South Corsica: Natural Treasures as Far as the Eye Can See
In the area around Figari, many equally magical places offer unbelievable landscapes and unforgettable experiences, for wonder and excitement.
Take a dip in the turquoise waters of Roccapina Bay, under the benevolent gaze of the stone lion. Visit towns overflowing with history, such as Bonifacio, Sartène or Propriano. You can also seek out the first inhabitants of Corsica, by visiting the Filitosa prehistoric site. Alternatively, for complete serenity, opt for Lavezzi Islands.
And if you're more the road trip kind, head out along the Corsica wine trail. All along the West Coast, many wine estates will welcome you with wine tastings and explanations of their wine-making methods, their heritage and their values. A delicious itinerary!
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Naséo Sheepfolds: this bucolic site, still inhabited a century ago by shepherds during the summer transhumance, offers a truly special atmosphere. Leaving from the sheepfolds, walk towards the Uomo di Cagna.
The Uomo di Cagna: peaking at a height of 1217m above the villages of Gianucciu and Monaccia, this is one of the wonders of Corsica's far south: a balanced rock formation offering a pretty view of the south coast.
The Pianottoli-Caldarello Tower: also known as the Figari tower, this tower, built at the end of the 16th century, sits by the north shore of the Bay of Figari: a narrow breach where the sea has flowed into a split in the massif. Sitting amidst a jumble of coloured blocks surrounded by white sand beaches, the tower is just as remarkable as the site itself.
The Gulf of Figari: windsurfers and kitesurfers will be delighted by the south winds, which will give added enjoyment to their favourite sport in this magnificent setting.
Roccapina Bay: an enchanting place where, at the top of a rocky outcrop, the shape of the debris and rock walls looks like a lion lying down, watching over the coast. Roccapina beach condenses together all the charms of Corsica's coast: fine sand, shady pines and a lagoon-blue sea.
Bonifacio: in the far south of Corsica, the region of Bonifacio is a true open-air museum. Historical monuments, stunning countryside, the upper town with the alleys of its magnificent citadel, its ramparts, etc. It really is worth the detour.
Sartène: visit what Prosper Mérimée called "the most Corsican of Corsican towns." Its grey- and brown-fronted houses and its granite ramparts overlooking the valley give great character to this magnificent place. Stroll around the streets of Old Sartène and get lost in its maze of cobbled alleys and secret passages.
The Filitosa Prehistoric Site: discover the island's roots by going in search of the first Corsicans. This jewel of island megalithic art is considered one of the most enigmatic cultural sites in the Mediterranean and one of the best collections of prehistoric art in Europe. Filitosa offers a panorama of 8000 years of human history.
The Isle of Beauty Wine Trail: from the slopes of the Cap Corse in the north to the wines of Porto-Vecchio and Figari in the south, not forgetting Calvi and Ajaccio: simply travel along the coast to tour the vineyards.
The Lavezzi Isles: isles or islets formed of rocks smoothed by the sea, secluded little beaches, great water for diving… everything about the Lavezzi Isles is enticing.
A Wide Range of Specialities
A holiday in Corsica is sure to mean gastronomic discovery. Of course, there are the subtle and fragrant flavours of Corsican charcuterie such as prisuttu, coppa, lonzu and figatellu. However, Corsican cuisine also boasts many pasta specialities, thanks to its Italian gourmet heritage, and if you visit the coast of the Isle of Beauty, you'll be treated to fantastic fish and seafood. You'll find grilled red mullet, bass with fennel, stuffed sardines, and of course aziminu (Corsican fish stew). The oysters and mussels are also delicious. For desert, don't miss the opportunity to taste local cakes made with chestnut flour.
April: Catenacciu in Sartène . Taking place on the evening of Good Friday, the famous and colourful nocturnal Catenacciu procession is the oldest religious tradition in Corsica.
April: Olive Festival (Festa di l'oliunovu) in Sainte-Lucie-de-Tallano. With a large market selling new olive oil, this artisan fair offers tours of mills and cooking demonstrations with olive oil. Head to the Santa Lucia di Tallà convent.
April-May: Art’èGustu Festival in Corsica. A festival of art and taste, Corsican style. Taste typical Corsican produce from around a hundred producers: olive oil, honey, chestnut flour, charcuterie, cheese, wine, confectionery...
July: Pages en Plages Festival in Lecci. The Pages en Plages (Books on the Beach) Festival combines two pleasures: reading and breathtaking beaches. For three days, the Saint-Cyprien beach in Lecci attracts bookworms and holidaymakers, who come to this idyllic spot to meet around twenty authors, some of whom come from Corsica. On the agenda: book signings, meetings, breakfasts, literary cafés and aperitifs.
September: Nativity of the Virgin in Bonifacio. On 8 September, for the Feast of "Our Lady", come and taste Bonifacio's stuffed aubergines.
Destination French Flanders: Why Not Choose… Lille?
Flemish, Burgundian and Spanish by turns, Lille is bursting with architectural treasures which reflect the city's many faces. Benefiting from an exceptional geographical location near the border with Belgium and close to three European capitals, the capital of Flanders enjoys great cultural vitality.
Culture, Tradition and Modernity: The Perfect Balance
To discover the emblematic monuments of the city, head for Old Lille, more specifically the Grand’Place or Place du Théâtre. The Old Stock Exchange is truly unmissable: it is a real gem of Flemish architecture and the city's main cultural attraction.
