Experiencing Paris like a Parisian Local

Even if you’re just visiting Paris for a short amount of time, having some genuine recommendations from locals can be a great way to experience hidden gems that are well and truly off the tourist track.

We’ve spoken to the travel experts at AutoClick and asked them to tell us about their favourite secret locations in Paris, which we’re hoping will bridge the gap between visitor and local.

Hidden Parisian Gems

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
This park is known for being a summer hangout for many locals looking to escape the heat of the city on a summers evening. Picnics are the order of the day, and you’ll often find couples walking arm in arm looking for a quiet spot to enjoy their dinner.

Top Tip: Visit the park as the evening draws in, for beautiful views of the sunset.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges
Perhaps you’re staying in an apartment with a kitchen, which means you can do some food shopping at the city’s oldest food market. Although the market is often very busy, you’ll see fantastic tables of fruit and vegetables.

Even if you’re staying in a hotel, the beautiful produce displays will be a real eye opening and a very different experience to the Supermarché!

Vintage Shopping
Paris is known for being home to famous luxurious fashion brands, but just off the beaten track you’ll find some treasures in vintage clothing shops. Be prepared to look through piles of clothes and if you’re after a bargain, then these are the best places to look.

Secret Bistros
There’s more to Paris than expensive bars and restaurants. You might have to travel a little further out to find them (which is where hiring a car in Paris could come in handy) but when you do stumble upon a hidden gem you’ll be pleased you made the journey.

Visit the Temple of Love
Of course, Paris is the most romantic city in the world – but instead of gazing across the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower, or putting a lock on Love-Locks bridge, why not visit the hidden Temple of Love, which is in the middle of a lake in the Bois de Vincennes park.

The Temple of Love is much less well known than some of the other romantic attractions boasted by Paris, so you’re unlikely to be sharing your romantic moment with a crowd.

The lake has rowing boats available to hire, which adds to the adventure.

Eat Oysters!
Paris and France may be well known for Escargot, but if that’s not really your thing, then Huitres (oysters) might be more suitable.

Visit the south of the city to find beautiful seafood bistros, with rickety tables outside.

Top Tip: Get to the restaurant at around 7pm to avoid disappointment and always ask to see the specials menu!

Enjoy a boat tour on Canal Saint Martin
Canal Saint Martin is lined with cafes, galleries and bars, so enjoying a boat tour along here means you might find even more hidden gems to visit later in the day. Choosing the canal over the Seine, means that you’ll avoid crowds (and queues!).

Here’s Where to Holiday with a Luxury Budget

You work hard all year long so it only makes sense that when you get the opportunity to go on vacation and take some time off that you want to immerse yourself in luxury and pamper yourself. These destinations are great places to holiday if you are fortunate enough to have a luxury budget.

The French Riviera

The French Riviera is located on the southeastern coast of France and there are so many things that you can do on a luxury budget. There are many coastal villages and towns for you to explore with many sights to see. Nice is a fabulous place to visit and you can wander through fabulous market places, sample fantastic food and be sure to catch the sights like the beautiful architecture of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral or watch an opera in the Opera de Nice. There are famous annual attractions that you should try to attend. The Cannes Film Festival is a world famous event that attracts wealthy people and movie stars from all over the world and it is usually held in May. The Grand Prix is held in Monaco every year and is one of the most famous sporting events in the world. Don’t forget to spend a day or two relaxing on one of the many glorious beaches and think of all of the famous movie stars that have spent time there over the years. When looking for accommodation, why not stay in a luxury villa handpicked by Oliver’s Travels.

Dubai

Dubai is synonymous with luxury and this former oil rich area has reinvented itself as a tourist destination that is known for relaxing and indulging in luxury. Dubai is a great destination for shopping and there are over 60 malls with hundreds of stores to choose from the latest in haute couture. You can take adventurous luxury tours of the city and surrounding area by chartering a hot air balloon, private helicopter, or limousine. You can also rent a luxurious sports car like a Lamborghini or Ferrari to travel out to the desert to see the glorious sights. There are many spas that offer luxurious services for you to take advantage of. You can get almost any kind of food that you like in Dubai so be sure to indulge in the many fantastic restaurants. For more information about booking your trip to Dubai, visit dubaiholidays.co.uk.

