It's a rural area, away from the glitz of the Cote d'Azur and the sophistication of Provence, but with rolling countryside and wonderful small villages. Photos and documentary footage show the incredible sight of half a million people pouring towards the border towns of Puigcerdà in Spain, and Prats-de … Occupying an enviable position … Further south, the border runs through some beautiful parts of France, such as the famous Vallée des Merveilles (The Valley of Marvels) in the Mercantour National Park which runs along much of the border. Collioure is a fishing village on the French mediteranean coast about 15km from the Spanish border. The Spain-France border is the second-longest international border of all Spain’s bordering countries. Description: This map shows governmental boundaries of countries, cities, towns, railroads and airports in Spain and France. And you’re only a couple of hours by train from your next adventure: head east into Stuttgart, Germany, or speed south into Switzerland’s festival capital, Basel. To experience the city’s cutting-edge, head towards the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain. Scarlet and gold flags fly high across the turrets of Le Castillet, a 14th-century gate and ex-prison. Share on Facebook Other places to visit: Megève, Morzine; Avoriaz and Les Gets. Le Baracés is one of the smallest communes in my list of places to visit this year. French and Italian influences are shown most markedly in the dishes you find in Nice where pasta of every kind will feature on restaurants’ menus alongside many north Italian dishes.Eat socca in the market from a stall like Chez Teresa. The Franco-Spanish border runs for 656.3 kilometres (407.8 mi) between southwestern France and northeastern Spain. This understated but trendy eaterie will serve you galettes stuffed with smoked salmon, brie or gut-busting tartiflette (potatoes, cream, bacon and Reblochon cheese). The Languedoc-Roussillon's regional fare reflects the intensity of the Pyrenees Mountains in the area. Drench yourself in more history with a walk to the Palais des Rois de Majorque. I’ve gained a renewed appreciation for two easygoing and easy-to-enjoy beach towns that stand like sister cities, each just a few miles from the France-Spain border. The region is also famous for the Cathars, the heretics who rebelled against the orthodox Catholic church. France is in the epicenter of Europe, with a variety of borders that have influenced the country. Strasbourg is an ancient city, part of the Holy Roman Empire until Louis XIV stepped in in 1681 and it became part of France. Benasque, Spain. The French area was once part of Italy, so the Italian influence is strong, particularly in Nice, the major city of the region. The best French border towns Lille, Strasbourg and Perpignan showcase the best of the country, while giving a tantalising glimpse into the rest of Europe. Try the local pissaladière, pizza topped with an almost caramelized mix of onions, anchovies, and olives. Strasbourg hosts one of France's most important Christmas markets, with stalls selling as many goods from Germany as from France. Creative Commons Attribution. Originally a Greek city, then the Roman regional capital, its Italianate architecture fits in perfectly with the sparkling blue of the Mediterranean and green hills behind. Try Le Bar Parallèle (41 rue Lepelletier) for knockout cocktails, creaking stairs and blatant disregard for the ‘no dancing’ sign. Visit the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambresis for a different perspective on the famous Impressionist painter. anyway the most recommended places and towns in France Spain border could be Andorra , Lanuza , Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port , Panticosa , Saint-Savin , Cauterets , Arreau , Benasque , Querforadat , Casteller de N’hug , Barruera and the Portbou . In World War I, the first tank battle took place at Cambrai and the area around there has numerous sites and memorials, large and small to British, Australian and Canadian troops. These almond biscuit treats come in a rainbow of flavours from salt caramel to a very jammy raspberry. But make sure you line your stomach with some dense Alsatian cuisine, perhaps a sticky fondue at La Cloche a Fromage (27 rue des Tonneliers). Anita Isalska is a writer and editor based in Lonely Planet's London office. Meat, potatoes, herbs, and onions marinate for a day, they are roasted in a terrine for hours. Chartres, Loire Valley. You’ll discover an inspiring skyline, a thriving art scene and stately gardens bedecked in flowers. Lille - Palais des Beaux Arts - 24-07-2008 - 11h47, A Lonely Planet photographer shares secrets for taking that perfect shot, Ancient Japanese garden turns into living art with kaleidoscopic exhibit, 10 fantastic travel podcasts to whisk you away, Mysterious monolith discovered in Utah desert has disappeared. Opposite to Tui (Spain), Valença is divided in two: the “fortaleça” or fortified village and the living town where one of the most famous open markets takes place every Wednesday. wrecked ships and World War II sites around Dunkirk, See all the major sites in and around Nice in three days. … The wines of Alsace are sensational, particularly the whites. 