weekend links: tour de france edition


When Liesl mentioned that she’ll be traveling to southern France in August, it got me reminiscing about when I lived in France for a few years. I was fortunate to be able to explore most of the corners of France and I thought I’d offer my recommendations if you happen to find yourself in “The Hexagon” in the future.

France is ranked as the first tourist destination in the world and with good reason, every region offers something different, so there is something for everyone. Grab your passport and off we go!

I thoroughly enjoyed my self-guided tour of La Toile de Jouy Museum in Jouay-en-Josas, a western “suburb” of Paris. Inside this chateaux museum you can learn the history and view many examples of this quintessentially French fabric. (I’m positive you are familiar with these classic monochromatic prints of country scenes.) This past year they have been celebrating Oberkampf’s bicentennial. Wait for your return home to buy yardage of this famous fabric, as the boutique mostly sells items (at Parisian-style prices) made from these prints.

La Toile de Jouy Museum in Jouay-en-Josas

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The next time I’m in France I’d love to stop by the Christian Dior Museum in Granville. The museum is located at the designer’s childhood home which is pink. Obviously the color had an impact on him.

Pink Christian Dior quote

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Well it seems that pink houses are popular in Normandy. If you’re in that region why not visit another famous pink house? Drop by Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. Don’t forget to stop to smell the flowers as you stroll through his gardens (you just can’t experience the wonderful fragrance from the photos on the internet).

After a drive along the pretty pink granite coastline of northern Brittany, take a boat ride to travel to the picturesque Ile de Brehat, a small car-free island where you can get away from it all.

While you’re vacationing in Brittany, purchase a classic yellow rain coat by Guy Cotten for the child in your life. I bought one of these for my oldest (toddler size) and all three of my children wore it. They were so adorable in it!

What is it about medieval walled cities with their cobblestone walkways? They captivate me every time! My top three favorites to tour are: Pérouges, Cordes sur Ciel (the view from the top is spectacular!) and amazing Carcassonne! Explore one and discover what an old place France is.

Carcassonne France
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If you are able to make it to Provence and love lavender, then you must pay a visit to the Lavender Museum. The boutique includes anything and everything lavender, of course!

Lavender field in Provence France
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And not too far away is an Olive Oil Mill where you can purchase black olives, olive tree wood items, olive oil soaps, and tapenade.

If you’re feeling outdoorsy and adventurous take a hike along the Grand Canyon of Verdon. The turquoise green waters next to the white limestone make an unforgettable landscape. It’s such a jewel, you don’t want to miss it.

Grand Canyon of Verdon, France

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Quick Links:

  • Stop over in Cassis for some breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coast.
  • Spend some time walking around Salon-de-Provence. It’s a lovely little town.
  • If you are a lover of old architecture, be sure to take a stroll through Vieux Lyon.
  • This lace museum in Alençon sounds like it would be worth the trip.
  • I miss eating cassoulet, so while you’re there, eat some for me, will you?
  • The best chocolate I ever ate was in France and it was dark chocolate with orange and cinnamon, yum! If you’re craving some delicious chocolate try La Maison du Chocolat. Bon appétit!

Bon voyage! And don’t forget to send me a postcard!




  1. I have traveled to Paris only. I would love to go back to France to see what else the country has to offer. Your tips are great. I always want to go where locals recommend.

  2. That title, yet not a mention of a bicycle?!!!
    What I wouldn’t give to escape the Australian winter and head to France right now. Of course, I’d have to watch some of le (vrai) tour de France.
    Beautiful post Rachel. Cycling through the “goulets” of the Parc du Vercors is one of my favourite memories and that canyon picture took me right back

    1. Ha ha! I thought you would notice that! Oh, I’ve never been to (or heard of) Parc du Vercors, too bad, too because looking at a map I was pretty close when I went skiing in Grenoble.

  3. Tamara

    Would absolutely love to visit this country! My daughter is learning French this year at school – we will be requiring a translator when we go! It would be fascinating to visit.

  4. Liesl

    Madison du Chocoat is my all-time fave, Rachel! Thanks for the great post!

  5. silk

    Rachel Le Grand
    Castle really spectacular, residents can live in it?

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