Hunspach was nominated as one of France’s favourite villages by viewers to France3 TV Channel in 2020 and was the national winner in 2020.
North of Strasbourg, the village of Hunspach is situated in the Bas -Rhin département of Grand Est region.It is also classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. “Alsace beyond the forests”,The village is within the north Vosges regional park (Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord) . See typical half-timbered Alsatian Houses. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
Local accommodation options include B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering gites
Listed among the most beautiful villages in France, Hunspach is situated on the “road of the picturesque villages”, half way between Haguenau and Wissembourg, in the North of Alsace. Its architecture, costumes and its traditions tell part of the history of Alsace. Hunspach has retained much of its traditional architecture. The houses are white and in the Alsatian half timbered style. Open central yards offer glimpses of the working farms within.
Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France, pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute
Alsace has to be one of the prettiest regions of France, full of charming wine villages and beautiful landscapes between the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine. Here, Eguisheim (68 Haut-Rhin, Grand Est) is probably one of the pretttiest with timber-clad buildings in the medieval centre.
See all the photos in this Gallery here
Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France, pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute
The vineyards of the Champagne region near Epernay (51 Marne, Grand Est) are extensive and offer distant views of the landscape. There are innumerable small growers who sell Champagne direct to the public (look for degustations signs) and others who grow grapes for the Grand Marques – the big and prestigious Champagne houses with worldwide markets and reputations.
See all the photos in this Gallery here
On Monday 8 July 2019 the Tour de France cycle race sprints up the famous Avenue de Champagne in Epernay (51 Marne, Grand Est) to finish Stage 3 of the race before the finish in Rue de Coteaux ( about 17.30). The following day the race starts in Reims (51 Marne, Grand Est) and heads for Nancy (54 Meurthe et Moselle, Grand Est)
The Avenue de Champagne extends for nearly one kilometre, lined on both sides by magnificent private dwellings lovingly constructed over many centuries by the Champagne Houses. Some were originally built as a Head Office, others as the private home of the proprietor. All of them reflect an architectural style that celebrates the brand in particular and Champagne in general.
You can stay in one of these mansions, owned by Champagne Leclerc-Briant – B&B Le 25Bis.
The Avenue de Champagne is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, listed under the heading Champagne hillsides, Houses and Cellars.
The late 17 th Century marked the construction of magnificent cellars, which by the end of the 18th Century made this avenue the address of choice for pioneering Epernay Champagne producers. The arrival of the railway then brought a boom in business that fostered a taste for architecture on a monumental scale. The avenue became home to grandiose properties of every style that were constantly rebuilt as successive wars and fires took their toll. Famous residents of the avenue include such great names in Champagne as Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouët, Boizel, de Venoge, Vranken, Pol Roger, Mercier and G.H. Martel. see (maisons-champagne.com)
The Alsace wine village of Bergheim (69 Haut-Rhin, Grand Est) holds an annual wine fair 27 – 28 July 2019 to celebrate a very Alsatian wine – the perfumed, spicy Gewurztraminer. It can often be found as a dry white wine, but perhaps it comes into its own as a dessert wine, late-harvested. It is a wine which can divide opinion, with detractors comparing its very perfumed smell with exotic fruits as being like a madame’s boudoir, but with little experience of such locales I could not possibly comment!
Many have thought it too overwhelming to match with food, but more recently it has proved to be an excellent match with spicy Asian dishes. The dessert wine vendanges tardives or selection des grains nobles can be very luscious, but can go well.
Gewurztraminer is one of the most important grapes varieties in Alsace, along with Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Muscat. Unlike other French wine regions the name of these grapes appears on the label. Alsace also produces a little red wine from Pinot Noir. and some very acceptable sparkling white – Crémant d’Alsace. Blends are usually labelled as Edelzwicker
For more info see Fête du Gewurztraminer
Watching the Tour de France last week, I noticed that one stage finished in the town of Briancon (05 Hautes-Alpes, Provence-Alpes–Cote d’Azur, which claims to be the highest city in France, and features an impressive defensive Citadel designed by Vauban. Napoleon’s treasured Military architect.
