germany-bavaria

France Cities


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When traveling the Gorges du Verdon there are many spectacular and dramatic vantage points from which to watch the river cut its path. The road periodically veers away from the edge of the Verdon River Canyon and rolls past beautiful green meadows dotted by a few mountain cabins and hamlets. In... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Located halfway between Sare and Cambo les Bains, Aïnhoa is one of France’s most beautiful villages, traditional and typically Basque. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Aïnhoa, just 2 kilometers from the Spanish border, served as a convenient stopover for pilgrims making their jou... more

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Aix les Bains is a principal resort town, which is very touristy and full of sun-worshipers.... more

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Aix en Provence is an elegant city that deserves an overnight stay. Aix achieved fame when “Good King René,” count of Provence, and his wife chose it as their preferred residence in the 1450s. Upon his death Aix fell under the rule of the French crown and was made the seat of parliament. T... more

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Albertville, built on the valley floor after flood channels were dug to eliminate flooding, became the area’s new commercial center. Its predecessor, the old walled town of Conflans, still remains, strategically positioned on the hillside above the city and the confluence of the Arly and Isè... more

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Albi, a large city, is about a two-hour drive through farmland from Roquefort. With its cathedral dominating the entire city, Albi, mostly built of brick, is also referred to as “Albi the red.”... more

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A circle detour on the D103 will take you to Alise Sainte Reine, a quiet hilltown with Roman ties. This fortified town is the scene of the last stand of the Gauls against Caesar. Follow signs to Mont Auxois which is located above the village and was the site of Caesar’s final victory over the... more

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Aloxe Cortonis a great commune whose vineyards were once owned by Charlemagne. Legend states that Aloxe Corton is known for both its red and white wines because, during the time that Charlemagne owned the vineyards, his wife claimed that red wine stained his white beard and so he ordered the pr... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Amboise is a charming town with interesting shops, restaurants and a lovely location settled on the banks of the Loire. Crowning the town is its castle - one of the regions most interesting in terms of its history and beauty. A tour of this large property will fill you with tales of grandeur, i... more

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The town of Ambonnay and the surrounding countryside are part of a community famous not only for its champagne grapes but also for its red wine.... more

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Ammerschwihr is a lovely walled town worth a detour if only to seek out its Porte Haute Cigognes, one of the entry towers, where each year storks nest—it is from here that their young test their first flight.... more

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The scenic town of Les Andelys is located on the banks of the Seine. It was once the hub of Franco-English relations during the Middle Ages and one can visit the ruins of the Chateau Gaillard whose hillside location affords a wonderful view of the path of the Seine as it loops north in the dire... more

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Angers was the former capital of the Dukes of Anjou and is now a city full of factories with an old town and its 13th-century fortress at its heart.... more

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Nestled on its northern shore of Lac d’Annecy, is the beautiful city of Annecy, crowned by its silhouetted castle. The city enjoys a lovely old pedestrian district transected by waterways and gardens along the waterfront, a magnet in warm weather for sun seekers who blanket its lawn. Numerous... more

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Antibes is home to thousands of yachts berthed in the modern Port Vauban Yacht Harbor. The town with its cobbled streets is charming.... more

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Apt is a thriving city, known for its crystallized fruits and preserves, truffles, lavender perfume, and old Sainte Anne Cathedral, which is still the site of an annual pilgrimage.... more

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Aragon is a relatively undiscovered, medieval village that I’m certain will eventually be recognized as one of France’s most beautiful. It is located just thirty minutes from the walled fortress of Carcassonne.... more

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The skyline of Arles can be seen as you approach the city. Abounding in character, this is a truly lovely city whose growth is governed by the banks and curves of the Rhône. It has fierce ties to its Roman past when it thrived as a strong port city and gateway. Arles is glorified because ... more

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Arromanches is a lively seaside town whose broad crescent of golden sand was one of the D-Day landing beaches dominated by the British troops. In June, 1944 a huge floating harbor was erected in a gigantic U in the bay. Designed by British engineers, the harbor was comprised of massive concrete... more

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Ascain is a charming town nestled amongst fields of sheep and cattle. On the outskirts of Ascain, at the Col de St. Ignace, a number of parked cars will draw your attention to a little rack railway that climbs 905 meters up to the highest peak in Pays Basque, La Rhune, on the Spanish border. ... more

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Recommended by Maison De La Porte Fortifiee: Capital/Prefecture of the Gers department, in the Midi-Pyrenees region, in the heart of the great South-West between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, only 1 hr away from Toulouse and the Pyrenees. Auch is known for its Renaissance Ca... more

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Audierne is a pretty fishing port on the estuary of the Goyen where fishing boats bring in their harvest of lobsters, crayfish, and tunny.... more

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Autoire is a beautiful village, set in a rich green valley shadowed by majestic, towering limestone cliffs. Autoire is lovely with its old stone houses topped with slate roofs clustering together along the narrow alleyways. Windowboxes overflow with flowers to provide a profusion of color again... more

