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France Overview?

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Please excuse my ignorance at this stage as I know very little. I'm now living in the UK and so will have some opportunities to travel to France that I might not have taken otherwise. Most of the questions here seem to be quite region specific. Perhaps it's a bit lazy of me, but can someone give me a quick overview the various regions (Normandy, Brittany, Dordogne, Loire Valley, Burgandy, etc.)? It's a big country. Where should we focus next (been to Paris)?

What is each region known for? What is most suitable area for a family of 4 (kids 12 & 9)? We like good food, seeing important historical sites, and walking/hiking. Very minimal French language skills. We are wine novices but would like to explore. With kids though, that won't be the focus. Rental car is assumed necessary (and that's okay). What time of year should be avoided?

What's a reasonable 4-day trip? 7-day?

Since I clearly need a guide book, any recommendations there?


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