2007 is the three hundredth anniversary of his death, and hence numerous events are planned to celebrate this master of military invention. His physical legacy is of course the list of imitimidating fortresses to defend le Hexagone – the defensible boundaries of France from the northern border with Belgium down to the Alps, along the Mediterranean and up the Atlantic Coast. However, his military reputation initially was more concerned with planning and implementing sieges – so in many ways he was a poacher-turned-gamekeeper – if you are good as breaking sieges, then who better to design defenses to repel them? The hallmark of Vauban is his impressive use of massive angular pentagonal walls which prevented attackers targetting one section of wall without being at risk of counter-attack from an adjacent section. The classic examples are the Citadel at Lille, Briancon and Besancon, although many other examples exist.
My favourite is on the island of Belle-Ile off the coast of Brittany, where the fortifications adjacent to the small harbout of Le Palais are most impressive. More familiar to visitors to France will be the fortifications at St Malo and la Rochelle. Vauban left his mark on most of the land and sea frontiers of France, although he was born in Burgundy which hosts only one of his constructiona. On the Côte d’Azur, Antibes, Villefranche, Cannes and St.Tropez. Toulon, Marseille, Collioure on the Mediterranean;
other sites are at Arras, Auxonne, Barraux, Bayonne, Belfort, Bergues, Bitche, Blaye, Bouillon, Calais, Cambrai, Colmars-les-Alpes, Douai, Entrevaux, Givet, Gravelines, Huningue, Joux, Kehl, Landau, La Rochelle, Le Quesnoy, Lusignan, Le Perthus (Fort de Bellegarde), Luxembourg, Maastricht, Maubeuge, Metz, Mont-Dauphin, Mont-Louis, Montmédy, Namur, Neuf-Brisach, Perpignan, Plouezoc’h (Château du Taureau), Rocroi, Saarlouis, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Saint-Omer, Sedan, Toul, Valenciennes, Verdun, Villefranche-de-Conflent. For more info see www.vauban2007-bourgogne.org and www.sites-vauban.org
Vauban was the foremost military engineer of France, not only during his lifetime, but also throughout the 18th century when his legacy and methods remained in place almost unchanged. Indeed, his expertise and experience in the construction, defence, and attack of fortresses is unrivalled by any of his contemporaries, of any nationality. In all three of those fields he was a significant innovator and prolific exponent, having planned approximately 160 major defensive projects and directed over 50 sieges. This book provides not only a modern listing of his varied interventions and their fates, but also a wide-ranging discussion of just how and why they pushed forward the international boundaries of the arts of fortification.
The pretty Alsace town of Colmar (68 Haut-Rhin, Grand Est) is regarded as the Wine Capital of Alsace. In mid-summer 26 July – 4 August 2019 the town hosts a Festival of Music, Food and Wine – La Foire aux Vins d’Alsace.
Held at the Parc Expo this annual celebration of the good things in life icelebrated its 70th year in 2017.
Whilst wine is important, the music line-up is impressive with Status Quo and Sting amongst the artistes in 2017! For wine lovers there is plenty – 1500 tastings on offer from individual domaines and local syndicats with tutored tastings on offer – everything to explore the wines of Alsace. In addition there is the election of the Wine Queen, dancing, chef demonstrations and entertainment for the children.
For more info on the Colmar Wine Fair see www.foire-colmar.com
Alsace has a truly exceptional setting for making wine. Protected by the Vosges Mountains, this picturesque region is singularly blessed with enviable conditions: ancient soils, noble grapes and an extraordinary climate – one of the driest in France. Thirteen distinct terroirs make Alsace a mosaic unlike anywhere else. Here, minerality and freshness aren’t just concepts, they are the story of the wines.
Tucked into France’s northeastern corner, Alsace follows the Rhine River through its long, thin strip. The Vosges Mountains protect and provide Alsace with a backdrop for some of France’s most stunning scenery.
Central to this landscape of rolling hills and charming timber villages is the renowned Alsace Wine Route (Route des Vins d’Alsace), a 106 mile journey winding through more than 100 wine villages, 19 of which host 26 Michelin-starred restaurants. Incomparable weather and scenery, delicious eating and drinking, and generous hospitality make Alsace a feast for all the senses.
The Champagne wine village of Ay (51 Marne, Grand Est) holds an bi-annual celebration of its wines with its King Henri IV Festival in July (7 – 8 July 2018),and the next then in 2020
Every other year for more than 20 years the good people of Ay hand over the keys to their village to “their good King Henri IV. The King owned a wine press and was a fan of the wines of Ay! His doctor advised him to drink Champagne, as the wines were lighter than those of Burgundy.
