Portrait of a smiling land. For centuries, Lorraine has been a major European crossroads, resulting in a rich mixture of cultural influences. Today, it is a idyllic setting for holidays where the art of good living includes friendliness and good cheer in its open hearted towns and villages.
The Vosges blue mountains rise in the distance, a backdrop against the green fields and open countryside. It is a land of vivid colors, culture and culinary traditions, enjoying its vistas of ageless beauty. The majority of its numerous streams and rivers rise in the Vosges. Salts and minerals from their mountains have given the springs of Lorraine a reputation of curative powers since ancient times.
Celtic temples and Roman baths were the forerunners of the well-known spas and health resorts of Vittel and its Club Mediterranée, Contrexéville, Plombières, Bains-Les-Bains and Amneville, close to Metz. These rich natural resources play important roles, both as plant and wildlife reserves and as watersport centers. There are many varieties of lakes, varying from the deep cold glacier lakes of the Vosges to the shallower lakes and pools of the Sarrebourg and the Saulnois regions, plus the river lakes of the Meuse valley, which provide perfect habitats for trout and coarse fish in their crystalline purity. Many lakes are fishing reserves full of carp and perch. The Lindre is a fine example of an unique bird sanctuary on one of the major migration routes for many species of aquatic birds.
Sailing, windsurfing and motor boats are all unrestricted on vast expanses of water such as Madine, Gondrexange, Stock and Gérardmer. With 700 kms of navigable waterways, including the Marne-Rhine Canal and the Moselle, enthusiasts come from all over the world to enjoy cruising from lock to lock. Perhaps resting overnight in the heart of Metz at the foot of the Cathedral or taking the impressive boat-lift au Saint-Louis-Arzviller that joins Lorraine with Alsace.