The regions of eastern France achieve a unique identity that balances undeniably French culture and custom with influences from European neighbours. Alsace and Lorraine have a distinctly Germanic feel in some of the towns and villages, the forested Ardennes sweeps into the area from Luxembourg and Belgium, and more than a few buildings in the Rhône-Alpes display architecture inspired by the Italian Renaissance.
Mountains dominate much of the landscape, with the Vosges covering the western edge of Alsace, and spreading down towards the undulating Jura range, which separates Franche Comté from Switzerland. The Alps rise to their zenith in the Graian Alps, where Mont Blanc projects its snow capped peak into a dazzling sky and snow sports enthusiasts come from far and wide to enjoy the surrounding slopes and Chamonix’s après-ski.
The wild terrain is tempered by the sophistication found in Reims, where the top Champagne producers carefully blend their vintages, and in Nancy, a graceful city with a grand centre and some fantastic examples of 18th century architecture. In contrast, the half timbered houses and extensive vineyards of Alsace present the east’s more traditional side and offer a reminder of the impact of German rule on this area of France.
There’s no doubt that the east of France is a paradise for those who love to be in the great outdoors, who enjoy the drama of wide vistas and appreciate good food and excellent wine.
Bonjour Catherine - Our Eastern France expert
Catherine is French and worked in France for some time before moving to England. Belle France is the perfect opportunity for her to liaise with her home country on a daily basis.
Catherine’s role is varied: from advising customers on destinations to creating new tours, or even preparing travel packs and making sure everything is well planned. Lately she was delighted to accept her new position as Product Development Manager and she is dedicating a lot of her time to researching and improving holidays.