Explore Old Lille. This remarkably restored and picturesque neighbourhood has charming, flamboyant architecture. The soft and bold colours of its façades amplify the decorative exuberance and profusion. You will love wandering through its streets filled with diverse 17th-century architecture. Remember to look up, to really appreciate the mixture of brick and stone!
Don't miss Rihour Palace, a vestige of the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy, and one of Lille's oldest buildings. Notre-Dame de la Treille Cathedral is a surprising building, mixing tradition and modernity in an architectural blend that never fails to impress.
Art lovers will adore Lille: the city has one of the largest and most beautiful museums in France. In a sumptuous, late 19th-century building, the Palais des Beaux-Arts boasts prestigious collections of paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics and relief maps. In Villeneuve d’Ascq, LaM, the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, is also worth a visit.
If you have a head for heights, climb to the top of the City Hall belfry! Standing 104m high, it is the perfect place to see the Lys Valley and even the Mountains of Flanders on a clear day.
Also not to be missed is the Citadel of Lille, the most remarkable of the monuments built by the Marquis de Vauban. You should also take the chance to relax a little in Lille's green lungs: the Bois de Boulogne, which joins onto the Citadel Park.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Old Stock Exchange: built in 1652 to 1653 by Julien Destrée, it is indisputably the most beautiful monument in the city. Its 24 identical houses around the cloister and the infinite variety of caryatids on its pilasters will make you stop and stare. The same opulence can be seen in the ornate windows, with their curved or triangular pediments, decorated with cartouches and festooned with plump fruits, in the Flemish Renaissance style.
The Grand’Place: in the heart of the city, the Grand'Place (or Place du Général de Gaulle) is where all of Lille's locals come to meet. Four women watch over it: the Goddess in its centre, commemorating the siege of Lille by the Austrians in 1792, and the three women atop the Voix du Nord building. These three graces represent the region's three provinces: Artois, Flanders and Hainault.
The Rihour Palace: started in 1453 by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, the Palace is one of the few remaining buildings in Lille displaying flamboyant Gothic architecture. On the ground floor, the Guard Room is now home to the tourist information office. On the first floor, the Conclave Room and the Sacristy with its superb stained glass windows are used to host events.
The Palais des Beaux-Arts: undoubtedly one of France's richest museums. In a superb 19th-century building, it houses prestigious collections of European paintings (Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Delacroix...), 19th-century French paintings (David, Courbet, Puvis de Chavannes...), 19th-century sculptures (Rodin, Claudel, Carpeaux...), 17th-century and 18th-century ceramics, a Middle Ages and Renaissance department, and a large collection of drawings (including 40 sheets by Raphaël), as well as 18th-century relief maps of around fifteen northern French and Belgian towns fortified by Vauban.
The City Hall and its Belfry: built between 1924 and 1932, the City Hall is inspired by Flemish architectural tradition, with its triangular-gabled houses, yet the material used is resolutely modern: reinforced concrete. Inside is an exceptional collection of contemporary artwork decorating the staircases, corridors and municipal halls.
Euralille: inaugurated in 1994, this neighbourhood with its futuristic towers is centred around Lille Europe high-speed train station, Lille Grand Palais (a conference centre, exhibition hall and concert hall) and the Euralille shopping centre. Several renowned architects and urban planners helped to create it.
The Citadel of Lille: the work of Sébastien Leprestre, Marquis de Vauban. It was built from 1667 to 1670, by order of Louis XIV, who had just conquered the city. Originally, it was a small town surrounded by five bastions, forming a star. Its construction required 60 million bricks, 3 million stone blocks and 70,000 pieces of sandstone.
La Piscine, André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry: in the exceptional setting of the former art deco swimming pool built by Albert Baert in 1932, this museum invites you to discover its unusual collections of applied arts (drawing, textiles, ceramics) and fine arts (19th-century and 20th-century paintings and sculptures).
LaM, the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art: the museum combines two beautiful examples of architecture, surrounded by a sculpture park. It boasts three prestigious collections from the 20th and 21st centuries, making it a unique museum in France and northern Europe.
The Villa Cavrois: with its striking architecture, the Villa Cavrois is the emblematic work of key modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. It was designed and built for Paul Cavrois, a textile industrialist from northern France, and his family. It became an official historical monument in 1990.
Festivities and Food Galore!
In the small local cafés (estaminets), regional specialities take centre stage. Carbonnade (beef stew with beer and gingerbread), Waterzoï (poultry or fish in cream with vegetables) and Potjevleesch (white meat terrine in jelly) go perfectly with an artisan beer brewed in the region.
On the dessert menu, you will find sugar tart, crème brûlée, or waffles filled with vergeoise (brown sugar made from sugar beet syrup).
Finally, no good meal is complete without a glass of Jenever, a liqueur made using cereals and flavoured with juniper berries.
October to June: Jazz en Nord Festival
Dozens of concerts, with everything from blues to gospel, including soul, rock, pop and reggae influences, to bring the whole spectrum of jazz to the general public.
April: Les Paradis Artificiels
This contemporary music festival offers exceptional and explosive programmes every year!
May: Les Transphotographiques
For over ten years, this month-long festival has offered a thematic selection of over 60 exhibitions, in the Euro-region. It has played a recognised role in the international photography scene.
September: Grande Braderie de Lille
One of the largest gatherings in France and the biggest flea market in Europe!
