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Whether you’ve been there 10 times or never set foot on Frenchsoil, the allure of France as a travel destination is eternal. Fromthe metropolitan bustle of Paris to the bucolic charms ofcountryside villages, travelers fall in love with the country inmany ways. But you can find perhaps the most unique perspectivesaboard one of the many France river cruises.

Rather than exploring just one city, France river cruises will show you the best the country has tooffer, both urban and rural. Getting a taste – literal andfigurative – of everything the country has to offer will make yourexperience richer and your knowledge of the country morethorough.

The obvious starting point for most tours is the capital, Paris.It’s one of the world’s classic cities for any number of reasons,and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore it. Paris mightalso be the capstone of your tour, depending on the itinerary youchoose. France river cruises from companies like Tauck enable youto choose cruises that start along the Cote d’Azur or in Paris.

France’s attractions stretch from north to south, and you’ll beable to see the highlights along its waterways like the Rhone andthe Saone. Here are some destinations that you’ll see on tours ledby Tauck:

* Lyon. The designation of “culinary capital” carries a lot ofweight in a country as famous for fine cuisine as France. Beyondthe dining table, you’ll also find incredible history and artistryin this city, from the historic center of Vieux Lyon (“Old Lyon”),which dates from the Renaissance and is a UNESCO World HeritageSite, to the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourviere, built on theruins of a Roman forum.

* Avignon. This romantically beautiful city along the Rhoneriver would have enough aesthetic delights to make it a must-seedestination, even if it didn’t have significant historical sites.The fortified wall built in the Medieval era still stands,encircling the old town, much of which is constructed ofbuff-colored limestone. The main attractions are the Palais duPapes, where popes of the Catholic Church lived during a hiatusfrom life in Rome in the 13th century, and the famous Pontd’Avignon, the ruins of a famous bridge that is the focal point ofa nursery rhyme known to all French children.

* Rhone wine country. Some of the best wine in the world hailsfrom France, and you’ll be cruising right through the heart of oneof the country’s pre-eminent wine producing regions. You’ll be ableto view the long-established vineyards and, of course, get a tasteof what they produce at wine tastings.

* The Cote d’Azur. “The blue coast” isn’t quite enough todescribe the expanses of brilliant turquoise and cobalt waters ofthis region on France’s southern coast. The town of Nice is a focalpoint and a favorite of travelers thanks to its atmospheric oldtown and beautiful promenades along the Bay of Angels. Not far awayis Monaco and Monte Carlo, where you can try your luck in one ofthe world’s most famous casinos.

Wherever your trip through France takes you, you’ll findunforgettable sights, tastes and experiences. Both experiencedexplorers and new travelers alike can sit back and enjoy everythingthe country has to offer on a well-organized tour that providesbehind-the-scenes glances at some of the France’s most famouslocales.

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