Emmanuel Macron welcoming visitors to the Elysee Palace. Photo, araratadvertiser

This year was the 35th edition of European Heritage Days that take place in September every year.  During the designated weekend doors are opened to thousands of monuments and sites, many of which aren’t normally open to the public, or offer only limited access.  As visits are free, the idea is to encourage people to learn about their local cultural heritage, and become actively involved in safeguarding it, not only for the present, but for future generations.

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The main street of Rochefort-en-Terre. Photo, Paris + Plus

Sitting high on a rocky promontory above the valley of Gueuzon and the River Arz, Rochefort-en-Terre is a village in the countryside of the Morbihan departement of south-west Brittany. Not only classified as one of the ‘Plus Beau Villages de France’ it has also been designated a ‘Petite Cité de Caractére’ and a ‘Ville Fleurie’, making it one of the Brittany’s most visited sites.  As well as the charm of the village itself, there is also a medieval chateau on the edge of town.  It was not surprising that Rochefort-en-Terre was voted by the French themselves in 2016 as their favourite village of the year.

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St Malo. Photo, Paris + Plus

The approach to the historic walled city of St Malo, on the coast of Brittany, is surely one of the most dramatic of any city in France.  The charming old town stands on a granite islet joined to the mainland by an ancient causeway.  It’s enclosed by high ramparts which are bordered by beautiful sandy beaches at the foot of its steep walls. 

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The beautiful Jersey coastline. Photo, high50

The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is just off the coast of Normandy, in the Bay of St Malo, and easily accessed from a couple of French ports, by direct ferry from Guernsey and from the UK.  Only 8 kms long and 14 kms wide, the long stretches of beautiful beaches and bays along its coast are never more than ten minutes away.  

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