A country based on history, gastronomy, landscapes, cultures and love…
Author: Cédric, funder and guide at WhatToDoRiviera
Have you always dreamed of visiting France? Are you a foody desiring to dribble in front of bakeries and fine restaurants? Or maybe you often wonder if it’s true that French men are the most romantic in the world and what this French Kiss is all about (lol)? If you wish to discover our culture through our very unique regions, please come and join us, we’d love to share our stories and stereotypes with you!
France is, without saying, the first destination in the world with more than 90 millions visitors a year. Even if the virus has decided to postpone your trip, make sure you don’t wait too long to book that plane ticket when it's possible to travel again!
So, why France is attracting so many visitors from all over the world?
I’ll try to answer this question from my experience as a tour guide!
If there’s something we are pretty good at (except going on strike, lol), it’s our gastronomy, right?! We love food so much that it has probably become one of our first sources of pleasure, hummm foodgasme!!
Not only, cooking and eating healthy is very important culturewise, but you’ll be surprised how different the food is from places to places within the same country. Being born in the middle of France, I can guarantee that the food I grew up with is very different to the food in the South of France. I guess back in the days, we were used to consume fresh and local (which we should go back to) but also our cuisine would be quite related to the climate (in cold areas, you’ll eat more carbs and heavy meals to help your body fight the cold, in warm places you’ll eat more light meals, salads…).
Anyway, as we are obsessed with food, we end up growing the best chefs in the world and it’s always an incredible experience to dine in a mid-range to Michelin star restaurants, so watch out for the scale when you’re back from your holiday.
By the way, we have in Antibes, a local tasting tour including a 1 Michelin star stop for the same price as a normal food tour!
From South to North, from Mediterranean and sunny climate to rainy but welcoming North, France has so much to offer. And yes, you’ll definitely miss out on many incredible places if you are only planning to discover Paris.
Of course, you can’t avoid spending a few days in Paris but you’ll be surprised by the beauty of the French Riviera, its glamour and famous places like Cannes and Monaco…; the Bordeaux area (yes, wine is also a religion here!); “Dordogne” (the wonderful prehistorical and oldest part of France’s history); “Normandie” and its war heritage along with the very famous “Mont Saint Michel”; on the East side, Strasbourg and its German-French history and Christmas markets, North with its Belgium influence and the French Alps with their amazing ski resorts.
On the French Riviera, we have the chance to enjoy both the wonderful coastline as well as the French Alps in the background where ski stations are only 1,5-2h drive away. That makes it the best of both worlds, right?!
Well, firstly, I’d say that like anything, there’s exceptions to the rule of course so don’t be upset if you can’t find your French lover during your trip!
There’s maybe something exotic and different enough that women might like in us. Being in a relationship myself with a New Zealander, we have a lot of expats friends around on the French Riviera and funnily enough a lot of them have French husbands! Lately, I even discovered a Facebook group called Married to a Frenchman! LOL.
For the boys, don’t worry too much, it also sounds like French women can be found quite attractive, too. What probably helps us all the most is this beautiful country that we live in. Whatever your degree of romance, kissing on the Seine River’s side facing a sparkling Eiffel tower will definitely make this moment unforgettable, right?!
For couples travelling here, I’d recommend to just embrace the love spirit floating around whether you are staying in Paris, other famous cities or even my little but worth it quaint coastal village of Antibes on the French Riviera.
France is probably one of the top countries for museum and culture. Of course, the Louvre being the number 1 museum in the world and the most visited makes it already a museum destination by itself but we have plenty more all over the country from painting galleries to prehistorical, war, castles, revolution museums…
In Antibes, you can walk on the footsteps of Picasso and discover his museum which takes place in the Grimaldi castle that he used as its workshop for a few months. It’s really an unlimited resource here. Our culture is so different through our regions with different local languages, food, way of living, agriculture, climate… Going through them, you’ll think that you are actually crossing borders as the differences are so visible.
Through the entire country, we have now more and more free walking tours to show you around each city and relate their history, fun facts, news and best tips to enjoy your stay, so don’t forget to join us in Antibes, Bordeaux, Cannes, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg.
In these hard times where the Covid-19 is hitting the world globally, France had naturally a lot of cases like all the other developed countries (so far). But in saying that, when things go back to normal, you have to remember that our healthcare is one of the top healthcare systems in the world and we never leave people without medical help wherever they come from.
Outside of this crisis, it’s always something other countries envy us for the quality of the medical assistance but also for a very reasonable price (if not free for us residents).
Not only the medical aspect is highly involved into this subject but we won’t forget also that we have some strong alcohols and spirits who have been used to kill the bugs along the years. Absinthe is probably the most mystic drink which has been created to help people consume water back in the 19th century (more info on our tours in Antibes).
Also we have some famous saying in France like “a glass of wine a day is keeping the doctor away”…
So with that in mind, France might be the safest place to visit after this global sanitary crisis. Hoping to see you soon here and more especially in Antibes and Cannes where I operate the free walking tour along with other amazing tours and experiences.
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