France shares some of Italy's disfunction (e.g. train strikes) but also much of its fun, especially good food and beautiful countryside.


See the Paris page for more information about the City of Light.

Normandy offers hearty cuisine, medieval history (including the famous Bayeux tapestry depicting the Battle of Agincourt), and WW II history. The American Cemetary at Omaha Beach is a must-see for World War II buffs. The nearby island monastery of Mont Saint Michel is also a big tourist draw.

Just west of Normandy is Brittany, which has great food, stunning coastline, and an interesting Celtic heritage (the local language, Breton, is closer to Irish/Welsh/Scottish Gaelic than French).

Loire Valley

The Loire valley is France's heartland, with delicious food and gorgeous castles. Among the beautiful towns with chateau (castles) is Chenonceau.

See the Provence page for more about this region.

Not as touristy as Provence but with great food, gorgeous countryside, and interesting cultural treasures; see the Southwestern France page for more.


A popular past-time is taking a leisurely, multi-day barge ride through the rivers of France. Rick Steves explains the basics on his radio show, TV show, or another radio show.