Posted on

Explore Saint-Germain-des-Pres

One of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris is Saint-Germain-des-Pres. This historic neighborhood is on Paris’ left bank and is one of four quarters of the 6th arrondissement. The area is famous for its restaurants, shops, and chocolatiers. Some of these areas can blend in with the Latin Quarter neighborhood, but both areas are can be easily covered by foot.

For this post, I will refer to the area as Saint-Germain.

Cafe de Flore

Cafe de Flore in Paris.

My first stop was at one of the oldest coffee houses in Paris, Cafe de Flore. I was lucky to arrive at a time before the lunch crowds. The weather was ideal to be seated outside on the patio rather than inside the historic cafe. Cafe de Flore offers delicious traditional French cuisine, but I decided to go light for lunch with a beer and chicken salad.

172 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France | +33 1 45 48 55 26

www.cafedeflore.fr

Church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Near Cafe de Flore is the historic church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. The church is a former Abbey that dates to the 6th century and is one of the older churches in Paris. The neighborhood gets its name from this historic church.

Ala Mere de Famille

I love chocolate, and Paris has plenty of options to satisfy my craving. I visited several chocolate shops, and my first stop was Ala Mere de Famille. Founded in 1761, Ala Mere de Famille is a famous chocolate shop with several locations in Paris.

70 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France | +33 1 46 34 45 05

www.lameredefamille.com

World Travelers Today’s Video on Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Sam Garza in Saint-Germain

Place Saint-Sulpice

Place Saint-Sulpice in Paris.

A place where you can relax and rest from sightseeing is Place Saint-Sulpice. The square is on the border of Saint-Germain and the Latin Quarter; and dates to 1757. You can also visit the Church of Saint-Sulpice.

Debauve and Gallais

Debauve and Gallais in Paris.

One of my last spots to visit was Debauve and Gallais. In 1819 the famous chocolate maker received a royal appointment as the provider of chocolate to the French court. If you’re a chocolate lover, this is an experience you will not want to miss.

30 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75007 Paris, France | +33 1 45 48 54 67

www.debauve-et-gallais.fr


I hope this information is helpful in your planning to visit Paris. If you would like a custom-designed trip to France or if you would like to join one of our small group tours, please select the button below to learn more about how I can help you on your journey.

More Post on Paris

Paris’ Latin Quarter


Posted on

Paris’ Latin Quarter

Paris’ Latin Quarter, or 5th Arrondissement, is located on the left bank of the River Seine. The famous neighborhood has many cafes, bookshops, and restaurants. I have visited the Latin Quarter many times throughout my visits to Paris, and in this post, I want to share some of my favorite spots to visit. Some of the areas I will mention in the post are on the fringes of other neighborhoods, but they should be added to your itinerary when walking through this part of Paris.

Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare & Company in the Latin Quarter.

Having a cup of coffee at Shakespeare and Company is a good way to start your journey through the neighborhood. You can order a coffee and then visit their bookstore as well. The famous English-language bookstore opened its doors in 1951 and now also has a cafe.

37 Rue de la Bucherie, 75005 Paris, France | +33 1 43 25 40 93

https://shakespeareandcompany.com/

The Cluny Museum

The Cluny Museum in Paris’ Latin Quarter.

If you’re a fan of medieval Europe, then the Cluny Museum is the place for you. The museum is one of the oldest buildings in Paris and houses one of the finest collections of medieval art. The museum lays over the remnants of a 3rd-century Gallo-Roman bath. One item to view in the museum is the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry.

28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005 | +33 1 53 73 78 00

https://www.musee-moyenage.fr/

The Pantheon

The Pantheon in Paris’ Latin Quarter.

As you continue your journey through the Latin Quarter, visit the Pantheon, built by the architect Soufflot. Soufflot wanted to outdo the Pantheon in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. King Louis XV of France ordered the construction in 1758 in honor of Saint Genevieve, Paris’ patron saint.

Pl. du Pantheon, 75005 Paris, France | +33 1 44 32 18 00

https://www.paris-pantheon.fr/

Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Church

Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Churchin Paris’ Latin Quarter.

Near the Pantheon is the Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Church. The church dates to the year 1222 and is well worth a visit.

