50 YEARS OF TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
50 YEARS OF TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
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SEVEN SEAS TRAVEL • EASTPOINTE, MI 48021 586-775-7300
Attracting more than 45 million visitors annually, Paris is the world’s most popular tourist destination. Called the City of Lights, City of Love and Capital of Fashion, Paris is the capital city of France, known for its romantic ambiance and command in industries like business, entertainment, gastronomy, fashion and art and culture. In addition to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris is also home to some of the world’s finest museums that include the Louvre Museum and Musee d’Orsay.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN FRANCE
Located on the French coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the French Riviera (Cote d’ Azur) is the playground for the rich, famous and hordes of international tourists. Although the Riviera is famous for the glamour of St. Tropez, Monaco or the Cannes Film Festival, there are many other less well known destinations, such as the perched villages of Eze and Saint-Paul de Vence, and the perfumeries of Grasse to name a few. The region enjoys a wonderfully mild to warm climate all year round, despite being one of the more northerly coasts on the whole Mediterranean.
Built upon the River Garonne just half an hour inland of the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux is a major port city stuffed with fine architecture, historic sites, exceptional shopping and a world-class arts and culture scene. Bordeaux’s city center, features more than 350 historic structures and landmarks that include medieval churches and charming old bridges such as the Ponte de Pierre. The city also features several beautiful plazas of which the Place de la Bourse is the most stunning with its mirror-like effect. A visit to Bordeaux would not be complete without a drive through the surrounding wine country where tourists can admire picturesque villages, vineyards and chateaux.
Rising up from the midst of vast mud flats and some of Europe’s most powerful tidal waves is the rocky island of Mont Saint-Michel, located off France’s northwestern coast in Normandy. The tidal island is one of the most popular places to visit in France for its construction of medieval structures built as if stacked upon one another and crowned with the star attraction, the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. The awe-inspiring abbey was built by devoted monks in 708 AD after the Bishop of Avranches was allegedly visited by the Archangel Michael.
Le Havre is a love letter to modernism, evoking, more than any other French city, France’s postwar energy and optimism. After being obliterated in 1944 by Allied bombing raids, the center was completely rebuilt by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret, whose bright, airy modernist vision remains, miraculously, largely intact. Attractions include a museum full of captivating impressionist paintings, a soaring church with a mesmerising stained-glass tower, and hilltop gardens with views over the city. Le Havre is a regular port of call for cruise ships.
Ochre rooftops and blushing brick churches earned Toulouse the nickname ‘La Ville Rose’ (the pink city). Its enchanting Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter) is a dreamy jumble of coral-coloured shopfronts and churches. Toulouse has one of the largest universities outside Paris: at its core this southwestern French city is home to students and scientists. Toulouse also knows how to have a good time, whether in teeming food markets, salons de thé or the thick of its smouldering jazz, techno and rock scenes. From the tips of dusky pink spires to its loudest bars, time spent in Toulouse truly has a rose-tinted sheen.
Situated right on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg is the capital city of the Alsace region. The city serves as the seat of the European Parliament and numerous other important European institutions such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe. The city’s historic center, Grande Île, is what makes Strasbourg one of the best places to visit in France. Here among a blend of both French and German architecture, visitors can find many museums, shops, cafes and striking attractions such as the stunning Gothic cathedral, which features intricate carvings and a 300-year old working, astrological clock.
The pretty village of Chablis, called the Golden Gate of Burgundy, is poised amid the hillside vineyards that produce its famous white wine on the banks of the River Serein and is surrounded by massive, round, turreted towers of the Porte Noël gateway. It's wine is a bone-dry, slightly acacia-tasting white of tremendous character, with the premier cru and grand cru wines amongst the best French whites. Prices in the local shops tend to be inflated, so your best bet is to buy directly from a vineyard. Visit nearby cellars, take tours, and enjoy wine tastings in this illustrious wine region.
Located in east-central France, Lyon is the capital of the Rhone department in the Rhone-Alpes region. Boasting a long history, Lyon today is the third largest city in France, known for its historic architecture, gastronomy and vibrant cultural scene. Lyon is comprised of various districts, each offering their own share of interesting treasures. For example, Presqu’île is the heart of the city with its restaurants and bars, while Croix-Rousse is known for its hundreds of hidden passageways. Fourvière boasts Roman ruins and Gothic churches, and Brotteaux is the wealthy district containing the beautiful Tete d’Or park.
With the sheer white heights of the Mont Blanc massif as its sensational backdrop, the Chamonix Valley shows the Alps at their most dramatic. First ‘discovered’ as a tourist destination by Brits William Windham and Richard Pococke in 1741, it has become a wintertime playground of epic proportions, more than satisfying the most demanding skiers as well as the après-ski revellers who pack themselves into its boot-stompin’ bars. In summer, lift-accessible highland trails offer thrilling panoramas to hikers, mountain bikers and other high-altitude thrill seekers.
Dijon is the capital city of the historical Burgundy region in eastern France, one of the country’s principal wine-producing areas. It’s known for its vineyard tours, autumn gastronomic fair and building styles ranging from Gothic to art deco. Dijon is one of France's most appealing cities. Filled with elegant medieval and Renaissance buildings, the lively center is wonderful for strolling, especially if you like to leaven your cultural enrichment with excellent food, fine wine and shopping. Its Musée des Beaux-Arts, holds a rich collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities.
Rennes, Brittany's vibrant capital, sits at the junction of highways linking northwestern France's major cities. It's a beautifully set-out city, with an elaborate and stately center and a superb medieval quarter that's a joy to get lost in. At night, this student city has no end of lively places to pop in for a pint and its restaurants are also superb. Rennes is known for its medieval half-timbered houses and grand Rennes Cathedral. Parc du Thabor includes a rose garden and aviary. The Champs Libres cultural center houses the Musée de Bretagne and Espace des Sciences.
Stretching along the banks of the Rivers Adour and Nive, the waterside city of Bayonne is one of the prettiest in southwest France, and the capital of the French Basque Country. It's been a strategic stronghold since medieval times, and the old ramparts are still visible around the outskirts of the old town, but it's Bayonne's pretty half-timbered buildings, riverside restaurants and shady cobbled streets that make it worthy of exploration. Across the Nive River in the Petit Bayonne district is the Musée Basque, a museum devoted to the region’s arts, crafts and traditions.
Founded by Gallic tribes, and later developed by the Romans into the important city of Vesunna, Périgueux remains the Dordogne’s biggest (and busiest) town, with a lively cafe and restaurant scene, and plenty of shopping. You'll also discover a thoroughly charming old town dotted with medieval buildings and Renaissance mansions. Reminders of the city’s Roman past fill the Cité quarter. You can visit a ruined garden-filled amphitheatre and triumphal tower, as well as a grand villa at the city’s excellent Gallo-Roman museum.
Rich vineyards and rolling fields surround pretty cream-stone Bergerac, a good gateway to the Dordogne and one of the most prestigious wine-growing areas of the Aquitaine. The sweet town’s main claim to fame is dramatist and satirist Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619–55), whose romantic exploits - and oversized nose - have inspired everyone from Molière to Steve Martin. Despite the legend, Cyrano’s connection with the town is tenuous - he’s thought to have stayed here only a few nights, if at all. Bergerac’s riverfront old town and lively cafe scene make it fun to explore.