France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its wines and sophisticated cuisine. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the vast Palace of Versailles attest to its rich history.
PARIS – the capital, is a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, famous for its wide boulevards, the River Seine, the Eiffel Tower, the 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES – its origins date back to the seventeenth century, was successively a hunting lodge, a seat of power and, from the nineteenth century, a museum, it has the gardens and the Palaces of Trianon, the park of the Château de Versailles spreads over 800 hectares
CHAMPAGNE – best known as the Champagne wine region for the sparkling white wine that bears its name
REIMS – it’s the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, and many of the well-known champagne houses headquartered there offer tastings and cellar tours, the 3rd-century Porte de Mars triumphal arch marks the town’s time under Roman rule, for more than 1,000 years, French kings were crowned at its Cathédrale Notre-Dame
STRASBOURG – it’s the formal seat of the European Parliament, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences, its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River from partway up its 142m spire
PROVENCE – is a region famous for its lavender