Place Sainte-Genevieve, 75005 Paris, France | +33 1 43 54 11 79

saintetiennedumont.fr

Luxembourg Garden

Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

The Luxembourg Garden is not in the Latin Quarter yet; it is within walking distance from the Pantheon. I suggest you add the gardens to your walking itinerary. The gardens were created in 1612 by Queen Marie de Medici, and she also added the Luxembourg Palace. Currently, the property is managed and owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace to run France’s government.

http://www.senat.fr/visite/jardin/index.html

World Travelers Today’s Video on Paris’ Latin Quarter

Sam Garza in Paris’ Latin Quarter.

Rue Saint-Andre de-Arts & Commerce Alley

Rue Saint-Andre des Arts in Paris.

Rue Saint-Andre des-Arts and Commerce Alley are both in the 6th arrondissement but on the border of the Latin Quarter. This street is famous for its booksellers, pubs, and restaurants. Connected to the Rue Saint-Andre des-Arts is Cour du Commerce Saint-Andre. This passage takes you back a few centuries, and you can experience what Paris looked like before Emperor Napoleon III modernized the city in 1852.


I hope this information is helpful in your planning to visit Paris. If you would like a custom-designed trip to France or if you would like to join one of our small group tours, please select the button below to learn more about how I can help you on your journey.


Posted on

The Best of Normandy

Bayeux in Normandy France.

France is a country soaked in tradition. The nation is one of the most visited, drawing millions of visitors yearly. I have lived, worked, and traveled through France for over two decades, and one of my favorite regions is Normandy. The region dates back centuries, and it was here that Willian the Conqueror invaded England in 1066. Nearly a thousand years later, allied forces left England to storm the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from German occupation. Visitors are overwhelmed by the region’s history, but it’s not all that Normandy has to offer. Although I am a history buff, what I specifically enjoy about Normandy is the region’s culture. I love the food, cider, and calvados. I love the landscapes, coastlines, and apple trees. In this post, I will share my favorite towns and activities in Normandy.

History

Caen Castle was built by William the Conqueror.

Normandy has many battlefield cemeteries from World War II. Intense fighting took place on the beaches and also inland. The town of Caen suffered damage during the war, also several small towns in the region. There are several World War II museums in Normandy. Some of the most visited are in Caen and Arromanches-Les-Bains. Visitors have several options to learn more about the invasion.

Normandy’s history goes further back than World War II. William, the Duke of Normandy, invaded England to take the crown. He launched his invasion from Normandy’s shores. William became William the Conqueror after he successfully defeated the English forces. You can learn more about the invasion of England by visiting Bayeux and viewing the Bayeux Tapestry.

Historic Towns

Monte-Saint-Michele in Normandy.

Normandy has several towns to visit. Each one has its unique charm. I suggest basing yourself in Caen or Bayeux when visiting the region. Both towns are ideally located, but I prefer staying in Bayeux.

The third most visited location in France is Monte-Saint-Michele. The famous island is well worth visiting. Another historic town is Rouen. It was here that Joan of Arc was burned alive in 1431. One of my favorite towns in Normandy is Honfleur. The town is full of charm and delicious cuisine. I also suggest visiting the stunning cliffs of Etretat. The landscape will take your breath away.

Cuisine, Calvados, & Cider

Normandy offers delicious cuisine for visitors. I enjoy cider, and Normandy has some refreshing apple cider. Every town has restaurants that offer local cuisine, cider, and calvados.

La Couronne is the oldest restaurant in France.

La Couronne is the oldest restaurant in France. The Rouen restaurant dates to 1345 and offers delicious local dishes.

La Couronne/ 31 Pl. du Vieux Marche, 76000 Rouen, France

+33 2 35 71 40 90 / couronne-rouen.fr

Normandy Tours

Sam Garza at Monte-Saint-Michele

Are you interested in visiting Normandy? Join me on a small-group tour in Normandy. I lead small groups to discover the gems of the region. We will start our journey in Paris and then move to our base in Bayeux for five nights before returning to Paris for the grand finale. Contact me today to learn more about our adventures in Normandy.

Call me at 703-996-3077 or on WhatsApp +34 653 06 98 91


Posted on

Explore Fécamp

Fécamp is a fishing port in Northern France and was once home to the Dukes of Normandy. The port town is a seaside resort, religious pilgrimage site, and home to the world-famous Benedictine liqueur. I stayed in Fécamp for two nights after visiting Honfleur and Etretat.

