If you were to ask me my favorite country in Europe, it would certainly be hard to choose. I think Switzerland would be up there, as the epic scenery just cannot be beat in my opinion. But if it was based off of number of visits alone, France would win hands down. I’ve visited on five different trips and several different regions (all with different people too!). This trip was a return trip to both Paris and Provence, but with new fellow travelers in tow! It was myself, my oldest son (5), and my mom! Rob kindly held down the fort at home with Gavin (2), who definitely wasn’t ready for the breakneck pace I tend to set on trips to big cities.
It was my mom’s first time to France (and second time to Europe — the first only a few months earlier!) and I was so excited to show her the beautiful sights this country has to offer. Paris is easily one of the best cities in the world. I have a soft spot in my heart for London, but even still it doesn’t beat the architecture (and history! and art! and fashion! and food!) that surrounds you everywhere you look in Paris. It’s simply a photographer’s dream!
That being said, I know there are probably no less than 1 million travel guides to Paris on the internet. Rather than bore you with an itinerary that you could probably find in better detail elsewhere, I’ll simply give the highlights with lots and lots of eye candy (aka photos) from our trip.
We broke the trip into two parts: Provence and Paris. We visited Provence first to enjoy the peak lavender season. I was here once before at the beginning of August, having just missed most of the season and seeing the sad leftovers that were literally being harvested before my eyes. This time? The lavender was vibrant and fragrant and the rows seemed to go on forever. We stationed ourselves in Manosque to primarily explore the Valensole, but also did day trips to Verdon Gorge, Sisteron, Gordes, and Roussillion.
The second half of our trip was to Paris. We took the fast train from Marseille and arrived in under 4 hours on Bastille Day. We reserved an incredible AirBNB for the week that allowed us to the view the fireworks from the comfort of our very own room. It was an experience I’ll simply never forget. The rest of the week hit all the highlights: the Louvre, Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Monmarte, and even Disneyland Paris. We enjoyed a day trip to Chateau de Chantilly and so much more that I’ll put into photos below.
It was nothing short of the most amazing trip with two of the people I love the most! It’s fun returning to France over and over again, with different travel buddies and seeing it as if it’s the first time.