Q&A - Smooth travel with Gregory George

How to get your French COVID certificate

In order to facilitate the stay of non-European tourists in France, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs set up a specific mechanism, since 9 August 2021 for issuing a COVID vaccine certificate of equivalence which is valid on French territory.

Applying for a COVID certificate if you were vaccinated abroad (procedure for non-European tourists) (External link)


If there’s one word that rhymes with Auvergne in French – it’s oxygen! Whether skiing in winter or hiking in summer, its chain of volcanoes is a vast playground for lovers of the great outdoors. Between its lakes, forests and mountains, a unique biodiversity unfolds and a real cabinet of curiosities is revealed. A region devoted to street art, a Buddhist monastery and orthodox heritage… not to mention the chateaux, fortresses and hilltop churches, jewels of Romanesque art en route to Santiago de Compostela.


As well as being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lyon is also a city of lights, a living history book and a constant succession of music, theatre and film festivals. Lyon and its region are engaged in endless culinary and wine adventures, and also offer an enormous playground for those who like their sporty adventures.

  • The Tête d'Or Park

A 17-hectare (42 acre) lake, an African zoo, a botanical garden of 20,000 species, a brilliant rose garden, centuries-old trees, a mini-golf course, ponies for the little ones and soon an Asian forest: more than 100 hectares (247 acres) of park right in the city! Suffice it to say, it's easy to love the Tête d'Or.

The rose garden (External link)

  • The slopes of Croix-Rousse and its traboules

The sloping streets that run down the hill are classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This was the district of the canuts, the silk workers who had invested in high buildings to house the precious looms. Like the canuts of old, take narrow passages between two streets, the famous traboules of Lyon.

More information about traboules and courtyards (External link)

  • Festival of Lights

A veritable institution in Lyon, the Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) is an opportunity to (re)discover the city in a new and artistic light. Every December for almost 30 years, the city of Lyon has lit up with an explosion of light and colour. Streets, squares and façades of buildings come alive with art installations by lighting designers, visual artists and other video conjurors.

More information

  • Confluences

At the southern most point of the Lyon peninsula, Confluence takes its name from its proximity to the meeting place of the Rhône and Saône. This city center neighborhood, situated between Perrache and Sainte-Blandine, was always tied to activities of industry, harbor, and the wholesale market.
The cultural dimension – from the Musée des Confluences to its unique architecture – also demonstrates how renewed the neighborbood has become and its “must-see” status, symbolizing the dynamism and energy of a city that knows how to combine tradition and modernity.

The museum (External link)
The Confluence neighborhood


  • The Roman theatre in Vienne

Built at the very beginning of the Christian era (40-50 AD), this theater, considered to be one of the most important in Roman antiquity, has a capacity of 13,000 spectators.
Its restoration has resuscitated its original vocation. You can enjoy opera, variety shows and dance recitals here, and since 1981, a renowned jazz festival (Jazz à Vienne).

New in 2021

On foot, by bike, on the water or on a gyro-pod, Vienne Condrieu promises to move with inspiration. You can choose between the A side to discover or the B side to live a different experience, from June to October. Side A, Ibrahim Maalouf for the 40th Jazz à Vienne in an ancient theater "groomed". Side B, jazz again, but in the Roman gardens of the museum of Saint-Romain-en-Gal - Vienne. Side A, we ride on the ViaRhôna. Side B, we embark our on a catamaran to enjoy other perspectives... On side A, you can find beautiful Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu wines. On side B, you can go for a hike starting from a domain or you can or take part in the 1st Côte-Rôtie trail...

More information (External link) (website in french only)


Valence Romans is at the heart of the Drôme, in the south of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, giving it the perfect location with a mild and sunny climate.

There is so much to see and do in Valence Romans, with the majestic foothills of the Vercors and superb hills of the Ardèche, as well as the Rhône and Isère rivers crossing through the area. In 2016, the Valence-Romans territory received the "Pays d'Art et d'Histoire" label.

More information and last news (External link)
La Maison Pic (External link) : a five star hotel and a three star gastronomic restaurant located in Valence
Maison des têtes (External link)


Forests with an altitude of between 300m and 1,000m, contrasting relief, lakes and world-famous gorges which have dug canyons along their path… all these natural features have made the Ardèche the perfect destination for a whole range of outdoor pursuits.

In fact, the region is the ideal destination for everyone, whether your preference is for gentle pursuits or more exhilarating adventures!

Rendez-vous in Balazuc
Chauvet caves
Ardèche nature playground


  • The Château Grignan in the Drôme

Grignan became a hillside and fortified village, built at the foot of the castle, during the 12th century, and the original town was protected behind sturdy walls since the 13th century. The village extended outside the walls during the 16th century and trade increased. The Adhémar de Monteil family, who built the castle, were the lords of Grignan until the beginning of the 18th century. It is a witness of Renaissance architecture and French classicism, classified as a historical monument in 1993.

Labeled a Musée de France, Grignan Castle benefits from an ambitious program of restoration and acquisitions, offering visitors precious testimonials on the art of living at that time

The Château Grignan (External link)
Le clair de la plume (External link)
Breathe in the scent of lavender fields (External link)


Evian is ideally situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and at the foot of the French Alps. It is home to the world famous EVIAN mineral water spring. Small town of 9000 inhabitants, many buildings recall its glorious past of the Belle Époque thanks to its Art Nouveau style buildings. But Evian also offers a wide range of sports and nautical activities; as well as convention centers and large exhibitions throughout the year.

  • An active holiday

A full range of mountain activities are available within just a few kilometres of Evian: in summer, mountain bike trails, paragliding, white-water pursuits, via ferrata, pot-holing etc; and in winter, skiing, snowshoeing, husky trekking etc.

Visit Evian (External link)
Hotel royal Evian

  • Wellbeing treatments

Those who prefer to take the waters can enjoy wellbeing treatments which make full use of the lake’s curative mineral benefits. Evian is truly a leading wellbeing destination.

Wellness in Evian (External link)

Follow Toronto-based Gregory George, co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of @followsummergg travel blog on:

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And of course, don’t forget to follow Explore France Facebook page @CA.France.fr (External link)