The Benedictine Palace

La Benedictine in Fecamp. This photo was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

My first stop in the town was the Benedictine Palace. I joined a small group tour to research my trip designs to Normandy. The tour was partially self-guided, and I made my way through the beautiful palace. Alexandre Le Grand rediscovered the liquor recipe created by a 16th-century Venetian Monk. For over a century, Benedictine liquor has been exported all over the world.

Benedictine tasting room.

The tour led us to the distillery and then to an amazing tasting room. I had a blast exploring the palace and tasting its intoxicating products.

Tourist Office

Fecamp tourist office. The photo was taken by Samuel Garza.

My next stop was the office of tourism, where I got a map and spoke with a local guide to learn more about the town.

Address: Quai Sadi Carnot, 76400 Fécamp, France

Website: fecampetourisme.fr

The Port

The Port in Fecamp. The photo was taken by Samuel Garza.

The port is the heart and soul of Fécamp. Over the centuries, Fécamp became the top cod fishing port in France.

La Verriere

The weather started to get cold and rainy, so I made my way to La Verriere, located at the Benedictine Palace. I ordered a cocktail and enjoyed watching the rainfall.

World Travelers Today’s Video on Fécamp

Travel video by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.


Le Marche Aux Poissons

My next stop was Le Marche Aux Poissons. I came across this fantastic spot while walking around the port. They offer wine paired with some fresh fish. I highly recommend this spot when visiting Fecamp.

Saint-Etienne Church

I also visited Saint-Etienne church, which dates to the 13th-century. However, the church was destroyed during the 100 Years’ War but was rebuilt.


I hope this information is helpful in your planning to visit Fecamp. If you would like a custom-designed trip to Normandy please select the button below to learn more about how I can help you on your journey.

More Post on Normandy

Arromanches-les-Bains

Explore Bayeux

Visit Honfleur

Visit Caen

Mont-Saint-Michele

The Best of Historical Rouen

Mondaye Abbey

Etretat

Follow Us


Posted on

Explore Étretat

Normandy is full of charming towns, and Etretat is one you will not want to miss. Etretat is well known for its stunning white cliffs and eye-catching rock formations. I had always wanted to visit the picturesque town, and I am glad I finally had the chance to see it.

Although I have explored many parts of Normandy, I never visited Etretat. My first stop was the town’s tourist office. I picked up a map and spoke to a travel specialist to ask about key areas to visit.

Le Vieux Marche/The Old Market

Le Vieux March Photo taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today

The Old Market was closed due to COVID-19. The market was built in 1926 by tradesmen from the Manche. A plaque at the entrance pays homage to the military hospital during the World War. Currently, the market is full of shops selling local goods.

Boats and a Bunker

German bunker in Etretat. Photo by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today

I was walking along the coast, heading towards Porte Aval; I came across some historical boats made in Etretat. The small museum provides you with historical information about boat making. I also visited an old World War II German bunker.

Porte Aval

Porte Aval. Photo taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

My next spot to visit was the Porte Aval. This area is famous for its rock formations and stunning white cliffs that draw thousands of visitors every year. I explored the Porte d’Aval Arch and L’Aiguille, or the needle rising from the sea.

Porte Amont

Notre-Dame de la Garde Chapel. Photo by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

I made my way back through town to climb the Porte Amont. On top of the cliff, I encountered the Notre-Dame de la Garde Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to pay homage to sailors. Another spot I recommend you visit is the Heritage Museum. After visiting the museum, I ordered a beer at the local bar cart. The beer and views were refreshing.

World Travelers Today’s Video of Etretat

Travel video of Etretat by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

Étretat Gardens

Étretat Gardens. Photo was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

Etretat’s gardens are worth a visit. The gardens are near the chapel and museum. A ticket for an adult is 12.00 euros, and the cost for children is 7.50 euros. I encountered some interesting sculptures and beautiful landscaping.


I hope this information is helpful in your planning to visit Etretat. If you would like a custom-designed trip to Normandy please select the button below to learn more about how I can help you on your journey.

More Post on Normandy

Arromanches-les-Bains

Explore Bayeux

Visit Honfleur

Visit Caen

Mont-Saint-Michel

The Best of Historical Rouen

Mondaye Abbey

Explore Fecamp

Follow Us


Posted on

Two Fun Days in Honfleur

Honfleur harbor.

