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Notre Dame at Poitiers Poitiers is very picturesque and its streets provide some fascinating examples of ancient architecture, especially of the Romanesque period.The two main areas of interest are the tree-lined place du Maréchal-Leclerc, with its array of cafés, and place Charles-de-Gaulle to the north, where a large food and clothes market is held regularly.The rue Carnot leading south from place du Maréchal Leclerc is a good place to find a restaurant. It is also the main centre for live music and...

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Calvados This is the department which gives its name to its most famous product – the delectable apple brandy known simply as ‘Calvados’. The department in the Lower Normandy region of north-west France probably gets its name from a cluster of rocks which lie off the coast in the English Channel.The Baie de la Seine forms the northern boundary of Calvados while the River Seine itself provides the eastern border. The department is made up basically of three main areas: the Bessin area, the Pays...

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Cote de Granit Rose This attractive department in the north-west France is bordered by the English Channel on its north coast. This geographical position provides the spectacular coastal areas known appropriately as the Pink Granite and Emerald Coasts.The Cote de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coast) gets its name from the pinkish colour of the amazing rocks which seem to have just been deposited on the shore. Some of the most unusual formations are to be found along the section of coast between Perros-Guirec and...

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La Rochelle

La Rochelle Harbour La Rochelle is a beautiful and historically-rich city and seaport in western France.The capital of the Charente-Maritime department, the city is connected to the stunning Ile de Ré by a 2.9km bridge, completed in May 1988.The city’s main feature is the picturesque ‘Vieux Port’ (Old Harbour), lined with multiple restaurants. The city walls provide an ideal backdrop for leisurely walks, as does the well-preserved old town.Boating trips can be taken from the harbour and Ile de Ré,...

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Turenne Corrèze is a department in south-central France, named after the Corrèze River which flows through it. In fact, the department as a whole contains over 5000km of river plus some spectacular gorges and waterfalls.Tulle is the prefecture of the department while Brive-la Gaillarde is the largest city, historically the centre of a major rail network. Nowadays, however, you are more likely to arrive at the town’s airport via one of the low-cost flights from London.The term ‘Gaillarde’...

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Saumur - Photo: Nono vlf Maine-et-Loire is a delightful department in the Pays de la Loire region of west central France. Named after the river which runs through it, the area is one of forested hills in the north and south with the valley of the Loire in the middle.The highest point is the Colline des Gardes which rises to 689 feet. In addition to the Loire you will find a network of navigable rivers which includes the Sarthe, Mayenne, Oudon and Loir.The local people refer to themselves as ‘Angevins’, a...

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Monflanquin Lot-et-Garonne is a predominately rural department in Aquitaine, south west France and is named after the rivers Lot and Garonne which flow through this lovely area.Lot-et-Garonne, together with part of the Dordogne, forms one of the most unspoilt areas of France. It has now become more easily accessible owing to improved travel links. It is an ideal location for spending a few days or for longer breaks. The best airport to use is Bergerac in the neighbouring Dordogne.The department has a...

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Gulf du Morbihan The Department of Morbihan in Southern Brittany in named after the Gulf of Morbihan, a kind of enclosed sea which constitutes a major part of its coastline and opens out into the Atlantic Ocean. Stretching from Locmariaquer in the west to the Rhuys Peninsula in the east, you will find something there to suit all tastes.The gulf is considered one of the most beautiful bays in Europe and along with a temperate climate makes the area extremely popular with holiday-makers, especially from the...

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Cognac: A Trip of Rich History and Fine Spirits

Ancient town of Cognac Cognac isn't just a name for a delicious variety of brandy – it is also the name of a town off the east coast of France that is rich in history and culture.The scenic Cognac landscape is reminiscent of Medieval times. The delightful cobbled streets of Cognac are lined with buildings of Renaissance design.Along Rampe du Chateau is "King's Balcony" where the insignia of King François I can be found. King François I is dubbed the first Renaissance King of France. Cognac's success in...

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Beautiful countryside of Haute-Vienne Haute-Vienne is a beautiful, unspoilt department in the Limousin region, situated to the west of the Massif Central in south-west France. The department gets its name from the river which flows through it and is famous as the birthplace of the artist Renoir.The department enjoys good transport links with other parts of the country with the A20 motorway running across it along with several high speed train routes. It can also be easily accessed from the UK via flights to Limoges Bellegarde...

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