I have always felt that the best way to travel is to combine the vacation with something that you love. I did this for the first time last year when I took a 3 month tour through through France on a tour of some of the finest wine regions that it had on offer. I stayed in some great France vacation rentals throughout my trip as opposed to going down the hotel route and in all honesty if you are planning on any kind of travel then I’d recommend vacation rentals over hotels all day long.
I wanted to write a little bit about which were my favorite wine regions and which ones that you should head to if you fancy following in my footsteps and indulging your inner wine-lover and combining it with a trip to France. I must be honest, I much prefer New World wines than the French offerings and my main reason for heading to France was nothing more than a European destination being cheaper and more accessible than heading off to Australia, South Africa or South America. Thankfully, my logistic-based decision proved to be worthwhile as I have no been fully converted to some outstanding French wines. Let’s take a look then at some of the very best wine regions which you should visit when you head to France.
The World Famous Bordeaux
The hearty reds of Bordeaux have long been a favorite amongst my fellow Brits and it was here that I began my very own ‘tour de France’. In Bordeaux you will find a great collection of Champagne, Burgundy and Claret amongst many others. Bordeaux has gained such fame in part due its beautiful produce and in part because of its proximity to the sea which has meant that for centuries, exporting was extremely easy. I visited some vineyards along the Dordogne river and the estuary of Gironde before indulging in the powerhouse vineyards of Saint Emilion and Medoc. These vineyards are full geared up for wine tourists and have excellent tours and tasting sessions. Not only did I enjoy the wine here but the surrounding area of Bordeaux is truly breathtaking.
Warm and Coastal Languedoc
Next up on the list is the Languedoc region of France which sits on the Mediterranean coast in the far south of the country. The climate and coastal location of Languedoc enable the region’s vineyards to produce large quantities of wine which I had always considered as being ‘house’ style wine, very average and very normal.
I was then, pleasantly surprised when I toured the vineyards of this region and discovered that whilst my previous opinion had been true to a point, there was in fact some beautiful sparkling wine being produced down here. The Limoux region in particular is producing some award winning sparkling wines which are beginning to give even the finest champagne a run for its money. I have never been a great lover of the razzmatazz that often comes with sparkling wines and champagne but there is something very special going on in Limoux, watch this space.
The Natural Beauty of Jura
I had heard that this was one of the most underrated locations wine-producing regions in France and I just love a challenge so I headed to the Jura region in the east of the country. I should make a note before I start that this is without question one of the most beautiful French regions that I have ever laid eyes upon and that was before I even got to a vineyard. The region is packed with natural splendor from lakes, beach-fringed reservoirs, swooping valleys and lush greenery to high mountains and alpine meadows, even if you don’t love wine, I’d recommend that you come to Jura.
Regarding the wine itself, the word on the street is true and the Franche-Comte region is producing some of the finest French wines that I have ever tasted. Most wines here are blended and use the grave Savagnin, exclusive to Jura and a grape which gives their wines a sherry-like aftertaste. The vineyards here are relatively new to touring people around and as such they are full of life and energy when telling you about their product. Traveling to Jura provided me with the best trip, the finest wine and gave me a glimpse of some simply outstanding natural landscapes.
So there you have it, my top 3 wine regions in France that I think you should visit if you want to take a wine tour throughout the country. As I said before, combining something that you love along with your travel plans is truly the best way to get the most out of your trip away and if it is wine that you love then look no further than these excellent wine-producing French regions.
Located in the shadow of the beautiful Mount Salak, Bogor is one Java’s must see cities. Located just 90 kilometers south of Jakarta, Bogor’s relaxed vibe couldn’t be more different than the capitol city, Jakarta. This beautiful city is one of the jewels of Indonesia and should be on everybody’s travel plan. Indonesia is among the most exciting locations in Southeast Asia. Here is why you must stop what you are doing and visit Bogor Indonesia.
Bogor is home to some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. Formed 200 years ago for scientific experiments in botany, the Bogor Botanical Gardens are now one of the regions primary tourist draws. Botanical research is still on going at the gardens but today you will see many more tourists than scientists. The botanical gardens are massive and can take all day to explore. Many visitors will choose to enjoy lunch in the garden’s lovely cafe. The gardens are also home of the prime minister’s summer estate so you can imagine what it would like to wake up to views of this garden every morning. A whiff of the flowers and fresh air and you would never believe you are so close to Jakarta.
Gazing up at the massive peak of Gunung Salak is a once in a lifetime experience. This volcano erupted approximately 80 years ago but given that it has only erupted a few times ever (as far as scientists can tell) this makes it one of the safest (allegedly) on Java. If you want to get up close and personal with the volcano, it is also home to a lovely national park. You can arrange several guided hikes of varying difficult to view some of the wonders of this natural wonder.
Bogor houses an incredible puppet museum that features traditional hand made Indonesian puppets known as Wayang golek. This is not your average museum as it also doubles as a workshop for the puppet maker, which triples as his home! The gentlemen who runs the museum will gladly show you how the puppets are made, give you a history of them, and sell you one as well. These puppets are an important part of Indonesian and Javanese culture and are unique to this region of the world. Talk about a one of a kind souvenir! So if you are interested in arts and crafts and one of a kind experiences, the Wayang Golek puppet museum is a one of the best reasons to visit Bogor. The hospitality doesn’t stop at the museum, if you are looking for a great place to stay with incredible customer service, try the R Hotel Rancamaya.
So whether you are doing a tour of Java, Indonesia as whole, or just looking for a weekend getaway from Jakarta; Bogor is a one of a kind city with a relaxed and fun atmosphere. If the thought of being so close to a volcano doesn’t make you queasy, we recommend you visit Bogor soon and prepare for a truly once in a lifetime experience.
Widely considered as the most romantic city in the World, Venice sits in northern Italy on the banks of the Adriatic sea. The city is comprised of over one hundred tiny islands and has water flowing through almost every main street and alleyway. It is the presence of these canals and streams coupled with the mazy streets that give Venice it’s unique appearance and its quintessential Italian charm. If you plan to visit this beautiful city then here are some great tips for what to see and do in the ‘Floating City’.
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