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Description of Destination : france


Marseille is France's largest commercial and naval port and its oldest major city, founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. It became a focus for Oriental trade and its mix of cultures was so varied that author Alexander Dumas called it the meeting place of the entire world. At its centre are the Vieux Port and the old town, full of quiet squares, stepped streets and 18th century houses. In contrast, leading away from the port is the bustling boulevard of La Canebiere. Among the city's churches is the Neo-Byzantine Cathedrale de la Major of 1893. Its finest building is the Vieille Charite hospice of 1694 and its most elegant house (1873) is now the Musee Grobert-Labadie.


Founded by the Romans, Aix grew to be the medieval capital of Provence and a centre of learning. It is still an international students' city and the Rue de la Verrerie is full of cosmopolitan restaurants and bars. Aix is also known as the city of a thousand fountains for its many fine, 18th century examples. In the Old Town is the Cathedrale St-Sauveur with a 4 th century baptistery. Aix's many museums include the Musee Des Tapisseries (tapestries), Musee du Vieil Aix (folklore), Musee Granet ( fine art and archaeology), Atelier Paul-Cezanne, the artist's house, and Pavillon de Vendome, a grand 17th century house.

St. Tropez

Shot in St. Tropez, Brigitte Bardot's 1956 film And God Created Woman and her decision to live here changed the fortunes of the fishing village, turning it into a playground for gilded youth. Mass tourism followed, with visitors more interested in spotting a celebrity than visiting the historic sights. Today there are many more luxury yachts than fishing boats in the harbour. St. Tropez was badly bombed in World War II, but the old town behind the waterfront was rebuilt in original style. Its main features are the 19th century Eglise de St. Tropez, named after the Roman Christian martyr, St. Tropez, and the Place des Lices, lively with cafes, boules players and the Harley-Davidson set. The 16th century citadel east of town has an interesting naval museum.


Nice: Old Town

Dense network of alleys, narrow buildings and pastel, Italianate facades make up the Old Town of Nice. Its streets contain many fine 17th century Italianate churches, among them St-Francois-de-Paule, behind the Opera, and L'Eglise du Jesus in the Rue Droite. The seafront is taken up by Les Ponchettes, which was Nice's chef promenade before the Promenade des Anglais was built further west in the 1820s. The hills overlooking the Old Town are occupied by Cimiez district, where there is a museum to Henri Matisse (1869-1954) who spent 38 years in Nice.



Lord Brougham, British lord chancellor, put Cannes on the map in 1834 when he built a villa here after being entranced by the mild climate of the then fishing village. Today, it has become a resort of the rich and famous, busy all year round and renowned for its festivals. With its casinos, fairs, beach and boat and street life, there is plenty to do, even though it lacks great museums and monuments. Its heart is the Bay of Cannes and the palm-fringed, seafront Boulevard de la Croisette. Behind the Vieux Port ( Old Port ), small streets wind up to Le Suquet district, site of the Roman town of Canois Castrum , with the 1648 church of Notre-Dame de L'Esperance and the ethnographic Musee de la Castre in a 12th century castle.

Monaco and Monte-Carlo

The dramatic heights of Monte-Carlo are the best-known area of the principality of Monaco . The land was bought from the Genoese in 1309 by the Grimaldis, who remain the world's oldest ruling family. From the harbour it is only a ten-minute stroll to Monte-Carlo's famous Grand Casino. A further 20-minute walk takes visitors to the Old Town . Here a miniature tourist train runs every 30 minutes from the splendid Musee Oceanographique and takes and takes in the main sights in a 35-minute round trip. The 16th century Palais du Prince (open in summer), home of Prince Rainier III, features priceless furniture and magnificent frescoes. The beautiful, 19th century Neo-Romanesque Cathedrale holds the tomb of Princess Grace and the Jardin Exotique is considered the finest garden in Europe .