Fly from Nice to Lyon for a holiday full of flavour
Only a flight from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport can get you to Lyon in such a short time. An hour is all it takes to fly from Nice to Lyon. And there's no shortage of reasons for visiting France's third largest city. The old town, the Festival of Lights, gastronomy... The only danger is you might get a liking for it! get a liking for it!
Old Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site
A large district dating from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Old Lyon has been incredibly well preserved. It is an absolute must when you fly from Nice to Lyon. Explore the traboules– passages beneath the buildings of the old town – and climb the hill of Fourvière for an unbroken view of the city.
Book your flight from Nice to Lyon for the Festival of Lights
If you'd like to discover Lyon in an original way, pack a woollie and book a flight from Nice to Lyon at the beginning of December. Because every year, that is when the famous Fête des Lumières takes place. Numerous lighting installations are set up around the city's streets and on buildings and monuments for this very popular event.
Lyon, capital of gastronomy
You can't fly from Nice to Lyon without tasting the local cuisine. Whether it's the restaurant of France's top chef, Paul Bocuse, small traditional eateries known as bouchons or fashionable restaurants run by creative young chefs, Lyon and the surrounding area are bursting with good food and talented individuals.
And on all sides of the city, the famous vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. A short flight from Nice to Lyon and you are in the heart of French gastronomy!
Destination Lorraine: Why Not Choose… Metz and Nancy?
Three thousand years old, Metz has an incredibly rich heritage and architecture, while Nancy, the capital of the Dukes of Lorraine for four centuries, is known around the world for its collection of 18th century architecture listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Come and discover two cities with distinctive personalities, two marvels of history and architecture and two of the most beautiful treasures of Lorraine.
Metz, 3000 years of history
From its vantage point of 3000 years, the city reflects its yellow stone, its gardens and its towers in the waters of the Moselle River. The heart and soul of the city, the historic centre recalls Metz's Roman and medieval periods at every corner. Saint-Jacques square sits atop the antique forum and Saint-Louis square was the great merchant square housing the Medieval money changers.
The birthplace of the city, the Sainte-Croix neighbourhood exhibits a cultural purpose (Musée de la Cour d'Or, Municipal Archives, Music Conservatory, etc.) that contrasts with the merchant city centre.
The Imperial neighbourhood, and more particularly the Imperial triangle (between the central train station , the Sainte-Thérèse church and the Serpenoise gate ), bears traces of the German years (1870-1918) and the intent to Germanise the city.
A distinctive characteristic of Metz, the arms of the Moselle River flow around several islands interconnected by old bridges full of character and charm. Together these islands form a neighbourhood that is pleasant to stroll in. The Covered Market, Comédie Square and the old Saint-Clément Abbey are 18th century buildings that will delight architecture enthusiasts.
Nancy, a lively and flamboyant architecture
Let’s begin our visit at Stanislas Square. Nothing is more harmonious than this 18th century setting enclosed by classic, elegant pavilions and the Opera of Lorraine, the City Hall and the Museum of Fine Arts. At the centre of the Square, Stanislas Leszczynski, the last duke of Lorraine, points towards the Héré (his architect) arch, which separates the "Stan" Square from the Carrière Square.
Comprised of small squares and intertwined lanes bordered by tall houses with sculpted pediments and mullioned windows, the Old City, both medieval and Renaissance, will take you back in time. Don't miss the Saint-Epvre basilica, reflecting thousands of colours with its 2,300 sq.m. of stained glass. As for the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, it draws your eye thanks to its gatehouse's incredible Renaissance decor mixed with flamboyant Gothic.
The Écuries street has a wild style with its moss-covered paving stones and footbridges leading to the Pépinière park. Nancy's veritable green lung, this public garden created by Stanislas offers visitors undulating lawns, rose-lined alleyways and even monkeys and peacocks.
The Home of Art Nouveau, the city has maintained admirable remains of this movement, which saw "art in everything" and wanted "art for everyone." Through unique and prestigious artworks, as well as objects produced in multiple copies, the Musée de l’École de Nancy reproduces the atmosphere of the 1900s.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Saint-Étienne de Metz Cathedral: erected from 1220 to 1522, it is the result of combining two distinct churches. With its 42 m high vaulted arch, it is one of the largest Gothic buildings in Europe, while its 6,500 sq.m. of stained glass have earned it the nickname "The Good Lord's Lantern."
The Musée de la Cour d’Or (Metz): this museum presents one of France's largest Gallo-Roman archaeological collections, including: antique thermal baths maintained in situ, column of Merten, altar of Mithra, etc. A maze of rooms and passageways lead from the loft of Chèvremont (15th century) to the ceilings of Voué (13th century) or to the chancel of St-Pierre-aux-Nonnains, reputed to be one of Europe's most beautiful collections of Merovingian sculpture (7th century).
The Opera-theatre of Metz: this is the oldest opera-theatre still in activity in France. Built between 1738 and 1752, it presents a typical 18th century architecture. The statues of muses placed along the baluster are the work of Metz' Charles Pêtre in 1858.
The Centre Pompidou-Metz: conceived as a unique experience and a place of discovery dedicated to contemporary creation in all its forms, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is a living facility where events follow one another year round, in an impressive building created by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines.
The Metz train station: replacing a wooden train station destroyed by fire, Metz's central train station, built between 1905 and 1908, is the showpiece of the New City. It was sized to transport goods and people and make it easy to move troops, materials and animals in a record time of 24 hours.