'petite france.' Spain to Italy routes. But give the city itself some time to shine. The border of France and Spain runs from just south of Perpignan along the Pyrenees on the eastern side to just below Biarritz and the delightful St-Jean-de-Luz on the west Atlantic coast. Sare, Ainhoa and La Bastide-Clairence boast the "les plus beaux villages de France" designation, like Beynac and La Roque-Gageac in Dordogne. 'Lille - Palais des Beaux Arts - 24-07-2008 - 11h47' by Panoramas. This blush-tinted 13th-century fortress dates to when Perpignan was the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca. In World War II, Dunkirk featured as one of the most important sites due to the huge evacuation of British, French and Commonwealth troops. The heresy was put down with huge brutality and the scars remain to this day. Llivia is around eight square miles in area with a population somewhere in the vicinity of 1500. Lille’s Palais des Beaux-Arts boasts a world-class art collection, including pieces by Rubens, Goya and Delacroix. For winter resorts, try Courchevel which at its highest resort is glamorous and expensive, along with other famous resorts like Val d’Isère. Le Baracés. The regional cooking is intense and hearty, part of the culture of the Pyrenean mountains, producing hearty dishes like cassoulet, consisting of Toulouse sausage, duck, and white beans, served with robust red wine. Expect to finish the nights dazzled, sozzled, covered in glitter and swearing to come back next year. When a border agreement between Spain and France was drawn up in the 17th century, Spain was obliged to hand over all of the villages of Northern Cerdanya to France. And at a mere three hours by train from Barcelona, it’s a great stopping point if you’re travelling between Spain and France. It's famous for producing top wines from Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir grapes. Usually the term implies that the nearness to the border is one of the things the place is most famous for. There are no border controls between France and Spain. Strasbourg is equally fine in summer and winter: when it’s warm, race a rowing boat across the water in Parc de l’Orangerie and wander around the free zoo. Strasbourg mixes cut-and-thrust modernity with a rustic, village feel. Catalonia is a nation, not a country, with the border that separates France from Spain running right through it. The Alsace region looks east first to Germany and Switzerland and then from that to the rest of Central Europe so it's something of a crossroads. Poulet basquaise is chicken browned in pork fat, then cooked in a sauce of tomato, ground chilies, onions and white wine. But it’s La Piscine in Roubaix (20 minutes by métro from the centre) that steals the show. Its strong northern accents and cool weather are the target of plenty of good-natured ribbing from the rest of France, but Lille has the last laugh. Lille springs to life at night: taverns and brasseries only start to fill from around 11pm, when tourists and locals share stories in wooden-walled drinking holes off the Grand Place and throughout Vieux-Lille. You can also cycle the route (or just part of it; it's 180 km long), check with the Tourist Off ice in Strasbourg which will also provide cycling maps of the route, cycle-friendly hotels, and more information. Learn more about Operation Dynamo and Dunkirk and the wrecked ships and World War II sites around Dunkirk. From Barcelona, you can easily reach Italian cities such as Rome or Milan. Here you’ll also find ski resorts, such as Isola 2000 which you can reach from Nice for a day’s skiing and snowboarding. Start at the looming rust-hued Cathédrale de Notre Dame in the middle of Strasbourg’s Grand Île. Verdun was the site of one of the most brutal battles of World War I, becoming for the French the symbol of the destruction and pointlessness of warfare is the same way that the battle of the Somme has for the British. It’s a busy area due to the two airports near the border which have both Swiss and French customs for people traveling from outside the Schengen area. Also, try sweet red peppers stuffed with morue (salt cod). Another specialty, farcis, is a classic Nice dish, where vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini are stuffed with cooked minced meat, garlic and breadcrumbs. Although France’s official position during the Spanish Civil War was one of non-intervention, the country had turned a blind eye to weapons funneled across its border to … Towards the east of the Loire Valley, you’ll find the medieval town of Chatres. There are also some Picturesque French towns in the France Spain border which you can take your road trip there. Go upmarket with a fancy fish supper at Perpignan institution La Galinette (23 rue Jean-Payra). As the name suggests, this magical art gallery is housed within an old art deco swimming pool. Mulhouse is not the most popular of French cities for tourists, but if you’re a car fan you must visit the famous national collection of cars, the Cite de l'Automobile, one of the, Metz in adjacent Lorraine, is a pretty town with the. Step inside to ruminate on Perpignan’s Catalan heritage and be uplifted by superior views of the city. Since around 0800 GMT, the highway - an important truck route from France to southern Spain - has been cut at the border point of La Jonquera, with protesters on the French and Spanish side. With chocolate-box-pretty town squares, hearty Flemish-inspired cuisine and some truly original attractions, Lille is an overlooked gem - and the perfect size for a city break. Many of them like Wilfred Owen's memorial is recent, the result