Known as The Scented Isle, Corsica 's main appeal is its scenery of herb-filled maquis, mountains, forests and igyllic beaches. For 200 years to the 1200s, Corsica belonged to Pisa, it then fell to the Genoese, and who sold it to France in 1769. The main ports are the capital, Ajaccio, and Bastia , which has an attractive Old Port and a Genoese citadel. Bastia's Chapelle St-Croix has a Black Christ fished from the sea in 1428 and its church of Ste-Marie has a Virgin made of a tonne of silver. Calvi is a smaller military port and holiday resort. Bonifacio in the south is sited on a peninsula, with a citadel above a fine harbour.

Paris ( Le Havre )

The sense flows through the heart of Paris and many of the city's great buildings are either along its banks or close to it. Paris sprang from a village on the Ile de la Cite, which was inhabited by the Parisii tribe and which the Romans conquered in 55 BC. The latter expanded onto the Left Bank and, after marshes were drained in medieval times, the city grew outwards during the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Napoleon endowed it with monuments, but it was Baron Haussmann's grand transformation in the 1800s that gave Paris its great, tree-lined boulevards. A renovation plan initiated in 1962 restored historic buildings and gave Paris spectacular new landmarks and museums.


Sited near the mouth of the River Garonne, Bordeaux has exported wine since Roman times, but it was under English rule (1154-1453) that merchants began making huge fortunes from wine sales to England . Along the city's waterfront are grand Classical facades and the Esplanade des Quinconces, a vast, leafy space with fountains and statues created in the mid 19th century. Just east of the Esplanade is the CAPC, a gallery of modern art in a renovated warehouse. Bordeaux's liveliest area is around the Cours de L'Intendance, Allees de Tourny and Cours Clemenceau, full of fashionable shops and cages, while the adjacent Rue Ste-Catherine is the main shopping street. Other sights include the Cathedrale St-Andre, Basilique St-Michel, which a huge hexagonal belfry, and the Musee de Beaux Arts, which has fine paintings.

Excursions Available at france
    • Marseille City Tour
    • Le Castellet & Bandol
    • Avignon & Marselle Highlights
    • Arles & Les Baux de Provence
    • Marseille City Tour
    • A Day in Province
    • Arles & Les Baux
    • Aix-en-Provence
    • Chateau Neuf du Page & Avignon
    • Port Grimaud's Canals & Grimaud Village
    • Villages of Provence
    • Flavors of Provence
    • A Taste of Provence
    • Monaco & Monte Carlo
    • Scenes of Monaco & Monte Carlo
    • Nice & St. Paul de Vence
    • St. Tropez, Port Grimaud & Golden Corniche
    • A Visit to Nice
    • EZ Coastal Drive & St. Raphael
    • St. Paul de Vence
    • Antibes & Vallauris
    • Monaco& Monte Carlo On Your Own
    • Stars of the C;te d'Azur: Cannes , Grasse , St Paul de Vence
    • Highlights of Monaco & Monte Carlo
    • Jewels of the cote d'Azur : Nice, Eze & Monaco
    • A Taste of the Riviera
    • A Bird's - Eye View of the Cote D'Azur
    • Spectacular Riviera
    • Bonifacio
    • The Megalithic Ruins at Filitosa
    • The Medieval Village of Sartene
    • EZ Propriano
    • Campomoro
    • Paris Highlights
    • Paris & Seine River Cruise
    • Normandy Landing Beaches
    • A taste of Normandy : Calvados & Honfleur
    • Versailles Palace & Gardens
    • Monet's Giverny Home & Rouen
    • Visit to Rouen
    • Tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris
    • Etretat & Fecamp
    • Romantic Honfleur
    • The Orsay Museum in Paris
    • The Medoc Vineyards, Bordeaux & Soulac
    • Wine Country Experience
    • Wine Country with Chateau Mouton-Rothschild
    • The Bordeaux Sampler
    • City of Bordeaux
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