During my time in Normandy, I was also able to visit the charming town of Honfleur. The small town is located on the estuary where the Seine river meets the English Channel and it is a popular destination in Normandy. I had planned on staying one night, but after falling for the town’s charm and slow pace, I decided to stay an extra night.

The Church of Saint Catherine

Saint Catherine’s Church in Honfleur Photo Taken by Samuel Garza

On my first day in Honfleur, I encountered overcast weather, yet it did not stop me from creating content for future travelers and learning more about the town. My first stop was Saint Catherine’s Church. The church was built in the 15th century by shipbuilders over an older structure destroyed in the Hundred Years War. Saint Catherine’s is that it is the largest wooden church in France.

Lieutenauce

The Lieutenance in Honfleur Photo Taken by Sam Garza

In the Old Harbor, you will find the Lieutenaunce. This fortification was the home of the French King’s Lieutenant. The fortification was once one of two gateways into the city.

The Vieux-Bassin/Old Harbor

Old Harbor in Honfleur Photo Taken by Sam Garza

The famous Vieux-Bassin or Old Harbor is a beautiful spot to spend your day. The harbor has 16th to 18th-century colorful timber-framed houses. This harbor is famous because Claude Monet and Honfleur’s local son, Eugene Boudin, painted this area.

I recommend having lunch or dinner at the L’Albatros. You can also sit in the bar and; have some beers or wine and soak in the ambiance.

World Travelers Today’s Video of Honfleur

Travel video of Honfleur by Sam Garza with World Travelers Today

Le Petit M

Le Petit M in Honfleur photo by Sam Garza

Honfleur has plenty of good places to eat, but one spot I recommend is Le Petit M. This cozy sandwicherie/bar has delicious food with a good wine selection.

5 Rue Haute, 14600 Honfleur, France | +33 9 54 19 69 38


I hope this information is helpful in your planning to visit Mont-Saint-Michel. If you would like a custom-designed trip to Normandy please select the button below to learn more about how I can help you on your journey.

More Posts on Normandy

Arromanches-les-Bains

Explore Bayeux

Visit Caen

Etretat

Mont-Saint-Michel

The Best of Historical Rouen

Mondaye Abbey

Explore Fecamp

Follow Us


Posted on

Visit Arromanches-les-Bains in Normandy

Coastline of Arromanches-les-Bains

If you’re looking for a small coastal town to visit while exploring Normandy that is loaded with history, look no further than Arromanches-Les-Baines. Arromanches is a short 20-minute drive from Bayeux and a 30-minute drive to the American Cemetery. My first visit to Arromanches was in 1998 when I was studying abroad in Caen, France. During my most recent trip, I spent a full day reexploring the town and learning more about what transpired here during the summer of 1944.

Mulberry Harbor

Mulberry Harbor Photograph was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

During World War II, Arromanches was the town the allies chose to direct some of their supplies into Normandy. Soon after June 6, 1944, the Allies placed the Mulberry Harbor or artificial floating bridge to bring in supplies to the battle. A total of 9,000 tons of supplies entered Arromanches per day during this time period. Some of the parts of the bridge were too large to move after the war so they were left where they were first placed decades ago.

Major Allen Beckett / Photograph taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II raised the issue of creating a floating Port in Normandy. He stated, “The problem must be mastered.” Major Allen Beckett, a Civil Engineer answered the challenge by designing the floating roadways, piers, and the Kite anchors that allowed supplies to flow into Normandy. Beckett’s floating port was a key to victory in Normandy.

D-Day Museum

There are several museums in Arromanches, but the two main museums are the D-Day Museum and the Arromanches 360. I will discuss the 360 Cinema later in the post. The D-Day Museum is highly recommended. The museum is where you will learn more about the technical ingenuity of the artificial port. During my visit in October 2021, the museum was being expanded and the work is expected to be completed in 2023.

Town Center

LES BAINS D’ETE / Photograph was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

Arromanches’ town center is filled with shops, bars, and restaurants. Therefore, you will have several options to choose from for lunch or dinner. I had lunch at LES BAINS D’ETE. I selected their delicious Charcuterie Board and I was not disappointed.