of worldwide interest in World War I. Hitler used the region to launch the V2 rockets on London from La Coupole which today houses a spectacular museum; the first tank battle took place at Cambrai. The mountainous Franco-Italian border begins in Chamonix and goes due south down to the Mediterranean at Menton in France and Ventimiglia in Italy. Toulouse is a major city; also seek out Albi, the city of Toulouse-Lautrec and Perpignan along the coast. As the seat of European Parliament, hotels can be packed out with politicians. Situated in the province of Huesca, just below the Pyrenees National Park and very close to the border with France, sits the idyllic little village of Benasque. Benasque, Spain The architecture is more German fairy tale with half-timbered houses reminding you of Hansel and Gretel type stories. Creative Commons Attribution. To the east, Languedoc-Roussillon offers a gentler way of life, much more French than the western border (though the Catalan language and separatist movement are strong here). The small French town of Ceret, where we are renting an apartment, is in the foothills of the Pyrenees a few miles across the border from Spain. Other cities in the area include Menton, famous for its gardens and its annual lemon festival in the spring; Digne-les-Bains; Gap; Briançon and Grenoble. This sojourn invites you to walk in the footsteps of some of the most renowned painters and writers of the 20th century as you explore their most beloved Catalan towns. Mary Anne Evans is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. It begins in Marlenheim, west of Strasbourg, to Thann near Mulhouse. We stayed there in late June/early July and the weather was great with 25C plus each day, sunshine and a … Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs. The self-proclaimed cultural capital of Switzerland is also bordered by two other … © 2020 Lonely Planet. Burn it off by pounding the cobblestoned streets of Vieux-Lille (the old town), perhaps with a sinful stop-off at macaroon-maker Patrick Hermand (rue Basse). The border is, however, interrupted by Andorra for some 30 miles. Basel, Switzerland. It's popular with visitors, and the Canal du Midi which runs from the Mediterranean at Agde to join the River Garonne at Toulouse is particularly well known. The region in the north of France, taking in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the Ardennes, runs along the Franco-Belgian border. You asked a similar question in another post and indicated that Madrid is the starting point. You're looking for Collioure which is close to the Spanish border and fits what you're seeking--is a beautiful village on the coast, and mainly caters to French tourists. Today it's more European than ever, hosting the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament. This was a region ravaged by the two world wars so it’s prime territory for anybody interested in wartime history of the 20th century. For example Collioure or Carcassonne. See all the major sites in and around Nice in three days. Lastres, Spain | ©Rubén Iglesias / Flickr. The border continues eastward along the Pyrenees to Andorra (42°36′13″N 1°26′30″E / 42.60361°N 1.44167°E ). Sightseeing Strasbourg works up quite a thirst, and the proximity to Germany means the local winstubs (taverns) serve every shade of beer you can imagine. La Jonquera is a border town just below the main pass in the Pyrenees that separates France from Spain. Nice is the capital of the Riviera and the 5th largest city in France, a place that has been internationally popular since the English aristocracy first made it fashionable in the 18th century. Locals get around via trams and the Vélhop biking rental system, but your own two feet are all you need for Strasbourg’s main sights. The markets in the Cours Saleya are full of French and Italian fruit and vegetables, with a huge selection of olives on offer. After residents complained about the noise, the district was moved out of town and the party atmosphere subsided. They were centered in the medieval walled city of Carcassone and around Montségur and typified the feeling of remoteness from northern France that the whole region shared. Follow her on Twitter @lunarsynthesis. A border town is a town or city close to the boundary between two countries, states, or regions. You do not have to stop or even slow down. At this point, the small country interrupts the border between Spain and France for 63.7 kilometres (39.6 mi) on the Spanish sid… Until the early 1980s, boys town was near the center of Acuna, a city of about 120,000. These three melting-pot cities showcase the best of France while giving a tantalising glimpse into the rest of Europe - Lille skims the Belgian border in the north; to the east, Strasbourg grazes Germany; and Perpignan lies close to the southern border with Spain. Come winter, Strasbourg explodes in a cinnamony cloud of seasonal cheer, as Christmas markets sprout around the cathedral. Arras was completely rebuilt after its destruction in World War I so that it looks like the medieval city it once was with arcaded streets and large squares. The Basque coast is superb, offering both rocky inlets and long sandy beaches ideal for the surf which pounds in from the Atlantic, particularly at chic Biarritz. The town is hugged by the foothills of the Pyrenes and is surrounded by vinyards. France, Italy and Spain are three of the most visited countries with a