ABOUT FRANCEFrance is a country located in Western Europe. Clockwise from the north, France borders Belgium and Luxembourg to the northeast, Germany and Switzerland to the east, Italy to the south-east and Spain to the south-west, across the Pyrenees mountain range (the small country of Andorra lies in between the two countries). The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France, with the Principality of Monaco forming a small enclave. To the west, France has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline, while to the north lies the English Channel, across which lies the last of France's neighbours, England (part of the United Kingdom).
The Eiffel Tower (nickname La dame de fer, the iron lady) is an 1889 iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tallest building in Paris, it is the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.
Festivals and Events
Carnival in Nice
One of Europe’s most colourful pre-Lenten celebrations takes place in Nice, France. The Riviera resort celebrates the beginning of Lent with more than a week of processions – flower parades in the afternoons, light parades in the evenings, and a big firework display on the final evening."
The town of Chamonix looks like any other bustling mountain town in the Alps—until you look up. The pure vertical relief is mind-boggling: Granite mountains shoot 10,000 vertical feet from valley to peak, their wild blades at odds with the mannered European culture of coffee and croissants far below.
Festival of the Giants
The annual Giant festival dates back to 1530 and is the largest event of its kind featuring over 100 figures that parade through the streets. They are greeted and cheered wherever they are seen around the town. The huge figures traditionally include, among other characters, Monsieur and Madame Gayant and their children Binbin, Fillon and Jacquot, the Devil and even giant dragons."
Monet’s House and Garden in Giverny
A visit to Monet’s home and garden will take you into the the picturesque world of this Impressionist master painter. Monet’s garden is famous for its weeping willows, ponds with water lilies and the famous Japanese bridge, all settings and inspiration for his works."
The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles, was the de facto capital of the kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. On UNESCO’s World Heritage List, it is one of the most magnificent achievements of 18th century French art. It is a palace large enough to house 6,000 courtiers, a palace fit for a king, and not just any king, but Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King,’ who reigned for 72 years and whose self-glorification knew no bounds."