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The French Towns & Cities that Sports Fans need to Visit
What a year of sport for France? In June, they will welcome football fans from across Europe as they host the UEFA Euro 2016 but before then France’s best 15 players will compete in one of rugby’s toughest competitions; the RBS 6 Nations, and don't forget Rolland Garros Tennis tournment which usually takes place in May - June on the outskirts of Paris.
Tickets have been selling fast as fans travel across the RBS 6 Nations to watch their favourite teams battle it out for the title of Rugby’s greatest championship. For many of you the countdown to the annual tournament will have started last March straight after Ireland retained their title on points, making this year’s tournament one not to be missed! We will be taking you on a tour through France to delve into the hometowns of some of France’s most favourite teams, players and coaches.
Our first stop is to the home of arguably one of Europe’s finest rugby clubs, Stade Toulousain also known as Toulouse. Not only have they won the Heineken Cup a total of 4 times they have also won a record 19 French Championships. The club is known to have provided many players to the national team and this year they have something else in common as one of their former players has a pretty important role within the national team. You might want to make a note of the name, Guy Novès, Novès is the current head coach of the French national team; he was born in Toulouse and played with Stade Toulousain for 12 years.
The city itself is filled with exceptional heritage, religious buildings and popular monuments, making it a great place to visit all year round. During home games you will hear the chants and cheers from the newly renovated Stade Ernest-Wallon, why not incorporate a trip around the home of the Toulouse rugby team into your next visit. Toulouse’s climate can be compared to that of Florence or Barcelona with mild winters and hot summers, over the last century, the city has grown from a small Provencal town to one of the liveliest cities in France. Its international airport connects visitors from the UK in just over an hour, whether you’re visiting to catch a game or see the sights you might just fall in love with everything that makes Toulouse special.
You may not be that familiar with the small commune of Saint-Denis unless you have ever been to see either of France’s national rugby or football teams play at home. The 6 Nations tournament will once again descend on the town that is situated just north of Paris for France’s home games against Italy, England and Ireland. In fact, this year the competition’s first game will take place on February 6th when France will take on neighbours Italy at the Stade de France. However there’s far more to Saint Denis than the home of French international Rugby, you can experience inspiring street art, attend a 100-year-old antique market or be educated at the air and space museum. There are also many historic sights to discover here such as the architectural masterpiece at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis or enjoy a day at La Villette; a leisure complex like no other you will have ever visited.
Any fan of French rugby will know that Clermont-Ferrand is where ASM Clermont Auvergne are based since being founded over 100 years ago. Ahead of France’s first game of the 2016 6 Nations tournament Head Coach, Guy Novès has named his 30-man squad. Amongst this list of French internationals are 7 players from this local club, since competing with their team in the top 14 level of the French league these players are now hoping to lead their country to victory next month. But what else do we know about ASM Clermont Auvergne’s home?
Due to its landscape the city is famous for the chain of volcanoes, the Chaîne des Puys, that surround it, and as well as hosting many rugby matches throughout the year you can also attend one of the world’s leading international festivals for short films. The Festival du Court Metrage de Clermont-Ferrand is an annual festival that adds some culture to Clermont-Ferrand and welcomes over 100,000 attendees every year. This statistic paired with the 18,000 fans who can fit in Clermont’s rugby stadium are all invited to also take in some of the cities more historical and cultural sights, the area boasts religious architecture that has been nominated as a World Heritage Site as well as several picturesque parks and gardens. Something to think about if you are planning a trip to this beautiful area of France.
Of course there are many other famous sporting cities such as Toulon, Castres and Perpignan for rugby, Lyon, Bordeaux and Monaco for football, and that’s without talking about basketball, golf or tennis. When it comes to the opening matches on 6 February, we wish all of the teams the best of luck and if you are lucky enough to have tickets to any of France’s home games we hope we have inspired you to take some time out to discover what else these sporting places have to offer. If not, you may be able to find a vintage or replica football shirt here.
Are you too busy to keep up with the pace of this fast moving city and confused about the real estate market in France? Tell us about your requirements and we will revert back with a selection of properties and details about our A La Carte Premium Hunting Service that allow you to focus on your game, while we do the hunting for you.