Northern Cities Tour of France
I was invited on a trip by the French Tourism Board to visit some towns in Northern France for a week. It was such a special trip and I feel so grateful I got to go. I was traveling with Nicole, Dave, Carol and Nadia. I arrived at Charles DeGaulle around lunch. France has such a good train infrastructure. It was so easy to get from the airport to Reims because the train station left from the same airport terminal as where my plane landed. The high speed train got us there in less than an hour. So fast! Reims is a very old town in France and is where among other things champagne was invented and is home to the famous Reims cathedral (where most of the French kings were coronated.) It is beautiful town and there was so much to do.
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We stayed at the Grand Hotel Continental (very nice!) The first day we did a champagne tasting tour. We visited the impressive Tattinger Cellars, and then visited smaller cellars like Clos St. Georges. We eventually ended up at a really cool place called Perching Bar which is essentially a tasting bar in the trees. We learned how Champagne was invented by Dom Perignon. They had scheduled a variety of places to tour and I recommend all of them. We used Cris Tour Group who drove us around and explained the importance of the different landmarks. We even had lunch at a villa overlooking a garden and did some saber opening of the champagne bottles. The next day we did a fantastic city tour. It included a tour of ancient Roman Ruins that were just rediscovered 50 years ago, the Carnegie library and the famous Reims chapel and even climbed to the roof!
After a beautiful time in Reims we hopped in a van and drove to Dijon. Home of the renowned mustard and Burgundy wine. Dijon itself is very labyrinth like. Lots of charming cobblestone streets that lead every which way. We took a tour of the city and learned about the history. Dijon was spared a lot of the destruction of the wars so a lot of the buildings are still the half-timber style from the 12th century. We climbed the giant tower of Philippe Le Bon in the middle of town that had amazing views from the roof. We stayed at the Hotel Philipe Le Bon which had beautiful terraces and restaurants on the property, a really beautiful hotel. We had dinner in the middle of this giant outdoor square at L’Epicerie & Cie which was delicious. We also got a tour of some Burgandy wineries and stopped by the Romanee Conti vineyard. Their wines are the most expensive in the world! The next day we went to a flea market and giant food market La Maison Milliere. It had all sorts of specialties and beautiful fruits and vegetables. It was really impressive. We ended our time in Dijon with dinner at Loiseau des Ducs. It was a really modern amazing meal and has the Michelin stars to prove it.
We jumped on a train and ended our tour of France in Poitiers. I had only heard of the city so I was excited to see it. Poitiers is a beautiful city with the central part of the town on a hill. The downtown is really really beautiful, lots of great shopping in all the old buildings. We stayed in a hotel, Mercure Poitiers Centre, that had been converted from an old Jesuit church and the rooms were awesome. Poitiers has a lot of old churches and a rich history so we got a whole tour of the town and the beautiful cathedrals. The next day we drove less than an hour away to the Marais Poitevin. The Marais Poitevin is a giant set of very old canals where people can rent boats or even camp. A lot of people will go for a few days and they camp and explore the giant maze of canals. It was really amazing. I would love to take my family back there. Dinner was a really great experience. We at at Les Archives right on the giant town square where we could watch the sun set over beautiful Poitiers.
It was such a great trip and I got to meet so many amazing people. Thank you to the French Tourism Board for everything! I’m already planning my next trip back!
This post is sponsored by the French Tourism Board.
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