Introduction to France

Forget the clichés. Actually no - berets, baguettes and Breton stripes are awesome. So by all means, embrace the clichés, but know this - France’s most defining feature is its incredible diversity. From gently rolling hills to soaring Alpine peaks, world-class surf breaks to calm and classy côtes, imposing cities to charming villages – the contrasts are endless, epic and enchanting. Ooh la la!

France is the largest country in western Europe, bordered by Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and Spain. As famed for its breathtaking cities and historic landmarks as it is for its pretty petite villages and stinky cheese, France truly is a tourist’s wonderland. There’s more palaces, chateaus and maisons to poke around in than you can poke a baguette at!

Of course, France is probably most famous for its City of Love. You’ve heard of Paris, non? The Eiffel Tower? The Louvre? Arc de Triomphe? You’ll find some of the most famous landmarks in the world here. And, where to start with the cultural treasures? There are over 1,200 museums in France, not to mention countless churches and cathedrals as well as scores of grand theatres and opera houses. Liberte! Egalite! Fabulosite! That’s right, isn’t it?

And, let’s just get this out of the way. The French do have a reputation for being a little aloof. But a bit of French and little etiquette go a long way. So, our advice is to learn the lingo and shoot for smart-casual threads if you’re eating out. That double kiss thing? They’re air kisses - lip-on-cheek contact is a non-non.

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