6 Quaint Villages In Provence, France You Must Visit

When it comes to quaint French towns and villages, Cucuron, Roussillon, Lourmarin, Lauris, Gordes, and Apt in the Luberon area of Provence do not disappoint.

The Luberon, part of the Vaucluse region of Provence in the south of France, is known for its historic and even ancient villages. Many are located on mountaintops with expansive views of the forests, fields, vineyards, and farms of the Luberon, and nearby are the famous lavender fields. The quaint villages usually consist of cafes, small town squares, medieval churches, art galleries, boutiques selling locally made products, and restaurants in addition to residents’ homes. Small hotels and bed and breakfasts are also available in each village. Here, we share the best villages to visit, plus recommended restaurants and hotels.

1. Cucuron

The town center of the village of Cucuron has a vast, rectangular pond with spring-fed water and 200-year-old plane trees towering over it. Cafes, restaurants, and a small hotel dot the square. Every Tuesday morning there’s a food and flea market at the pond, where locals get their produce and necessities. At the end of July is a flea market with antiques, tapestries, rugs, china, bric-a-brac, and artworks. Continue reading “6 Quaint Villages In Provence, France You Must Visit”

Paris Beaches Open with Floating Cinema on the Seine

Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) opened this year with an outdoor movie showing on the banks of the River Seine, as the city is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

MK2 Cinemas partnered with the city of Paris to organize this year’s event.

“It’s been years, we’re creating operations to take the cinema out of the cinema rooms as a promotion tool, and after the few months of confinement, we thought we needed a way to tell to the people and to tell to the world that cinemas are open in Paris, that Paris is one of the worldwide capital of cinema, and also to create a way for them to enjoy with their families a magnificent night, said Elisha Karmitz, CEO of MK2 Cinemas.

On Saturday people watched the 2018 French comedy “Le grand bain” from boats or on deck chairs on the Seine’s banks. Some said they felt safer at an open-air screening.

“I already went back to the cinema once, wearing a mask, but I have to admit there is still some apprehension to go back to cinema,” said Luc Bouvier, an attendee. “But here, since it is an open-air screening, there are less doubts, we feel safer.”

Paris Plages is an annual event held in July and August during which roads along the River Seine are closed to turn the waterfront into beach front.

The event was initiated in 2002 by the newly elected Socialist Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë, to help people cope with the hot summer in the city.

Source: Paris Beaches Open with Floating Cinema on the Seine | Voice of America – English

A Look at the Most Beautiful Villages in France

It’s universally known that rural France has some truly lovely small towns and villages. But did you know there’s actually an organization that dictates which of them are the ‘most beautiful’? This France 24 video will give you a mini tour of 3 out of 159 of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

The first is Usson in the Auvergne region, a 16th century fortress and now a charming village with steep roads and stone cottages straight out of a fairytale, made from volcanic rock.

Next, in Cantobre, in the region of Aveyron, a tiny cliffside village is home to only 15 people, and life is centered around the nearby church. Residents take much care and pride in maintaining their homes, including by dangerous cliff-hanging tasks.

The last village presented, the Provençal town of Cotignac, is “built from local stone” in a bit of a different way. The river that ran through it 500 years ago carved a spectacular rock that is the town’s most striking feature, an adventureland for children, with some surprises hidden inside.

Looking for more virtual vacations? Check out some of our favorite tiny French beach towns for getting away from the crowds.

Sources: Frenchly; France24

Site helps owners plan dog-friendly trips in France

As French residents are encouraged to take holidays in France this summer post-Covid-19, a website is helping dog-owners plan holidays with their pets, sharing dog-friendly listings around the country.

Emmène ton chien (Bring Your Dog), launched by Sophie Morche, has around 100,000 monthly visitors – known as “Wouafers” – who search the site find to dog-friendly places to visit in France, as approved by other members.

Ms Morche says visitors can share places that have made their dogs “really welcome” in France. Dog-friendly establishments are then given a rating from 1-4 on the website’s “Qualidog” scale, depending on how positive users’ experiences have been.

Information provided on the site includes how many dogs can be allowed into a dog-friendly establishment at once, what size dogs are welcome, and whether services – such as bowls and dog pads – are provided. It also answers questions such as which campsites allow dogs in onsite restaurants, and which holiday cottages have dog-gardens. 

Five years ago, Ms Morche adopted her own dog and quickly found: “Finding dog-friendly places wasn’t simple. Often you don’t know what the welcome will be like when you go somewhere. My dog is a member, and a full part, of my family. There are about 18 million people in the same situation [in France], and we shouldn’t apologise for wanting to go on holiday with the whole family!”

As well as accommodation and restaurants, emmenetonchien.com includes popular destinations in France, such as tourist sites and physical activity centres. It also has listings for activities specifically for dogs, such as agility courses and even dog massages. 

For places that want to improve their “Qualidog” rating, the site also offers advice on how to better welcome dog owners. 

Source: Site helps owners plan dog-friendly trips in France

Discovering Paris’s Canal Saint-Martin

Inaugurated in 1825, the Canal Saint-Martin stretches over five districts of eastern Paris. Once essential for transporting goods, it’s mainly used today by tour boats and pleasure cruises. Along its four kilometres, the canal with its nine locks lets both Parisians and tourists alike discover the French capital from a different perspective. FRANCE 24 went on board.

Source: Discovering Paris’s Canal Saint-Martin – You are here