Who can help me prepare my trip?
You Would you like to cross the Atlantic? Return to the land of your ancestors? How do you go about it? Where to start? What will be your destination?
Contacts are easily possible to make your project a success and to organise it:
- The tourist offices and sites of visit of the territories who saw your ancestors leave, will provide you with the keys to plan your trip.
- The websites of our partners offer you relevant information about your ancestors.
- The genealogical research and associations of North American families, will allow you to determine your destination as closely as possible to your origins.
- Our website Land of our ancestors.
The sections below will provide you with :
Tips and tricks for travelling in France:
Tracks to visit France:
Travelling in France: tips and tricks
How do you get around, get currency when you arrive in France? There are solutions!
What will you be able to discover? What will you be able to do in the land of your ancestors?
Changing Canadian dollars into euros
- You can exchange your currency before you leave at your bank.
- You can come to France with Canadian dollars and exchange them at a bureau de change once you arrive at the airport or ferry terminal. Apart from the exchange office's commission, you will not have to pay any fees. Currency exchange offices are available in airport terminals, at major railway stations and near ferry terminals.
- Looking for a bureau de change in France? Consult the directory of currency exchange offices on this site.
- You can exchange your currency online via specialised applications or by phone by contacting the exchange office directly and have your currency delivered to your address or collected from a shop.
- With an international bank card (Visa, Mastercard...), you can withdraw euros directly from an ATM. This saves you the trouble of converting dollars into euros before you leave and having too much cash with you. This is a convenient but expensive solution; you will have to pay a fee for each withdrawal.
Getting around France
International and regional airports and an extensive rail and road network allow you to continue your journey and move easily between French regions and cities.
The list of international destinations accessible from France changes frequently. Therefore, we invite you to check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Diplomacy gov.
In France, more than 150 airports can welcome you and you can find the flight schedules in real time on : http://www.horaires-avion.com
In France, 3 types of trains exist:
- The TGV are high-speed trains that only connect major cities. Reservations are required.
- The Intercity trains operate between the main cities. In most cases, booking is optional.
- The TER are regional trains that serve all localities. Booking is optional.
Reservations can be made either remotely on the operators' websites or at their ticket offices in stations and shops, or at certain travel agencies.
Inter-regional and inter-city coach services link French cities and urban centres. There are also national and regional transport services that operate regular routes.
To find out more about this mode of transport (Group, Regions, timetables, routes, etc.), consult Transbus.
Outside airports and railway stations, there are queues for taxis to pick up passengers. But they can also pick up customers anywhere in the country, if they have been booked (by phone or smartphone application).
- Find all the contact details of French taxi companies, by region and by department on the taxi directory
The taxi fare includes the following components:
- Care, lump sum applicable from the start of the race ;
- A mileage rate : Each kilometre travelled by the taxi will be charged at this rate, except when the taxi is stationary or at low speed; this rate is subject to a surcharge which is specific to each department (night journeys, distance from the taxi's marauding area, snow-covered roads, rush hour);
- An hourly rate : each minute spent by the taxi at a standstill or at low speed will be charged at this amount;
- Supplements : they are different in each department (passenger, animal, baggage and reservation supplements).
Car rental agencies are usually located in city centres, or near airports and train stations. Even in small towns, some supermarkets and car garages offer car rental.
Renting a car is a practical and economical way to travel. You can go where you want, when you want. The driver must be at least 21 years old. For those under 25, young driver insurance is compulsory. They must have an international driving licence issued by :Canadian Automobile Association, corresponding to the vehicle you wish to rent.
In France, there are several types of licence: car licence, motorbike licence, lorry licence, etc. For certain vehicles such as 4x4s or large saloon cars, the driver must be over 25 years old and have had a licence for three years. It is possible to have several drivers for the same vehicle for an additional fee. You just have to specify this when you pick up the vehicle and respect the conditions mentioned above.
Insurance covering damage to property and personal injury caused to a third party is usually included in the rental price. You can take out additional insurance to cover any damage to the driver and the rented vehicle that you may have to pay for.
The national "Tourism & Disability" and "Destination for All" labels help people with disabilities to
- People with disabilities can find out about facilities offering adapted accessibility. You can find out more by visiting the association Tourism and disability.
Do not hesitate to call on the tourist offices who will be able to help you find your way around when you arrive in France.
France is an important and influential cultural home, characterised by the weight of its history, its natural environment and an art of living, which maintain traditional values and know-how" made in France " A guarantee of quality.
The historical heritage is an integral part of the country's national identity. Churches and castles make up the vast majority of historic monuments, but there are also gardens, 19th-century buildings and other buildings that are part of the national heritage.e and 20e centuries of industrial, scientific and technical heritage (factories, boats, cars, trains, planes, etc.).
In total, France has more than 45,000 protected historical monuments. But there are even more rural heritage sites (houses, chapels, oratories, wash-houses, bread ovens, mills, ice houses, etc.).
This architectural wealth bears witness to the historical past and the past actions of the society that preceded us.
French fauna and flora
French cuisine refers to various gastronomic styles issued from the French tradition. It has evolved over the centuries, following the social and political changes of the country.
It is now considered a reference in the world because of its excellence. The diversity of regional traditions has allowed the development of many regional dishes. The creation in the early 20e century of the Michelin Guide has contributed to the development of gastronomic tourism. Local products and short circuits are becoming more and more important.
Arts and crafts in France
The reputation of French art and craftsmanship is well established. The know-how covers a wide range of fields: furniture, lighting, jewellery, textiles, haute couture, painting, literature .... Art crafts include dozens of trades where manual work remains a tradition (jeweller, cabinetmaker, lacemaker, etc.).
Events to follow in France
The reputation of some French festivals extends beyond the country's borders. They mainly concern music (the Francofolies de La Rochelles, the Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix, the Eurockéennes of Belfort...) history (Le Puy du Fou in the Vendée, the Provins Medieval Festivals, the Fêtes des Remparts de Dinan, the Domfront Medieval Festival...), the cinema (Cannes Festival, Deauville American Film Festival), but also the book (Angoulême Comic Book Fair, Rouen Children's Book Festival...).
The variety of possibilities for physical and sporting activities attracts people through major sporting competitions such as the Tour de France or the French Football Championship, but also through leisure activities with a strong development of occasional walking, hiking, cycling and water sports.
All these events are held on a national scale, but also on a regional or local scale with, for example, the Festival des Cultures francophones en pays de Marennes-Oléron (Francophonie in the Marennes Oléron region), the Cow and Caribou Festival in Verneuil-sur-Avre, the Black pudding fair in Mortagne-au-Perche, the Foire aux Tripes in Longny-au-Perche in Normandy and countless flea markets, book fairs, heritage fairs, artists' open houses...
You can find out more about these aspects of French culture from the tourist offices and consult their agendas.