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How to pack for a cruise to Mexico

Travelling to Mexico on a cruise ship is the best way to travel if you want to skip the boring drives to the airport, waiting for the flight and driving back to the hotels of each and every destination. A cruise around Mexico will give you the opportunity to explore many destinations without wasting your time and the airports. You simply will be hopping off from your cruise to each destination while the ship awaits to take you to the next destination. You can make your trip even more enjoyable if you pack right for the cruise. Here are some tips how you can pack right to enhance your cruise experience.

packing for a cruisePack clothing appropriate to the weather
Mexico has a warm weather all the year round but it can fluctuate to a certain extent. For instance if you visit to Cancun around January the temperature can drop and one may need a sweater during the evenings and nights. So if your cruise is during the warmer months pack lots of T-shirts, shorts, polo shirts, sandals as your regular wear. But if you intend to plan Mexico during the cooler months do not forget to include sweatshirts, jeans etc in addition to average clothes you wear during the warmer months.

Be ready for the day trips
Most of the cruises stop at a new port almost every day. That is exactly one of the attractions of cruise tours. With minimum effort you are stepping into a new destination each day. So be ready for the day trips. In fact you will be taking quite a few day trips during your cruise tour. If you plan to take day trips pack comfortable shoes or sandals, sun glasses, sun tan, hats and umbrellas. Never carry new shoes or sandals on your holiday. New sandals and shoes can make your feet sore and hurt. So you have to make sure all your footwear are well seasoned for your feet and you are comfortable wearing them for a long time. Also it is a sensible idea to carry a small backpack or a tote bag on your tour. So you can carry your water bottles, maps, books, magazines cameras and mobile phones in that.

If it requires you to carry your passport also it is no problem since you are carrying the small bag which will have everything you need during your day trip.

More than one swimsuit
Unlike any other holiday you will be spending lots of time in the swimming pool. Some of the cruise ships have a swimming pool in the cruise ship and even if not you would have so many opportunities to dip into the sea. So it is advisable to bring at least two swimsuits. This way you can be sure that you always have one dry swim suit.

Formal clothing for dinner
When you think of packing for a trip formal clothing is the last thing comes to one’s mind. But it is a must if you go on a cruise. Most likely the regular buffet dining room will allow you to enter in your regular clothing but the fancy restaurants would want everybody to be dressed in formal attire. Depending on the ship formal attire may mean dress shirts to suits for men and for women it can be from skirts and blouses to dresses.

Personal entertainment
While there are so many options for entertainment on a cruise ship it is advisable to bring along your own personal entertainment items too. Since most of the cruise entertainment is performed during the night time you should arrange your own entertainment during the daytime. So pack few books, magazines, mp3 music players, puzzle books.

About the author:
This guest blog article is written by Melissa Welsh. She is a freelance writer who enjoys the challenges of imagination and attention to detail. She loves to write about flights to the Maldives.

The ten cruising myths.

1. You have to be old to cruise- nearly everyone believes that you have to be old to cruise and this is the complete opposite. If anything cruises nowadays are made for younger people, sure there are some cruise lines associated with “old people” but I’d say they are more for people who live a more lavish lifestyle, cruise lines such as Cunard for example. There are even cruises made specifically for kids, such as Disney cruise lines.

2. Cruises are expensive- yes a huge amount of cruises are super expensive, but look at the itinerary and duration, a lot of cruises are for over 40 days and visit vast amount of places, but if you go for a week and visit “closer” destinations such as in the Mediterranean it can be a lot cheaper, a lot of cruise companies do last minute cruise deals so you can get a bargain holiday.

3. You have to be posh- this is one of those misconceptions that really get to me, you don’t have to be posh at all to go on a cruise! Yes for the more expensive cruises you will get a lot more ”posh” people on board, but they are there to have a good time and so are you, just book a cruise on a less traditional cruise, for instance a Cunard cruise will most likely have more posh people on board than say a carnival cruise.

