France could be considered as the most popular tourist destination in the world with over 85 million visitors each year. It is a dream land to those looking for romance, gastronomy, culture fashion or an epicurean lifestyle. Some are inspired by novels, movies or pictures produced by famous artists, painters, philosophers or writers; others will search the diversity of each region due to the ever changing landscape between coastlines, high mountains, rolling hills covered with vineyards, small rivers, quaint villages, or chateaux and fortresses.
The Divisions of France
As of 2016 Mainland France has been reorganized in 13 administrative regions, each having its own traditions, cuisine, folklore and even dialect.
Metropolitan France is also called the Hexagon, in opposition to Overseas France composed of 5 regions which enjoy the same political status than the “Metropole”: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reunion, French Guiana and Mayotte. This does not include overseas collectivities and territories which have more autonomy than the overseas departments, such as French Polynesia and New Caledonia.
France and Francophilia
Celestial Voyagers will customize trips to all parts of France, Metropolitan or Overseas France, as you wish. To find the sample trips which hopefully will inspire you to travel, you need to consider that under the France section you will find only samples to the 13 regions of the mainland which include Corsica, but for the Overseas Regions and territories you will find suggested journeys in Celestial Voyagers world section called Francophilia.
Gastronomy And Wines
France is known for its gastronomy and its wines. From 3 Michelin Star rating restaurants to the unknown local little auberge you will find exquisite cuisine all around. France is the home of the “Bon Vivant” who enjoys each meal with a good glass of wine. From the novice to the educated oenologist Celestial Voyagers will be glad to plan wine tasting experiences for all levels of knowledge and budget.
Art, History and Culture
Specially tailored trips can be focussing on many various cultural themes such as:
- Impressionists in Paris Museums and in Normandy
- World War II and the Landing Beaches of Normandy
- Modern Art on the French Riviera
- Philosophy in Paris: The Enlightenment and Existentialism
- Antibes Jazz Festival
- The Great Cathedrals of France
- Romanesque Burgundy
- The Cannes Film Festival
Spirituality is the motivations of many journeys to France and France offers opportunities to various religious or spiritual travelers.
Celestial Voyagers can offer choices of itineraries in reference to a Jewish Heritage tour, a Catholic pilgrimage to Lourdes, La Salette or Paray-Le-Monial, a hike along the “Trail to Saint Jacques de Compostelle” or a mystic experience in the “Cathare Country” of Occitanie.
Sports and Leisure
Skiing in the French Alps is appealing to all skiers.
Beach vacations are superb in the summer either on the Atlantic or the Mediterranean coast.
Sport events such as Le Mans' 24 hours car race, the cycling Tour de France each July are events you may want to experience. Hiking, cycling, sailing, boating along the French canals are all thrilling opportunities.