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In celebration of International Day of Friendship, here are 4 reason’s France should be on your friendcation bucket list

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30 July is International Day of Friendship, and if the past 16 months have taught us anything, it’s the value of friendships in our lives – particularly during challenging times. There’s no doubt we’re all yearning to spend more quality time with the friends in our lives who mean the most to us, be it in an intimate and casual setting, or really going grand and planning a friendcation of spectacular proportions somewhere breath taking. If you’re part of the latter camp, what better bucket list destination for a friendcation than fabulous France!

We spoke to the Air France team who share four reasons France should be at the top of your friendcation bucket list for when you and your friends are ready to travel abroad together.

Gastronomical delights in Lyon

Lyon is France’s third-largest city, and is known to be one of Europe’s most gastronomically rich cities. If you and your friends cherish profound conversations over a good meal and enjoy out of this world foodie experiences (for all budget types), you have to make a stop in Lyon. There are a lot of stunning day tours and activities within Lyon that have foodie elements attached to it, including: small group gourmet electric bike tours, Lyon evening electric bike food tasting tours, picnics in the parks, wine tours and so much more! Getting to Lyon is as easy as direct flight from South Africa to Paris with Air France, and a one hour onward flight to Lyon.

Create your own Champagne, in the heart of the Champagne region

Keen to take your friendcation to a whole other level? How about signing up for a workshop to create your own Champagne, in the heart of the Champagne region? Wine Paths organise a charming workshop where, under the guidance of the Cellar Master of a prestigious boutique Champagne house, you’ll get to taste different base wines coming from various crus (villages), years and grape varietals. From here, you’ll be taught the art of blending so you can create your own Champagne style! As with all good things, they come to those who wait; after a few years of aging, you’ll be able to taste your Champagne and share your creation with friends, a unique way to celebrate a special friendcation long after the trip itself has come to an end.

Go river cruising in Bordeaux

Wine aficionados, those who adore French food, and history buffs will be captivated by the charm of Bordeaux. Located in southwestern France, and dubbed a mini-Paris for its cosmopolitan feel, Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage site which also takes you to the heart of rural France, where people still shop daily for that evening’s dinner in country markets. Mixing perfectly restored historic buildings with a vibrant riverfront, and amazing dining and shopping, exploring the Bordeaux region on a river cruise cannot be beat. River cruises vary in length and you can choose based on what your travel preference is. Keen to embark on a very chilled river cruise where food is the focus? There’s a river cruise for that. Looking for something to taste and indulge in the finest French wine? There’s a river cruise for that too!

Embrace history and aristocratic estates in the Loire Valley

Lonely Planet’s description about the Loire Valley paints the perfect picture: “If it’s French splendour, style and gastronomy you seek, the Loire Valley will exceed your expectations, no matter how great. Kings, queens, dukes and nobles came here to establish feudal castles and, later on, sumptuous pleasure palaces – that’s why this fertile river valley is sprinkled with hundreds of France’s most opulent aristocratic estates. With crenelated towers, soaring cupolas and glittering banquet halls, the region’s châteaux, and the villages and vineyards that surround them, attest to over a thousand years of rich architectural and artistic creativity. The Loire Valley is also known for its outstanding wines (red, white, rosé and sparkling) and lively, sophisticated cities, including Orléans, Blois, Tours and Angers – yet more reasons why the entire area is an enormous Unesco World Heritage Site.” If that description doesn’t have the Loire Valley immediately added to your friendcation bucket list, we don’t know what will.

My name is Sam, I am 20 years old, I live in the UK and love to travel. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and watching movies, especially paranormal/horrors. I love True Crime and learning about history.

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