4. You will get seasick- a lot of people are prone to motion sickness, but there are remedies and preventions to stop and help if you get these symptoms, people say ginger, peppermint and even green apples help them with this. On nearly all new cruise ships stabilisers are in place which makes the ship basically not rock, so you won’t have to worry about it too much.

5. All restaurants are included in the cost- this is definitely not true for nearly all cruise lines, and I’m warning you now, don’t sit down at the “speciality” restaurant and not expect a hefty bill at the end of it. But a lot of the “main” restaurants are included in the cruise, but the food is most likely not going to be as high of a standard as the food in the speciality restaurants.

6. Cruises are all inclusive- on some cruise lines this may be possible, but you could be playing a hefty all inclusive package that sometimes may not be worth it, so don’t go on your cruise expecting everything bought and paid for, tis easy to spend way too much on board a cruise, just remember not everything is free!

7. Cruise ships are boring- that’s the opposite of what they are! No matter what age you are there is something to do on a cruise, just pick the right cruise line. If you enjoy more sophisticated, classy things, then maybe a Cunard cruise is best for you. If you are a married couple with two small kids maybe a Disney or a royal Caribbean cruise is for you.

8. Kids are bored on cruises- not true! Just imagine how much fun your child would have if he was on a huge cruise ship with Mickey Mouse on a Disney cruise or spongebob squarepants on a Norwegian cruise! When I was a kid I would have just love the fact that I was on a huge boat. There are kids clubs, teen clubs and so many activities just for kids on-board most ships nowadays that they may have more fun than you. The kids would love the food, people and the crazy things that they can do such as flow riders, waterslides and much more!

9. You have to dress up- ok a lot of cruises have “formal nights” but you only have to wear a suit and who doesn’t like wearing a suit? Some cruise lines are swaying away from this though and just say wear what you would when you go out for a meal so smart jeans and a shirt basically.

10. All on-board activities are free- this one is definitely not true and I learnt the hard way. A lot of activities on-board some cruise lines are priced and are charged to your on-board account and some can be very expensive. Make sure you look into the cost of things on-board before you decide to do them, but the ones you have to pay for are generally going to be the best activities.

The top 5 cruise ships

1. Royal Caribbean oasis of the seas- The ultimate fun ship. This is the biggest ship in the world, with its sister ship the allure of the seas, both are equally as exciting. There is seriously a crazy amount of things on this ship; it’s basically a city on water. The one thing that makes this my number one, the fact that DreamWorks is on here! That and the fact that they have a ben and jerry’s shop. If you have kids this is the best, Shrek comes and has breakfast with, Po from kung Fu panda for dinner and then you have a show put on by them. Spas, pools, Jacuzzis, saunas, a library and even a hair salon this ship literally has everything you need on-board. There’s even a Starbucks on-board! With over 25 places where you can get food, this place is the ultimate place to get spoilt.

Royal Caribbean oasis of the seas

2. Norwegian epic- there’s only one thing I can say about the Norwegian epic, and that’s the food. You can literally come grab a snack whatever time of day (or night) it is! There are again restaurants, buffets, grills and there is even a 24/7 pizza delivery service. the entertainment on-board this ship is excellent too, with the blue man group putting on shows, nickelodeon on-board for the kids and bands playing, you will never get bored on nights on this ship.
Norwegian Epic

3. Cunard queen Mary 2- this is the ship you come on for class and style. It is most likely the most expensive ship to book on out of all of these on the list, so it’s probably best to get booking for Queen mary 2 2014 cruises now, in case they sell out! She offers a huge amount of facilities form a state of the art 3d cinema to a planetarium and a superb spa. This ship is where you come to get treated like royalty, the staffs is extremely helpful and friendly and the food on here is some of the best quality in the world.

Cunard queen Mary 2

4. Disney fantasy- the most “magical” cruise ship in the world, this ship does offer a huge amount of surprises. It really makes you feel like a child again. What better ship can you go on to bring your kids? Imagine their faces the moment they see mickey or Minnie! With Disney themed shows such as Aladdin on every night, cinemas every night, Disney themed food for the kids, but don’t worry, there is a especially dedicated adults only area. With nightclubs, bars and an adult only nightclub to wind down whilst the kids are being looked after in a kids club.

