It's time for the annual migration from Paris to another favorite French vacation destination.
Where do Paris locals go? The United States? Morocco? China?
Well, yes, some do travel overseas. But in large part, French people remain in France.
They know the options for a memorable vacation are heart-stopping.
It's no secret that France is considered a Vacation Nation.
Not just a destination for world travelers, but also the primary
landing pad of choice for its own populace.
Over 80% of the French community remain in France for their vacation.
With 31 days of mandatory paid vacation, the French are fans
of getaways that offer a variety of temptations.
My insider secret: When traveling, I look for something a French national might want to do.
France offers vacation destinations around every corner and over every hill of La Hexagon.
Beach vacation? Checkmate, opportunities overflow - the Atlantic,
the Mediterranean, multiple island adventures and more.
Is cooking your interest? Or history? You'll discover a 2-for-1 in Normandy - Susan Hermann Loomis for cooking school and Normandy Beaches for history.
Fantasize about a mountain immersion? You can't beat the Pyrenees and the Alps
but don't discount the Vosges range either.
City breaks include Montpellier, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Lyon and Nantes just to name a few.
Dijon, Avignon, Rennes, Narbonne, and Lille are all great memory-makers.
Or an all-eating vacay, now that's up my alley. The Perigord region conquers all. But then again, Basque cuisine is tip-top as well. Oh yeah, and Provence & Languedoc.... But don't stop there. You'll find a special spot for whatever special interest stops your heart.
of the big city in the summer.
Learn from the locals. Take a train, plane or automobile and find a new favorite.
Grow your French Fantasy in new directions.
Most Frenchmen and women choose either July or August for their big vacances.
The kids are out of school, the weather is good, and everything quiets down
(or shutters up) in Paris. Whether they choose a glamorous hideaway or stick to
a camping budget, they tend to look for the simple pleasures -- eating, drinking,
enjoying the great outdoors or finding a favorite festival.
We just witnessed the 101st Tour de France.
Did you notice how many campers were out in full force?
The good things in life are celebrated by the carload.
Vacation in France is an excuse to eat. To eat well. Imagine fresh oysters plucked off the coast of Brittany, their salty brine so full of fresh sea flavor, you eat until you burst.
Or how about a Charentais melon, bursting with a flavor so unconditionally
fresh, you'll vow never again to touch another grocery store replica.
While many bistros close for 4 or 5 weeks in Paris, the rest of the country seems
to offer extended hours and enhanced promotion during the peak vacation months.
You'll see history buffs everywhere.
French people are addicted to their own narrative, cultivating their
kids' education at every turn. Museums, aquariums, forts, chateaux are all part of
the framework of their annual R and R.
feathered friends including, much to my surprise, puffins.
Brittany is not just about good looks. There's zero chance for boredom with everything from pristine beaches and islands to impossibly unique menhirs and dolmens at Carnac (over 3,000 standing stones!) and religious chapels, abbeys and monasteries sprinkled throughout. Impossibly delicious buckwheat galettes and towering shellfish platters. Boats, birds and fortresses will melt your heart and make sure you return again next year.
Think about planning your vacation in the manner of the Slow Travel movement
and spend some quality time here. Save Provence for another day.
When you concentrate on one region at a time, you're much more likely to feel satisfied than driving all the way across France in pursuit of a lengthy list
designed to impress your neighbors but likely to make you feel tired and unfulfilled.
Remember the State Fair? No matter where you're from, you probably
have a childhood memory of funnel cakes, corn dogs, unconventional
but interesting fair fans, farm animals and carnival rides.
The French enjoy festivals, too, where they're as varied and unforgettable as any you'll ever find. Each festival has a theme and in the summer months you'll find everything to celebrate. Champagne, jazz, gardens, garlic, onions, the list is long. You'll find a festival somewhere in France celebrating just about everything.
The French word for fun is amusement.
Makes sense. Get Happy.
it's time to plan some quality time in France.
Unstructured time. Just let it happen.
Paris is the #1 destination and as delightful as anything.
Except when it isn't.
Just like a Parisian, you'll know when. Traffic, smog, busy people can overwhelm.
Why not try something different? Take a breather, simmer down, find yourself.
The French countryside delivers.
You'll feel like a better person in BEAUTIFUL FRANCE.