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SUN, SKIING AND GASTRONOMY IN FRANCE!
With its seaside resorts, majestic mountains, fabulous cuisine and cultural treasures, France is a holiday paradise! For the ultimate break, stay at a luxury Radisson Blu hotel in the most popular destinations in France. Live it up in romantic Paris, relax at the seaside getaways of Biarritz and Nice, enjoy the stunning alpine resorts of Aix-les-Bains and Les Arcs or sample French gastronomy at its best in Lyon!
The French capital is bursting with monuments and places of interest which are evidence of its rich historical past. Among the iconic Paris sights there is, of course, the Eiffel Towel and the Champ de Mars, the Champs Elysées and its luxury boutiques, the Montmartre district with its narrow streets and hidden squares which are perfect for a coffee break, and of course the basilica of Sacré Coeur which overlooks its surroundings. To get to know the real Paris, take a moment to wander down rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement, before visiting the Jardin des Plantes. Then head for a local bistro and enjoy a ham baguette, a vol au vent or a traditional onion soup.
The unmissable museums
As well its many monuments, Paris is well known for its world-class collections of art treasures. The Louvre is not only the best known of the French and European museums, but also has one of the largest art collections in the world. There are thousands of paintings here, including the Mona Lisa, as well as sculptures and other works of art, from ancient Egyptian artefacts to 19th century art deco. The Musée d'Orsay is another key museum based in a former railway station, which has a large collection of paintings by the great masters. There are more specialised museums too, such as the Rodin museum, the Guimet museum for Asian arts and the Quai Branly museum if you would like to learn all about indigenous art.
Eat and drink in the capital
Paris is a cosmopolitan and diverse city with a wide ranging choice of restaurants and bars to eat a meal or have a drink. Montmartre is the perfect place to linger over a coffee in an artistic atmosphere, whereas the streets around the Saint Michel and Odéon stations are packed with places offering French and international specialities. The Opéra district is well known for its authentic Japanese restaurants, whereas in Belleville and the 13th arrondissement (porte d’Italie) you can enjoy Chinese and Vietnamese meals. For fans of French cuisine, head for the 7th arrondissement and into Saint Germain to enjoy refined dishes. As well as the traditional Parisian bistros, you will discover a vast choice of restaurants across Paris representing the regional specialities of France. Your senses and taste buds will tour the country as you taste the many products of rural France (foie gras, duck confit and duck breast, garlic buttered snails or beef bourguignon) all the while seated in the restaurants of the capital.
Events for young and old
If you like music, cinema, theatre and shows, you will find everything you want in Paris. Each evening you will have the opportunity to discover operas, plays, blockbusters or independent films, as well as street theatre and varied concerts. Among the most famous theatre spots you could go to the Opéra Garnier to see an opera or ballet, to Pleyel Hall for classical music concerts, to the Moulin Rouge for an unforgettable dinner and show, or the Châtelet Theatre for contemporary productions or the Comédie Française for more classical theatre.
The “Gaul capital” has everything a visitor could wish for: impressive and well preserved architecture, spacious streets and squares, numerous green spaces and a variety of activities for young and old. To make the most of the must-see places, head for Old Lyon, the historic neighbourhood with its cobbled streets. Then take the cable car up to the summit of Fourvière Hill, where you will not only find the superb basilica but an unforgettable view over the city. Finally have a wander through the Croix Rousse neighbourhood, famous for its charming passageways between streets and courtyards.
The capital of gastronomy
Nothing matches a stop in Lyon during your trip to France for enjoyment of local food. Among the Lyon specialities you could try andouilllette, a type of sausage, brawn, dumplings or even bone marrow cardoons. Stop off on the rue Mercière for a wide variety of busy restaurants, including the famous Lyon “bouchons”, the typical traditional Lyon eating establishments. Around the rue de la République, between Bellecour Square and the opera, you will find a variety of restaurants offering French and international specialities. If you want to go out for a drink in the evening, head for the Croix Rousse neighbourhood.