Disney Fantasy

5. Celebrity silhouette- there is plenty on-board this ship to keep you occupied for weeks! With an aqua spa, a fitness centre and much more to do in the day time and a gorgeous molecular bar at night for the best cocktails you will ever drink. There are little surprises on-board this ship that adds to your relaxation such as the staff offering to bring a picnic up to you if you are sat relaxing, but it’s not just a normal picnic, it will be specially crafted from one of the speciality restaurants. This ship occupies around 2,800 people, but there is so much space on-board the ship that you feel that it’s all about you.

Celebrity silhouette

What You Need To Know Before Traveling To Asia

When traveling in Asia many of the same tips apply as for traveling anywhere in the world. Of course, each area of the world does have its own peculiarities. It helps to know these things to help you get around.

travel tipsTips Especially for Travel to Asia – Cultural Adjustment

Spend a little time learning of the culture and the customs of each country to you will visit. In general, Asians speak quietly and rarely point, not with the finger or the foot. In most Asian countries, the quieter a conversation the more important it is considered. The more time you take to learn a few basic phrases in the language of the country you will visit the better you will be received.
When you encounter situations that you consider backwards, be careful how your react. You will find, on close examination that things are not backwards, they are just done differently in Asia. Try to speak softly and do a lot of listening. Smile more often than you would at home. Smiling goes a long way in Asia.
If you can appear calm and confident, you may be thought of as a foreign expatriate who has already spent time in the country. This can be beneficial in many different ways.

Practical Asian Travel Tip 1 – Watch The Water
It is better if you avoid directly drinking any tap water when in Asia. To be totally secure do not drink from any bottle that you have not opened, breaking the seal, on your own.

Practical Asian Travel Tip 2 – Travel Light
Especially, if this is your first trip to Asia, make sure you travel light. Wear light weight clothing and substantial walking shoes. The heat can overcome you before you even know it. The lighter you travel the easier it will be on you. You may love your cotton shirts or blue jeans but they hold water and take forever to dry out, especially in a high humidity environment. You will also need several extra pair of lightweight travel socks.

Practical Asian Travel Tip 3 – Leave Your Laptop at Home
Do not bring any personal computer equipment, including a flash drive. Put any data or information you need to access up on a server using the Cloud. Computers are like jewelry, a target for thieves. You will have a hard enough time keeping track of your smart phone and won’t need any additional distractions.

Practical Asian Travel Tip 4 – Use Online Image Hosting Websites for Photos
Any time you put a flash disk into a foreign computer, especially at an Internet Cafe, you have an increased chance to get a virus that can cause you many problems. Either bring extra camera memory chips or use an online image hosting service.

Practical Asian Travel Tip 5 – Use Public Transport
In most of Asia the public transport is efficient and well maintained. You can save a lot of time and money if you learn to get around. This is especially true in places like Singapore and Hong Kong where the mass rapid transit systems are exceptional.

Practical Asian Travel Tip 6 – Avoid Unregistered Taxis
In every city there are official taxis and millions of unofficial taxi. Go to the transportation desk to book a taxi, before you walk out into the arrival terminal. Never accept help from someone that approaches you asking if you need a taxi.

General Travel Abroad Tips
It is important that you are financially covered in the case of a medical emergency while abroad. You can use websites like kanetix.ca to compare travel insurance quotes from different providers. Also, it’s never a bad idea to check the U.S. State Department Travel Website for tips on safety, health and travel warnings for every country you will visit. Make sure you leave a complete list of your itinerary, with copies of your documents, with a trusted friend or your family, before your departure.

Bruce Wong has been travelling back and forth from Canada and Asia for over 15 years. As a geologist, he frequently travels as a part of his routine. When he’s not busy writing about rocks, Bruce blogs about his misadventures as a geologist.