Pendant les fêtes Henri IV, partout dans Aÿ, des surprises à découvrir, des spécialités à déguster, une ambiance à saisir au cours d’un week-end de joie et de détente dans la grande tradition champenoise. He did of course only drink Champagne for medicinal purposes!
Sample the wine and food at the many Champagne houses which will be open on these two festival days.On Saturday evening see the grand firework display with musical accompaniment. On Sunday afternoon the Ay carnival processes through the streets.
For more info see www.fetes-henri4-ay.fr/
See more about this and other wine villages at frenchvineyard.co.uk
The village of Ay is an important settlement established by the Romans
With your champagne-glass ‘passport’ in hand, take the Champagne tasting route 27 – 28 July 2019 in the Côte de Bars Champagne sector near Bar-sur-Aube (10 Aube, Grand Est) Visit the villages, open the cellar doors and taste the champagne. In 2019 the focus is on the Vallée d’Arce-en Seine to the southeast of Bar-sur-Seine.
In a warm and festive atmosphere, go on a discovery tour of the vineyards and wine cellars of Bar-sur-Aube, south of Reims. Armed with your champagne-glass ‘passport’ (flute), you’ll find the winemakers of this champagne district gladly opening their doors to you. With this precious object hanging from your neck, you’ll soon be tasting the famous champagne bubbles. In each village, musical, artistic and gourmet events brighten up each step of your trip along the champagne route.Each year a group of villages in the Aube take part in the festivities.
In 2018 seven villages will host the festivities in the Vallée de l’Ource, the centre of the main grape growing area of the Aube (the Côte des Bars, which is based on the towns of Bar sur Aube and Bar sur Seine) : Essoyes, Landreville, Viviers-sur-Artaut, Loches-sur-Ource, Noé-les-Mallets, Fontette, and Verpillière-sur-Ource
Champagne is undeniably the king of the festival. The flute passport is the essential key. The Champagne flute gives the holder access to each cellar and the freedom to taste the champagnes on offer. Organized events are planned in all the villages dressed up for the occasion: gourmet lunches animated by wine experts, exhibitions on champagne, shows in the streets…
For more info see www.routeduchampagne.com/
Stay at Le Village de Champagne in Bar-sur-Aube offering a variety of self-catering accommodation (roulottes, chalets and camping pods) in a spacious, wooded park with a covered swimming pool, a sauna and a small gym. Bar-sur-Aube is within walking distance.
Bar-sur-Seine is just over 2 hours from Paris by road
Hire a car at best rates from Paris with Rentalcars Connect
26 April 2016 the town of Rethel (o8 Ardennes, Grand Est) celebrates its famous White Pudding (Foire au Boudin Blanc) – i.e. similar to a Black Pudding (boudin noir) – a sausage made from pork but without the blood!
The Boudin blanc de Rethel is a traditional French boudin, which may only contain pork meat, fresh whole eggs and milk, and cannot contain any breadcrumbs or flours/starches! It is made to strict criteria such that it is a protected appellation as IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée).It is a fine–textured white sausage, originally eaten for Christmas in the Champagne region of France – complemented with local Champagne Ardenne produce such as truffles, mushrooms and/or raisins. Nowadays the boudin blanc is now sold all year round and generally already cooked – just needing to be heated. The boudin de Rethel has become a common sight for winter dinners or barbecue, often served grilled with mashed or roasted potatoes and a glass of white wine such as Loire Muscadet or Alsace Riesling.
for more info on the Boudin Blanc de Rethel see Foire au boudin blanc
Rethel lies some 25 miles northeast of Reims.
Nearby (12km) stay in the Auberge de l’Abbaye at Signy-l’Abbaye, a small hotel in a former monastery.
For more info and to check availabilty at this Ardenne Hotel see Auberge de l’Abbaye
The Verdun Memorial (Mémorial de Verdun) reopens to the public on 21 February 2016 after a refurbishment and to mark the centenary of the Battle of Verdun.
Fought in 1916 the Battle of Verdun was a long and hard-fought battle for the French – lasting some 300 days between February and December 1916.
The Memorial is sited on the battlefield to the north of Verdun (55 Meuse, Grand Est), close to the destroyed village of Fleury-devant-Douaumont.
Verdun has a particular memory for the French, as it was the longest battle on the western Front and they fought off the Germans alone – eventually.And this is where Marshal Petain acquired his hero status before WW2. Altogether nearly 2.5 million men died on both sides. It is a sobering place to visit.
