The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Autumn 2022

Discover Aix, the ‘Little Paris’ of Provence, the historic region of Beaune, a land of wine and castles. Beautiful Bordeaux and Normandy. The stork villages of Alsace and the pickled-in-the-past, post-card pretty perched town of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert. Breath-taking Lavender fields in Provence, castles in the air in Dordogne. Exquisite Villefranche-sur-Mer and Nice. Discover what’s new, the best tours, recipes, a language lesson, practical guides and much, much more…

dip their sails in

dip their sails in salute: “baisse-voile”, which became Beychevelle. The UNESCO-listed Vauban-built Citadel of Blaye is a big surprise in that it’s almost a secret and yet this mini-Carcassonne is extraordinarily beautiful and well-preserved, dominating the pretty town below. It has its own vineyards, shops and restaurants but it’s the gorgeous historic buildings that steal the show. In Bourg, wine is stored beneath the city in a maze of caves. It was once a busy port town but is now a sleepy place with wonderful views from the top of the town. If you’re feeling fit you can climb the 500 steps of the King’s staircase, named for Louis XIV who stayed in the upper town as a child and apparently liked to sneak down the stairs to the old town below. Blaye and back. Cruise along the Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde, western Europe’s largest estuary. You’ll pass fishing huts on stilts, birds of prey floating on the breeze, castles and vineyards that sweep down to the water, and riverside towns where you can explore the best of the region. You’ll enjoy wine tastings on board and in renowned wine domaines (there are no worries about being a designated driver). You’ll visit castles and some of the region’s most historic and beautiful towns and be spoiled rotten with fabulous 3 and 4-course meals with excellent at lunch and dinner. I joined the 5-day cruise to get to know some of the highlights of the city and the region… Highlights of the cruise In the mornings the ship sails and in the afternoons there are excellent excursions (guides speak English and French). It’s a laidback cruise at a relaxed pace. Tour the vineyards of Bordeaux and enjoy the stunning landscape punctuated by chateaux, Bassins des Lumières mansions, and pretty villages. Enjoy wine tastings at a famous domaine in the Medoc and stop off at the chateau de Beychevelle where rumour has it they cut the grass with scissors – it’s certainly pristine in a sort of Zen meets French parterre way. Ogling the gorgeous 18th century mansion and snooping in the garden is very satisfying! It was once the home of the Duc d’Eperon, Grand admiral of France and ships passing the estate would Saint-Émilion is also on the itinerary and when you go there, you have to do a wine tasting – it’s practically the law! First at a chateau and then in the picturesque, cobbled village of Saint- Émilion. The vineyards (as well as 8 municipalities of Saint- Émilion) were the first to be listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site as ‘a remarkable example of a historic winegrowing landscape which has survived intact’ You’ll also spend a whole day in Bordeaux, with a guided tour or free time. It’s a really fabulous way to get to know both the city and the surrounding area. Find out more: There’s also a 5-day Christmas and a 5-day New Year cruise of Bordeaux For culture lovers There are some 21 museums and art galleries with themes including history, architecture and fine arts. One of the most well-known is the extraordinary Cité du Vin – dedicated to wine and housed in a swirly topped building that resembles wine being poured in a glass. The latest venue to open is the absolutely stunning Bassins des Lumières. It is the Bourg Saint-Émilion 16 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 17