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Top 10 Beautiful Places in France – #NotATourist

Thursday, June 11, 2015
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Top 10 Beautiful Places in France – #NotATourist

With Bouchra Benhalima

You know how Audrey Hepburn made that line famous for a reason… ‘Paris is always a good idea’, but there are also beautiful places in France that has not been given much credit too and well, here are few of the top 10 Beautiful Places in France.

 

1. Visit Hossegor

Located in the west side of France, near city of Biarritz, the small beach town of Hossegor is a surfer’s paradise. The waves are known as some of the best in the country, and Hossegor regularly hosts some of the biggest surfing competitions in Europe. The city is surrounded by a multitude of charming camping sites, as well as several cycling lanes where you can explore the area or simply bike around in the forest.

2. Provence

Provence is a gorgeous landscape of olive groves, sun-drenched rolling hills, and deep purple lavender fields, with little villages nestled in the valleys and perched on rocky outcrops. The vibrant scenery has enchanted many famous artists, including Cézanne, Matisse, Chagall, and Picasso. Provence is a perfect blend of rustic natural beauty and country charm where the art de vivre is a way of life.
Aix-en-Provence is the most important market town. Arles has fascinating ancient ruins and traditional festivals. Avignon was the medieval city of popes. Even the tiny villages, like Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Saint-Rémy, and Gordes, have amazing historic sites, fantastic museums, and an irresistibly quaint ambiance.

3. Loire Valley

An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Loire Valley is also affectionately known as the garden of France. The valley spans over 280 km and is located in the beautiful middle stretch of the Loire River in central France.
Known for its large collection of fairytale-esque chateaux and mansions, exceptionally beautiful landscapes and one of the most striking rivers in Europe the Loire Valley is a gentle but most definitely bourgeois paradise.

Where to stay   Château des Briottières

The Château des Briottières is in the heart of the Loire Valley, situated at the west end of the Châteaux of the Loire circuit this 18th century family château is one of the most beautiful in the region.

4. Explore French Riviera

Visit breathtaking St. Tropez which is the essence of the Riviera, and the Principality of Monaco.

Don’t forget to take a side trip to Nice, the capital of the Riviera, which is home to the incredible Matisse Museum.

There are numerous charming and scenic seaside resorts including:  Fréjus, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cap-d’Ail, Sainte Maxime, Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Raphaël and Juan-les-Pins.

FRENCH RIVEIRA

 

5. Visit the library Shakeaspeare and co. Paris

One of the best English-language bookstores in the world (and it’s a three-minute walk from Notre Dame ). During the 1920s, it was a gathering place for writers such as Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. Inside, it looks like the bookshop in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, complete with wooden ladders to reach the top shelves. SO MANY BOOKS.

6. Just wander around Paris in a bicycle

Especially in the Quartier Latin and Le Marais. Wandering around is one of the greatest joys of the City of Lights, just getting lost in all the beauty and coming upon something or someone unexpected.
The view from the steps of Le Panthéon at night when it’s raining softly. It’s like magic, so incredibly beautiful!

7. Dune of Pilat, Arachon Bay

The tallest sand dune in Europe.

Not only is the coastal panorama from the top of Europe’s largest sand dune a stunner – it takes in the Banc d’Arguin bird reserve and Cap Ferret across the bay – but the nearby beaches have some of the Atlantic Coast’s best surf.

8. Rocamadour, Quercy
The town is built on a steep rocky wall of the valley side and is world-famous for its Rocamadour cheese.

ROCAMANDOUR QERCY

9. The Three Corniches, Nice
It is impossible to drive this dramatic trio of coastal roads, each one higher and more hairpin bend–riddled than the next, without conjuring up cinematic images of Grace Kelly, Hitchcock, the glitz of Monaco high life, and scandalous royals. To make a perfect day out of it, before leaving Nice, shop for a picnic at the morning market on Cours Saleya.

THREE CORNICHE NICE

10. Provençal Markets

No region is more of a market-must than this one. Provence thrives on a bounty of fresh produce – grown locally and piled high each morning at the market. Every town and village has one, but those in Carpentras and Aix-en-Provence are the best known. While you’re here, stock up on dried herbs, green and black olives marinated a dozen different ways, courgette flowers and oils.