Image source: http://imgur.com/bGAevZL

Top 3 cruises in San Francisco

The city of San Francisco is famous for its Hills, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and many other things. What better way to view these monuments than cruising the waters around the city?

Granted, some of San Francisco’s attractions can be better viewed by land. But because San Francisco has so many landmarks that can be seen by land as well as by water. And being on a ship, cruising the waters of the Pacific Ocean, beats walking the streets any day of the week. Here is a list of the 3 best cruises offered in the waters surrounding San Francisco.

San Francisco cruises

The Party Cruise San Francisco Bay.
The ultimate combination of culture and nightlife. This 3-hour during cruise starts in the San Francisco bay with a delicious small buffet containing Latin foods, Italian pastas, fresh breads and tasty desserts. While having dinner you can enjoy the San Francisco landmarks like the Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge. After dinner it is time to relocate to the deck for music and hip movement whilst enjoying the skyline of San Francisco. For the cultural party people this should be on their ¨to do¨ list.

Champagne Brunch Cruise
For the mellower traveller this is a perfect opportunity to relax but also enjoy the landmarks of San Francisco. This cruise offers a nice brunch with unlimited champagne and some onboard entertainment. The boat will go past the famous island of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge and many other San Francisco monuments. If you are looking for a cultural laidback afternoon this 2-hour during cruise fits right in.

The San Francisco Supper Club Cruise.
This exclusive 3-hour cruise includes dining, dancing and cruising. With a large variety of food choices the Supper Club has something for everyone’s taste. After this exquisite dinner you can dance the night away while the city lights and landmarks pass by. For the party loving traveller this is something we definitely recommend doing.

Other cruises
Of course these are only 3 of many cruises that are available in the San Francisco Bay. There are also cruises where you can get of the ship and visit some of the landmarks, for example Alcatraz, instead of just passing by them. Also possible are cruises that take you further up the Pacific Ocean, instead of only the bay. There are many different possibilities for taking a cruise from San Francisco. You might say there is a little something for everyone. So find your cruise and pack your bags and before you know it you’ll be enjoying San Francisco seaside.

Our guest author Rein Croll is a travel writer for Tripobox which is a collaborative travel platform where you can arrange and book the cruises mentioned above as well as other things. Get inspired by choosing from a wide range of offerings to stay, eat and do in San Francisco.

How To Pack For A Cruise

Going on a cruise isn’t like going on a normal holiday, it’s different, you’re likely to do things you wouldn’t do on normal trip away and could possibly travel through different climates.

This means that you will need a variety of clothes and accessories for the trip. Let’s take a look at some tips for packing what to take with you when you go on a cruise holiday.

Find out what the dress codes are
Is there a specific dress code for dinner on the particular cruise you are going on? Are there special events that you need to have formal clothes for? Before you go find out what the dress codes are and what kind of events are going to be run and then pack suitably.

Check the weather
It seems obvious but dress according to the weather of the destinations you are visiting. If you are going on a cruise of Alaska you will obviously needs coats and winter clothes. But be careful because you may pass through warmer zones and you will also be able to use the swimming pools inside the ship, so you will need bathing suits if you plan on swimming.

The same can be true for cruises in warmer areas such as the Caribbean. Just because it will be warm at your destination doesn’t mean that when you are travelling to and from the cruise ship it won’t be cold. Pack some warm clothes in this situation because it could saveyou a lot of discomfort.

Don’t completely fill your suitcase on your way there
You will undoubtedly want to take home souvenirs from your travels and you will be disappointed if you don’t have enough space in your suitcase for everything you want. Leave some space, especially if you know there is something you want to buy and take home with you. It’s amazing how easy it can be to forget this before you leave.

Pack the essentials
Things like sun cream, batteries, tooth paste and over the counter medication can be expensive to buy on cruise ships so make sure you pack them before you go. It’s easy to forget some of these essentials which is why cruise ships stock them and can charge high prices.

You can do your laundry on the ship
If you want to pack extra light you can do your laundry on the ship. Some ships do this for free and others charge, so find this out before you decide to take that option. An even cheaper way would be to hand wash clothes in your cabin using detergent that you bring with you.

