The annual Sarlat Truffle Festival in France (La Fête de la Truffe in French) takes place every January in the Dordogne Valley.
For two days, the historic town of Sarlat comes alive with all things related to the region’s famous black truffles. Live cooking demonstrations, outdoor markets with famous “croustous” (French tapas), and special tastings all play a part in making the festival a unique time to visit the Perigord Noir.
Throughout the weekend, there are workshops dedicated to the identification and scent of the black truffle and how to buy a truffle, as well as two daily truffle hunting demonstrations in the Place du Peyrou (Cathedral Square) with truffle hunting dogs.
For those that want to hone their cooking skills in France, culinary courses for up to eight people are available. Each group will be able to work with a renowned chef to learn how to make various truffle-inspired dishes.
Additionally, all of the shops and restaurants in Sarlat have special offerings for the truffle season. This is in addition to the region’s famous foie gras, which can be found in abundance throughout the town (and in fact has its own festival the following month).
If you plan to visit the Sarlat Truffle Festival, make sure to book accommodation in advance. Hotels and hostels book up quickly during the festival period, so it is a good idea to make a reservation well ahead of time.
Lyon is the culinary capital of France, and it has some of the best markets in the country. Foodies from all over the world flock to the city’s many food markets to pick out the best of what Lyon has to offer.
If you are visiting Lyon while traveling in France, don’t miss these three great markets. Not all of them are open every day, so make sure to check for the most up-to-date hours before you visit.
Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse
Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse is the largest and most famous market in Lyon. Located near the Lyon Part Dieu train station, it is named after the city’s most celebrated chef. The covered market is full of everything from food vendors to small restaurants and cafes, and products like cheese, meat, chocolate, wine, and regional foods can be found there. It is the perfect place to pick up a picnic lunch or sit down for a casual meal, and that’s to say nothing of shopping for culinary products to take home!
The market in the Croix-Rousse neighborhood is a big, bustling affair. On one side of the Boulevard de la Croix Rousse are stalls selling everything from clothing to household products, while on the other are stalls vending all kinds of food. Everything from prepared foods to fresh vegetables is on offer, and a walk through the market means smelling the aromas of delicious rotisserie chickens, strong cheeses, and other mouth-watering goods. The market is large, so be prepared to walk for awhile to see it all.
Quai Saint-Anotine Market
The smallest of the three, the Quai Saint-Antoine market nonetheless offers a great variety of fruit, vegetables, bread, and produce in a sunny location along the banks of the Saone River. It is a great place to pick up some light snacks or a picnic to enjoy on a nice day.
France is famous for a lot of things, but islands are not necessarily one of them. However, the country has some beautiful islands off its Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, and many are worth a visit. As such, below is my list of the best islands in France.
The best known island in France is also the largest. Corsica is famous for its beautiful Mediterranean beaches, great natural landscapes, and pretty towns and cities. It is also important from a historical perspective, as Corsica is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Visitors can tour his home, which is now a museum.
Ile de Re
On the Atlantic coast of France, the Ile de Re is one of the most popular holiday destinations for French families. From cycling to horseback riding, beaches to vineyards, there is something for everyone on this beautiful isle. Historic forts and pretty flowers round out the scene, making this one of the best islands to visit in the country.
Back in the Mediterranean, the little Ile Sainte-Marguerite is the biggest of the Lerins Islands, which are located off the coast of the French Riviera near Cannes. Famous for its fortress prison, called Fort Royal, and natural scenery, the island is popular with day trippers from Nice and other cities along the Cote d’Azur. Waterskiing, walking, and visits to cultural sites and the maritime museum are all popular activities for people visiting this island in France.