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Offline recommended books

Le Tour: A History of the Tour de France Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Publisher: Simon Schuster UK, 2005

Le Tour tells the story of the Tour de France's first 100 years, from a publicity stunt to promote a newspaper to the world's greatest race on two wheels. The book delves into some of the race's most famous names and where it fits within the context of 20th and 21 st century Europe.

The New France : A Complete Guide to Contemporary French Wine Andrew Jefford

Publisher: Mitchell Beazley, 2002

This book is an introduction to the exclusive art of French winemaking and there is a chapter dedicated to each of France's 14 winemaking regions. You'll find an overview of each region, its history, and details of the area's major winemakers, as well as information on important vintages. There's a lot of information presented in an easily palatable form, along with colour maps and photos.

A Place in the World Called Paris Stephen Barclay (Editor)

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2002

Just what is it about Paris? This books rounds up some of the 20th century's most noteworthy authors to ponder what gives the city that je ne sais quoi. Writers such as Kafka, E.B. White, Truman Capote and Maya Angelou have all contributed pieces of writing which capture the sights, sounds, style and stimulation of their Parisian memories.

French Cheeses: The Visual Guide to More Than 350 Cheese from Every Region of France Joel Robuchon (foreword)

Publisher: DK Publishing, 2000

This book focuses on the production methods of 350 famous, and not so famous, forms of French cheese. Find out more about its production, aroma, taste and ingredients as well as region where each are produced. The information in this book is ideal for anyone who's a cheesecheese lover or just a fan of food.

Hip Hotels: France Herbert Ypma

Publisher: Thames Hudson, 2001

Herbert Ypma is the founder of Interior Architecture magazine, and this book forms part of a series which includes other countries in Europe and the US. Each hotel featured in the book has something distinct about it, and it could be a great coffee table book as well as helpful in planning future holidays in France. You'll find everything from chateaux to chalets as well as more traditional hotel rooms which are listed alphabetically by city, thoroughly photographed and the relevant contact information is all there. It's a great start for a stylish trip to France.

Online recommended websites

France (

France's official Tourist Office website is jammed full of information. Here you'll find the practical basics like driving, climate, public holidays and entry requirements. Search for the perfect vineyard, organise a city break, plan a religious tour or find our more about increasingly popular naturist holidays. How French.

Tour de France Official Site (

The tour's official site helps you relive the most recent race with plenty of in depth coverage. You'll find video of the winners at each stage, an extensive photo gallery, info on the famous tour's route and the arrival and departure towns of each stage. With newsflashes, standings, race position and regular updates it's a must read for when the tour's on.

The Louvre (

If you're not going to Paris there's still no need to miss out on a visit to what must be one of the world's most famous museums. Take a virtual tour (avoiding all those fans of The Da Vinci Code) of the museum and view pictures of its past, present, permanent and future exhibits. You are able to check resources, read commentaries on selected works, as well as getting the basic information on opening hours, admission fees and the practical stuff. You could spend hours on this site.

All About French Cheeses (

A UK based site where you can increase your knowledge of France's fine cheeses before you take the trip across the Channel. It boasts an A Z searchable database of French cheeses which you can navigate by region, milk type, origin and strength. You'll also find recipes with your suggested cheese types, ideas for wine matches and information on where to buy the very best of French cheese.

Discover France Specialist in Active Vacations Exclusively in FranceDiscover France   Specialist in Active Vacations Exclusively in France