Accessorize
Bring different accessories to change up the look of your clothes if you plan on only bringing a few out fits. Bring different scarves, ties or jewellery because they don’t take up much room in a suitcase but they can change the look of an outfit quite easily.

Make a list
A week or two before you leave make a list of everything you need to take with you. This will reduce the chances of forgetting anything, especially if you start the list early enough and keep adding to it as you go along.
Packing for a cruise can be a bit different to a normal holiday but it doesn’t need to be any harder, especially if you plan ahead and follow these simple tips.

Patrick Martin writes for InterGlobal who are a provider of International Medical Insurance for expats in multiple countries around the world.

Images courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Use Social Media To Prepare For Your Cruise

Getting ready for your next vacation? If you are planning to take a cruise, then there are several fun ways that you can prepare for your trip. From connecting with experienced cruisers to making sure that you pack the right clothing, shoes and accessories for all of your trip’s activities, there are lots of ways to stay excited about your upcoming vacation while getting ready for it.

cruisesDestinations
Often, cruising involve visiting more than one destination. Perhaps you are going on a quick jaunt through a tropical area or maybe you are taking a longer trip that will take you through a number of different areas. It is possible to experience cold and warm weather while on the same cruising vacation! Look online in advance of your trip to see what the weather typically is for your destinations so you can consider whether you will need to stock up on clothing like shorts, sleeveless tops or even a sun hat. Check again as you get closer to your trip for a more precise forecast. An unexpected cold snap could change your plan to wear shorts into one to sport pants instead! Packing clothing that is right for where you are going will mean being able to enjoy your trip much more.

Traveling Opportunities
Wondering whether it is worth signing up for an excursion or two while on your upcoming cruise? First time passengers often are overwhelmed by the number of options offered by today’s ships. From afternoons spent water skiing to the opportunity to spend an extra three days in a port city before and after your trip, the options are seemingly endless. Leverage social media to find out which options have proven worthwhile for past travelers and which you should pass on in favor of exploring a port of call yourself.

Researching Your Options
Look on the internet for forums devoted to discussing different cruise lines and even specific ships by experienced travelers. These experts will have been on the same trip that you are embarking on, and will be happy to tell you whether you should go ahead with an excursion, as well as some of the other options offered. These can include purchasing a number of bottles of wine or soda ahead of time, upgrading your cabin as well as where you should ask your cabin to be located on the ship. With hundreds of different rooms available, some are sure to be a better buy than others.

Do not limit your search for information to mainstream vacation and cruising websites, though. Use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter to find out about others’ recent experiences. Ask them any questions you have, and you should find yourself armed with the information necessary to have a great vacation. Do not forget to look at the cruise line’s own Facebook page and Twitter feed for great deals and promotions. You may learn how to have your cabin upgraded for free, snag discounts on excursions or other upgrades, such as premium dining and wine packages.

 

Laura Franko knows how stressful planning for a cruise can be, no matter how large or small. She trusts 416 Cruises to help her get the best deals on a Toronto harbour cruise. To learn more, visit their website today, http://www.showmetoronto.com/.

3 Useful Google Search Shortcuts For Travelers

Over the years we have been seeing Google slowly expand to offer new services to their users. One area they have been increasing their part in is travel, making it simpler than ever for people to find information they need with a quick search. Even when it comes to planning the bulk of a trip while comparing prices, all in one place and for free.

Traveling

There are a few advantages of using Google as a travel tool:

  • Google is international: No matter which language you speak, you have Google!
  • Google is web-based: No matter which device you are using, you don’t need to wreck your head over which application to download to make it work. All you need is a web browser!
  • Google is the huge database of information: You can rest assured that the information Google provides is mostly up-to-date and trustworthy.
  • Google is fast: You won’t believe how much information it generates in seconds!

Three tools have been perfected in this regard, and each one takes away a lot of the stress of planning a trip. Even when that trip is international.