West Ridge

WWII Bunker / Photograph was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

After lunch, I hiked up the West Ridge to sean an old WWII bunker and to also take some photographs of the remaining Mulberry Bridge. I also encounter some local wildlife during my hike. Once you get to the top of the ridge, you will encounter amazing views of the town and the coastline. If you continue hiking down the trail, you will come to Colleville Sur Mer, where the Normandy American Cemetery is located. The hike should take around 4 hours.

World Travelers Today’s Video on Arromanches-les-Bains

Video Created by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

East Ridge

360 Cinema / Photograph was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

At the top of the East Ridge is the Arromanches 360 Cinema. The cinema’s video has recently been updated since my last visit. It provides viewers with an intense experience of the Battle of Normandy. However, I was extremely disappointed with the last parts of the video. In no way does the music or statement at the end pay respect to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. I wrote to the museum and provided them with my opinion.

Sculptures of British Soldiers / Photograph was taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

Near the Arromanches 360 Cinema, you will encounter relatively new sculptures of Britsh Soldiers landing on Gold Beach. The sculptures are powerful and they display the sacrifice British Soldiers endured during the landing.


I hope you have enjoyed this post and that it provides you with enough information about this historical town in Normandy.

If you would like for me to custom-design your trip to Normandy, please contact me to learn more.

Abbey Mondaye

Bayeux

Caen

Etretat

Honfleur

Mont-Saint-Michel

Rouen

Explore Fecamp

Follow Us


Posted on

A Retreat to the Mondaye Abbey

Abbey Mondaye in Normandy, France

After spending weeks based in Bayeux building World Travelers Today’s network for tours and trip designs in Normandy, I needed a break from months of work. I was in search of a place to recharge the batteries and a place that was secluded from a city. The small village of Juaye-Mondaye was the perfect spot and I couldn’t be happier with my two-night stay at the Ferme Manoir Saint Barthelemy.

The Abbey Church

Abbey Church photographs were taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

My first stop was the Saint-Martin of Mondaye Abbey Church. The church is famous for the Brothers of Premonstratensian Choir. They are well known for their chants and you can visit their website for times and dates. The Abbey was founded as a hermitage but was later converted into a church in 1200. It is also the only Premonstratensian house still active in France. The Abbey has been witness to a lot of drama over several centuries. It changed hands multiple times between several French and English owners during the Hundred Years’ War. Over a third of the population in the area was killed due to the Black Death. The Abbey also experienced a complete burning and sacking by the Huguenots in the 16th century. However, from 1704 to 1763, the Abbey went through a total reconstruction.

Library and Shop

While walking through the Abbey grounds, I ran into the Abbey Shop. The shop has several beautiful souvenirs and local food products for purchase. Some of the crosses I saw in the shop were beautiful and were locally made.

The Abbey Grounds and Garden

The Abbey grounds are beautiful and well maintained. I enjoyed walking around and taking pictures of the garden and other historic buildings.

World Travelers Today’s Video on the Mondaye Abbey

Video created by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

Stay at the Ferme Manoir Saint Barthelemy

Ferme Manoir Saint Barthelemy photographs were taken by Samuel Garza with World Travelers Today.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, I highly recommend the Ferme Manoir. The beautiful manor was highly recommended to me by my friend in Bayeux, Alex with Bajobreak. Bajobreak offers several apartments for different-sized travel groups. Alex did not disappoint with his recommendation. I stayed at the manoir for two relaxing nights. The owner is Patricia Saunier and her husband. Patricia and her family have updated the manoir for the past 20 years and it is looking like it was recently built. Parts of the manoir date back to the 13th century. I recommend reserving your stay well in advance. Normandy is a very popular destination from April to October, therefore booking in advance can guarantee a spot at the Manoir and with Bajobreak. Patricia can also organize a dinner for you and your travel group. The dinner will offer local cuisine, cider, and calvados. I had an amazing experience at the manoir.


The Abbey Mondaye is worth visiting and it should be added to your itinerary when visiting Normandy. To learn more about the Abbey, watch the video above.

If you would like for me to custom-design your trip to Normandy, please contact me to learn more.

Arromanches-les-Bains

Bayeux

Caen

Etretat

Honfleur

Mont-Saint-Michel

Rouen

Explore Fecamp

Follow Us