Barbados

Barbados is a stunning country in the West Indies that is world renowned for its pristine beaches and glorious scenery. If you are interested in lying on the beach and soaking up the sun be sure to travel to Turtle Beach or Crystal Cove where you can get fantastic accommodation on the beautiful white sandy beaches. If you are into golf you can also stay in a golf resort that offers a world-class course and fantastic amenities like a spa and a pool. Make sure you head to the South Coastal Boardwalk and walk along with the beach on one side and many restaurants, shops, and pubs on the other. Charter a boat and make sure that you spend a day at sea and try the swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports that are available.

3 Ways to Set Sail on an Amazing Holiday

Getting out on the water is a great way to take a break from your day-to-day life and leave all of your worries behind. The relaxing feel of the water beneath your feet as you move around the boat is therapeutic you will find yourself wishing you could spend more time sailing through life. Here are 3 ways to sail through your holiday this year.

Canal Boating in the UK

A great way to spend time on a boat is to give canal boating in the UK a try. You can rent a boat with friends or family and cruise through the more than three thousand miles of England’s canals, and rivers that are just waiting to be explored. You can also rent boats in Wales and Scotland and explore these areas to your heart’s content. There are many different styles of boats to choose from and you can decide whether you want to rent a sailboat, a cabin cruiser or take a barge that is steered by someone else.

It is a great way to see the surrounding sights and you can stop at small villages or cities whenever you feel like it. Some boat rentals allow you to bring dogs along with you so you won’t have to worry about any members of your family missing out on the vacation. If this is something you are interested in, but haven’t done it before, then get in touch with the team at Black Prince as they cater for beginners as well as the more experienced.

Sail down the French Riviera

A fabulous way to holiday is to charter a yacht on the French Riviera and see the wonderful sights of St Tropez, catch the film festival in Cannes, or watch the Grand Prix take place in Monaco. It is a fabulous way to join the world of the rich and famous and relax in the splendor of a private yacht.

If you are only interested in relaxing on the open water, or heading into a quiet port that is also an option that you can choose for your vacation. There are many yacht rental companies to choose from and many styles of yachts to choose from as well. The yachts can come fully staffed with people that will look after all of your needs as well as driving the yacht. Your yacht can also come equipped with a fine kitchen and a chef to prepare the food although you can have prepared food or fresh ingredients delivered to your yacht easily.

Relax on an Australian Cruise

A great way to relax and see some fabulous sights is to go on a cruise in Australia. Cruises leave from the major cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and they include excursions into the country, coastal adventures like the Great Barrier Reef, exploration of uninhabited islands, and trips to the pristine beaches that are scattered along Australia’s beautiful coastline.

You can also take cruises that head into Asia and see the exotic sights of countries like Hongkong, Vietnam, or Singapore. The South Pacific is also an option and you can head to Fiji, Vanuatu or New Caledonia. For some cruise inspiration, visit Cruise Sale Finder.

Choosing the Perfect Holiday Apartments in Paris

It’s probably no surprise to anyone that a vacation to France has made it onto more than one dreamer’s bucket list. From the Eiffel Tower to its world-famous museums, there is more than enough to see and do in Paris alone to keep a visitor entertained for weeks on end. Luckily, at the end of the day, weary travelers have almost limitless options when it comes to choosing where they lay their heads each night. Quaint B&B’s, and charming hotels dot the city’s landscape, and for those wishing to immerse themselves into the culture more deeply, holiday apartments provide all of the creature comforts of home for an extended stay.

Many times it is simply more economical for adventurers to seek out longer-term rentals. Particularly in situations where a trip might be combined with work, or perhaps Paris has been chosen as a jumping off point, or home base for a more extensive trip through Europe. Private apartment rentals are an attractive option in this regard as they offer a more customizable environment, more room, and more freedom to come and go as you please. Not having to worry about the hassles of re-booking expensive hotel rooms, making scheduled meal times, or needing to tip someone every time you reach for a towel leaves you with more time to relax and enjoy your stay on your own terms.

Here is a quick look at some of the options available to travelers visiting the City of Love. Each place offers a different type of hospitality to help you plan your trip just the way you like.