1. Currency Conversion
Quickly figure out the difference in currency, or find out how much you have to pay to make an international booking, using this currency conversion tool. It has every country in the world, and keeps all rate as up to date as possible. You can also access it by typing “(Currency)Amount to (Currency)”. It will post the exchange right there in the results.

2. Hotels
Need a hotel? If you don’t feel like going to a booking site, you can use Google to comparison shop different accommodations by price, star rating, user rating, amenities and brand. Put in the dates of your stay and find special deals. All it takes is a location and you will be on your way. It even shows you where the hotel is located using Google Maps.

3. Flights
The bulk of travel costs tend to go into airfare. You can find the cheapest rates by putting in your departing and arriving destinations into Google. From there, you can select the date, whether you way a round trip or single, and choose options like economy, first/business class, checked bags and more. This will give you a rundown of the prices of tickets, which you can then select yourself.

Are there any other Google tools you think are especially handy for the traveler? Let us know in the comments.

 License: Creative Commons image source

Jessy is the serial traveler and in-house blogger for Dobovo, European startup focusing on helping you find apartments in Odessa.

Felucca or cruise ship? Cruising down the Nile


Whichever way you go, cruising the Nile offers an enchanting way to see the treasures of ancient Egypt, bringing the life and times of the Pharaohs to life. Cruises can be as short as two or three days or continue for over a week. The ships that cruise the Nile are more like luxurious ferry boats than huge liners, but if you prefer something slower and more traditional, why not take a felucca down the Nile?

These traditional wooden boats have two lateen sails still ply the Nile and Red Sea. With a crew of two or three, they can hold up to ten passengers.  Alternatively, if you want to travel in greater comfort, there’s every size of cruise ship available to take you up and down the Nile, from Luxor to Aswan.

Nile Cruise

Cruise ships
The ships that cruise the Nile tend to be owned and operated by international hotel chains like the Sheraton, Oberoi, Hilton  and Sonesta hotel groups. Shallow-bottomed, the boats are usually a lot smaller than typical cruise ships that sail on the sea. Generally accommodating up to 200 passengers, with large sun decks, they will normally come equipped with water-purification systems, air conditioning, internal telephones, radios, private bathrooms and large windows for admiring the views.
Sightseeing is the main reason for cruising the Nile, but it can be a good excuse to relax by the pool and enjoy a bit of pampering.

Felucca trips
For a more traditional way of cruising the Nile, you can take a felucca. Normally departing from Aswan, you sail for three days up to Edfu, where typically you are taken by road to finish your tour at Luxor. You can arrange your trip independently and directly with a boatman who will leave whenever you want. You will need to come prepared with a sleeping bag or blanket though, as sleeping arrangements are very basic and it gets cold at night, especially during the winter. Boats leave from the Corniche in Aswan and solo travelers can usually join a group. Try not to go with more than five or six others, as otherwise the felucca can get cramped for all of you.

To avoid paying middlemen or commission, make sure you speak direct with the boat’s captain and check it over before you embark on your trip. Typically your three-day trip should include meals, transport from Edfu to Luxor and a visit to a Nubian village along the way plus stops at Kom Ombo and Edfu. Make sure you take a good supply of drinking water, snacks, a hat and plenty of sun screen even in the winter. You will usually sail for three days and two nights down the Nile to Kom Ombo where a minibus will take you to Edfu and then on to Luxor.

The Sites
With every bend of the river, you will be assailed by sights from ancient Egypt. Cruise ships leave from Cairo or Aswan (feluccas tend to go downstream from Aswan).

Luxor and the Valley of the Kings and of the Queens must count as the world’s most impressive archaeological sites. This is where you can find most of the New Kingdom era pharaohs’ tombs, and this is where Tutankhamen was buried, along with Ramses II and many more other kings. Here you can see the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon. Adjacent to the Valley of the Kings is the Western Valley which is where several more pharaohs were buried like Amenhotep III and is less visited.

On the other side of the river from the Valley of the Kings are the impressive and huge temples of Karnak and Luxor that were built by Ramses V and Amenhotep III. The evening ‘son et lumiere’ show here is highly recommended.

