There is much excellence to discover throughout the inland regions of Grand Est, Bourgogne Franche-Comté, and Auvergne Rhône-Alps. Lovers of history and culture will be astounded paddling through the Chauvet Caves to glimpse its famously preserved Paleolithic cave paintings or enjoying a storybook stroll through Strasbourg’s Tudor-lined streets and canals.
For gourmands, a visit to Lyon, home of “Chef of the Century” Paul Bocuse, is a must, but so is a sampling of classics like Boeuf Bourguignon and Escargot de Bourgogne while traipsing through Burgundy.
The French Alps in this area claim Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe and home to some of the world’s most exclusive chalet resorts. While the site of many a skier’s dream come true, these slopes also offer incredible hiking in the summer, with a cozy chalet no matter the season where to taste fondue with a glass of local genepi liqueur at day’s end. Finally, of course, it would be remiss not to mention this area’s embarrassment of oenological riches: from the “Avenue de Champagne”(considered the world’s most expensive avenue thanks to millions of bottles of Champagne stored underground) to the multitude of “Grand Cru” wines throughout this region’s countless microclimates, Eastern France is home to the finest vineyards in the world. It’s time to grab a corkscrew and Salut!