Hotels

When it comes to booking a stay in one of the many stylish, and luxurious hotels of Paris, there are almost as many options to choose from as there are sights to see. You will find small, privately owned motels that provide you with Old World charm, and the unique fingerprint of the proprietor, to large scale and popularly known hospitality chains that cater to travellers every whim. Some of the most extravagant establishments offer Five Star dining and deluxe accommodations designed to please and impress more discerning vacationers. You may need to do a bit of investigating to find the right fit for your personal dream vacation, but your choices are limitless.

B&B’s

The B&B is one the more romantic options for honeymooners, lovers and anyone wanting to add something special to an important anniversary. Travelers looking for a bit more pampering from their vacation will love the “welcome home” atmosphere that most B&B owners offer. The bed and breakfast experience also offers a more personal touch with the local French culture. Home cooked meals are provided, where guests discuss their itineraries and get real insider information from their hosts about where to find the best wine bar or restaurant. The hosts may even let you in on local secret gems, and which tourist traps to avoid. This option is great for anyone looking for a touch of personality on his or her European adventure.

Holdiay Rentals

If you are spending more than a few days then it makes sense to book a holiday rental in Paris. It actually works out to be more economical to rent an apartment, and you will get the experience of living in Paris as opposed to being somewhere purely for tourists. Apartment style living is great for travelers who are looking for a bit more personal freedom than the average tourist.

Apartments vary in size and cost and are plentiful. Most provide traveling tenants the unique opportunity to come and go as they please, just as they would in their own home. Owners usually furnish their rentals with modern amenities like internet and cable tv, and all furnishings are provided. Apartments also let visitors prepare food they buy from local markets in a private kitchen.

Regardless of how you imagine your romantic vacation in Paris, a perfect getaway is waiting to be discovered that will push your experience beyond our expectations.

4 great cycling destinations in France

With biking trails that snake through picturesque coastal communities and vast green spaces, France is one of the best destinations for cyclists who want to explore country landscapes and historic metropolises on their bike. There is a whole host of hidden treasures to explore in France by bike, including twisting trails off the beaten track that make France a pleasure to explore.

1. Marseille

While the north of France can experience temperamental weather, especially during the fall and winter months, the south of the country is a different story. With coastal towns and picture-postcard fishing villages, the French Riveria is the ultimate destination for bikers who prefer to cycle in warm weather. Book a trip to Marseille, a port city which has been a major trading post since 600 BC. Famous for its cobbled streets and bustling markets, the modern metropolis combines a city break with a beach vacation, with many trails to explore.

2. Avignon

Avignon’s beautiful architecture is encapsulated by its steepled churches and stone bridges that overlook the Rhone River. The city was once the seat of Catholic popes in the 12th century and continues to lure history buffs and bikers who want breathtaking vistas. Here, you can explore medieval stone monuments, royal palaces and market squares on your bike and choose from a plethora of accommodation, including boutique hotels and welcoming guest houses. The surrounding region is also famous for its wine and you can book a winery tour when you get there.

3. Chamonix

Nestled in the snow-topped mountains, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, or Chamonix for short, is a popular ski resort which attracts tourists from around the world. As well as the cable cars and mountain views, Chamonix is a biker’s paradise, with trails and routes that intersect the center of the resort. Ride past historic buildings and awe-inspiring architecture; just don’t forget to bring your camera with you! Here, the roads aren’t too busy, allowing you to whizz around the resort by bike and check out the cultural landmarks and other attractions wth ease. The resort is close to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain peak in Europe outside of the Caucasus region.

4. Fontenay-le-Comte

Close to France’s west coast, and a stone’s throw from the tranquil Vendée River, Fontenay-le-Comte is a small commune in the Vendée department that is the perfect place to explore by bike. Cycle past iconic structures like Notre-Dame church, Saint-Jean church, and Quatre Tias’ fountain and explore beautiful local landmarks like Billaud house and Rivalland tower. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all that cycling, make sure you sample local cuisine in one of the commune’s many cozy restaurants, which serve authentic flavors and mouth-watering ingredients. Looking to book the ultimate cycling vacation in Fontenay-le-Comte? Check out cycling holidays from France-Voyage, the travel site that provides you with a wealth of information when planning your trip. You can check out rentals, hotels, campsites and more, providing you with all the information you need before you embark on your trip.

