France Travel Guide, France | Moon & Honey Travel

France

France

France occupies a mythic place in the eurocentric consciousness. No country is more grand, opulent, dramatic, or tragic. It’s the idea of France and the French way of life that is ever enticing; life is full of adventure, passion, and love. The French appetite for living and living well is what enchants the rest of the world.

With diverse landscapes, medieval towns and abbeys, stunning architecture, high mountain ranges, dramatic coastlines, and never-ending lavender fields, France is perhaps the most majestic country in Europe.

Though we’ve both traveled throughout France, we’ve only traveled to Paris together.

 

This Guide Includes:

  • France Basics
  • Where to Go (Interactive Map)
France Travel Guide, France | Moon & Honey Travel

France Basics

Official Name: République française (French Republic)

Capital: Paris

Government: Unitary Semi-presidential Republic

Regions: Mainland France is divided into 13 administrative regions. France also has 5 overseas regions. Until December 31, 2015,  the country was divided into 22 administrative regions.

  • Metropolitan Regions: (1) Grand Est, (2) New Aquitaine, (3) Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, (4) Burgundy-Franche-Comté, (5) Brittany, (6) Centre-Val de Loire, (7) Île-de-France, (8) Occitania, (9) Hauts-de-France, (10) Normandy, (11) Pays de la Loire, (12) Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA), and (13) Corsica
  • Overseas Regions: (1) French Guiana, (2) Guadeloupe, (3) Martinique, (4) Mayotte, and (5) Réunion

Population: 67 Million

Official Language: French

Currency: Euro

Tipping Etiquette: Tipping isn’t obligatory in France. In a fine restaurant, you can tip up to 5% for exceptional service. In a casual dining setting, €1 to €3 is sufficient.

Water Quality: Tap water is safe to drink throughout France.

Something Interesting: You can legally marry a dead person in France. If there is sufficient proof that the deceased had the intention of wedding their partner while alive, a French person can receive permission from the French president to marry posthumously.

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On ne fait pas d’omelette sans casser des œufs.

 

 

 

French Proverb

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

Where to Go in France

Click the dots to explore specific destinations
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Destinations
@moonhoneytravelers
  • Alta Via 1.  We just finished hiking the Alta Via 1 - a multi-day trek in the Italian Dolomites. And, it was an adventure we’ll never forget.  The first two days of the trek, we hiked in pouring rain. With no mountain views and poor weather conditions, we tried our best to keep our spirits up.  On Day 3, we set off once again in rain. After a few hours on the trail, it started to snow. The smart thing would have been to turn back and secure a taxi to the next rifugio. But, we kept going. As we progressed, it became increasingly more difficult to find the trail. The snow was covering up the trail markers and the wind swept away the footprints of other hikers. We lost the trail several times.  The snow that was floating down ever so gently as first turned into a no-bullshit blizzard. We were soaking wet, increasingly numb, and at a complete loss of where to go. I started crying. With no one in site and no idea where the hut was, we started to freak out.  At this point, we were physically shaking. We took a few me minutes to regroup in a WWI cave. Sheltered from the blowing snow, we could locate where we were on Maps.me.  We found the trail and willed our frozen bodies into motion. When we saw Lagazuoi hut, we felt a tidal wave of relief.  After ringing out everything from our shirts to our underwear and changing into warm clothes, we drank 2 liters of hot tea and then met the most amazing group of women! Thank you Chris, Sigi, Jo and Susie for the wonderful company, conversations, and shared meals.  @susielambie @jored7  Photo: 2 days after the storm.
  • 2 years ago Kati and I visited the Dolomites for the first time.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, as we were relocating from Cologne to Vienna. We drove through Germany’s Black Forest, Switzerland’s Appenzell region, across the Dolomites and finally into Austria.  During our time in the Dolomites, we experienced our very first hut to hut hike. Until that point, multi-day hiking was a vague, intimidating concept. After our short 3-day trek around Sexten, we were hooked. And, looking back, it’s easy to say that that trip really changed our lives.  We’re finally back in the Dolomites. This time we’re here to hike the Alta Via 1.
  • The pearl of the Rätikon.  Our recent hike around the Rätikon Alps started and ended here. During our trek, we saw almost every vantage point of this lake.  We just published our 5-day hiking itinerary (link in bio). We also included suggested 3 and 4-day routes, if you have less time.  https://moonhoneytravel.com/europe/austria/raetikon-high-trail/
  • Rätikon.  This beautiful limestone mountain range straddles the border between Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.  We just wrapped up a 5 day hike around the range, overnighting in Austrian and Swiss mountain huts along the way.  We’ll be sharing our itinerary on the blog very soon. Until then, happy hiking dear friends.
  • Berliner Höhenweg (Berlin High Trail)  We just finished trekking the Berlin High Trail in Tyrol, Austria.  This gorgeous alpine route showcases the finest mountain and glacier vistas of the Zillertal Alps. It’s an extraordinary adventure replete with challenging ascents and descents, rustic and grand mountain huts, and bell-wearing cows and sheep.  Our trekking experience was filled with indescribable beauty, hearty Austrian food, agonizing and dangerous descents in rain, physical pain (follow our stories for details), and a stolen iPad. 
Some days were extraordinary. Other days were quite good. And one day was utterly miserable. That’s life in a nutshell, right? Cheers to living the good days, the okay days and the bad ones too.
  • I want to share with you one of my favorite German words.  Genießer/Genießerin is a person who delights and takes pleasure in living. It’s someone who enjoys and relishes the present moment completely. It can be applied broadly, whether someone enjoys reading, drinking a cappuccino, hiking, or cycling. The connotation of this type of pleasure is wholly positive.  There is no direct translation in the English language. In English, too much pleasure is perceived as a negative. We use words like glutton, hedonist, libertine to describe people who take (too much) pleasure in certain things. In English, pleasure must be restrained. Without such restraint, pleasure isn’t “good,” but marred with sin.  Would you define yourself as a Genießer/Genießerin?

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