For more info see http://memorial-verdun.fr
There is a B&B at Chambres D’Hôtes Des 3 Rois (Three King’s B&B) just 1km outside the town and convenient for visiting the Memorial etc.
For more info and to check availabilty at this Verdun B&B see Chambres D’Hôtes Des 3 Rois
The Moulin de la Blies (Blies Mill) is a museum in Sarreguemines (57 Moselle, Grand Est) dedicated to the history and technology of china-making (faïencerie) for which this part of France is renown.
Situated by the River Blies on the border of France and Germany the mill is now a museum displaying china-making techniques and production, the only one of its kind in France. Sound archives, reconstructed workshops, dioramas and models explain methods and daily life in china making factory.
This museum has been voted as one of the top places to visit in France by the French! (France2 TV) For more info on Blies Mill see www.sarreguemines-museum.eu
In Sarreguemines stay in the B&B La Canadienne, modern well-equiped timber-clad house and cabins in a quiet location
For more info on this B&B see B&B La Canadienne
French TV Channel France 2 has published a list of the Top places to visit in France as voted by the French! (see map at bottom of page)
- Arras – Belfry (Le Beffroi d’Arras) (62 Pas-de-Calais Nord-Pas-de-Calais)
- Marseille – Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde (13 Bouches-du-Rhône, PACA)
- Ardeche – Pont d’Arc cave paintings (07 Ardèche, Rhône-Alpes)
- Brouage-Hiers – Fort de Brouage (17 Charentes-Maritimes, Poitou-Charentes)
- Saint-Valery-sur-Somme – Navigation Boat SommeII (80 Somme, Picardie)
- Millau Viaduct (12 Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees)
- Pompadour – Chateau and Stud Farm (19 Correze. Limousin)
- Sarreguemines – Blies Mill (chinacraft) (57 Moselle, Lorraine)
- Narbonne – Canal de la Robine (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon)
- Paris Hotel des Invalides (75 Paris, Ile de France)
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EU citizens under the age of 26 get free entry into most of France’s national monuments and museums, and many museums are free for the first Sunday of each month. Some are classed as UNESCO World Heritage sites!
- Villa Cavrois – Croix near Lille/Roubaix (Nord)
- Château de Coucy – near Soissons (Aisne)
- Château de Pierrefonds -near Compiegne (Oise)
- Palais du Tau, Reims (Marne)
- Cathedral towers, Reims (Marne)
- Abbaye de Cluny – near Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire)
- Palais Jacques Cœur – Bourges (Cher)
- Cathédral de Chartres (Eure-et-Loir)
- The 3 Towers – la Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
- see B&B Chambres d’Hôtes Eden Ouest in a restored house built in 1745 – wooden bathtubs!
- Château d’ Azay le Rideau (Indre-et-Loire)
- Château d’Angers (Maine-et-Loire)
- Megaliths at Carnac (Morbihan)
- Megaliths at Locmariaquer (Morbihan)
- Mont Saint-Michel Abbey (Manche)
- Arc de Triomphe
- the towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral
- Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis
- Château de Vincennes
- Villa Savoye
- Royal Monastery at Brou (Ain)
- Cathédral Cloisters at Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire)
- Abbaye du Thoronet (Var)
- Château d’If (Bouches-du-Rhône)
- Abbaye de Montmajour (Bouches-du-Rhône)
- archaeological site of Glanum– (Bouches-du-Rhône)
The Beautiful Villages of France Association is taking part in a 2CV Rally from Paris to Cannes (Rallye 2CV La Route des Villages Paris-Cannes®) 12-19 May 2019 calling in to 20 or more Beautiful Villages (Plus Beaux Villages) en route. Amongst the villages visited will be
- Charroux ( 03 Allier, ARA)
- Gordes (84 Vaucluse, PACA)
- Les Baux de Provence (13 Bouches-du- Rhone, PACA)
- Saint Enimie (48 Lozere, Occitanie)
- Salers (16 Cantal, ARA)
- Tourtour (83 Var, PACA)
- Vezelay (89 Yonne, BFC)
There is another shorter 2CV rally 3-6 September 2019 Paris–Deauville (14 Calvados, Normandie) calling at these “beautiful” villages:
- Gerberoy (60 Oise, Hauts de France)
- La Roche-Guyon (60 Oise, Hauts de France)
- Le Bec Hellouin (27 Eure, Normandie)
- Lyons la Foret (27 Eure, Normandie)
It is not on either route, but the association which represents the most beautiful villages in France (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France) includes the medieval fortified village of Rodemack (57 Moselle, Grand Est).
