Tour de France 2014 Route

101th Tour de France runs from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th 2014; this year there are 21 stages covering a total distance of 3,656 kilometres.

The teams will be battling it out over

  •     9 flat stages
  •     5 hill stages
  •     6 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes
  •     1 individual time-trial stage
  •     2 rest days

Last year’s winner Chris Froome is back to defend his title with the Sky team including Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The start of the race is in England – here is the British section start in Yorkshire



Most Beautiful Region of France?

Loubressac – Wikipedia Commons License

There are lots of contenders for this title – you will probably get a diverse opinions for sure!

If you love rural France, then perhaps you can judge by the number of most beautiful villages in France (Les plus beaux villages de France) per region. The winner on that count is the Midi-Pyrenees.  There are over 30 villages in the Midi-Pyrenees with that accreditation.

Here are some of the villages featured:

1) Loubressac

Perched on a promontory that offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Dordogne valley and the surrounding castles, Loubressac invites visitors to discover its charming medieval houses built of ochre stone and capped with pointed roofs. The church of Saint Jean Baptiste and the château, a manor dating back to the 15C and 18C, are worth the short climb it takes to reach them.

2) Belcastel

In this former stopping place on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, by the banks of the Aveyron, stone-built houses and roofs tiled with “lauzes” stone slabs rise in tiers at the foot of the fortified castle that was remarkably well restored in the late 1970s by architect Fernand Pouillon.

3) Najac

Najac is built along a rocky ridge, overlooked by a fortress that was once the envy of Kings of France and England. Its “lauze” stone-slab-roofed houses stretch out above the wild gorges of the Aveyron. Take the rampart walk and you will get an amazing view of the wild open spaces around you.

Wine Tours in France

One of the big influences on lifestyle in France is Wine and Gastronomy.

You may remember Oz Clarke’s and James May’s TV series tour of France. In these videos you will learn about the French regional wines, and “science” of wine-making, and how to enjoy wines – sorry James!

Episode 1 Content in 4 parts – covering Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon, France


Episode 2: South West and Provence, France
– wine and food matching


Episode 3: The Rhône Valley and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
– wine blending


Episode 4:  Alsace and Burgundy, France
– terroir and barrel-making


Episode 5: Champagne, France
– Champagne production


Explore the French Coast

Explore the Coast in video – France is lucky to have the Channel coast to the north, the Atlantic on the West coast, and the glorious Mediterranean to the South.

The Northern coast is approximately 1,130 km long from Brittany to Nord Pas de Calais. The western coastline of France stretches along the Atlantic coast from the Brittany peninsula to the Gironde. Irregular in shape, its is approximately 1,390 km in length. Finally you have the Mediterranean coast, which is about 620 km long and offers some of the best natural harbours.

Perhaps the most famous stretch of coast is the French Riviera or Cote d’Azur which extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, or Cassis in the west.

Glimpse the French coast in our video below:

By the Sea in France

More about the coast of France:

Top 10 Towns in France

Difficult to select just 10 towns!

But here is our list of Top 10 Towns in France:
1. Paris – obviously
2. Loire Valley Towns: Amboise, Blois, Chambord – for chateaux!
3. Mont St Michel, St Malo and Normandy Beaches
4. Bordeaux – plus visit the wine districts
5. French Riviera Towns: Nice, Cannes (sandy beaches), Monte Carlo
6. Avignon – especially the Pope’s Place
7. Strasbourg (home of European Union)
8. Nancy – prettiest square in France?
9. Aix en Provence – wealthy town with beautiful boulevards
10. Rouen – old town and cathedral

If you have time check check out Troyes, Metz, Reims, La Rochelle, Toulouse, Rennes, Grenoble …..

Spotlight on Provence

Peter Mayle country! One of the favourite areas of France for the Brits. Unfortunately this can be a very expensive area for both property purchases and rentals. Inland prices begin to drop.

The region is very popular during July and August and you need to book accommodation well in advance.  Warning: July and August can be very hot and also during the winter months the Mistral wind can blow down the Rhone Valley.

For more on this region: including events that coming to the region.

Video: Provence

Historic towns, ancient mountain villages, fertile fields, Marseille and the Camargue — a region that delights the senses.

Beautiful Villages of France

France prides itself on its villages – in fact they have a dedicated association of Villages

Listed Beautiful Villages of France

Some 32,000 villages have shaped the French countryside over time and those of them that are members of the Association “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages of France) share the same passion and ambition: to make the exceptional quality of their heritage known and recognized and to invite you to encounter their history, their land, their culture and their inhabitants.

Here is a list of the top villages in France:

Video Tour of some Beautiful Villages

Tour de France by Video!

Take a tour around France for a flavour of the country:

Let start the tour by starting on the North West coast in Brittany, travelling east along the Channel coast and then into Paris.  Our travel continues down the eastern border regions into Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur. Then along the Med coast into Languedoc-Roussillon and into the Pyrenees

The second part – takes us from the West coast into central France including Aquitaine, and the rolling hills of the Limousin

More Resources:

Tour Videos
100s of France Videos