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The French Fascination

 

This is a country with a long and dramatic history. A country of unique flair and picturesque old towns, fortresses and castles and also a country of beautiful landscapes. Today Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. First established by the Celts, next used strategically by the Romans and then the domain of the Sun King. Les Champs Elysees is the French metropolis' magnificent avenue and surely one of the most beautiful in the world, with wide boulevards, shady corners and large volumes of traffic. For more than a century the members of the French court languished in Versailles where incredible pageantry and opulence dominated and the king celebrated in majestic style. A hundred hectares of ingenious garden design with a strict symmetry of wide star-shaped garden paths that seem to be without end. With its historic buildings, the eighty metre high granite mound of Le Mont-Saint-Michel is like something from a fairy tale. The Emerald Coast is a world of foaming white surf and dramatic cliffs. Saint Malo is the proud and solemn "Town Of Corsairs" as the yacht harbour of today once contained pirate ships. The historic centre of Nice, Vielle Ville, has maintained its charm and boasts the most well displayed fish market on the whole Cote D`Azur and a fruit and flower market that each day offers fresh produce and satisfies all the requirements of its most demanding customers. french holiday homes

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Les fetes (festivals)

The French enjoy 11 national jours feriés (holidays) annually. The civic calendar was first instituted in 1582; Bastille Day was incorporated in 1789, Armistice Day in 1918, Labor Day in 1935, and Victory Day in 1945. During the month of May, there is a holiday nearly every week, so be prepared for stores, banks and museums to shut their doors for days at a time. It is a good idea to call museums, restaurants and hotels in advance to make sure they will be open. Property Rentals

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Trains and roads near major cities tend to get busy around the national holidays. Not coincidentally, this also happens to be the time when service unions (such as transporters, railroad workers, etc.) like to go on strike - something of a tradition, in fact. Travelers would do well to check ahead, particularly when planning a trip for the last week of June or first week of July Property Rentals

There are also many regional festivals throughout France which are not included in our calendar. ViaFrance hosts an excellent site which lists fairs and festivals, traditional ceremonies, as well as sporting events, concerts, and trade shows for all regions throughout.

Under the law, every French citizen is entitled to 5 weeks of vacation. Most of the natives take their summer vacations in July or August, and many major businesses are then closed. All of France takes to the roads, railroads, boats, and airways. Consequently, traveling in France during August is generally not recommended for foreigners.

Public Holidays

1 January New Year's Day (Jour de l'an)
1 May Labor Day (Fête du premier mai)
8 May WWII Victory Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)
14 July Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
15 August Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assomption)
1 November All Saints Day (La Toussaint)
11 November Armistice Day (Jour d'armistice)
25 December Christmas Day (Noël)
26 December 2nd Day of Christmas (in Alsace and Lorraine only)

Moveable Feasts

Religion: Christian (Western)

*In Alsace and Lorraine only.Property Rentals

In years when Ascension Day concurs with Victory Day, we mark only the former, thus ignoring the latter.

Metal workers have the holiday of St. Eloi, July 24 (Festival of St. Eloi - French Basque).

Note that when a holiday happens to fall on a Tuesday or Thursday, many French workers may take the Monday or, respectively, Friday, off as well. French holiday homes This is not official and does not apply to institutions such as banks or government, but is sufficiently commonplace to cause difficulties doing business on occasion

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