Tag: France Travel

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How to Get to Andorra, Europe's Teeny-Tiny Pyrenees Paradise

February 25, 2015 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

The itty-bitty country of Andorra is carved from the Pyrenees, with its cities all nestled in green valleys surrounded by snow-topped mountain peaks as if ripped from a Ricola commercial. Our routing to Andorra began with a flight to Barcelona, and a trip to Barcelona's bus stations to ask which would be the next bus to Andorra. We advise you to do a little more advance planning than that, and we're here to help.

With no airport and no train system, Andorra is perhaps one of the least accessible countries in Europe. It likes it that way, however; Andorra has been independent since 1278 and, at only 180 square miles, ranks as the sixth smallest European country (the five smaller are Vatican City, Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Malta).

Its tallest peak (Coma Pedrosa) is nearly 10,000' high, and the population is approximately 85,000 people, which pales in comparison to the nearly 10 million annual tourists who come to Andorra for skiing, duty-free shopping, and the Caldea spa.

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Get Schooled, in Wine, in Bordeaux

Where: 3, cours du XXX juillet , Bordeaux, France, 33000
January 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have to admit: when we planned a trip to Bordeaux last year we expected a fairly conservative, overly touristy wine city. What we found, however, was a hip and happening sort of place where even the wine trade plays it cool at school.

Determined to get right into the wine scene, we booked a two-hour wine workshop at L’Ecole du Vin, run by Bordeaux’s official wine association, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (from now on known as the CIVB because we don’t want to have to type that out again). We walked into a high-tech, all-white and walnut laboratory of which Louis Pasteur would be proud.

(Check out the pics in the photo gallery below!)

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3 Hours Flat from Amsterdam to Paris on the Thalys Train

December 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Eurostar and the French TGV may take up most of the spotlight of Europe’s high-speed rail network, but there are other options for zooming through the continent’s patchwork of countries, depending on where you go. There is the sleek, white, and German ICE and, if you’re looking to travel between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, the shiny, red Thalys.

Thalys reduces Amsterdam to Paris, a 316-mile, 5-hour drive, to almost three hours flat (ok, 3 hours and 14 minutes) of high-speed comfort. It runs between Amsterdam Central Station and Paris Gare du Nord, giving you the advantage of city center to city center travel too. Stops along the way include Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels.

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Travel Contest Roundup: Win 4 International Trips, from Paris to Fiji

December 12, 2014 at 10:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!

Here are four vacation contests to enter right now that will help you score another stamp in your passport:

Visit Denmark – It's More Than Great Design

Denmark is a pricey place to visit, but winning a trip will get you there for free. Check out the design—and the Danish—with this trip. The grand prize winner scores a trip for two, but be sure to enter today—things close on December 12.

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The Jaunted Guide to the 12 Best Winter Holiday Markets in Europe

November 5, 2014 at 1:39 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: Heidelberg castle, with the market and ice skating rink in a Platz below

Christkindlmarkt, Weihnachtsmarkt or Marché de Noël—whatever the name, the game's the same. European Christmas Markets are several weeks of seeing cities at their best, festively decorated and with tasty seasonal specialties on offer. Travelers used to seeing Europe in summer are in for a shock, and perhaps a change of season preference, once the charm of winter takes hold of the historic city centers and the hot mulled wine is poured.

With so much magic in store across the continent, it can be difficult to chose just one or two cities for your winter market visit. Luckily we've narrowed it down, highlighting the most beloved markets for the 2014 holiday season, in the countries with the most tradition behind the events:

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How to Kiss in France

Where: France
October 23, 2014 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Even tombstones get multiple kisses in France.

Every country, and culture, has its customs. The Japanese consider tipping after meals an insult. And in Germany, you should never—ever!—jaywalk, even if it’s 4:00 a.m. and there’s no traffic.

Meanwhile, in France, the cheek—or cheek-to-cheek or cheek-to-cheek-to-cheek—kiss is a sort of cultural delicacy, like fine wine. For example, you wouldn't order a Lyon wine in the heart of Burgundy, just in the same way you might want to be cautious when you kiss only two cheeks in Burgundy, when, typically, you should kiss four.

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Travel Contest Roundup: Four Ways to Visit Paris for Free

Where: Paris, France
September 19, 2014 at 12:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!

Here are 4 Paris contests to enter right now:

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The Louvre Has a Pest Control Problem

Where: Paris, France
August 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

First it was pickpockets, and now there’s another kind of pest hanging out around the Louvre over in Paris.

It seems like the inside of the museum is safe, but the gardens that surround the place are kind of infested with rats—gross. Apparently visitors and tourists enjoy leaving bits and pieces of trash and picnic debris behind, and that encourages the rats to come out and snack. Unfortunately a real life version of Ratatouille it is not.

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Say Bonjour to 'Ratatouille' at Disneyland Paris

Where: Paris, France
July 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM | by | Comment (1)

The parks over at Disneyland Paris don’t seem to get the new rides and attractions as often as we do here in the states, but that’s not the case this week as a fresh bit of Disney magic is headed overseas.

The new attraction is showing off a little fun from the movie Ratatouille, and it's scheduled to debut July 10. It’s the very first ride based on this film, and of course it only makes sense for Ratatouille to make a first amusement park showing in Paris, seeing as how the animated film was based there.

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Expedia Sees a Trip to Paris as the Answer to Life's Problems

Where: Paris, France
June 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

A few years ago Google published an ad about finding love in Paris, which ended with a guy...well, finding love in Paris. The purpose of the spot was to highlight all of the different things you can find by using the search engine (information, flights, locations) and it was widely acknowledged as a successful bit of advertising that left everybody with a nice, pleasant feeling.

This new video that just came out from Expedia Mexico is the opposite of that. We're not saying that it doesn't work—it definitely makes us want to travel to France, as France-themed travel advertising ought to do—but it's not exactly designed to generate warm fuzzies. Crushing regret is closer to what this commercial seems to be aiming for.

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Throwback Thursday: Air France's Tummy-Filling Transatlantic Meals on the 707

Where: France
May 22, 2014 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

We can only imagine what it would have been like in the mid-1960s, planning a trip to France on one of the new Boeing 707s. Dreaming of nibbling croissants on the street, sampling fine French cuisine, and sipping French vintages would be part of the agenda and Air France knew it. That's why it's no surprise their advertisements highlighted the elaborate meals onboard their jet service from New York, Chicago and LA.

This poster above exhibits the nine essential parts of the service, about which Air France was so proud. Not only would De Luxe Class (business class) passengers be treated to the reduced flying time and comfort of jet service across the Atlantic, but also onboard meals worthy of the Paris route. Taking consistency into consideration, all of these beautiful meals will be served depending on mileage from origin city.

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Chinese Police to Patrol Paris This Summer

Where: Paris, France
May 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

In response to a number of muggings and attacks against Chinese tourists, it was announced today that the French government has called upon the Chinese police force to help patrol the streets of Paris this summer. According to reports, at least ten Chinese police officers will help strengthen the security at popular tourist spots and public transportation hubs. They will also help translate between Chinese tourists and local police offers.

We cover a lot within the travel industry, but this has to be one of the most significant stories we've seen in a long time. The implications and fallout of this industry first are absolutely huge, and it goes to show how far countries are willing to go in order to get a piece of the world's largest tourism market. Reading between the lines, it seems like this is a move by France to appease China and keep the tour buses coming. Last year, 1.5 million Chinese tourists visited France, and that number is expected to increase by 40% this year after France relaxed its visa process.

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