When it comes to spontaneous travel, the #FestiveFrance Bloggers Challenge 2016 is spontaneous to the max. I’m flying to France to celebrate some holiday sparkle … I just don’t know where I’m going to FIND that sparkle. Follow along, vote for your favourite destination on the Atout France #FestiveFrance website, and you could win a trip to France.
UPDATE: I GOT THE LOIRE VALLEY. GO TO THE FRANCEFESTIVE WEBSITE NOW TO VOTE FOR THE LOIRE VALLEY AND WIN A TRIP TO FRANCE!
I repeat! I’m in the Loire Valley! What could be better?
I’m a big fan of spontaneous travel, but the #FestiveFrance Bloggers Challenge beats even my oh-I’m-such-a-free-spirit expectations. I know I’m going to the airport. I know I’m taking an Air France flight to Paris. From there it’s anybody’s guess. I won’t know my final destination until I get to the airport. Is that not fun? Does it not mean I’ll pack all the wrong things? (I usually do anyway, so no worries there.)
The #FestiveFrance Bloggers Challenge to France
The Bloggers Challenge is organized by Atout France and its #FestiveFrance partners Air France, Rail Europe and MyWebSpot. It’s a trippy way to celebrate the holiday season and highlight three different French destinations.
What is the #FestiveFrance Bloggers Challenge?
Here’s the drill. Three English-speaking and three French-speaking Canadian travel bloggers will fly to Paris then separate into pairs and spread out through France like bats after bugs. (Except we’re not bats, we’ll be the travel bloggers clutching Rail Europe tickets).
During a quick but intense 3-day visit at our mystery destination, with various challenges along the way, we’ll be reporting back to you via posts and social media thanks to the help of MyWebSpot and their Pocket Wifi, so that you can travel along with us – at least virtually. Our goal is to convince you that our destination is the most festive (pick mine! pick mine!) and you can vote for your favourite.
Virtual travel is good, actual travel is better
Granted, virtual travel to France isn’t nearly as gratifying as sipping a café au lait in a French café for yourself, but don’t despair – that’s why #FestiveFrance 2016 is giving away a trip to France. Yes! Read on for details.
My #FestiveFrance intro video
How does the #FestiveFrance Bloggers Challenge work?
After our mini whirlwind trip to wherever, we’ll all rendezvous back in Paris on December 12th for a day to explore the City of Lights. PS: I don’t know exactly how we’ll be exploring the City of Lights. That itinerary, too, will be revealed only when I get to the airport. Another mystery! I feel like Nancy Drew on assignment. Or the Amazing Race France. As long as it’s not Mission Impossible, I’m good.
Here’s how to vote and to enter the contest
Starting December 9th you can enter the contest by voting for the most festive destination (that would be mine!) on the #FestiveFrance website and every day our itineraries will be posted. Hopefully you’ll be the lucky winner. And then we can all follow you through France.
The #FestiveFrance prize 2016 is valued at CAD $4300 and is offered by partners Air France, Rail Europe, ACCOR and the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
If you like it, pin it!
Three fabulous destinations in France
After some super sleuthing (ie someone told me) I’ve learned that my destination will be one of these three popular French spots:
What’s so special about Evian, the Loire Valley and Provence?
Evian-les-Bains is the source of all that delicious Evian water the world can’t get enough of. Located at the foothills of the French Alps on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman in French), Evian has swoon-worthy spas, spectacular lakeside views and a Belle Epoque heritage.
On my Evian wish list: Indulging in a facial at the very sophisticated Royal Hotel.
Active Evian wish list: To cruise around Lake Geneva on a restored Belle Epoque paddle steamer.
The Loire Valley
The Loire Valley has fairytale scenery, chateaus and vineyards. Located in the centre of France, the Val de Loire grew into royal favour during the Renaissance and, where I might accidentally leave a trail of forgotten nightgowns and favourite sweaters behind when I travel, the Kings of France left a trail of glorious castles and manors. (I have castle envy.)
On my Loire Valley wish list: Sipping a crisp Sancerre while staring out at the spectacular 14th-century Château de Chenonceau.
Active Loire Valley wish list: Cycling the Loire à Vélo, an 800-km bicycle trail that follows the Loire River.
What’s in Provence, you ask? The Pope’s Palace in Avignon! Fields of lavender. Cool art in Marseilles, and Van Gogh in Arles. Provence, with it’s luminous light and gourmet fare has a ton of tantalizing tourist temptations. (See what I did there with the ‘t’ words?) Situated in the South of France and dripping west towards Spain, Provence is one of those legendary French destinations everyone should visit at least once.
On my Provence wish list: Exploring Aix en Provence and the legacy of the great modernist painter Paul Cézanne.
Active Provence wish list: Climbing Mont Sainte Victoire, the mountain that Cézanne painted so endlessly.
Getting into the holiday spirit
So there you have it. The #FestiveFrance Bloggers Challenge 2016. We’re leaving December 8th, so pack your virtual bags and come along for the drive, er, I mean flight, er, train trip … oh, just come along, wherever it is we’re going.
Just FYI: Here are the various hashtags we’ll be using: #FestiveFrance #AirFrance #RailEurope #FranceFR #MadeIn #mywebspot #pocketwifi
About Atout France
Atout France promotes France tourism to the public through marketing initiatives, trade shows, conferences and events. And contests like #FestiveFrance!
Read more about travel to France at Things to do in the South of France.