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France

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Paris, in the Footsteps of Grandmere

on Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:11
Personal journey on a Paris Untour

Elizabeth Pontarolo recently joined us for Untours in Prague and Paris. Her time in Paris was a personal journey of sorts, in pursuit of her late grandmother's haunts. Here she shares some images and thoughts from her time in the City of Light. A highlight was finding the apartment building that her Grandmere lived in when she was a baby and young child

Andrea Szyper's picture

Ventures Cruise Report: Rhine Getaway on Viking

on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 12:53
Dee on a Viking cruise with Untours Ventures

Dee McConnell, Director of Untours Ventures, offers a review of her experience on a Viking river cruise of the Rhine. She also offers advice: Pace yourself since there is so much to do and see. Take the time to grab a seat on the sundeck with a glass of wine and watch the world go by. Also, bring binoculars. They’re helpful for getting a better look at all of the castles you will pass as your cruise the Rhine.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Meet Françoise, Your New Best Friend in Paris

on Tue, 05/02/2017 - 22:02
Francoise, Untours staff for your apartment stay in Paris

“I enjoy meeting people, especially foreigners,” explains Françoise Guilledroit, our new local staff person for the Paris Untour. Having lived and traveled abroad, she understands their perspective well.

Françoise was born in northern France and currently resides in Paris with her husband, who is an art specialist working in Paris and Brussels. Her daughters, both in their 20s, live in the UK. She enjoyed traveling at that age as well.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Isle-sur-Sorgue: Tag Along for a Day on the Town

on Wed, 02/01/2017 - 09:56
Isle sur Sorgue apartment stays with Untours in Provence

Isle sur Sorgue is a charming town in Provence, one of the hometown villages of our Provence Untour.  It is also well known as a center for the antique trade and for its lovely location, at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau. Isle-sur-Sorgue is known as the Venice of Provence because of the canals that pass through town. The Sorgue River begins at the famous Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, about 4 miles to the east, and divides into 5 arms that run through Isle-sur-Sorgue before joining again and splitting into two rivers just outside of town.

I recently spent a couple days in the area.

Untours staff's picture

Versailles: An Easy and Regal Paris Escape

on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:32
Versailles day trip from Paris Untour
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a daytrip to nearby Versailles, just a short trip on the regional train.
 
France’s most famous château overwhelms most visitors. Breathing in its beauty, one understands how Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette could have made the fatal error of failing to flee in time to avoid Revolutionary mobs. Versailles simply wasn’t a place easily abandoned. 
 
Today, it ranks as the most popular destination for day-trippers from Paris, receiving more than three million visitors a year.
RachelWortmann's picture

Just Say Bonjour! Q&A with Provence Staff Anne

on Tue, 09/13/2016 - 09:37
Untours host in Provence, Anne

Ahhhh, Provence. There's a reason why countless artists were inspired by this particular region in France, why it's a hotbed for some of the world's best food and wine, and why it is one of our most popular Untours. The quaint villages are picturesque, but so full of life and culture. The locals are friendly, chatty, and gladly invite you to live like a local for a few weeks. Need more convincing? We talked to our local Provence Untour staffer about what makes the region so unique and why it makes for the perfect Untour! 

What do you love about living in Provence?

I love the light blue sky

Sandra Kohler's picture

Sandra's Alsace Part 4: Excursions to the Heart of Europe

on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 17:06
 
In the fourth and final installment of her series on Alsace, Sandra Kohler writes about Alsace’s history during the first and second world wars. She and her husband Walt (whose photos are featured here) have been on many Untours, but Alsace was an especially captivating region for them.
 
When I think back on our excursions to Breisach and Strasbourg, what is striking, and has become even more striking as we’ve reflected on this Untour, is the sense we are finally left with of Alsace being the heart of Europe.
 
It is mostly art that takes us on these two excursions, but what we find goes
Andrea Szyper's picture

8 Tips for Wine Tasting in France

on Tue, 04/26/2016 - 09:38
Vineyards in France

One of the great joys of touring France is visiting its many wineries, where you can connect with the scenery, the local people, and the history of a region one memorable glass at a time. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience.

1. Look for Degustation or Goutez on signs outside vineyards in the countryside. This means vineyards welcome guests and you may pull up and sample some wine. Depending on the setting, it may not be a formal tasting, and there may not be hired help waiting to pour you a glass, but be adventurous!

2. Know your AOCs. French wines are labeled based

Untours staff's picture

Cruise the Rivers of Europe With Us: A Ventures Video Adventure

on Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:46
Paris on a river cruise with Ventures

It's no secret that we love Europe. We've been hosting guests on apartment-based vacations in Europe for 40 years! But we've also fallen in love with Europe's waterways over the years. The rivers of Europe cut through some of its most beautiful countryside and string together majestic cities and chaming smaller towns. A river cruise is an interesting was to cover more territory and take it all in. Here's a little video tour of some of our favorite rivers of Europe:

Sandra Kohler's picture

Sandra's Alsace Part 3: World War History in the Countryside

on Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:23
War memorial at La Linge, France

We headed for Le Linge. For me, this was probably the most intense experience of the trip. The densely tree-lined road to it takes hairpin turns, climbs up and up. When we got there the site of the battle was amazing. It’s so high up, the German trenches are so solidly built, with enormous rocks anchoring steel-plated gun ports. They’re impregnable. The French trenches, now mostly invisible, were just dug into the soil. How could the French have hoped to take this hillside? It looks so clearly impossible, doomed. 17,000 dead here – one of the bloodiest battles of WWI, forgotten. Now campanula, tiny blue bellflower, bloom between the rocks of the German trenches – they would have been blooming there from July to October, as the battle wore on.

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