Our family cycling guide for the Loire Valley

Cycle enthusiasts, families and those just keen to get away from it all will thoroughly enjoy a peaceful bike ride through the beautiful surroundings of the French countryside. Cycle alongside the River Loire through the valley and take in the breath-taking scenery filled with endless vineyards, historic towns, villages, and châteaux. There are plenty of fantastic cycling routes to pick from each offering their own unique and picturesque first-hand experience of France.

Our family cycling guide for the Loire Valley

Some of the more popular routes along the Loire Valley have been enjoyed for many years now by those of all ages looking to take a gentle ride through the idyllic countryside. There are many routes of different lengths that offer so much to see and so many places to stop off and visit along the way. A shorter route means you can take it easy and better enjoy the surroundings one sunny afternoon, whilst those looking to get plenty of exercise will benefit more from the longer 45km cycle routes available. There is the Loire bike route as well as the impressive trans-regional bike route, the Loire à vélo, that crosses through a number of areas.

There is plenty of accommodation throughout the valley so if you do decide to take a break and you need a well-earned rest and to get your head down for the evening before you head back out again then you won’t be short of options. To ensure you know exactly where you’re headed it would be a good idea to pick up a guide and familiarise yourself with the various hostels, B&B’s and tables d’hôtes, which are B&B that includes an evening meal. Of course if you’d like more of a rural experience you can also pick from the many campsites along the way such as the Parc de Fierbois and pitch up your tent.

Loire Valley is an essential wine region and the area which stretches from the Auvergne hills all the way to the coastal area near Nantes is filled with must-see vineyards especially for wine lovers and fanatics. Cycling through wine country and visiting each of the regions is a great way for those looking to learn more about wine making and wine tasting. Sampling the diverse range of flavours under the beaming sun surrounded by the beautiful landscapes is an experience like none other. You can even improve your French wine knowledge with BelleFrance’s Loire Valley wine map, and other useful wine-based guides, that will help see you along the path through the valley.

Cycling Loire Valley

Whatever trip you decide to take it’s sure to be filled with unforgettable scenic views and many incredible locations to soak up. The freedom of a cycling holiday allows you, your partner and your family to explore the French countryside. You can have a picnic river side then cycle to a local wine museum or charming château. The best part is that if you plan your route beforehand you can ensure that every moment of your trip gets the very best out of your cycling experience.

7 Absurdly Expensive Places You Need to Visit

7 Absurdly Expensive Places You Need to Visit

Most of us infected with the travel bug aren’t what most people would call well-off. We invest an inordinate percentage of income in items with little monetary return, like plane tickets, hotel rooms, and fancy cameras, and as a result, we usually choose places to visit that aren’t particularly hard on the wallet, like South America or Southeast Asia.

However, what most budget travelers fail to recognize is that while we applaud ourselves for our financially savvy traveling strategy, we are actually missing out on some of the most outstanding world travel opportunities — just for the sake of our bank accounts. To prove my point, here are seven of the highest-priced travel destinations on Earth and why you absolutely cannot miss them due to their expense.

First, Some Big-Ticket Travel Tips

Budget travelers aren’t accustomed to spending thousands of dollars on one-way plane tickets and hundreds of dollars on hostel beds, so many have never learned some important lessons about saving money on expensive travel, like these:

Season. Obviously, the tourist high season will be most expensive, but off-seasons are also pricey. The best deals occur during shoulder periods, usually in early spring and fall.

Credit cards. Rewards cards can save you more than airfare; with the right combination of cards, you can go places for virtually no expense whatsoever.

Friends. More bodies mean more opportunities to split the check, so the more people you travel with, the cheaper your trip will be.

Discounts. Many of the most expensive places contain must-see attractions with costly tickets, and you can save by purchasing group fares at hotels or tourism offices.

The truth is that travel anywhere can be expensive, but with the right strategies, it doesn’t have to cost as much as we usually spend. Thus, without further ado, here are the places it pays to visit — even if you pay quite a bit to get there.