Eurail Pass. There are two major airports: Basel-Mulhouse airport in France and Geneva Airport in Switzerland, both used heavily in the skiing season. That is, if you have any energy left after a fast-paced lillois weekend. by boulanger.IE. This area takes after neighboring Belgium, which produces more varieties of beer per capita than any other nation. Both Collioure, in France, and Cadaqués, in Spain, are off the mainstream when it comes to Riviera holiday spots. Finish your border crawl in the beautiful south. I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. Hardly surprisingly, German influence remains to today and it looks different from the rest of France. Pizza is especially good in Nice. ... We show you what trains you can take from Paris to the Italian border. Its brisk metallic exterior houses plenty of artistic greats, like Monet, Picasso and Magritte. Marble sculptures are reflected in the water, which shimmers from the reflections cast by a huge stained-glass window in the shape of a setting sun. Map View. The hot, crispy chickpea pancake is baked over hot coals. Share. 'Perpignan, South of France' by londoncyclist. Not far from the Spanish border in the French Pyrenees is a tiny picturesque town by the name of Llivia. Atlantic Seafood is well worth choosing in restaurants. The Rhône-Alpes region in France which runs along the border is known for its skiing, particularly in this part for Haute-Savoie and famous Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Only 1.5 hours from London by Eurostar, this friendly city is a popular weekend break for Brits, and it’s a great location for onward travel to the Somme battlefields, the gothic spires of Amiens or chocolate shopping in Belgium. Here you’ll find influences from Belgium in the north; Germany in Alsace; Switzerland and Italy to the east and south-east and the different cultures of Spain at the border that runs along the Pyrenees. The France-Swiss border is 572 km (355 miles) with no customs controls. It's a beautiful route in itself, taking you through small villages and past ruined castles. December 14, 2018 Eggers, Mijia Europe, France Collioure is only a few kilometres north of the Spanish border. Here the long, dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. To the west, you'll come to Basque country, where Euskara is spoken in the same way as it is just over the Spanish border. Check out these articles on Nice for food lovers, top bistros, and good cheap restaurants. Charming hilltop Cassel is worth a visit, and a stay at the romantic Chatellerie de Schoebeque in an 18th-century manor. Technically speaking, all of that part of France that borders Spain is the South of France but most people would think of The South of France as those towns and cities on the south eastern side of the country. France borders the northern part of Spain. It starts at Bray-Dunes just north of Dunkirk south to just near the hilltop town of Cassel near St-Omer, then turns slightly northeast to take in lively Lille and the textile manufacturing and design town of Roubaix then south down past the Luxembourg border through the glorious and much underestimated Ardennes region.. Here everything is transformed by nearby Germany with the region's biggest city, Strasbourg, just across the Rhine River from Germany. Llivia is a small Spanish enclave completely surrounded by France. Valença. If you're here try taking the famous Route des Vins, running down the foot of the Vosges mountains to the west along the west side of the Rhine valley. As you mention in particular the South of France, you should probably head for Perpignan if starting out from Madrid, but have a look at a map before deciding which route would be preferable to you. Unique to this region, piperade is made from eggs with slow-cooked tomatoes, peppers and often Bayonne ham. After mingling with the cultured crowd, fuel up with a buckwheat pancake at Le Galichon (24 rue Royale). She lives part-time in Auvergne, France and writes travel articles about the country. The region has some delightful places to visit that have no echoes of the wars. The Spanish border town at the center of the European sex industry ... the town bordering Spain’s Catalan border with France, for several months. Boys towns also flourish in the border towns of Reynosa, Juarez, Neuvo Laredo and Piedras Negras. Menus feature choucroute or sauerkraut. The border of France and Spain runs from just south of Perpignan along the Pyrenees on the eastern side to just below Biarritz and the delightful St-Jean-de-Luz on the west Atlantic coast. It makes for a heady mix of cultural differences and particularly cooking styles, and if you’re in these regions, it’s easy to make a quick trip to the neighboring country. Try the Basque fish soup, called ttoro, squid, tuna, sea bass, sardines, and anchovies. Henri Matisse might be associated with the south of France, but he was born and spent much of his formative life here in northern France. The result is delightful. The central area of the Pyrenees is particularly popular with walkers in the Parc National which offers high peaks, forests, streams and a cornucopia of wildlife. It also has the largest university in Europe. Instead of vineyards dotting the landscape, there are a few microbreweries here. Instead of coq au vin, you will find coq au Riesling, usually served over homemade egg noodles. 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