Youth Activities in Western France
It's time to be bold and let your hair down. Plan your days carefully and let the nights plan themselves. With so much in Western France for the young traveler a fantastic and fun-filled experience is right around the corner.
Getting there is half the Fun!...
The great thing about traveling when you are young is the discounts. If you are planning on traveling throughout all of Europe, be sure to checkout the options for Eurail passes. (www.eurrail.com). If you are just going to travel throughout France, the Carte 12-25 is a magnificent way to get around. This card, offered by the SNCF, France's Railroad Company, is for anyone between the age of 12 and 25. You can receive up to 50% off the regular tariff anytime you travel in France. In addition, you can receive up to 25% off inter-country travel. The card costs about $58 and is valid for one year. For more information on the card, and for train fares and schedules or on the youth passes just click on the link.
A place to rest your head
Although staying in a 4-star resort would be lovely, for all intents and purposes, Youth Hostels are the way to go. Hostels are located all over France and are cheaper than most hotels. They provide very affordable accommodation and some even come with breakfast. Generally, youth hostels range from 7 euro to 20 euro per person, depending on the hostel and its location.For more information: www.fuaj.org, www.hostelplanet.com,or directly for the regions : try Western Loire, Loire Valley(choose "Collective Accommodation"),Brittany, Normandy.
Finding the treasures in Western France
Explore the heritage and culture of the five different regions that make up Western France.The Loire Valley has a large array of stunning chateaux in the region, which can be seen by car, foot, bike, or bus. See how royalty lived and learn the fascinating stories that go behind them. Visit the museums and historical sites of Normandy and take a look into 20th century history or simply marvel at the monastery set atop of Mont St. Michel which is France's #1 visited site. In Brittany, head to the stunning coastline of the Emerald Coast and visit the town of Saint-Malo, which is famed for its walled city and wide, beautiful beaches. You can also take part in one of the many festivals or events that occur during the year. La Rochelle, hosts Les Francofolies which is an annual music festival which conjures up a crowd from all over the world. Or, add a little speed in your travels by watching the race cars and motorcycles whip around the race track in Le Mans, in the Western Loire region, or make some speed of your own on the Atlantic with a jet ski or boat. For more information on these and other cultural attractions:
Into the Great Outdoors
Western France is a haven for outdoor lovers, with its varied landscapes in each region. Brittany is a fabulous place for water sports and activities due to its perfect setting along the Atlantic Ocean along with the number of rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and surfing are very accessible in this region. In addition there are plenty of bicycle trails and hiking paths all over the region. In the Loire Valley, you can rent a bike and follow the paths through the rolling countryside to the chateaux. In the Western Loire, use your bike to explore the delights of the Atlantic Ocean on one of the many designated paths. Looking at the ocean not enough? Then jump in! There are plenty of water activities to partake in, such as canoeing, sailing, and swimming. Mount a horse in Normandy or take a brisk hike in one of their many natural parks and gardens. You may also want to take a boat cruise on the Seine to get a view of the many Norman villages that surround you. If you're feeling really adventurous, perhaps some bungee jumping or sky diving is more your style.
After soaking up the culture, heritage, and landscapes experience France's unique joie de vivre. Enlighten your taste buds with the flavors of Western France's gastronomic specialties. From the gallettes (pancakes) and crêpes from Brittany to the rich and pungent cheeses from Normandy, there is surely something new and tasty to stimulate your palate. Accompany your seafood from Western Loire with the region's own Muscadet wine. For dessert, have a mouth watering tarte tatin, an upside down apple tart, famous to the Loire Valley. Wash down your meal with a calvados from Normandy as an after dinner drink.
Livin' La Vida Loca
All that sightseeing and activity sure does make you tired. What better way to unwind than a wild night out on the town? If it is a party you desire, there are plenty within the region. There are a plethora of cities within Western France that provide a friendly environment for the younger, more vibrant crowd. University towns, such as Rennes in Brittany or Tours in the Loire Valley or Nantes in the Western Loire, are your best bets as far as happening bars and clubs go. You will also surprised by the young and fun energy of La Rochelle or Rouen in Normandy. Dance the night away, listen to French music and meet new people, because the night (in addition to you) is young!