1. Norway
For 10 years, Norway has held the top spot among expensive travel destinations. For many travelers, this might come as a shock: The Scandinavian country seems to offer few world-famous landmarks or natural wonders to attract tourists. The truth is Norway is a well-kept secret, containing some of the most gorgeous sights in the world.

2. Switzerland
Alternatively, as one of the richest countries in the world, Switzerland is barely surprising as an expensive destination, with the average hotel room costing roughly $224 per night. Worse still, the cities and countryside rarely offer discounts, as Switzerland is just as popular in snowy winter as in balmy summer. Still, the Alpine skiing alone should be enough to bring you to the Swiss.

3. United Kingdom
The Pound and the Dollar have always struggled for supremacy, but for the past decade or so, it has steadily become outrageously expensive for Americans to tour the United Kingdom. Still, few Americans can resist the pull of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which serve as mother countries to many in our melting pot. Filled to bursting with historical sites, including several hundred in London alone, the U.K. is worthy of a long stay — if you can afford it.

4. Italy
It is the extraordinary combination of stunning natural scenery, beautiful climate, delicious cuisine, and historical significance that makes Italy a must for tourists. Fortunately, many of the larger cities aren’t especially hard on traveling wallets, but the drive to see the wealth of Italy’s geography — especially wine country to the north — that can increase costs to nearly $4,000 per week.

Italy

5. Australia
A Western destination near the Far East, an exotic island whose inhabitants speak English, Australia is full of intriguing contradictions. However, in just five years, the land down under has jumped from 38th to seventh in the list of most expensive countries, making it difficult not only for travelers to reach — considering its position at the edge of the world — but also for travelers to afford.

6. France
The top destination for light and love — not to mention outstanding cuisine — France builds its budget around its average annual $87.4 million in international tourism. In cities and the countryside, France’s reputation tends toward luxury and sophistication, which doesn’t come cheap. Still, there is no sight more welcome to tourists than the iconic Eiffel Tower, a common symbol of world travel.

7. Israel
A desirable destination for millennia, Israel continues to attract religious pilgrims, adventure seekers, and world travelers. The average visitor to the Holy Land spends nearly $2,000 for the privilege of staying and seeing age-old cultural sites. Yet, most travelers cannot resist the allure of a land that has been so contentious for so long.

Pack your bags to… Paris

The City of Light is one of the world’s most romantic travel destinations and has it all. Yearning for some seriously beautiful cityscapes and iconic monuments? Consider it done. Hungry for one of the globe’s most famous cuisines? It’s literally on a plate. Eager for a dose of super high culture? It’s all yours for the taking. Yet in all that, are you tired of the old Parisian travel clichés, and keen to discover a different side to the Paris everyone else knows and loves? Well, you’ve come to the right place. So you’ve taken your pick of the abundance of Paris holiday apartments. As one of the world’s most visited locations, there’s no shortage of holiday rentals here, so finding a base in one of the city’s glorious and varied arrondissements won’t prove problematic. All you have to do is focus on the city break to trump all city breaks. Allow us to offer up a few suggestions.

Things to do

What could be more French that hurtling through the country’s capital in an old Citroen 2CV? Unless you’re eating a portion of escargot while you’re at it, not much. Check out the kitsch and genius 4rous Sous 1parapluie who provide chauffeured tours of Paris’s must-see areas while you sit back and take it all in.

Visit Montmartre. This heartbreakingly quaint area of Paris made famous by Amelie isn’t just beautiful; it’s bustling with life, steeped in the cabaret-artisan history made famous by the likes of Toulouse Lautrec. And amongst its eateries, cafes and gift shops, there’s a tiny little vineyard where visitors can book a short tour and taste some of its produce.

Eat dinner on the Seine. Book in on a much-recommended riverboat tour one evening and enjoy a three-course meal while absorbing the city’s sites from the romance of the water. This must be what it would have felt like to be Edith Piaf!

Best time to go

Paris is incredible all year round, but it’s no accident that its synonymy with springtime has endured. As the city bursts into new floral life, the swell of its romantic atmosphere couldn’t get any more acute. But while some argue that the summer months is the best time to visit Paris, taking a trip during winter time also has its magical merits: it isn’t called the City of Light for nothing.

