Before the French revolution, France was the superpower in Europe. It had the largest population and the biggest economy. It had the most powerful army and was one of the reasons why Napoleon was able to do so much damage in Europe.
But it's thanks to France's rich and varied history that the country has such a unique heritage. And for those of us wanting to visit the country, that means that there's an awful lot to see and do. In fact, there's hardly a place in France that isn't steeped in some kind of rich history, just waiting to be explored.
Taste The Wine
It's no secret that France plays host to some of the world's finest alcoholic beverages. Almost every region of the country has a signature wine or liquor.
If you're looking for champagne, stick to the so-called Route du Champagne, which runs between Reims and Epernay. Don't forget to spit instead of swallow when you're wine tasting. It's acceptable, especially if you're behind the wheel.
The number of champagne houses in the region is large, so settle on tasting a few houses' wines. Some of the best include Champagne Barnaut, Champagne Milan and Champagne Charlier.
Visit Ancient Wonders
France isn't all about high-culture and fashion. It also plays host to some of the earliest examples of culture. Prehistoric cave art to be precise.
If you're visiting the Dordogne region, you may want to stop by at the famous Lascaux II cave. The Lascaux II cave is a recreation of the original - and priceless - Lascaux cave found in the region. The original Lascaux cave was discovered by a bunch of teenagers looking for their dog. But it has been closed since 1963. Apparently, it's too valuable for anyone to enjoy. As a result, Lascaux II was built and has been open ever since.
There are also other sites dotted across France, including the Abri de Cap-Blanc and the Grotte de Font-de-Gaume. These sites play host to some 800 cave drawings of bison and deer, horses and even little fish.
Take In The Architecture
The architecture in France is world famous. From the Louvre in Paris to the Palace of Versailles, nothing in the world can approach the style and the sophistication of French design.
One amazing building is the cathedral at Metz. The cathedral is the town's most imposing building, standing some 138 feet above the ground. The Cathedral is made famous by the extent of its stained glass windows, which allegedly span the greatest area in the world. The windows were installed over a period of 700 hundred years.
You might also consider visiting the cathedral at Chartres. This cathedral is like nothing else on Earth. Sitting on an incredibly flat plane that surrounds the town, it stands up and dominates the landscape. The cathedral, built between 1194 and 1260, would go on as an inspiration for all the great architects of the thirteenth century.
If castles are more your thing, France is full to the brim. And they are not your average castles that you might see in Britain. These look just like something out of a fairytale. In fact, that's precisely the idyllic impression that their original designers wanted to evoke. One castle, the Royal Chateau of Amboise in the Loire valley, is utterly picturesque. Cleverly situated on a slight hill, the castle enjoys commanding views over the surrounding landscape. It offers panoramic of the Lorie areas and is considered a world heritage site by Unesco.
If you visit the castle, be sure to enjoy its beautifully managed gardens and take in the political and artistic importance of the place. It's a good place to get a sense of what it must have been like being an absolute monarch like Louis XV. WIth architecture like this, it's no wonder Brits are buying property in France.
Sample The Food
France is perhaps most famous for its cuisine which varies from region to region. If you travel to the Dordogne, try to seek out unique restaurant experiences. What about paying a visit to the small hamlet of Salignac-des-Eyvigues and going for a seven-course meal of duck that's famous in the region. Or dining at the Auberge de Castel Merle in the town of Sergeac on a cliff overlooking the Vezere valley.
Of course, with the food in France, you can hardly go wrong. The country is littered with amazing and award winning places to eat. It's just a questions of seeking them out.