Stanislas Square (Nancy): designed in 1751 by the Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leszczynski, Stanislas Square was renovated in 2005 to its original form. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most beautiful examples of classical architecture in the world.
The Saint-Epvre Basilica (Nancy): the 15th century Gothic building was torn down in 1863 to build a new basilica in the neo-Gothic style. The work was carried out from 1864 to 1871 by many European workshops: stained glass windows in Austria and Metz, woodwork in Bavaria and forged bells in Budapest.
The Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine (Nancy): built from the end of the 15th century, the palace is a major symbol of the power of the dukes of Lorraine. Its gatehouse, the ceremonial entrance on Grande Rue, constitutes one of the first markers of Renaissance art in the East of France. The gallery of Stags, a vast room of pomp, is the only princely gallery from this period that has kept its original dimensions.
The Ecole de Nancy Museum: museum located in the former property of the biggest sponsor and collector of the Ecole de Nancy, Eugène Corbin. Inside the home, the furnishings, art objects, stained glass, ceramics and tissues testify to the diversity of the techniques used by the artists of the Ecole de Nancy.
The Round Swimming Pool of Nancy Thermal: built at the beginning of the 20th century in a remarkable architecture, the round swimming pool has a basin supplied with thermal water, an exterior crown (from 1 to 1.3 m deep) and a central basin (3 m deep).
A very bountiful region
Cherry plums, Magdalene sponge cakes, Côtes de Toul wines, etc., Lorraine is a delight for gourmets!
With a rich and bountiful nature, the region offers river fish, water, prairie and wood fowl, orchard fruits, mushrooms and truffles. So many quality products that you will find in delicious dishes. Of course you know quiche Lorraine, but the region is also the source of the bouchée à la reine (vol-au-vent filled with chopped sweetbreads in a rich sauce) and the Lorraine hotpot (dish composed of cabbage, lard and smoked sausages). Sweet dishes and delicacies are not to be outdone: bras de Venus (rolled cakes with cream), macaroons of Nancy, bergamot oranges, pieces of spice cake and of course the cherry plum in all its forms are all quite simply irresistible!
July-August: Nancyphonies in Nancy
This classical music festival organises concerts in different settings around the city: at the Poirel room, the Conservatory's regional auditorium, Saint-Epvre square and the City Hall, as well as at Maxéville.
August: Cherry plum festival in Metz
Shortly after the cherry plum harvest in mid-August, the cherry plum capital concocts a slew of events: the election of the cherry plum queen, children's day and a crafts and regional products market.
September-October: Zikametz Festival in Metz
With this festival of modern music, the Zikamine association invites music lovers to share its musical favourites and discoveries. Held in the Trinitaines' rooms (cellar, cloister and chapel) and the café L’Émile Vache.
October: Nancy Jazz Pulsations in Nancy
The "NJP" festival is open to all forms of jazz and black music, which borrows more or less from jazz, including: reggae, blues, gospel, soul, hip-hop, drum and bass, hardcore, etc.
Concerts, exhibits and events are held in the Pépinière Park.
With flights from Nice to Monaco, discover the essence of Monte-Carlo
There's nothing better than a cheap ticket from Nice to Monaco to reach the principality within minutes! There is a lot to offer people planning a holiday in Monaco. This principality holds many attractions. You can visit religious buildings such as the Cathedral and the church of Saint Devote. The famous rock is also not to be missed. You will discover the old town, the Grimaldi Palace square with its beautiful gardens and fountains.
A cheap ticket from Nice to Monaco: enjoy sporting and cultural events
Flights from Nice to Monaco will provide you with new opportunities. The heart of town is just minutes away for a business meeting or to attend one of the many events on offer in Monaco. In terms of sport, there is the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Monte Carlo tennis tournament, the rally, the athletics meeting or football matches at the Louis II stadium. With a fast cheap ticket from Nice to Monaco, you can also attend the international circus festival, film and television festivals and many other events hosted by Monaco.
Board a flight from Nice to Monaco: memorable days
Monaco is also famous for its casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and boutiques. Take advantage of flights from Nice to Monaco to do some shopping and have a wonderful evening amongst the jet set of the Côte d'Azur! The small state is full of good surprises. You can also take a cheap ticket from Nice to Monaco to visit museums, the famous prehistoric anthropology museum or the renowned oceanographic museum in its impressive setting.
Destination the Loire Valley: why not choose… Nantes?
Fabulous scenery, an unbelievably rich heritage and vibrant and varied cultural activities. Come and discover this city steeped in art and history that is a great place to live. Get ready for an eyeful, from the Château des Ducs, to the surprising Machines de l’Île and the dazzling Passage Pommeraye.
An exceptional historical centre
The historical centre of the city of Nantes, with its Château des Ducs de Bretagne and a glimpse of the Middle Ages, simply cannot be missed. Situated within the walls of the fortress, the Nantes History Museum illustrates the past, present and future of the city. You can admire the cathedral of Saint Pierre et Saint Paul and the Chapelle de l’Oratoire, and don’t forget the LU Tower, where the famous biscuits were once made, but is now a vibrant cultural centre.
Then head for the Place du Bouffay, which was the city’s main square in the Middle Ages, and take a stroll through this lively quarter, with its numerous bars and restaurants that comes to life when evening falls.