Shopping in Lyon
With its large chain stores and small independent boutiques, Lyon offers something for every shopper. The rue de la République is ideal for choice: you will find all the main chain stores, and the Printemps department store on this pedestrianised shopping street. Near the place des Jacobins there are top end designer boutiques for your fashion and home decoration needs. And if you prefer to do all your shopping in one place, head for the Part-Dieu shopping mall.
The main event of the year in Lyon is the Fête des Lumières, the Festival of Light, which takes place on 8th December. This popular festival, originally known only locally, has turned into an international event in the past few years: nowadays more than a million people head for the streets if the city in order to admire the sound and light structures which illuminate the city. In summer, the festival of the Nuits de Fourvière will regale you with dance, music and theatre shows every day for over a month in the heart of the ancient Fourvière theatre.
Among the major cities to visit during your trip to France, take time to visit Marseille, the second largest in France. Dynamic and authentic, this Mediterranean city will seduce you with its warm and sunny atmosphere. Visit the Old Port, particularly in the early morning during the fish market, then head for the hill from which the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica dominates the city. Then wander down to the Panier neighbourhood to take in the traditional atmosphere of Old Marseille. If you stay at Radisson Blu, you will be ideally situated right at the heart of the city, perfectly positioned to discover the must-see attractions
Cannes and Nice – Riviera charm
The South of France is also the French Riviera, where beaches and resorts blend luxury with a relaxed atmosphere. You will discover the famous Croisette, the Festival Palace, and also the beautiful Lérins Islands. When you stay at the Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso Cannes, you will enjoy a dream stay including access to the thalasso, spa and fitness centres. If you want to discover Nice, with its Old Town, the famous Promenade des Anglais, the Saint-Réparate cathedral or maybe its Picasso museum, go for a hotel at the heart of the city centre, such as the Radisson Blu.
The beaches of your dreams
During your trip make the most of your time to enjoy bathing and water sports. Among the most popular beaches, bask in the sun along the beaches of the Promenade des Anglais; explore the Calanques (inlets) of Marseille, such as Sormiou or En-Vau. If a landscape featuring great expanses of white sand backed by pine forests appeals, head for l’Estagnol, in Bornes-les-Mimosas. Let’s not forget the beach along La Croisette in Cannes, or the beaches of La Ciotat : la Baie de la Vierge and la Grande Plage.
A stay in Corsica takes you to a world of unspoilt nature and landscapes, a warm and sunny climate and unforgettable beaches. At the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Ajaccio Bay, you will enjoy truly relaxed moments in a breathtaking location. You will discover the beaches of Porticcio and Agosta, you can scuba dive or jet ski in the bay of Ajaccio, or even hike along the Douaniers trail.
Toulouse, a city full of charm and culture, is one of the essential places to stop off in the South-West of France. Known for its architecture, with buildings made of stones with a pinkish hue, and also for its rich architectural heritage, tourists and locals love the slow-paced way of life here. Stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel Toulouse Airport to be ideally situated near the airport; the hotel is just 15 minutes from the city centre. Don’t forget to stop off at the place du Capitole, to admire the basilica of Saint-Sernin and the Church of the Jacobins, and cross the Pont-Neuf bridge for a breathtaking view of the Garonne.
Charming towns and villages
The South-West is also known for the charming landscapes and picturesque villages further inland. Among the places to see in the region, head for Albi to admire the impressive Sainte-Cécile cathedral, or go and discover the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne. For a day trip from Toulouse, visit Montauban, a city of art and history built around the River Tarn; or go and have fun in Cahors, famous for its medieval district, its authentic restaurants and its red wine.
The French Basque region and Biarritz
On the Atlantic Coast of the South-West, Biarritz is the place to stop. This seaside resort is much loved by holiday makers and is famous for its beaches, its community of surfers and the particularly lively summer atmosphere. Its wild and unspoilt coastline is in contrast with its prestigious 19th century buildings. A trip to Biarritz is a great base for discovering the French Basque region, its summer festivals and its delicious local cuisine!
Discover the South-Western cuisine
For a truly unforgettable stay in the South West of France, you must try the local dishes. From the duck confit to the foie gras of Périgord, the famous Toulouse Cassoulet and sausages, the marmitako - a classic Basque fish stew - and the Espelette pepper – there is truly something for every taste.