02 Oct Exploring the South Eastern Region of France
France has long been a popular tourist destination, and the south east region has a character all its own with a rich heritage, great cuisine and lush landscapes.
The south east region of France is well served by a variety of transport options. France’s rail system is one of the best in the world – reliable and affordable – and you can access any of the main cities by train from Paris, perhaps having travel over from the UK on the Eurostar. Hiring a car allows you to take your time and stop off in some of the central regions of the country in local pensiones for the night. National flights serve the airports at Lyon and Perpignan. Perpignan flights and other air services can be found and compared online, on sites such as cheapflights.co.uk.
The Alps region is a one of the most popular winter sports regions in the world. With reliable snow, a huge number of resorts and runs that suit any level of skier or snowboarder, it deserves its reputation. And the apres-ski is pretty good as well. Chamonix is one of the most popular resorts, with a range of accommodation to suit any budget and access to three large ski regions. It also has many top restaurants in which to wind down after a day on the slopes. You may also want to try a ski holiday in Meribel as an alternative.
Annecy is a small town criss-crossed with canals – hence it’s reputation as the Venice of France. It sits in a valley among alpine hills with a large lake at its edge that, while still chilly, can be swum in during the summer. Visitors can explore the medieval architecture while Annecy is also renowned for its arts and cultural festivals held throughout the year.
If Paris has been regarded as the gastronomic capital of France for a long time, in recent years Lyon has been challenging its crown. Many top national and international chefs come to work here and the level of cuisine, from the local taverns up is of the best quality. Given that the city has a rich architectural history and has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site, the surroundings couldn’t be better for a gastronomic getaway.
Thought to be one of the oldest cities in Europe, Nice’s architecture betrays the influence of nearby Italy. It is also an artistic centre with two major museums devoted to European master painters – the MusÃ©e Matisse and the MusÃ©e Chagall.
Right in the south-eastern corner of France, further along the coast from Nice, sits the Cote d’Azur. Besides the clear waters of the Mediterranean, this area by the Italian border is renowned for its beaches, glorious weather and glamourous lifestyle. Palm trees line the waterfront in places like Toulon and Saint Tropez, where designer shops and top restaurants line the central streets. A trip to the city state of Monaco, with its casinos and grand hotels, will let you experience life like a movie star, even if just for a day.
The south east corner of France might not be top of someone’s list when they think of a holiday to France, but once discovered, its varied attractions and locations make it an ideal destination for any traveller wanting to experience the real France. More information can be found at http://www.francetourism.com/index.htm.