A city centre that combines the old and the new
Continue towards the city centre, through the Place du Commerce, then the Place Royale, where you can admire the monumental fountain that reflects the city’s position on a river and near the sea. Then take the prestigious Rue Crébillon, with its luxury shops, that leads into the Place Graslin, which was recently renovated.
Most of the architecture in this part of the city dates back to the 19th century, as illustrated by the Passage Pommeraye, a magnificent example of a 19th century shopping mall and a symbol of modernity.
You will then reach the Natural History Museum, where the collections cover every field of zoology and mineralogy and place it amongst the leading museums in France.
Then, head for the banks of the River Loire and, before crossing, visit the memorial to the abolition of slavery, which bears homage to the millions of victims of the triangular trading system.
Enter a world of fantasy
Now you will enter the emblematic district of Nantes, home to the attraction that built the city’s reputation and success: the Île de Nantes and the Machines de l’Île. This exhibition and activity park is built on the site of the former shipyards and invites you to take a trip into the world of Jules Verne. An enchanting experience for children and adults alike.
The Quai des Antilles is the ideal place to wind down and enjoy a drink.
With almost 1,100 hectares of parks and gardens, including the Jardin des Plantes and the Parc du Grand Blottereau, Nantes also offers plenty of space where you can rest and relax.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Château des Ducs de Bretagne: situated in the historical centre of Nantes, the Château des Ducs de Bretagne is the city’s most famous monument. Seen from the outside, the castle’s 500 metre long ramparts are separated by seven towers connected by curtain walls. On the inside, there is an elegant 15th century ducal residence made of tuffeau stone, with flamboyant Gothic styling that shows the first signs of Renaissance inspiration, and other buildings dating back to the 16th and 18th centuries.
The Nantes History Museum: from the Edict of Nantes, to the transforming events of the 20th century, colonial trade and the salve trade, the Nantes History Museum paints a picture of the city in relation to the great moments in the history of Europe and of the world.
The Cathedral of Saint Pierre et Saint Paul: facing east-west, in accordance with the Catholic tradition, this tuffeau stone edifice has late Gothic styling. The façade, which was completed in 1481, is flanked by two towers and crossed by three portals, whose finely sculptured arches feature innumerable icons.
The Chapelle de l’Oratoire: this 17th century building, situated just a short walk from the castle and the cathedral, was classified as a historical monument in the middle of the 20th century. And don’t miss the Baroque-inspired façade decorated with pilasters.
The LU Tower: on 1 January 2000, the former LU biscuit factory became an atypical arts centre: le Lieu Unique. Le Lieu Unique is Nantes’ national venue for artistic exploration, a melting pot of culture and conviviality, where different styles, cultures and audiences can come together.
The Passage Pommeraye: this gallery, built in 1843 to renovate a run-down district of the city, is a genuine architectural treasure, which surprises with its monumental central staircase and its style, a mixture of the neo-classical and Louis-Philippe. A magnificent venue, crammed with history that is sure to please shopping addicts.
The Butte Sainte-Anne: a former bastion of the workers from the shipyards and the factories on the banks of the Loire, the Chantenay district still dominates the city today. The Butte Sainte-Anne rises 30 metres above the quayside and affords a fine view of the river and the Île de Nantes.
The Memorial to the abolition of slavery: the 2,000 commemorative plaques on this green esplanade recall the slave expeditions that set sail from Nantes and the trading posts in Africa and America. A place to meditate, with quotes about slavery from all over the world.
The Jules Verne Museum: the large 19th century town house on the Butte Sainte-Anne is the home to a museum that invites visitors on a trip through Verne’s work, with its collection of books, documents, excerpts and illustrations, posters, games and other artefacts.
The Machines de l’Île: this unique artistic project consists of machines located at the crossroads between Jules Verne’s invented worlds, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci and the industrial history of Nantes. You can take a ride on the back of the giant mechanical elephant as its walks between the marine carousel and the gallery of machines.
A tradition of delicacies
How can we forget the petit beurre biscuits made by LU, or the famous pailles d’or that are so popular with French children. But the culinary tradition of the city of Nantes includes many other specialities. As the capital of market gardening, Nantes is famous for its abundant and diverse vegetables. And the nearby ocean is also a source of a wealth of fish and seafood. And don’t miss out on the soft and spongy gâteau nantais, with its fragrance of rum and almonds and a rich iced topping.
January-February: La Folle Journée de Nantes
A five-day festival of classical music frequented by numerous well-known musicians who play the works of one featured composer or the music from a particular period of history.
July-August: The tour of Nantes
A 15-kilometre urban, artistic and poetical journey through the city in 40 stages. The route is marked out by a line on the ground linking all the main cultural sites that host exhibitions, and temporary artistic or horticultural exhibits.
Late August-early September: The Erdre Festival
This river festival features traditional vessels and concerts along the banks of the River Erdre. Almost 80 free jazz, blues and electro music concerts, traditional or modern dance halls, and around 100 vintage vessels attract more than 100,000 spectators every year.
September: La Folie des Plantes
The largest exhibition of flowers and horticulture in western France and a regional showcase of plant diversity. An exhibition-sale of collector plants is held in the Grand Blottereau park, with 150 exhibitors, producers and horticultural clubs.
Fly from Nice to Paris and discover "the most beautiful city in the world"
The French capital attracts 30 million tourists each year, making it one of the world's leading tourist destinations. Don't put off visiting this magical city any longer, particularly since a flight from Nice to Paris takes no more than an hour and a half from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport.