The Citadelle of Rodemack hosts the annual Wine Market of the the most beautiful villages in France (Marché aux Vins des Plus Beaux Villages de France) 27 – 28 April 2019. There is a Medieval Festival in Rodemack (Cité Medieval en Fête) 29 – 30 June 2019 – see www.tourisme-ccce.fr
Rodemack is in the Pays des “Trois Frontières” or Land of the Three Frontiers, on the borders of France, Germany (which it is only 20 km away from) and Luxembourg (6 km) and it is steeped in these three cultures. The village is nicknamed “Petite Carcassonne Lorraine” and is still surrounded by 700 m of ramparts dating from the 15C. Entrance is via the fortified gate of Sierck, which was built by the inhabitants themselves in the 14C.
more information – see www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org
The Les Plus Beaux Villages de France classification requires that the village meets several criteria, including
- fewer than 2000 inhabitants
- at least two protected sites or monuments and
- must be really beautiful.
Just 159 villages in 14 régions and 70 départements make the official list of the prettiest villages of France (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France)
There are many holiday accommodation options near Rodemack including the B&B Le Clos du Verger, a renovated farmhouse, dating back to the 19th century just 7 km from the Moselle Vineyard and wine route, with a garden and terrace.
Newly Published (april 2019):The Most Beautiful Villages of France: The Official Guide. – this illustrated guide revealsthe beauty of rural France, with visitor information for a wealth of attractive and interesting villages in France
Carefully selected each year, the French villages featured in this official guide are replete with historical, architectural, and natural riches. An introductory paragraph presents the history of each village, and is accompanied by recommendations for monuments, museums, and other places to visit.
The Cathedral de Notre Dame in Rouen is illuminated at night Cathédrale de Lumière 1 June – 15 September 2019 – see www.rouentourisme.com
A new museum opened in Rouen (76 Seine Maritime, Normandie) in 2015 dedicated to the life of that iconic French heroine Joan of Arc: Historial Jeanne d’Arc 7, rue Saint-Romain, 76000 Rouen
In OCTOBER the city of Rouen celebrates Normandy’s food and gastronomy with the Fête du Ventre (Festival of the Stomach) 12 – 13 October 2019 in the Old Market quarter of the city with more than 180 producers of fruit(apples) and vegetables, cheeses, dairy, chocolates, pastries , alcoholic beverages and more…. – see www.rouentourisme.com
Rouen was where Jeanne d’Arc was tried by the English and then burned at the stake in 1431 It was also where a later trial by the French exonerated her posthumously and eventually beatified and canonized her (in 1920). She is one of the patron saints of France.
In Rouen, the memory of Joan of Arc lingers in the patrimony and landscape – the old Market Place, the Keep where she was threatened with torture and the archiepiscopal complex where some of the hearings of her trial were held.
It is perhaps Orléans (45 Loiret,Centre) which has a prior claim on her – she is known as “The Maid of Orléans”, as it was there that she played a major role in lifting the siege of the city of Orléans and ultimately to the restoration of the French King Charles VII.
Reims (51 Marne, Champagne-Ardenne) is another city with links to the Maid – being the place where Charles VII was crowned.
Historial Jeanne d’Arc 7, rue Saint-Romain, 76000 Rouen
Brittany Ferries offers routes from Portsmouth to Le Havre (about 50 miles by car or 50 minutes by train) and Caen (about 85 miles by car) or
DFDS goes from Newhaven to Dieppe (about 40 miles by car, or 50 minutes by train)
For more info on this Cathedral Hotel see Mercure Hotel Cathedrale
Ay-en-Champagne (51 Marne, Champagne) is a small wine village just a few kilometres from the busy town of Epernay and the valley of the Marne. Its vineyards are classified as Grand Cru (the highest rating on the Échelle des Crus) and Champagne Bollinger is based in the village.
Ay is fortunate in being located at the junction of several terroirs of exceptional quality on the right bank of the Marne river, at the southern border of the Montagne de Reims and close to the Côtes des Blancs – all with different character.
Ancient houses line the medieval streets, many of them with inner courtyards for protection, whilst there are numerous 19th Century townhouses which reflect a more prosperous age for the village.
