Travel Cheat Sheet: Why You Should Go on a Culinary Vacation in France
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Did you know that in 2015, France had the most international tourist arrivals in the world? A year later, it still ranked as the most visited European country, with 81 million foreign visitors traveling to this magnificent country.
But what is it exactly that attracts so many travelers to France? Well, its decadent food is, obviously, one of the main reasons people flock to France. The well-known Parisian landmarks are also a magnet, while the French Riviera entices us all with its shimmering waters.
Want to find out more great reasons why you should choose France as your culinary vacation destination? Then be sure to read on! And don’t forget to check the travel cheat sheet at the end of the article in which I’ve put together some useful information to make your travel planning a little bit smoother. Enjoy!
Note: BookCulinaryVacations offers a flexible cancellation policy. Should you not be able to travel as scheduled, we’d be happy to help you alter your booking with the same organizer or a different organizer.
Traveling to France in 2021
Effective from June 9, 2021, the movement of travelers between France and foreign countries has resumed under new terms and conditions. The countries have been classified, based on health indicators, as follows: green, amber, and red. The lists may change depending on the global evolution of the pandemic.
There are no restrictions to enter from a green list country, but travelers must present the proof of vaccination and a sworn declaration of their health status or, if not vaccinated, a negative PCR or antigen test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure.
Unvaccinated travelers from amber countries must give a compelling reason to be allowed in the country and must self-isolate for 7 days (followed by a PCR test at the end of the isolation period). Vaccinated travelers face no restrictions. However, all passengers from amber countries must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure, as well as present a sworn declaration of their health status.
Only travelers with a compelling reason to enter France will be allowed if they are from red list countries. All travelers must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken no longer than 48 hours before departure. Unvaccinated travelers must also quarantine for 10 days.
There are no restrictions for traveling within France. However, from early August a health pass is required for long-distance trips by plane, trains, and bus. The health pass is also required to access leisure and culture venues and events (bring together more than 50 people).
The health path must prove you’ve been vaccinated, or have taken a test, or have recovered from the illness. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is accepted in France.
»Read more details from official resources
The Mouthwatering Food
So, let’s begin with the most obvious reason. The French cuisine is well-known all over the world and everyone has at least one French dish they adore.
Whether you’re hankering for comfort food, such as Cassoulet (basically a duck and beans stew), the irresistible Confit de Canard (another duck dish), the iconic Bouillabaisse (featuring four varieties of fish and one of shellfish) or you are craving for some good ol’ Ratatouille (local vegetable stew), France has you covered. Should your taste buds want something more daring, then Escargots (snails) are for you. Of course, let’s not forget Macarons, Croissants, and the Baguette, which need no introduction.
For an incredibly immersive experience in the French culture and cooking, why not book one of the culinary and language vacations in France?
Route du Champagne
Champagne Tours in France give you a chance to discover some interesting things about the bubbly we all love! Remember that tasting champagne is more about swallowing than spitting, so pay attention when you get behind the wheel. Speaking of which, there are three incredible routes you can easily drive to in order to discover the best of French champagnes: The Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, and Côte des Blancs.
The Flavorful Cheeses
You simply cannot visit France and not try some of its incredible cheese! There are three main types of French cheese: pressed, soft, and blue. Emmental is probably the most well-known soft cheese, a type of traditional cheese with holes in it. Brie and Camembert are also well-known soft kinds of cheese, while Roquefort is the blue cheese practically everyone has heard about.
Paris is Always a Good Idea
Audrey Hepburn was, indeed, right! With a lot of amazing things to do in the City of Lights, it is almost impossible to narrow down the essentials. Luxembourg Gardens are the best choice if you fancy an impromptu picnic or just want to soak up the sun. If you want to taste some incredible ice-cream, head to one of the shops on Ile Saint-Louis. And then there are the many museums (Louvre, Orsay, or Picasso, to name just a few).
Paris wouldn’t be Paris without the iconic Eiffel Tower and superb Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur so be sure to make time to visit these landmarks!
The Scrumptious Wines
As I’m sure you already know, France is renowned for producing some of the best wines in the world, so planning to spend a wine holiday is a fabulous idea. Get to know the regional wines, as well as those specific to a certain village. Whether you like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot from Bordeaux, or maybe the Muscadet from Loire, you are in for a treat!
The Beautiful Villages
It is hard to day-dream about France and not picture its stunningly beautiful villages. Whether you visit Provence, Normandy or Brittany, there are a lot of charming villages to explore. Barfleur, for example, used to be Normandy’s largest post but now it’s a sleepy harbor with low-key cafes. Beuvron-en-Auge, also in Normandy, features some superb ancient half-timbered houses, while Gordes is a delightful hilltop village in Provence.
Fancy visiting one of these amazing villages? Why not book an olive picking and tasting vacation in Provence then!
The Impressive Castles
France has more castles than you can shake a stick at. With so many medieval wars taking place in this area, the abundance of impressive forts is justified.
The most renowned of the French castles is Palace of Versailles, now a museum. That said, Carcassonne should also be on your list of castles to visit if you love impressive hilltop Medieval villages. The beautiful Château de Chenonceau is the second most visited in the country (after Versailles). And let’s not forget about one of the most recognizable landmarks of France is Mont-Saint-Michel, located on a rocky island off Normandy’s coast.
The Spectacular Beaches
With hundreds of kilometers of coastline in Southern France, it is no surprise that the beaches are one of the main attractions in the area. Palombaggia Beach on the island of Corsica is considered one of the world’s beautiful beaches, while Paloma Beach is where you can do a bit of celebrity spotting. Halfway between Cannes and Nice, there’s the sandy Antibes, ideal for a day of enjoying the sun and sea.
The Cheat Sheet
Thinking of heading to Europe for a tantalizing food tour? Then indulge in one of the many European culinary vacations available on the Old Continent!