You won't regret booking a flight from Nice to Paris!
With hundreds of museums and theatres, and thousands of historic monuments, Paris's cultural and artistic wealth no longer needs demonstrating. The history of Paris, which stretches across two millennia, from Roman remains to modern apartment blocks, will certainly not leave you indifferent. Fancy a weekend away? With dozens of daily direct flights from Nice to Paris, nothing could be simpler!
The essential sights of the "City of Light"
You're spoilt for choice! Typically, visitors never miss out on the opportunity to stroll down the legendary avenue of the Champs-Elysées, famous throughout the world, or to climb to the top of the emblematic Eiffel Tower. Not to mention the Seine quayside, beautifully illuminated in the evening, the Place de la Concorde and Place des Vosges, the architectural treasure that is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, or the district of Montmartre. And there's lots more to see with one of the many flights from Nice to Paris!
Paris, the city of museums
As for museums, there is of course the Louvre with its famous glass pyramid, one of the world's top museums, which has 35 000 artworks on display. An absolute must when you fly from Nice to Paris! Then there is the Musée d'Orsay, home to the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world, the Musée Rodin, Musée du Quai Branly, and many more.
So hurry and book your flight from Nice to Paris, to discover all the treasures of the City of Light!
Destination France: Why Not Choose Pau?
Its privileged location in the heart of the Pays de l'Adour and next to the Gave de Pau river has made this former fortress a very popular tourist destination since the 19th century, first with the English, then with all art and history lovers.
And with good reason: sports and cultural events, magnificent parks, a historic castle: the city of Pau has so much to discover!
A city of fascinating history and stunning nature
Why not start your visit with a ride on the funicular? Over a hundred years old, these recently restored little cabins are an elegant, free and effortless way to get to the Boulevard des Pyrénées. Their old-fashioned charm makes them one of the emblems of Pau's heritage, and they welcome over 450,000 passengers every year. When you get to your destination, stroll along the Boulevard des Pyrénées, connecting Beaumont Park to Pau Castle.
With its rich and fascinating history, in 2012, the city signed the "Ville d’art et d'histoire" ("Town of art and history") agreement with the French Ministry of Culture. In this capacity, throughout the year, it organises guided tours and events on historical themes.
But Pau also offers nature lovers a breathtaking mountain landscape. The Pyrenees mountain range, the Pic du Midi d'Ossau, lakes and rivers: it's a feast for the eyes!
If you want to relax for a moment, let yourself be tempted by one of the balneotherapy spaces, or if water sports are your thing, then dive in! Dare to try rafting, kayaking, whitewater swimming or canyoning. What's more, you can experience these sports at the foot of the Béarnaise mountains, and for an even more breathtaking setting, a stone's throw from Pau castle!
These waters are also great for fishing enthusiasts, with carp, pike, zander, brown trout, rainbow trout, char and brook trout.
Leave some time for attractions outside of the city: the Asson zoo to the east is a unique site: a real-life exotic arc at the foot of the Pyrenees; and 30 minutes from Pau, the Bétharram Caves take you on a journey to the centre of the Earth like no other in Europe.
Top 10 Must-Sees
Pau Castle,famous as the birthplace of Henry IV of France and one of the most visited monuments in the country. Built in the Middle Ages, this fortified castle was built on a small hill overlooking the Gave, in order to protect Pau. Since 1926, it has been home to a museum where you can admire the royal apartments and collections related to Henry IV of France. Don't miss out on the gardens while you're there!
The Bernadotte museum pays homage to the child of Béarn who became King of Sweden.
The Pau Fine Arts Museum offers an exceptionally wide panorama of European art from the late 15th century to the 1970s. All of the European schools are represented there. One of the most complete museums of its generation!
Beaumont Park, the "green lungs" of Pau, is where all the locals head on a Sunday. It's the perfect place to relax in the shade of century-old trees or by the bandstand.
The Pôle culturel intercommunal de Pau (Pau inter-communal cultural centre) in the city's former abattoirs. A hub for diverse cultural and artistic initiatives, artists' residences and associations, but also a space for exhibitions, shows, concerts and meetings.
The Ossau Valley is a haven for nature lovers. Its invigorating, fresh and pure landscapes, its peaks reflected in lakes, and its waterfalls and torrents will bring you a huge breath of fresh air. Look up to the sky and you might see large birds of prey circling. And if you stay very quiet, you might spot a marmot or even an elegant Pyrenean chamois jumping from rock to rock. You can discover this wonderful region by car, tourist train, or even better, on foot.
The Pointe de Pléneuf offers a charming walk from Val André beach and remarkable views towards the Bay of St-Brieuc.
Bénou Plateau is located above Bilhères. The view stretches on as far as the grey rocks of the Pic de Ger. The road leads to the bucolic Bénou valley, where you can see the seasonal movement of livestock at the end of spring. The sight of the flocks ascending to the heights of the plateau is spectacular. From here, you have the option of many hiking trails.
