France in 2022, part deux

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community and happy summer, officially!  The summer season came in with a bang with steamy temperatures around much of the country last week.  If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to invest in some cooling towels 😎

Most of my clients are traveling in the US this summer and seeing our beautiful country.  However with the world reopening, many people are eager to plan their next vacation outside of our borders.  While the travel experience can be rocky right now with varying protocols, airline challenges, and destination hiccups (helping clients navigate is a key part of my job right now), things will eventually smooth out.  Just in time for the return of bucket list travel, I’m announcing a new service that will help you travel better and with less stress and schlep. 

Move through airports with ease and speed with Luggage Free! Luggage Free is a specialty service offering travelers the ability to ship luggage ahead to any destination worldwide.  They avoid the inconvenience of carrying, checking, and claiming luggage – even going through customs.  This luggage shipping service is guaranteed, allowing the traveler to avoid unnecessary aggravation and save time – safely and in style. 

Love to shop when you travel? If you buy too many souvenirs on your next trip abroad, Luggage Free will deliver them to your home!

Check it out here:

This week’s newsletter is part two (2) of last week’s France edition where I highlighted key regions that tourists shouldn’t miss with thanks to my relationship with Decouvertes, an amazing travel partner located in France.  Read on for the second part of the scoop – and look for a special Hidden Gem opportunity to visit France in 2022 where you can see France by land and river…

Reims Cathedral

Celebrate in Champagne!

Champagne exerts a magnetic attraction for wine lovers where pretty villages are nestled amongst the famous Champagne producers. The Champagne region is accessible east of Paris as a one-day excursion, but it is worth your time if you want to spend a couple of days.

Visit Reims Cathedral, a glorious site where the kings of France were once coronated and have a champagne tasting either or both at the greatest champagne maisons or small unknown producers in their châteaux.

💎Hidden Gem Tip:

Sip the finest champagne and overnight like royalty at newly opened Airelles Chateaux De Versailles, Le Grande Contrôle located within the gates of Versailles!  Versailles is only 10 miles from Paris so an easy add-on to any Paris-focused itinerary.

East To Alsace

The Alsace & the East region of France offers French charm. Traditional half-timbered houses topped by storks’ nests and the local dialect make this region very different from any other in France. Share the pleasure of drinking fine wine, tasting exquisite meals, discovering the pastel-painted villages, all of which make this region such a charming one.

Iconic French Alps

Southeast of Paris near the borders of Italy and Switzerland, the Alps are a spectacular mountain region with snow-capped peaks, charming villages, and blue pristine lakes and rivers – gorgeous every time of year.

World-famous Chamonix, the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, is the main resort in a valley dominated by Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest mountain (15,770 feet). Hike in the summer and ski in the winter!


The Heart of France

The art of good living is found in Lyon & Burgundy!  This prosperous region is considered the heart of France, a wealthy land where gastronomic traditions complement excellent wines.

Explore the maze of narrow streets and passages of Lyon and enjoy the atmosphere of this elegant city where silk and jewels are its best ambassadors.  Foodie alert – it’s considered the gastronomy capital of France!

Burgundy is famous for its Burgundy wines, pinot noirs, Chablis, Chardonnay, and Beaujolais.  The capital, Dijon of mustard fame, is steeped in history and was the capital of the medieval duchy of Burgundy.  Amazing museums and luxury hotels dot the region.


The Charms of Provence & Riviera

Lavender fields, olive trees, blue Mediterranean vistas enchant every visitor to Provence & the French Riviera.  This region continues to inspire painters and writers.  Idyllic villages, exotic gardens, luxury villas, amazing cuisine, and wines make this region of France irresistible. 

💎 Hidden Gem Tip & Opportunity💎

An ideal way to fully experience Provence and Lyon is on floating boutique hotel.  Unpack once as you sail on France’s iconic rivers where you’re never far from the sights and shoreline.  Love French wine? I can recommend wine-themed itineraries, and if a trip in September 2022 appeals to you, reach out to me now for more details before the spots are taken.  I can offer you space on a VERY special trip with a wine expert on AmaWaterways next year. 

South to Languedoc Roussillon and Pyrenees

Between Bordeaux and Provence in southern France, you’ll find the Languedoc Roussillon and Pyrenees regions.

The region is full of wild moorland, vast blue lakes, rolling hills, tumbling rivers, and waterfalls.  Fertile valleys, soft limestone plateaus, forests, and woodland are all present in this region.  Plus, there are over 420 places classified as of historic interest including castles, churches, and chateaus.

Relax in Corsica

Mountainous Corsica with its stunning sandy beaches and Italian influences is the 4th largest island in the Mediterranean. 

With its conservation areas and nature reserves which have been registered on Unesco’s world heritage list, Corsica remains for the most part a protected island. Its lively culture is the product of centuries of customs maintained by the island’s soul. The village fair, a showcase for the Corsican way of life with its winemaking tradition going back to antiquity and its gastronomy full of local flavors, is just one way of discovering and learning to love Corsica.

💎 Hidden Gem Tip:  Follow my Facebook/Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration: or Instagram:


Wishing you and your family continued good health,


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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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