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Visiting Petite Venise is one of the top things to do in Colmar France
France is the most visited country on Earth. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that more people travel here than anywhere else. Located at the heart of Western Europe, it is a transportation hub and easily reached from anywhere in the world. For any traveler, there’s just so much to see and do in France. This is a country of history and culture…and wine.

While Paris has a great deal to offer travelers to France (and ought to be visited at least once in your life), there’s lots to see besides the capital. The war sites in Normandy are legendary, and it’s nearly impossible not to be moved there. The half-timbered buildings of Colmar stop visitors in their tracks. The wine regions of Champagne, Bordeaux, Alsace, and the Cotes du Rhone are among some of the best in the world. But there is no place quite like Provence, from Van Gogh’s residence and the Roman ruins to the regular markets and the wineries, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

We’ve also had the chance to visit France during the magical Christmas season. The stunning architecture is made even more lovely by the twinkling lights. Add to that the smell of mulled wine, gingerbread, and other treats, and you have quite a dreamy atmosphere.

Cafe with green awning and chairs

Postcards from Provence

Provence is the stuff that dreams are made of. We fell in love with all the sights, flavors, and history of this divine place, and these photos will show you why.

Pear growing inside a bottle at Manguin Distillery in Avignon, France

Waters of Life Flow at Manguin Distillery

It’s not apparent at first what’s taking place in the lush, green orchard. As far as you can see, glass bottles hang from the trees. But once you see the sign for Manguin Distillery, it all makes a bit more sense.

Markets in the South of France provide the best ingredients for Provencal cooking

Adventures in Provencal Cooking

Provence takes its food seriously. It’s rustic and flavorful, featuring olives, garlic, and dozens of other delicious ingredients. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Here are a few of the things that I learned in my attempt to cook in Provence.

The backyard area of the Hotel de l'Image in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France

Picture Perfect Provence at the Hotel de l’Image

Behind the Hotel de l’Image, it is green as far as you can see, or at least until the limestone peaks of the Alpilles mountains rise from the Rhone valley. Here, there are sprawling gardens, fountains, the pool, and plenty of room to relax.

Radishes and artichokes at a Provence market in Arles France

An Embarrassment of Riches — Provence Market Days

Brightly-colored vegetables spill forth from the stands. The aroma of roasted chicken drifts through the air while locals arrive for their daily baguettes. The ambiance at weekly markets – particularly at a Provence market – is addicting.

The island of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

The Two Mont Saint-Michel Islands

The island of Mont Saint-Michel has attracted pilgrims for over a thousand years. As we planned our trip to France, there would be no doubt that we’d also make our pilgrimage to Mont Saint-Michael. What we found completely surprised and delighted us.

The American Cemetery in Normandy, France

The D-Day Beaches of Normandy

The D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy was a concerted effort to save what was left of Europe. Now, nearly 70 years later, the beaches have an eerie quiet as travelers come to pay their respects.

Pond in Monet's Water Garden in Giverny, France

Peace in Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, France

An hour from Paris, but world’s apart, Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny, France are the most tangible location to experience French Impressionism in real life. Monet’s Home and Gardens still exist today, largely as they did when he passed away in 1926. Giverny is just as beautiful as the paintings would make it seem.

A view of the Palace from the Versailles Gardens.

Exploring the Versailles Gardens

I’m a sucker for gardens. I find there is just something magical about Europe’s grand palace gardens. From the Schonbrunn in Vienna to Powerscourt in Ireland, Europeans know how to set a spectacle. But there are perhaps none grander the Versailles gardens in France.