This in the heart of the Champagne vineyards and you could choose to stay in a B&B with Champagne vineyard attached at Domaine Sacret. Or stay at the art nouveau Hotel Castel Jeanson. Or just a few kilometres away at Les Mesneux you could stay in a self-catering apartment at Coeur de Vigne (Heart of the Vine)!
The village is only 30 minutes or so from Reims by car – over the famous Montagne de Reims.
Every other year in July the village celebrates with its Wine Festival (Fêtes Henri IV) when Champagne flows through the village (next in July 2016) – sample the wine and food at the many Champagne houses which will be open on these two festival days.
On the Saturday evening there is a grand firework display with musical accompaniment, whilst on the Sunday afternoon the Ay carnival processes through the streets. (more info)
Champagne may be made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or Chardonnay grapes. It is called Blanc de Blancs when made exclusively from white grapes – i.e. Chardonnay. – although Chardonnay is not predominent in Ay. You pay more for vintage Champagne which is often the base for very special cuvées, but most Champagne is NV (Non-Vintage).
7-16 August 2015 sees the Annual Alsace Wine Fair (Foire aux Vins d’Alsace) in the picturesque town of Colmar(68 Haut Rhin, Alsace)
For more info see http://www.foire-colmar.com/
Nancy (54 Meurthe-et-Moselle, Grand Est) is the star attraction in Eastern France with its history, culture and art-deco heritage.
In October there is a Jazz Festival Nancy Jazz Pulsations
9 – 19 October 2019 – see https://nancyjazzpulsations.com/
The medieval town of Nancy hosts its celebrated Christmas market (Les fetes de Saint Nicolas) 22 November 2019 – 5 January 2020 in the historic Place Maginot. A wide range of local specialties are on offer, from delicious fresh bread to spicy charcuterie and, for those with a sweet tooth, bergamot sweets (bonbons), macaroons and Mirabelle liqueur. Several little chalets (stalls) sell hand-crafted toys and an array of other presents. Also you can enjoy Christmas activities include carol singing, folk dancing and lively street entertainment.
Place Stanislas, Place d’Alliance, Place de la Carrière : three squares, three works of art, three unique monuments which together are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Nancy has much to offer – Fairytale cobbled streets, elaborately decorated monuments, a village atmosphere in the city centre and the surrounds.Discover the flavours behind Lorraine’s reputation for quality produce, products and dining options. Why not tour the markets or take a cooking class?
The artistic movement Art Nouveau flourished in Nancy and across Europe from the late 19th century, its influence is particularly visible in Nancy architecture.
Nancy Tourisme – Place Stanislas
In Nancy the romantic Old Town, the historic Ducal Palace, and Stanislas, Carrière and Alliance Squares, an iconic architectural collection that has been protected with World Heritage Site status for 30 years.
Nancy tends to be a little off the beaten track for visitors from the UK but could be well worth a visit, as the historic 18th Century city centre’s buildings are recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Centre. An elegant city, with classic 18th century architecture and boulevards.
Stay at the self-catering apartments at Hôtel Particulier Appartements d’Hôtes, just 250yards from Place Stanislas with its own kitchenette.
Nancy is only 1 hour and 30 minutes from Paris with the new TGV Est. Previous journey time 2 hours 45 minutes.
For more info and to check availabilty at this Nancy hotel see Hotel des Prelats
OR self-catering apartments at Hôtel Particulier Appartements d’Hôtes, just 250 yards from Place Stanislas with its own kitchenette.
For more info and to check availabilty at this self-catering apartments see Hôtel Particulier
There are some extraordinary places to stay in France including hotels within fortified castles such as:-
Chateau Fort de Sedan (08 Ardennes, Grand Est) is a unique medieval fortress and is the largest in Europe (35,000 square metres) open to the public all year round. The Hôtel Le Château Fort is within the walls of the castle, yet has modern accommodation and facilities. There is also an annual medieval Festival within the walls of the castle!
At Blaye (33 Gironde, Nouvelle Aquitaine) there is a hotel within the Vauban Citadelle – Logis Hotel de la Citadelle. Within the town of Blaye and with views across the River Garonne to the Medoc. (there is also a ferry across the river (vehicle and pedestrian). There is a wine festival within the walls of the Citadelle where local winemakers offer tastings of their wines.
For more info on this Blaye Citadelle Hotel see Logis Hotel de la Citadelle