Top 3 Hipster districts to visit

Canal St Martin: This is where the young and in the know hang out these days, catching up with friends and enjoying a beer or two in the dwindling sunlight. Check out its focal point, Point Ephémere, for gigs, exhibitions and the kind of underground Parisian culture nobody else has ever managed to find.

Le Marais: Not strictly orthodox hipster, but cool as alley cats nonetheless. Browse the area’s vintage scene, its boutiques and galleries, and sate your inner culture vulture’s thirst with a glass of something delicious outside one of its many brasseries.

Menilmontant: The 20th arrondissement’s buzzing alternative artists scene is as vibrant today as it was in its famous 1930s heyday. If you like café culture and artist spotting, this is your place.

Insider locations to dine and hangout

We’ve all gotta eat, and who doesn’t want a refreshing biere at the end of a long day taking in the best Paris has to offer? Take a look at some of our favourites.

Eat
Chez Janou
2 Rue Roger Verlomme
75003
+33 1 42 72 28 41
This utterly authentic restaurant in The Marais region boasts Frencher than French cuisine and will have you feeling like a native boho in no time.

Auteuil Brasserie
78 Rue d’Auteuil
75016
+33 1 40 71 11 90
Munch down on some of Paris’s finest Italian food at this restaurant that was until recently an abandoned railway station.

Le Petit Vendome
8 Rue des Capucines
75002
+33 1 42 61 05 88
Ideal (and very popular) for a light lunch, grab a delicious filled baguette and go. Just be prepared to join a long queue!

Bars
Batofar
13 Quai Francois Mauriac
75013
+33 1 53 60 17 00
It’s worth going the distance to reach this boat conversion into a bar and club for a great night out.

Le Sans Souci
65 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle
75009
+33 1 48 74 37 28
This popular bar in the Pigalle area attracts throngs of locals in pursuit of refreshment; a great way to experience the real crust of Paris nightlife.

Experimental Cocktail Club
37 Rue Saint-Sauveur
75002
+33 1 45 08 88 09
If cocktails are your poison, you’ll love this trendy bar where mixologists whip a storm of unusual and delicious drinks.

Four reasons to visit France

France is one of the world’s most popular destinations and there are many reasons why travellers choose to holiday in the country. One of the best adverts for France is that 80% of the French people who leave home for their holidays actually choose to holiday elsewhere in the nation, rather than going to another country. You can’t get a better advert for a country than the bulk of its population not wanting to holiday anywhere else!

So why does France attract so many visitors? Here are just a few good reasons.

Land of history and heritage

France is packed with amazing cathedrals and chateaux, as well as beautiful sites such as Mont St Michel. Where France can let the visitor down, though, is the way in which sites of special historical interest are sometimes presented. Some of the guided tours around magnificent buildings such as the Palais de Versailles can be dull, so make sure to read some Trip Advisor reviews before booking a particular tour. You may have more fun just paying for the entry and going round by yourself.

The great outdoors

There’s a wealth of different landscapes to enjoy in France and, in many of them, you can cycle, bike and hike your way through beautiful territories. A great example would be the wine route in areas such as the Route des Grands Crus in the Côte de Beaune in Burgundy, where the fields are covered in hectares and hectares of vines, dotted with beautiful villages. For the more adventurous, there’s canyoning to be done – whether you choose the Verdon Gorge in the South East, the Chamonix Valley or around Mont-Blanc or the French Riviera. Canyoning is a mix of different sports, including abseiling down waterfalls, caving, climbing and rafting and it is a great way to get an adrenalin rush in beautiful and dramatic scenery.

Sampling the different wines of Burgundy is all part of the fun
[By Philip Larson]

Be a part of something big

You can always tie in your French trip with a big sporting event. Every year, the Tour de France weaves a different route across the length and breadth of France, and it can be great to stay somewhere near the route so you can stand by the roadside and cheer on the cyclists. In the build-up to the leaders and the peloton passing through, there’s also the lively atmosphere of the caravan – a stream of different merchandising vehicles that travel the route ahead of the cyclists. Though the cyclists will pass in a blur of helmets and lycra, it’s a great spectacle.

