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about France , France is a wonderful country, a destination synonymous with style which is why it is one of the world's most fascinating and rewarding tourist destinations. From the wide, tree-lined boulevards of its sophisticated and exciting capital city to the breathtaking Loire Valley castles and the glittering Cote dAzur with its air of faded grandeur and romance, it is not hard to see why France has enchanted generations of visitors. France was the founder of modern Republican government in the 18th century after three centuries of being ruled by a nobility who spent vast amounts of money on sumptuous glittering castles and playboy-like lifestyles.

France, the largest country in Europe, is bordered to the north by the La Manche, the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, the east by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, the south by the Mediterranean, the southwest by Spain and Andorra, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The island of Corsica, southeast of Nice, is made up of two dpartements. The country offers a spectacular variety of scenery, from the mountain ranges of the Alps and Pyrnes to the attractive river valleys of the Loire, Rhne and Dordogne and the flatter countryside in Normandy and on the Atlantic coast. In major cities such as Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Cannes or Marseille, there are lively nightclubs that sometimes charge no entry fee, although drinks are likely to be more expensive. Alternatively, the entrance price sometimes includes a consommation of one drink. Nightclubs are everywhere and in even the remotest corners of France. Their style and music vary widely from one place to another. Nightclubs have a fixed closing time of 05:00. As an alternative to a nightclub, there are many late-night bars and cafes. In Paris and the regions, theatres offer a wide variety of shows from great classics to light comedy, from one-man shows to cabaret. Tourist offices publish an annual and monthly diary of events available free of charge. Several guides are also available which give information about entertainment and sightseeing in the capital. Guides for events in Paris are sold at newspaper kiosks. In the provinces, the French generally spend the night eating and drinking, although in the more popular tourist areas, there will be discos and dances. All weekend festivals in summer in the rural areas are a good form of evening entertainment.

The single most important factor in deciding when to visit France is tourism itself. As most French people take their holidays in their own country, it's as well to avoid the main French holiday periods - mid-July to the end of August, with August being particularly bad. In search of an open boulangerie, and the city seems deserted by all except fellow tourists. You can't find a room for love nor money, and not even a space in the campsites on the Cte d'Azur. The seaside is the worst, but the mountains and popular regions like the Dordogne are not far behind. Easter, too, is a bad time for Paris; half Europe's schoolchildren seem to descend on the city.

places worth seeing, The French Alps are glorious in summer. To go walking, take one of the many ski lifts that operate year-round. Pretty towns to visit include Annecy, on its turquoise lake, set against the peaks of La Tourette. Paris is so much life on the streets of Paris, plus a tremendous amount of public art and wonderful architecture, that just wandering the streets is a delight and doesn't cost you any money. The city centre is very compact so there's little chance of getting lost.

Marseille, the second most populous city of France, though undeniably deprived, is a wonderful place to visit. It's a down-to-earth yet cosmopolitan city which spirals out from the old port. To check out its excellent seafood cuisine try the cours Julien behind the Vieux Port's southern quay.

Lyon is physically the second biggest city in France, a result of its uncontrolled urban sprawl. Viewed at high speed from the Autoroute du Soleil, the impression it gives is of a major confluence of rivers and roads. The city is now busy forging a role for itself within a new Europe, with international schools and colleges, the new HQ for Interpol, a recently inaugurated eco-friendly tram system, a second TGV station with links to the north that bypass Paris, and high-tech industrial parks for international companies making it a modern city par excellence . More so than any other French city, it has embraced the monetarist vision of the European Union and is acting, with some success, as a postmodern city-state within it.

Cannes is made up of a nondescript coastal district known as Cros-de-Cagnes, Haut-de-Cagnes, the original medieval village overlooking the town from the northwest heights, and Cagnes-sur-Mer, the town centre situated inland between the two. Bordeaux is stunning when approached from the south along the river. It's big, with a population of over half a million, and obviously rich - as it has been since the Romans set up a lively trading centre here. Especially attractive is the relatively small eighteenth-century centre, paid for by the expansion of colonial trade. The rest is scruffy and, even with its long history, contains few sights. But if you're just passing through - it's the main regional transport centre - there are a couple of sights worth checking out, and plenty of cheap places to sleep and eat. The atmosphere is inviting and worth sticking around For cheese, head for Normandy, particularly the area known as the Pays d'Auge, whose lush green fields help produce the rich milk so essential for the area's delicious Camembert.

how to get France , The quickest way of reaching France from most parts of Britain is by air, though in the southeast this is now rivalled closely by the Channel Tunnel London-Paris rail link that the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 caused a major change in how we travel to France, making it possible to take to train there direct, or take a car on the Eurotunnel, or stick with the older methods of crossing by ferry or plane.

from North America is straightforward; there are direct flights from over thirty major cities to Paris, from Australia and New Zealand will choose to travel via London although there are scheduled flights to Paris from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth and Auckland.

Main Airports; Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse airports.

France is easy to travel around. Restaurants and hotels proliferate, the lower-budget ones being much cheaper than is most other developed western European countries. Train services are admirably efficient, as is the road network - especially the autoroutes - and cyclists are much admired and encouraged. Information is highly organized and available from tourist offices across the country, as well as from specialist organizations for walkers, cyclists, campers and so on.

places worth seeing from France

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