THE WANDERESS | DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO MOVE THROUGH
THE WORLD WITH LIGHT FEET, OPEN HEARTS
& PURPOSEFUL ACTIONS.
The Wanderess collapsed into yet another train seat, bags stacking awkwardly atop her lap, trying to conserve personal space. It’s a happy exhaustion, the feeling of train hopping across France. For an entire month she would unpack and re-pack her duffel bag as she explored this infamous country, and its splendors. Yes, Paris was always a good idea, but there was so much more just outside its gates for the Francophone-inclined traveller.
France has had a rough few years of terrorist attacks, and civil uprisings — all things that could falter the morale of a nation. Only France has never responded with defeat, instead ceremony, camaraderie, joie de vivre in large doses. This was the kind of souvenir The Wanderess wanted to bring back to share — the intimate lives of the culture we so often swoon over, and some of its dreamiest locations often overshadowed by the Eiffel Tower.
The Loire Valley
Just a stones throw from Paris, The Loire Valley will greet you with a chateau at just about every turn, and a lush fruit tree at every other. Imagine languid long meals surrounded by chatter of dinner topics and seeped in rich history.
The Rhône-Alpes Region
From one valley to the next, a commonality is food comes first. In the Rhône region farmers and winemakers are close to gods. Here family owned vineyards, and honey farms are where you want to find yourself at lunchtime. Don’t leave town without a bottle of locally made Chartreuse — a digestif distilled by Carthusian monk, or trying honey fresh from the hive.
Aaah yes, how could one know France without knowing the region of lavender, and wine? Not to be missed are the markets plentiful with produce, cheeses, textiles, and even free-spirited dresses that give Isabel Marant a run for her money. We suggest staying in either Goult or Gordes, and hitting up whatever little neighboring town has a market each day of the week. Do not leave Provence without a bottle of A L’olivier lavender infused olive oil tucked safely into your suitcase.
Cassis & Les Calanque
This is where every daydream you’ve ever had of Mediterranean-coastlines-meets-jade waters comes true. This lesser known destination shies away from the hordes of tourists through a natural process of elimination — its rocky hike into clear water coves can be such a pain, it keeps the faint at heart on the boardwalk. The Wanderess took on the (four hour total) hike that led her to Les Calanques d’En Veau — one of the most beautiful beaches the world over. Don’t miss out on feasts of local fare, say raw octopus just steps from the waves. While one can stay in Marseille and still access Les Calanques, we suggest finding a spot in the heart of Cassis.