The French don’t want you to know the beautiful corners of France

France attracts more international tourists than any other country: with nearly 90 million visitors per year, Spain is second and the United States third. What is less known is that it attracts more domestic tourism than any other place in Europe; Among French people who go on vacation, 80% do so in their country of origin. This should come as no surprise – if your home is viewed as attractive around the world, why move elsewhere?

Metropolitan France shares borders with eight countries in Western Europe, with Flemish, German, Spanish and Italian influences. With world-class beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers, art and history galleries, famous wine regions, iconic cuisine, rugby and cycling, a visit is unnecessary.

Holidays in France are serious business too. Since the Popular Front government granted paid leave in 1936, the French have treated their vacations as the exercise of a political right – and that right must be exercised.

Given the diversity and immensity of their territory, the French favor simple pleasures. They have elaborate, man-inspired venues – the historic Le Puy du Fou theme park, Disneyland Paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, DJ David Guetta – but less than some other countries. Walking, hiking, biking and surfing provide fierce summer competition like food and drink. The evening aperitif does not change like the sunset.

And the French bring a sense of entitlement to everyone. They spend little time saying that they are wrong or that they are worried. Rather, they give the impression that they usually refer to vacation activities from 10 a.m. onwards. Apparently the British – the world has forgiven and temporarily chose our path – can learn from this. Here’s how.

Beaches

Listen to the French, you will think that all of them spend their holidays exploring prehistoric places, developing their knowledge of Romanesque architecture or hiking in the Pyrenees. Some do, but there are plenty to fill the beaches of the French Riviera to the Atlantic coast and Brittany.

And, boy, are they doing it right? See a Frenchman wade through the sand with his family and you’ll be forgiven if he thinks he’s moving. He had an inflatable dolphin, an inflatable flamingo, two coolers, glasses, many nets, bottles, bats and rockets, a bag full of umbrellas, towels and other bathroom contents rental, several copies of OK magazine, and hats for everyone. , Balls and fins. Minimalism is not part of the French beach experience.

Janelle B. Smith

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