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Highly varied landscapes and an impressive tourism offer make Rhône-Alpes a region of good living, which its inhabitants and an ever-growing number of visitors appropriate with great ease. The most extensive ski slopes are here and, if all of the regions ski-lifts were joined end to end, they would cover the distance from Lyon to Cairo. The fact that the Winter Olympics have been held three times in the region has solidly underlined this sporting identity. Rhône-Alpes has a wealth of museums, including Lyon's Saint-Pierre Museum, the leading French museum after the Louvre, the National centre of Contemporary Art of Grenoble, or Saint-Etienne's Museum of Modern Art.

Everything about Brittany is distinctive, from its geography and its granite looks to its traditions and its language. The region stands apart from the rest of France, its long peninsula reaching out 300 kilometres into the Atlantic, however, Brittany isn't isolated, but open to the world. While it celebrates its traditions, it's also forward-looking and fun-loving. Brittany boasts a staggering 1,700 miles of coastline and is one of France's very top destinations for tourism and seaside holidays.

With its 350 miles of coastline and richly varied landscapes, Normandy gives you a wonderful choice of scenery and culture: the stunning beauty of the cliffs in Etretat or the long sandy beaches, steeped in history, from Caen to Arromanches, the Seine Valley winding between wooded hills and chalk escarpments, the craggy hills of the Suisse Normande, and the patchwork of fields and hedges of the Calvados county with its orchards and timber-framed cottages.

Poitiers is the capital of the Poitou-Charentes Region and the regions' coastline is said to be the second sunniest region of France (after Provence). There are four departments in the region: Charente (dept 16), Charente-Maritime, (dept 17), Deux-Sevrés (dept 79) and Vienne (dept 86).The region boasts miles of coastline with fine sandy beaches, backed by fragrant pine forests and lively resorts such as La Rochelle, Royan and the islands of Oléron, Aix and Ré. Inland, there are wooded valleys, the Poitou fens and Marais Poitevin, the tranquility of the Canals, the valley of Vienne and the Cognac vineyards.

Bordered along the whole of its west coast by the Atlantic Ocean, Aquitaine is bathed in a mild oceanic climate with the influence of the Gulf Stream. The 2,200 sunshine hours per year make the Bordeaux region similar to the Mediterranean. Along with rainfall that is well distributed over the year, this sunshine is one of the elements which favour vine-growing in Aquitaine. The towns and villages of Aquitaine impress visitors with their marvellously well-preserved heritage, notably their architecture, influenced in past times by the Romans and then by the English. Alongside sites officially accredited as the "Loveliest Villages in France", a thousand and one other places are also a delight for the eyes and the mind.

languedoc-roussillon The Region of Languedoc-Roussillon is located in the central region of the south of France and is one of France's major wine-growing areas. The Region's capital is the city of Montpellier - which is a thriving modern city in the Hérault Department which also boasts a historic centre. Languedoc has a considerable coastal plain – which is characterised by long sandy beaches with resorts such as Cap d'Agde, Palavas and Narbonne Plage. The Pyrenees, forms a natural land barrier between France and Spain – housing a magnificent range of high mountains. The coastline where they meet the sea have many pretty coastal villages such as Banyuls and Collioure.

provence-alpes-cote-d'azur The region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur was previously called Provence-Côte d'Azur and is the direct descendent of the French province of Provence. Today, it is comprised of the departments of Alpes-Maritimes (dept 06), Hautes-Alpes (dept 05), Bouches-du-Rhône (dept 13), Vaucluse (dept 84), Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (dept 04), and Var (dept 83). The capital of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur is Marseille. The other main cities are Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Cannes, Nice and Toulon. The cities of Marsailles and Toulon are located along the western coast of the region. To the east, the area from Cannes to the Italian border, is known as the French Riviera.

François I, Charles VII, Leonardo da Vinci, George Sand and Marcel Proust were not wrong: they all decided to live in the Loire Valley. Since 2001, the Loire Valley has been listed as World Heritage by UNESCO for its 'cultural landscapes'. And today this cultural dimension is everywhere to see in this land of varied scenery and contrasting architecture: cave dwellings, Renaissance châteaux, medieval fortresses, historical towns, gardens, abbeys... To offer you the best of our region, we present 10 suggestions for itineraries dreamed up just for you. They combine visits to Châteaux, unusual sites and plenty of surprises on the way.

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