Throughout history, France has always played a pivotal role in Europe. From Art to Politics to Architecture, it is a fascinating place. Here is some background information to consider before your trip.
An Overview of France for Travelers
The official name of the country is the French Republic. The French Republic covers an area of 220,668 square miles. This makes it the largest country in Western Europe, which is about 80 percent the size of Texas for comparison purposes. The capital of France is Paris. Other major cities of note include the port city of Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nice, Rennes, Lille and Bordeaux in the famous wine region of the same name. If you have ever watched the Tour de France, you know the terrain in France varies from majestic mountain peaks to flat plains to beautiful coast line along the southern and western borders of the country. This gives the country various climatic conditions ranging from very cool in the mountain areas to downright hot in the southern beach locations such as Nice.
Citizens of the French Republic are designated with the name French. The total population exceeds 62.4 million with a strong annual growth rate of over 2 percent. Ethnicity is broken down as Celtic and Latin for strong influences of Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese and Basque minorities. The strong minority base is due to two facts, a lax immigration policy and the migration of peoples from former colonies of France during its more imperial periods.
Despite the massive immigrant influx over time, France is a largely uniform religious society. Over 90 percent of all French claim the Roman Catholic faith as their religion of choice. Strong Muslim population sectors, however, exist and are growing rapidly through immigration. The official language of the country is French and it is also the dominant language used in daily life. The literacy rate for France is over 99 percent, which makes sense given the free, compulsory education system.
As this overview of France demonstrates, it has played a major role in European history. This makes it a great travel destination since much of the country has historical value, which you can experience by just walking down the street.
France Festivities for a Unique Vacation
The French people say that their country is exceptional. In this case, you might be also interested to take a trip in this prominent European country.
The European continent awards the title of being the biggest country there is in it to France. The breathtaking landscapes and sceneries, beautiful array of villages, resorts, and the prospect of romantic encounters are all enveloped by France.
Likewise, don’t be shocked if you see the French natives adorning themselves with lots of ways to improve their physique because they place a high regard to their bodies as a gift from their Creator. In this case, they value extreme sports. Among of the heavy sports that the country popularizes are paragliding, hiking, skiing, boating, swimming, diving, and many more.
Also, whenever you make the effort of learning their language, you must talk like the French people talk. They love their language so much that they see it as the most captivating one in the whole world.
Now you might be thinking about where you will drop by in France. Here are some pointers that you may want to take a look at as you decide on your destinations in France. They are the highlights that you will surely look forward to.
The French Merriment
Besides the festivities of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and that of the Bastille Day, there are a spectrum of religious, arts, and regional festivals that the French people celebrate. If you are interested to partake in these noted festivities, you may travel close to their celebration date. Of course, the French people never fail to employ sumptuous food and wine.
The New Year and Grande Parade Paris are welcomed with a colorful festival in January 1st.
The Mardi Gras Nice is a two-week affair that transpires in between February to March. The grand celebration is held with lively street parades, street parties, fireworks, and the famous monster lights.
The Cannes Film Festival is another much awaited event that occurs in the middle of the month of May. Even though you are not a part of the star circles, you can always take a look at the honored films, actors, and film makers in this celebration.
The Gypsy Festival is celebrated in mid May or October. Real and acting gypsies come together to celebrate it with lively music and dances.
In June, the well attended Music Festival is aired.
July 14 is reserved for the celebration of Bastille Day. It is regarded as the grandest and biggest festivity that France stages annually. Street parades and parties accompany the event which aims to recall the historical account of the French Revolution.
Also celebrated in July is Tour de France. The three-week long cycling race event is one wherein the participants need to transverse a 2000-mile road length.
The months of July and August paves the way for the festivities of the Festival d’Avignon with the prominent Arts celebration as the highlight.
Also, the Festival Interceltique that is celebrated in August showcases the Celtic music and culture which is staged in Brittany.
Whether you are planning to visit this European country alone, with friends or with your family, there’s so much for you to do and see. Moreover, a unique European vacation will be more interesting if you get yourself to France.
The best of France
No country embodies the grandeur of European travel quite like France. From the international artistic reputation of Cannes to the luxurious leisure of the Riviera, France has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to overcome a tumultuous history by enriching the quality of life with those experiences. The diversity of the country will leave you stimulated, satiated and asking for more when you finally treat yourself and travel to France!
Throughout European history, France has been the undisputed pioneer of social revolution and cultural renaissance. An enlightened society with classic charm, France will guide your journey seamlessly through centuries of power and progress, defeats and suffering, all of which possess an essence of timelessness. Travel France in July and witness Bastille Day, a commemoration of the destruction of the prison that King Louis XVI and his predecessors used to quiet social disruption and censor or torture public irritants. The day is symbolic of the value of social freedoms and democratic governance to the French people. The main celebration takes place in Paris at the former site of the Bastille.
Go further back in time and explore the French countryside, which is rich with Roman Ruins dating up until the 5th Century. Gréoux-les-Bains, in the south of France, is known not only for its hot springs but also for the ruins of Roman bath tubs and swimming pools that depended on these springs as a source for hot water. Aix-en-Provence is a well known town central to France’s wine and art culture, but also shares a Roman past as an ancient city with two aqueducts demonstrating the technological prowess of the Roman people.
For a more unique experience, travel to the Loire Valley, a bastion of medieval castles, and have yourself a true Châteaux experience. Many of the ancient and classical castles have rooms available for rent, mainly during the summer season. There is no better way to be immersed in French history; plus, the castles often offer the best of the surrounding wine region.
French Travel: More Than a History Lesson
Not only is France a gateway into Europe’s enchanting history, the country that is world renowned for its irresistible food, fabulous wines and sophisticated lifestyle does live up to its reputation. Visit Nice to enjoy the coveted Riviera way of life while avoiding the throngs of tourists that swarm to St. Tropez just up the coast. While in Paris, make sure to enjoy a quiche lorraine in a local café somewhere on the outskirts of town in addition to scaling the Eiffel Tower or getting lost in the Louvre. However you choose to travel, there is no way to miss the robust culture and resilient history of France.