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Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

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Grotte de Choranche in the heart of Vercors, is full of mysterious beauty

Here in Vercors, while the lycra-wearers rule the

spectacular balcony roads that are dramatically

carved onto the rock face with breath-taking

views of gorges beyond, cliffs above and alpine

meadows below, there is an alternative leisure

option to exploring on two wheels.

‘Don’t worry’ guide Olivier from Velectrip,

which specialises in nature sports, assured

a group of us keen to explore the area. ‘We

don’t have to wear lycra!’

ViaVercors is a network of designated cycling

routes that cuts through the valley floors

connecting all the main towns in Vercors. The

mostly flat routes took us from farmland to

villages, along running streams and quiet

back roads.

A bike tour is a great way to explore the

many villages of Vercors and visit the local

craftspeople and farmers. Other than forest

and nature, Vercors is also well known for

its agriculture. We stopped at the Ferme du

Pic Saint Michel, where Marion and Yannick

Rochas have 60 chamois alpine breed goats.

After much petting and cooing the goats who

seemed more than happy at the attention, we

sampled goats cheese of different stages of

maturity direct from the farmer’s hands.

‘Many people say they don’t like goats cheese,’

Olivier said as he stuffed a cube of the one

week old cheese into his mouth. ‘That’s because

they’ve never really tried it directly from the farm.

‘You cannot get this from the supermarkets.’

Of course, a day on the bike also means guiltfree

sampling of great regional cuisine from

many of the cafés and restaurants conveniently

en route. They’re all listed in the ViaVercors

map which you can get from the tourist office,

or you can book a guided tour.

The best part? I was pedalling an e-bike,

which are readily available for hire at local

bike shops. It meant the ride was relaxing and

I could take it easy and enjoy the views.

Trying out the sport of

biathlon

Biathlon is a sport that requires the agility of

a cross country skier and the sharp aim of a

sniper. It was never on my radar as a holiday

activity. Yet, when you find yourself among

champions as I did unexpectedly it seemed a

shame not to give it a go.

68 | The Good Life France

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