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"Perfect recipe" for family holiday in Alsace

Families looking for a new France holiday destination should consider Alsace, it has been claimed.

The region's tourism authority claims that Alsace has "the perfect recipe" for a family holiday, with a range of annual events, including festivals of cars, clowns, flowers and music.

With some beautiful countryside and a climate making it the second-driest region in France, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about, including two nature parks and the chance to try horse riding, paragliding and skiing among other options.

The organisation also recommends safari park Monkey Mountain (Montagne des Signes), adventure park Lac Blanc Parc d'Aventures and the 34 castles located throughout the region for young families.

Meanwhile, those on a France holiday can enjoy city breaks to Strasbourg, Colmar or Mulhouse, travelling the Route des Vins wine route and exploring the region's canal systems when on a visit to Alsace.

From June 10th, meanwhile, high-speed train service TGV Est Europeen will be operating between Alsace and other regions of France, making Strasbourg three hours and 20 minutes from Lille and two hours and 25 minutes from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

Alsace on track to be train lovers' paradise

This year is set to be a good one to go on a holiday in France for train lovers, with three major rail events set to impact on the region of Alsace.

Fans of steam trains will be sure to enjoy the reopening of a popular steam railway in Vogelsheim, 20km south-east of Colmar, later this month on May 27th 2007.

Built in 1904, a steam train called The Phantom will run through the beautiful French countryside between Vogelsheim and Marckolsheim, providing stunning views of the Rhine and the opportunity to explore the Rhine on a classic barge on arrival into Marckolsheim.

The month after on June 10th, travellers will have another option to get to their holiday in France, with the opening of the TGV East high speed train link, which will cut journey times to Alsace nearly in half.

Among the features of the trains will be interiors designed by Christian Lacroix and family areas with built-in board games, while the trains themselves will travel at 320km per hour - faster than any other TGV in Europe.

The opening of the TGV will also link Alsace with many other crossborder destinations including Stuttgart, Basel and Zurich.

In addition, the St Pancras International train station in London will open on November 14th, reducing journey times to the north-east of France by a further 20 minutes.

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