- Asson Zoo: a new kind of zoo! You will find yourself in the heart of a wild world where over 100 species of animals roam free. An exceptional site with an international reputation. Bétharram Caves, true wonders of the Pyrenees, taking you to the centre of the Earth. This fantastic journey will take you across a mountain by train, on foot or by boat, to see stalactites, stalagmites, columns, faults, an underground river, a chasm and much more…
World-renowned local produce
Béarnaise cows (an institution!) are living relics of ancestral pastoral activity. This tradition gave rise to Tomme cow's cheese, then goat's cheese, and finally mixed cheese. The Ossau-Iraty cheese trail takes you directly to the producers of local cheeses, to witness their authentic know-how. A great chance to meet local producers.
Wine lovers can escape on Bearn's roads, in a landscape of vineyards. You can learn about the wines from those most passionate about them. Sample a Jurançon and a Pacherenc-du-vic-bilh golden white wine, discover the Madiran red with its intense flavour, or savour a cool Béarn rosé.
February: Béarn Carnival
May: Vintage and Modern Automobile Grand Prix
July: Tour de France
August: Hestiv'Oc Festival
September: Heritage days
October: the Étoiles de Pau (horse trials****)
Fly from Nice to Rennes and discover the heart of Brittany
A flight from Nice to Rennes, from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, takes a little under two hours, and gives you the chance to discover Brittany's emblematic city. Rennes is a friendly place, full of surprises, and is well known for its dynamic cultural and student life. It is steeped in centuries of history and has a rich architectural heritage. A weekend in this Breton city will give you a guaranteed change of scene when you fly from Nice to Rennes!
The main sights to see in Rennes
Discover first of all the Museum of Fine Art, which exhibits many artworks that were seized during the French Revoluation, in particular paintings by famous artists such as Veronese, Rubens, Chardin and Picasso. Another must is a visit to the Breton Parliament, an important symbol in the history of Brittany. Built in the 17th century, this major architectural monument is a unique example of the pictorial art of the period.
For several centuries, attractive, contemplative parks have enhanced the city of Rennes. In particular, the Parc du Thabor, considered one of the finest French formal gardens, which offers ten hectares of green right in the heart of the city.
Unique architecture to discover when you fly from Nice to Rennes
A feature of the houses in Rennes is their half-timbering. The beautifully restored façades of the old town show off this technique and are well worth a visit, once you've arrived on your flight from Nice to Rennes. Also worth seeing are the city's many religious buildings in varying architectural styles, such as the Gothic Cathedral of Saint-Pierre with its gilt wood and the 13th-century Basilica of Saint-Sauveur.
Discover the quintessential European city
As the artistic and economic capital of Alsace, Strasbourg has an exceptionally rich architectural heritage. It is the site of the prestigious buildings of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. Nice airport has one to two direct flights from Nice to Strasbourg per day. Just an hour's flight and you can be exploring this city at the crossroads of Europe!
Your trip to Strasbourg: essential sights!
When you fly from Nice to Strasbourg, you will be able admire the historic centre of this Alsace city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In particular, be sure to visit the phenomenal Notre-Dame Cathedral, whose finely sculpted stone resembles lace, and which is one of the city's key landmarks. Even though its construction began as early as the 13th century, it is the second highest cathedral in France, and it houses a working astronomical clock.
On the cathedral square stands Kammerzell House, a Renaissance gem in carved wood. And don't forget to visit Strasbourg's most picturesque quarter, known as "Little France" or "Venice of the East", with its half-timbered houses dating back to the 16th century, interwoven with canals. Don't wait a moment longer to book your flight from Nice to Strasbourg and discover this fantastic city.
Strasbourg's many museums
Strasbourg has lots of museums, including the majestic Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, built of glass and pink granite. Three of the museums – the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Archaeology Museum – are housed in the city centre's Rohan Palace, the former palace of the bishops of Strasbourg, built in the 18th century. Plenty to keep you occupied when you fly from Nice to Strasbourg!
Strasbourg: European Capital of Christmas!
Who hasn't dreamed of a trip to Strasbourg's Christmas market: an institution not only in Alsace, but also throughout France and Europe?
It's not too late to book your Nice-Strasbourg Flight and discover the European capital of Christmas decked out in lights! 300 chalets across 11 sites in the city, and a multitude of shows, de concerts and cultural events, all make the festive season even more magical. Lights, Christmas trees, decorations, nativity scenes, nostalgic and modern attractions, bustling markets... everything you need to bring your dreams alive.The unmissable Christmas Market
The giant Christmas tree on Place Kléber is one of the highest decorated natural trees in Europe. It is a hypnotic sight for adults and children alike, and symbolises the magic of Christmas in Strasbourg.
The stuff of dreams
From Notre Dame Cathedral to the Kammerzell House, you won't believe your eyes when you see the fronts of all the typical Alsace buildings lit up. Houses, streets and shop windows all try to out-sparkle one another.
Keeping traditions alive
Your inner child will love the great Cathedral nativity scene.
Life in Alsace
The Musée alsacien (Alsatian museum), a museum of popular arts and traditions, will take you on a fascinating journey through old Strasbourg homes, and show you thousands of items from 18th and 19th century rural life in Alsace.
Destination Haute-Garonne: Why Not Choose… Toulouse?
On foot or by bike, discover the capital of Occitania: historical heritage, contemporary monuments, charming residences, natural spaces, lively streets and a friendly atmosphere. Let us take you to the heart of the pink city! A city of sports and students, Toulouse has a dynamic reputation as a leading city in industry and efficient technologies. However, it also offers a taste of the good life, amidst its many shades of pink.