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Recommended by Chateau de Villette: Autun,  a small town of about 17,000, located in Burgundy, was originally built during the time of Roman Emperor Augustus. There are still a number of Roman buildings/ruins you can visit including the impressive Autun Cathedral.  ... more

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With its narrow cobbled streets Avallon is a larger town with cozy old houses at its center.... more

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Considered a gateway to Provence, Avignon is one of France’s most interesting and beautiful cities. Easy to navigate, its medieval encasement is encircled by one main boulevard and various gates allow entry into the walled city. The Porte de l’Oulle on the northwestern perimeter has... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Azay-le-Rideau's graceful façade is framed by wispy trees and is reflected in its lake and the River Indre, from whose banks it rises on one side. It was built by Gilles Berthelot, the treasurer to Francis I between 1518 and 1527. Francis accused Gilles of fiddling the nation's books and confi... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Banyuls is just north of the Spanish border. Banyuls warrants a trip because of its marvelous museum honoring one of France’s most acclaimed sculpturers, the Musée Maillol.... more

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Barbizon is made up of a quaint row of charming homes, hotels, and restaurants. Theodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, George Sand, Diaz, and Musset are but a few of the writers and artists who were attracted to this small town between 1830 and 1835 for the birth of the Barbizon School of P... more

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Barr, is a wine town crowned by the ruins of it's castles, Château de Landsberg and Château d’Haute Andlau.... more

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The lovely Basque village of La Bastide Clairence is a sweet village made up entirely of timbered homes and, with the honor of being designated one of France’s most beautiful villages.... more

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Les Baux de Provence is a charming Provençal village.(The mineral bauxite was discovered here and derives its name from the town.) The village appears to be a continuation of the rocky spur from which it rises. This site has been occupied for the past 5,000 years, and is now visited by more th... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Bayeux is a lovely old town where inviting shops and honey-colored stone houses line narrow streets. Saint Patrice square is filled with colorful market stalls on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. There has been a town on this site since Roman times: it was invaded by the Bretons, the Saxons, an... more

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The regional capital, Bayonne, has played an important role in history as a strategic commercial port city located at the junction of two rivers, the Nive and the Adour, on the constantly challenged border between France and Spain. It is a relatively easy city to navigate in and out of and is m... more

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Beaugency is a lovely old town with its historic church, Nôtre Dame. A magnificent bridge with 22 arches spans the river. The French blew it apart in 1940 to delay the Germans, but it has been completely restored (the central arches are original) and provides an ideal viewpoint for looking at ... more

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The town of Beaulieu sur Mer is another wealthy enclave of homes and luxurious hotels enjoying the protected climate.... more

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The best way to take in the town of Beaune is to park and walk into the narrow old streets of the wine capital of Burgundy. Today the most important landowner in the region is the Hospices de Beaune, a charitable organization founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy.... more

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Recommended by Chateau de Blavou: This is a very pretty French Normandy fortified town with ramparts and stunning views over the Perche Nature Park. There are a good selection of shops including bakers, antique, and french produce. Twice a week there is an open air market selling local prod... more

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Bellou contains a large brown timbered manor house.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Outside Belval is pretty countryside where vineyards give way to fields.... more

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Travel through the crowded streets of Benodet and follow signs for the port, which bring you to its yacht harbor—from here the coast road weaves past sandy bays and holiday hotels to the casino. In summer do not tackle the crowded streets; we recommend that you just admire the town from the b... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Recommended by Maison de la Foret: Bergerac has a wide selection of shops, restaurants, cafes and a good market on Wednesday & Saturday mornings. Restaurants ranging from local family run ones to gastronomic, all at reasonable prices are everywhere throughout the Dordogne and foie gras ... more

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Bergheim is a charming town protected by its walls. It lies just off the main road and is a much quieter village than many along the wine route.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Berze le Chatel is a charming hillside village.... more

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Located in the village of Berze le Ville is a lovely 12th-century chapel, Chapelle des Moines. Commissioned by the abbot of Cluny, its first structure was destroyed by a storm but then rebuilt by Italians. Intimate with a Byzantine-influence architecture, it is especially worth visiting for the... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Nestled along the river's edge, Beynac is a lovely picture of a small village huddled beneath a cliff crowned by a 12th-century fortress before a broad sweep of the Dordogne. The castle, while its furnishings are sparse, is well worth visiting for the spectacular views. (Open all year.) On ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Biarritz is a wonderful introduction to the style and life of Pays Basque. Once a whaling station, it is now recognized as a seaside resort of international renown. Don’t let its size intimidate you—as the residents will tell you, this is still a small town in heart and soul—l... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Bidart—with its quaint main square banded by timbered houses and its nearby church, which is characteristic of the fortress-style churches of the 16th century—is a typical Basque village in the Labourd style and was also once a bustling whaling and fishing port. For another wonderfu... more

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The hillside village of Biot, where glassware has been made for just under three decades, has won high acclaim. This medieval village of small narrow streets, lovely little squares, and a maze of galleries and shops is a gem.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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