Next year sees a massive sporting event being hosted in France, when the finals of Euro 2016 take place in June and July. Nine cities, including Marseille, across France will host different matches, with the opening game and the final taking place at the Stade de France in Paris. The French are hosting the event for the third time and international football betting odds at the time of writing have the host country at around 4/1 to win the tournament, behind the 2014 World Cup winners Germany. Even if you don’t get tickets to any of the games, the atmosphere is sure to be lively while Euro 2016 is on in la belle France.

Paris

Notre Dame on the Seine in Paris
[By  dalbera]

Need we say more! Paris is a city that seems to be on most people’s travel bucket lists. The city is one that has always been linked with romance, beauty, art and history, and always will be. Paris is easy to navigate on foot, or using the public transport systems, and the different quarters all have their own appealing features. Few would visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower (even if they don’t go up it), taking a trip along the River Seine and visiting museums such as The Louvre and churches such as Notre-Dame.

Whatever the main reasons for wanting to visit France, few people will be disappointed. As well as all the amazing places to visit and see in France, part of the fun of a French holiday is soaking up the culture – things like the croissants and pain au chocolat for breakfast, and the wonderful food you’ll be served in all types of restaurant. Then there are everyday things such as watching (or joining in) a game of boules with the old guys in the village square, settling into the slow pace of life in the countryside where you might have rented a gite, or people-watching on the beaches.
With generally clement summer weather, French holidays have a magical ambience to them. It’s no wonder people return again and again to this beautiful country.

3 Great Cycling Breaks in Europe

There are, perhaps, very few activities that are more adventurous, interesting and wholesome than exploring another country on a bike! Although each country in Europe offers fantastic environments for cycling breaks, there are a few – like these three great destinations – that can be compared to any of the best cycling destinations in the world…

Rome, Italy
With a bike, helmet and a local guide provided to you, discovering the history behind Rome is just a pedal away. If you choose to have a local guide accompany you on the cycle tour, you don’t have to keep guessing the story behind each monument. Moreover, you can discover Rome’s ancient structures; understand that every nook and cranny of Rome is brimming with an unexpected surprise. Explore the various churches and fountains, and cycle through Rome’s ancient secret passageways, and toast yourself to a gelato. When on a cycle tour around Rome, be sure not to miss the Colle Oppio garden, the Venezia Square, the Pantheon, the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Theatre of Marcelllus, and the Piazza Navona.

Andalucía, Spain
Explore the romantic landscape and the enchanting elegance of Andalucía in Spain on a cycle and take home beautiful memories. Start your cycle tour – independent or guided – from the beautiful Seville. Explore its mosque- cathedral of Mezquita, rustic city of Cordoba, dip into the history of the place before heading to Andalucía. You just need to bring your own helmet (even though you can choose to get one from the guide), and a lot of adrenaline to the tour. Take the White Village tour and enjoy cycling on dirt tracks and countryside roads, see the rivers and lakes pass by, and venture into the lush forests before taking a break at the Via Verde. From independent exploration to self-guided tours, leisure cycling tours to family cycling holidays, mountain biking to winter training camps, exploring Andalucía on two wheels is everything a cycle tour enthusiast would ask for.

Brittany, France
Ask any experienced cycle tourist who has explored Europe about their favorite cycling break destination and more often than not, they will sing the praises of Brittany. Brittany is a place that is perfect for a cycling holiday in France – you will see a nice cozy bar or a restaurant every 10 miles or so. A short cycling tour will help you explore tiny villages, lust green hillsides, and thick forests, cross moorland, marketplaces, coastlines and cliffs. No place in France will offer so much variety than Brittany. The climate of Brittany is perfect for both long and short cycle stints. The food is great, the people are perfect and the place is a cycle tour enthusiast paradise. The un-spoilt villages like Gouarec, rural landscape, pristine waterways, beautiful farms, ancient lanes and rolling landscape – Brittany is perhaps the best place to start your cycle tour.

Chosen by some of the most enthusiastic travelers, these three destinations – Rome, Brittany and Andalucía – have the best of nature, history and adventure packed into one, so hop onto 2 wheels and get yourself over there!