This Christmas, if you want to stimulate your mind without travelling too far, why not enjoy holidays in France, starting with the enchanting city of Paris! You could view Paris through a new pair of glasses this time! Paris is home to awe inspiring monuments such as the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, which have a different appeal at sunrise, sunset and at night. It is always a pleasure to take a leisurely walk along the river Seine, while absorbing the beauty of Paris.
Nevertheless, it is an added feast for the eyes and mind to re-visit Paris, as it reveals something new each time. Books or photographs can never truly capture the grandness and magic of Paris. Living in an old chateau or rental villa in France with your friends and family can itself be an experience of a lifetime. Exploring the avenues and back streets of the city is an interesting journey of discovery! So perhaps its time to pack those bags, drive or take the Eurostar to enjoy Christmas holidays in France!
Make this a special Christmas you will always remember! Have you thought about spending Christmas in a cosy cottage in France with loved ones and shopping in the fashionable and festive streets of Paris? Imagine having a New Year bash with friends at a Parisian nightclub and using the rest of your holiday to chill out in your cottage or apartment in Paris, overlooking the stunningly lit Eiffel Tower!
Another city near Paris, worth adding to your itinerary is Rouen. Rouen brims with cultural heritage – the stonework of the Cathedral, the Gothic and Renaissance architectural masterpieces and the classical mansions are exemplary works of art. The facades of the partly wooden villas in France are beautiful and eternal!!
Rouen is a living artistic and historic city that has been officially granted the status of “ville d’art et d’histoire”. The capital of Normandy has about 50 monuments and historic mansions and villas in France worth seeing. Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert and Claude Monet have originated from Normandy making it one of the leading centres of the world’s intangible heritage. Some of the brilliant places worth visiting are Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Abbaye Saint-Ouen or the abbey, Gros-Horloge or the astronomical clock, the Jewish Monument “La Maison Sublime,” the Impressionist collection at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Ceramics museum and the Secq des Tournelles.
Although Rouen is proud of its river, waterfront and maritime identity, it has a timeless mystery that has always fascinated painters, writers and travellers, alike. For those with artistic wings, holidays in France should include a trip to Paris or Rouen, to allow your mind to take flight. Rouen, with its enigmatic natural beauty, pearly, transparent skies, lovely hues of sunsets and the gentle movement of the icy blue air on winter day would bring out the poet in any visitor!!
On the practical side, there are several luxury villas to rent in France or bed and breakfast guest houses in France with a truly historic flavour. A weekend 1 hour from Paris in Rouen, could be your ideal inspirational start to the New Year!
Le Havre is another city near Paris, worth exploring. It has a shipping port, boating centre and seaside, all within 2 hours from Paris. Le Havre is well known for Porte Océane, a World Heritage site since 2005. A great place to visit in Le Havre is Saint-Joseph’s church set amidst Le Havre’s interpretation of the sky line of New York. The “appartement témoin,” is a restored apartment in France that is a showplace for Perret’s style and that of French decorators in the 1950s.
The Espace Oscar Niemeyer is a beautiful theatre, while the “Bains des Docks” is an aquatic complex inspired by the Roman baths. The Musée Malraux and its Impressionist collection, is second only to the Musée d’Orsay. Maison de L’Armateur is a late-18th-century architectural gem worth marveling at. Besides, you can always spend time on the beach near your rental villa in France for moments of peace and quiet.
Versailles or the home of the Sun King is a city half an hour away from Paris. It was created by Louis XIV three centuries ago with the most ostentatious Château de Versailles, a unique historic and artistic treasure. During your holidays in France, you could enjoy a grand tour of the famous château in its 800 hectares of grounds, with the Petit Trianon, the Grand Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s Estate and the Royal Kitchen Garden, following which you could explore the Versailles town.
A novelty, L’Académie du Spectacle Equestre features horse shows and offers horse riding. Another historic beauty, Le Potager du Roi was created when King Louis XIV ordered La Quintinie to create a new kitchen garden for him. Furthermore, Le marché du quartier Notre Dame is one of the best-known open air markets in the greater Paris region. Les Antiquaires de la Geôle et du Bailliage is well reputed for antique dealers since 250 years.
Undoubtedly, Paris, Rouen, Le Havre and Versailles make an interesting itinerary for holidays in France, in winter or spring. Even at the last minute, one can easily find all types of holiday rentals in France, be it rental apartments in Paris, holiday home villas and apartments in Paris suburbs of Versailles, Rouen, Fontainebleau or Le Havre, or even other bed and breakfast holiday villas in France. Its time to act and make this your most memorable Christmas and joyfully ring in the 2011!!