With summer travel planning in full-swing, we’re excited to share part two of our list of five unique summer experiences in France. Read on to discover more about this year’s Tour de France and Tour des Femmes, Fête Nationale, and more.
Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part Two
Via Ferrata – Hiking and Rock Climbing with a View of Mont Blanc
Beginners and experienced climbers, adults and children alike can enjoy the fun of the vertical world of via ferrata. This activity is a cross between hiking and rock climbing. Go along routes equipped with cables, ladders, and rope bridges and across rock faces and crags. This particular via ferrata route looks directly at the stunning Mont Blanc. The Chamonix Valley is a wonderful place to experience this unique activity, and the Evettes via ferrata guarantees enormous fun and adventure. You’ll safely push your limits on a varied route with a professional guide.
Celebrate La Fête Nationale – Bastille Day
The French Fête Nationale marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789, a turning point in the French revolution. It also marks the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrates the unity of the French people on July 14th, 1790. Since 1880, July 14th has officially been the Fête Nationale. It symbolizes the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the French Republic. Celebrations are held throughout France. In major cities like Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Toulouse, you’ll find military parades, games, shows and entertainment for the whole family. There are spectacular fireworks shows as well, especially in Paris at the Eiffel Tower.
Where to Stay in Paris
Hôtel San Régis
Tucked away in a charming and secluded street at the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’ in Paris, this 5-star hotel is ideally located to enjoy the lively Champs-Elysées district, Avenue Montaigne and the Grand Palais. This hotel was built in the 19th century and is owned by the same family since 1923.
Each of the 30 bedrooms and 12 Suites has its own distinctive style, furnished with sumptuous fabrics from the finest houses, complementing the antique and period furniture.The rooms in the hotel are spacious and offer large closets. They are all equipped with modern facilities: large beds, a LED television with multimedia services, high speed WiFi, mini bar, and courtesy tray.
The restaurant, under the glass roof, serves continental cuisine as well as à la carte. You can also enjoy drinks in the bar.
Tour de France and Tour des Femmes
The 109th edition of the Tour de France is back again this year from July 1st to July 23rd. The race is set to depart in the Basque Country. It will cover over 2,100 miles of cycling and span all five mountain ranges in France. If you happen to be in Paris on July 23rd, don’t miss the final stage of the Tour de France. The finish line is on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Spectators can cheer on the riders around Place de la Concorde and the Quai des Tuileries. The end of the Tour de France in Paris marks the beginning of the Tour des Femmes, the second women’s cycle stage race around France. The Tour des Femmes takes place from July 23rd to July 30th.
Private Guided Bike Tour of the Périgord Noir
Meet with your passionate local guide and depart from Sarlat onto the famous Voie Verte track – a traffic-free route perfect for cycling. You’ll ride along an old railway line and discover the landscapes of Dordogne. You’ll see bucolic forests, green countryside, and typical small villages along the route.
This flat route is simple and accessible for the whole family. During the day, stop and discover several small villages typical of the Périgord Noir – especially Aillac and Calviac. For lunch, you can choose between a picnic in a shady area along the Dordogne River or a restaurant serving local specialties.
Your route takes you along the wild banks of the Dordogne, the last great swimmable river in Europe. In the afternoon, why not take a refreshing dip in the cool water. There will be plenty of time to swim or relax on the riverbank.
Where to Stay in the Dordogne
Domaine de Rochebois
Located six kilometers from Sarlat-la-Canéda, in the heart of the Périgord Noir, this luxurious five-star accommodation is more than a wonderful place to be.
The hotel offers 40 rooms and suites, designed in a contemporary style. Each room is elegantly furnished and beautifully decorated with colors representing the Périgord region. Most of the rooms have private balconies and terraces that offer a wonderful panoramic view.
During your stay, you can relax and rejuvenate at the spa or enjoy the golf course. You can also keep up with your fitness routine in the fully equipped fitness center and swimming pool of the hotel.
The restaurant serves authentic and traditional cuisine that skillfully blends French gastronomy with exotic flavors.
Private Guided Châteaux Tour and Boat Ride in the Loire Valley
Join a licensed guide for an incredible private tour and day experiencing the best of the Loire Valley. Start the day with a visit to the royal Fontevraud Abbey. The lives of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her husband Henry II Plantagenet, and their son Richard the Lionheart are on display in the abbey church, reminiscing about the abbey’s glorious past. While walking along the cloister and visiting the chapter house or the kitchens of the Royal Abbey, you can discover what daily life was like for the nuns that used to call the Fontevraud Abbey their home.
After the visit, relax on a boat ride on the Loire River. You’ll enjoy a delicious lunch of regional specialties complete with a wine tasting aboard the boat.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Château de Villandry, one of the last castles built during the renaissance period, where you will discover the finest example of a renaissance garden design in all of France.
We hope part two of five unique summer experiences in France helps inspire a trip later this year. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!