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Fodor's France 2001


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No matter what your budget or whether it's your first trip or fifteenth, Fodor's Gold Guides get you where you want to go.

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"Fodor's guides cover culture authoritatively and rarely miss a sight or museum." - National Geographic Traveler

"The king of guidebooks." - Newsweek

No matter what your budget or whether it's your first trip or fifteenth, Fodor's Gold Guides get you where you want to go.

New for 2001! Your personal supply of Post-it® flags makes it easy to mark your favorite listings and keep track of frequently used pages.

Color planning sections help you decide where to go with region-by-region virtual tours and cross-referencing to the main text.

Full-size, foldout map keeps you on course.

Insider info that's totally up to date. Every year our local experts give you the inside track, showing you all the things to see and do — from must-see sights to off-the-beaten-path adventures, from shopping to outdoor fun.

Hundreds of hotel and restaurant choices in all price ranges — from budget-friendly B&Bs to luxury hotels, from casual eateries to the hottest new restaurants, complete with thorough reviews showing what makes each place special.

Smart Travel Tips A to Z section helps you take care of the nitty gritty with essential local contacts and great advice — from how to take your mountain bike with you to what to do in an emergency.

We've compiled a helpful list of guidebooks that complement Fodor's France 2001. To learn more about them, just enter the title in the keyword search box.

  • Fodor's Exploring France: An information-rich cultural guide in fullcolor.
  • Fodor's upCLOSE France: Designed for travelers who want to travel well and spend less.
  • Fodor's Escape to Provence: Full-color guide highlighting 21 one-of-a-kind experiences in Provence.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Get the most out of your trip by packing Fodor's Gold Guides, a series of comprehensive, well-organized guides that cover a traveler's every need. Each Gold Guide includes a full-size map, suggested itineraries for short or extended stays, exciting walking tours, and hundreds of choices for hotels, restaurants, shops, and activities. The expert tips found in the extensive planning section in the front of each guide are second to none and cover everything from choosing the right time to visit your destination to booking your flight and packing. Fodor's Gold Guides series focuses on major destinations all over the world and features especially well-written guides on the Caribbean and Europe.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679005544
  • Publisher: Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Series: Fodor's Travel Guides Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Destination France

The statue perched high atop the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon seems bemused. And who can blame her? After all, she casts a perpetual gaze upon all things French, and for the French, there's no better pursuit than admiring this fabled land and la civilisation française. In coming to France, you can join them. Since setting foot on French soil withoutpaying a visit to Paris is barely conceivable, start your visit in this glorious capital. Then savor as much of the rest of this delicious country as your time and budget permit -- city streets, village squares, dreamy landscapes, fine art, and that most precious of French gifts, the art of living.


A quai-side vista that takes in the Seine, a passing boat, the Ile de la Cité, Nôtre-Dame, the mansard roofs, and a few wispy clouds all in one generous sweep is enough to convince you that Paris is indeed the most beautiful and romantic city on earth. The Arc de Triomphe, the Opéra Garnier, and the Place de la Concorde with its fountains, columns, and statuary, recall the pomp of bygone eras, and their grandeur can leave you breathless, especially on a perfect sunny day. The sight of the Eiffel Tower, the city's enduring symbol, looming and aglow, is an inspiration to leap and run and gallop through the city, taking it all in. And when Paris puts on a display of showiness as modern and brash as the arch at La Défense, Jean Nouvel's Institut du Monde Arabe, or I. M. Pei's hotly debated glass-pyramid entrance to the venerable Louvre, it keeps alive what is perhaps its most alluring tradition -- an unfailingability to astonish. Paris is all about people and the pleasure of enjoying its beauty, art, culture, and cuisine.