PROVENCE

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  • How far would you risk to get to where you want to go? 
KYOTO, JAPAN: Each of the famous torii shrine gates has been donated by an individual or a Japanese business in the hope of receiving good luck and fortune. The name of the donor is inscribed in black ink on the back of each gate.
  • Today I met someone who didn’t know her self worth and it left me with a heavy heart. She admitted she wished for a lot of things and dreamed of accomplishing all her NY resolutions. 
It reminded me of a story I read how we tend to create a big gap between expectations and reality and we cannot see it. How young women daydream for a perfect life and compare themselves with stuff such as ‘body goals’ or ‘couple goals’ rather be known for their accomplishments and how smart one can be. 
It made me realize how much we always have to remember to be kind to ourselves and practice love. It’s an easy thing to ‘be yourself’ but quite another thing to know who you truly are. 
I hope you stop counting your mistakes and stop torturing yourself with regret. I hope you love so strong, where you will always find the courage to say the things you wanted to say. I hope you never ever have to compare yourself to anyone but keep growing into the strong, smart and beautiful woman you are. 💫
  • This isn’t the ‘perfect instagram picture’ but I was never one to post for the number of ‘likes’.
Every picture I post on instagram is because it has a story behind it, and... an unforgettable memory. I didn’t even realize @dennisstever was taking a photo of me, and, to be honest, I think it might have been a fluke, because, if you were on that zodiac with us, you would understand how maintaining our balance was our first priority, otherwise it would have been be a dip in the freezing arctic waters. 
We anchored our sailboat in the middle of nowhere, they call it the arctic wilderness, miles away from tromso’s port. We took the zodiac to reach an uninhabited island and all I could remember, was the water level at my boots, and I was holding on to 3 camera bags and equipments and remember asking Dennis to repeatedly say “If MICHELLE falls off, save her cameras first” 😂
I’ve asked him so many times to acknowledge the fact that I’ve given him full permission to save my equipment first before anything else, and it just makes me laugh so hard on how far I am willing to go to save my gear. 
This photo reminds me of life. The adrenaline rush, the subzero temperature winds at the break of dawn, the unknown, the love, the risks we take, the crazy decisions we make in life and for our passion, in my case, it’s my love for photography. 
Can’t wait to return in two weeks on a @travelwithtjd 💫
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  • Felt on top of the world...
Can you guess where in Portugal this was taken 2 years ago?
  • A week ago, I was walking barefoot on an island 🌴... Today, I’m recovering from the flu in bed... and in a couple of days I’ll be back to winter mode ❄️. How is your weekend looking so far? 😊
  • Truth: A lot of you question how I have things figured out... it’s far from the truth. I promise. 
The truth is, I take risks in the things I believe in, personally and my business life... and learned not to try and overthink when making the decision, because I remind myself how hard I worked for my career and passion to come together. 
I take risks not because I’m brave, but because I really believe that it could be SO good when it works out, or when a project I pitched for succeeds... I look back and realize how far I have come and remember thinking that things were such a mess I would never recover. 
I have never led an ‘ordinary life’ nor a life that would suit everyone maybe...but that is the only life I love despite the sleepless nights working and my heart racing all the time. “That’s the sleepless life of an entrepreneur” they say. 
I am determined to be the best of what I only believe I can be, even when I may lack in other things or even when I fall... But my life is about breaking my own limits and not let the outside noise affect my judgments. That’s how I make it through... 💕
  • Here is a little bit on how this picture was taken... As drones are strictly not allowed @sixsenseslaamu - I had to find a way to climb on the roof patio and hook my camera  on a balcony pole so it doesn’t get blown away or fall right into the pool. 
When I finally thought I had the settings set on and the camera hooked properly, I ran down the stairs, out the backdoor, into the front door of the pool deck and sat there with my remote control. The sun’s light has increased slightly then and my settings were all wrong again 🤦🏼‍♀️, if you were my Neighbour, you would see a crazy lady, with her hat flying away, running up and down the roof top. 
Luckily, my remote’s connection to my camera and the light was finally set and I took the shot. Then I just sat there. Watching the sky turning from pink, to orange to clear blue. 
Only then, I realized my camera was still hanging ever so lightly... so, pulled myself together and rushed back on the rooftop. 😊 That’s the story 🌴
  • I worked out what would make me happy, and I worked out what I wanted to do, and I trained myself to do the job that would make those two things happen. ‘You make it sound so simple...’ Everyone said 
It is simple...The thing is, it's also a lot of hard work. And people don't want to put in a lot of work. But I didn't get here simply by wishing for it.
  • The view from my beautiful water villa @sixsenseslaamu 🌊 Happy Sunday everyone!
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  • Legend says that there is an intangible string of fate that binds two souls destined to be together... Whether as best friends, lovers or two crossing paths.
Those connected are bound no matter of time, place or circumstance.
The red string of fate is derived from an ancient East Asian belief. According to this myth, the Gods tie a red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other or help each other in a certain way.
And so, no matter how near or far you are from the person, the thread remains. 
There will be times when mentally or physically, you feel distant from the person, but that doesn’t affect the thread that binds you two together. 
If you feel that with a lover, friend, or someone you just met... take a minute to remember what you just read and always be kind to one another. 💫