A City in Pink
At first glance, you will be struck by the colours of the city, which displays everything from the softest pinks to the most vibrant oranges. Over the centuries, Toulouse has been built mostly using tile and Roman brick (known as "foraine" in the Toulouse Midi), an ancient heritage which continues to this day.
Stroll through the narrow streets of Old Toulouse, and admire the hidden corners of the Basilica of Saint-Sernin. Those with a passion for architecture will find Toulouse truly delightful: did you know that the city holds the French record for the number of 16th-century private mansions? These are mostly concealed in pretty courtyards.
Visit the Musée des Augustins, a convent built in the 14th century, in the southern Gothic style, which since 1793 has been home to the fine arts museum.
Next, take a moment to stroll along the right bank of the Garonne River, the flowing soul of Toulouse, which governed the location and development of the city, as well as its economic activity, until the arrival of the railway in 1856.
Stroll or cycle along the Canal du Midi, then discover the Jardin des Plantes, a wonderful garden for relaxation and walking. Now, cross over the Garonne, to get to the Saint-Cyprien neighbourhood. This area, with its deep connection to the Garonne river, is a must-see for its Saint Nicholas Church, the old Convent of the Feuillants, the water tower, and of course its colourful and welcoming atmosphere.
Observe the walls and towers of the old ramparts, along the Raymond VI Garden, then enjoy a well-earned rest in the green space of the Prairie des Filtres. Don't forget to blast off into outer space at the Cité de l’espace theme park: a fantastic adventure for young and old alike.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The Capitole: the City Hall is organised around the Henri IV courtyard, with its statue of the king. The late 19th-century paintings and sculptures in the state rooms show the key figures and events which have marked the history of Toulouse.
Notre-Dame du Taur: this church recalls the fate of the city's martyred first bishop, Saint Sernin, who was dragged through the streets by a bull. It boasts a superb bell-gable with mitre arches.
The Musée Saint-Raymond: in a 16th-century former college building, this is the city's museum of antiquities. It has a large archaeological collection, with over a thousand pieces relating to the daily life of the Celts and Romans in the Toulouse region.
The Basilica of Saint-Sernin: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a key point on the Route of Santiago de Compostela, the basilica was built between the 11th-century and the 14th-century. It is one of Europe's largest remaining Romanesque churches. It is characterised by its majestic architecture and rich, sculpted décor. The relics in this pilgrimage church are displayed in the "Tour des Corps Saints" and the two-level crypt.
The Musée des Augustins: in a 14th- and 15th-century Augustinian monastery complex, this museum was created during the French Revolution. It is one of the oldest museums in France, and one of the best for mediaeval sculpture.
The Jacobin Convent: the old convent of friar preachers (Dominicans) dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries. It’s an imposing brick building, typical of the southern Gothic style. The interior of the church, split into two naves, displays remarkable use of colour and ribbed vaults, the most famous of which is known as the palm tree. Together, the cloister and monastic buildings form a beautiful ensemble.
The Saint-Étienne Cathedral: built between the 12th century and the early 17th century, the Saint-Étienne Cathedral is one of the most hybrid churches known, which is surely part of the reason for its charm. Inside, you will discover a monumental 17th-century organ, spectacularly suspended on the wall, and beautiful tapestries from the same period telling the story of the bishops of Toulouse.
The Hôtel d'Assézat and the Bemberg Foundation: the Hôtel d’Assézat, which is almost a palace, dates back to 1555-1557. Today, it contains a fascinating museum, the Georges Bemberg collection, named after the Argentinian billionaire who over the years accumulated this exceptional private collection. It includes paintings, sculpture and art from the 16th century to the 18th century, as well as French paintings from the late 19th-century up to 1930 (Impressionism, Nabis, Pointillism, Fauvism...).
The Canal du midi: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 240km-long canal was dug and developed in the 17th century to connect Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea, thus facilitating commercial trade towards the Atlantic. Fed by the Saint-Ferréol reservoir basin, it features bridges, locks and shady towpaths. Today, it is a very popular walking, cycling and boating site.
The Cité de l’espace: whether you are simply curious or truly passionate about outer space, this theme park for adults and children alike takes you on an extraordinary journey! See real spacecraft, train as an astronaut, travel to the edges of the cosmos, admire treasures from space and discover all the secrets of the stars.
A Gourmet City
Toulouse offers countless culinary pleasures! You must try cassoulet, Toulouse sausage, foie gras and other specialities from south-west France, washed down with the best wines from the region (Madiran, Cahors…). And in Gascony, goose and duck in all their forms take pride of place on menus!
If you're more of a dessert person, this is your mission: find the best place to get fénétra, a cake made with almonds and candied lemon. This very old desert, typical of Occitan cuisine , has its roots in Roman times, when it was eaten during the feast of the dead.
February: Violet Festival on Place du Capitole
In mid-February, Toulouse celebrates its violets, just as they are beginning to flower. On Place du Capitole, this emblematic flower of Toulouse is celebrated in all its forms: sweets, perfumes, liqueurs…
June: Grand Fénétra in Toulouse
Folk dance festival on Place du Capitole and at the Grand-Rond. The Passo carriero (parade) heads for the Capitole for the inauguration. It is followed by traditional singing, music and dance, with groups from France and abroad.
September: Toulouse à table
Toulouse sets the table, as part of the French gastronomy Festival. Toulouse à table, which first took place in 2014, celebrates gastronomy and the good life. On the programme: events, culinary discoveries and chances to meet talented figures from the region.