Kings, clerics, paupers, and ordinary Parisians have long taken refuge from urban life in Ile-de-France. Most have been content to spend a day in the country amid meandering rivers and lush meadows, while others have left behind spectacular secular and religious monuments. Noble occupants spared no expense in outfitting the Château de Chantilly with formal gardens, fountains, a lagoon, and all the other trappings that were standard amenities during the 16th-century château-building craze. Biggest and most ostentatious of these palaces, the Château de Versailles is pompous proof that French monarchs lost their heads long before Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the last occupants, walked to the guillotine. All this worldly froth fades in the stained-glass luster of Chartres Cathedral, so sublime its soft granite hulk has brought the faithful to their knees for centuries -- an effect it may have on you as well.


"Finistère," or "land's end," is what a part of Brittany is called, and the name suits the entire region. A long arm of rocky land stretching into the Atlantic, Brittany is a place unto itself, living to the rhythm of tides and winds, with its own language and legends, personality and geology. The people are Bretons first, rather than French, Celtic rather than Latin, and proud of their difference. They are also proud of their land -- with reason. Here you'll find time-defying monuments and customs in awe-inspiring landscapes. The prehistoric standing stones of Carnac are a gateway to the gorgeous sandy peninsula of the Côte Sauvage, where birds and flowers abound. Harsh, rocky, windswept shores suddenly give way to industrious fishing villages where gray houses of slate and granite withstand the onslaught of the coastal elements. A trip across the waters to the aptly named Belle-Ile, or "beautiful island," will take you to heaths of yellow broom, fine beaches, and quaint towns.


Normandy is a land of fashionable resorts and austere abbeys, warriors and prolific painters, saints and sinners. At Bayeux, the town's famous tapestry provides a scene-by-scene look at the Norman invasion of England in 1066, with William the Conqueror at the head of an army of oarsmen, horsemen, and knights. Not far away, Mont-St-Michel perches dramatically atop its rocky shoreline roost, surrounded on all sides by tidal flats. In Rouen, medieval rue du Gros-Horloge leads to the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 (but not before she had routed British troops from Orléans and changed the course of the Hundred Years' War). Off to the west at Omaha Beach, vast expanses of empty, windswept sands and grassy dunes pay quiet homage to the 10,000 Allied soldiers who lost their lives during the D-Day invasion of 1944. Elsewhere lovely seascapes and lush fields and orchards have compelled peaceable pursuits.


Even the cattle and flamingos wallowing in the salty coastal marshes of the Camargue enjoy the sun-drenched good life that Provence provides so generously. In this smiling landscape and in soft-hued, elegant cities, where life still proceeds at an old-fashioned pace, you'll find no end of pleasures. Aix-en-Provence, Arles, and Avignon have bewitched Roman legionnaires, popes, and Impressionist painters; the tarnished and exotic old port of Marseille continues to intrigue sailors and travelers with its hint of mystery; and dusty Nîmes and sleepy Orange are alluringly littered with ancient arches and theaters. The region works its charms most potently in rural places, though, aided in no small part by cypress trees and vineyards, warm breezes scented with wild rosemary and thyme, and by a cooling glass of pastis. You can't help but fall under the spell of this glorious land.

Côte d'Azur

If only once in your lifetime you want to sip champagne from a slipper or slink up to a roulette table and go for broke, Nice, Monte Carlo, and Antibes are the places to do so. Or you may want to sample the small pleasures of this fabled coast: a session amid scantily but stylishly attired sunbathers on the beach in Cannes; an excursion up to medieval St-Paul-de-Vence to see a stunning collection of modern art; or just a flutter with glamour in an enchanted seaside retreat such as Beaulieu.

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Table of Contents

Color Section
Destination France
Great Itineraries
Fodor's Choice
The Loire Valley
The North and Champagne
Alsace, Lorraine, and Franche-Comté
Lyon and the Alps
The Massif Central
The Côte d'Azur
The Midi-Pyrénées and the Languedoc-Roussillon
Basque Country, the Béarn, and the Hautes-Pyrénées
Bordeaux, Dordogne, and the Poitou-Charentes
Background and Essentials
Portraits of France
Books and Videos
Smart Travel Tips A to Z
French Vocabulary
Menu Guide
About Our Writers

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