Typically you will sail for a few hours to Esna where you moor up for the night, before continuing to Edfu the next morning to visit the magnificent Temple of Horus, who was the mythical son of Isis and Osiris. You continue to Kom Ombo to see the Temple of Sobek and Haroeris and then sail on to Aswan.

nile cruises

From Aswan you can visit the controversial dam that with Russian support, was completed in 1971 and the Unfinished Obelisk. Visit the Temple of Isis on Philae Island and maybe take a ride in a traditional felucca around Elephantine Island and sail to General Kitchener Island to visit the Botanical Gardens that were given as a gift in 1890. From here you might also want to take a diversion up to Abu Simbel to see Ramses II’s amazing temple complex and imposing figures guarding the entrance.
If you are sailing back, you might return via Esna and visit the partly excavated Temple of Khnum at Esna before sailing back to Luxor.

***

Whether you chose the comfort of cruise ship (like a floating hotel) or want to rough it in a more traditional felucca, the amazing sights remain the same – mind blowing and far more impressive than you can ever imagine. Though taught at school and familiar with some of the history, it’s only when you get close up and see it with your own eyes that it really sinks in how amazing ancient Egyptian civilization was.
Photo credits: Wikipedia: Marc Ryckaert & Jerzy Strzelecki

Exploring the Coasts of France


Travellers to France can enjoy the multiple opportunities provided by the country’s coasts for camping, walking, and exploration. France’s Northern, Western, and Southern coasts offer a lot of variety in terms of climate, cities, and towns – the South tends to be more popular for its Mediterranean climate, while the West or Atlantic coast is milder and home to some quieter towns and locations. With 2000 miles of coastline altogether, there’s a lot of choice when you visit France’s coasts.

Northern France

If visiting Northern France, you have the option of taking in the high end resort of Deauville, which hosts annual music and film festivals, and is perhaps the most luxurious resort outside of the South of the country. Ports like Le Havre and Calais are worth exploring if you want a quick trip. For longer walks, the Cote Fleurie will take you between the Seine and the Orne estuaries. The Normandy coast also includes the tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel.

Further West, Brittany is one of the more self contained regions in France, and is home to impressively high cliffs and ancient villages. Picardy to the East of France is more distinguished by its chalk cliffs, and is similarly to the geography of the UK. Walks along the Northern Coast can be made from Calais and Le Havre towards Belgium, and can be combined with camping along the route.

Western France

The Atlantic coast of France is ideal if you want to sample the Loire and Vendee regions’ sandy beaches, inland countryside, and holiday camps. La Rochelle and Rochefort are also recommended for more out of the way camping and cottage holidays; compared to the coasts of Northern France, the Western coast is more forested, and gets progressively more Mediterranean in climate the more South you travel.

Biarritz in the South West is among France’s most popular beach destinations, and is close to the border with Spain. Going inland, you can explore the Midi Pyrenees, as well as enjoying surfing on beaches like Lacanau, which is West of Bordeaux. The flatter terrain of the coasts in Western France are also ideal for cycling and walking holidays.

Southern France

The most popular destination for holidaymakers seeking beaches and resorts, the South of France can be roughly divided between the regions west of Languedoc, and the regions to its East. The West includes the quieter, more rural Languedoc and Roussillon, while the East includes the resorts of the Cote D’Azure; there you can find the busy port of Marseilles, the luxury cities of Cannes and Monaco, and the wine growing fields of Provence.

The South of France is generally more expensive to visit than the North or the West; however, you can get away from the busier resorts and explore smaller towns like Villefranche-sur-Mer, and the Bay of Agay. It’s also possible to book gites and cottages near to and within larger cities like Nice and Cannes without spending a fortune – low cost camping is also available along the coast. Be prepared, though, for the very high temperatures that the South Coast of France receives in the Summer compared to the rest of the country.
Rob James is a well seasoned traveller, having visited many places around the world. He likes renting gites in France from Chez Nous. Rob can be found blogging about his many adventures around the globe.

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