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Following the Flame: Travel Planning Tips for a Journey Through France with the Olympic Torch Relay

 In the realm of sporting history, few events captivate the world like the Olympic Games. The anticipation, the unity, and the sheer spectacle of the Olympic torch relay make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

Travel planning tips fot
Jody (and family) after running the Olympic torch in 1984

For me, the flame holds a special place in my heart, having run with it in my teens during the 1984 torch relay through Denver. Decades later, the excitement still lingers, and the torch remains one of my most cherished mementos (along with pieces of the Berlin wall and my flight log book). Now, a travel planner and Francophile, I am eager to share the joy of the Olympic torch relay with fellow enthusiasts, as it embarks on a 68-day journey across the picturesque landscapes of France in 2024. Whether you are planning to attend the games or will be immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of a country, its culture, and its people in “la province”, planning for a glimpse of the torch could be a fabulous itinerary highlight!

 


Coming over on ship from Greece, the torch will start its journey in Marseille on May 8 and will weave its way through 65 French territories.  If you are planning a trip to France this summer, the route will be a good thing to keep in mind as you travel.  Here are a few tips:

 

Tips for a Torch Relay Adventure


  1. Plan ahead and book early (reach out and I will help you customize your trip!): As a seasoned traveler, I understand the importance of meticulous planning. The allure of witnessing history in the making is bound to attract millions of spectators, so it's crucial to plan ahead. To avoid disappointment, I recommend checking the official website of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games for the detailed route and schedule of the torch relay. This will serve as a reliable guide to plan your itinerary, ensuring you don't miss the flame's passage through your chosen destinations. Or let me help you put together a route.

  2. Choosing the Road Less TraveledWhile the iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are undoubtedly tempting, the crowds can be overwhelming. Instead, consider exploring the less traveled paths of smaller towns and villages that boast their own unique charm and history.To savor a more relaxed and authentic experience, plan your visits during off-peak times, steering clear of weekends and public holidays. If you do find yourself in a popular spot, try arriving early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the hustle and bustle.

  3. Sustainable Exploration: Public transport prices will spike during the Games, so consider walking and biking, which will give you a chance to uncover hidden gems, soak in the picturesque scenery, and get a bit of exercise.

  4. Embrace the UnpredictableDelays, changes, and unexpected surprises are all part of the experience. Instead of succumbing to frustration, embrace the spontaneity of the moment. You might chance upon a local celebration or forge unforgettable connections with the people you encounter along the way. Remember, the Olympic torch relay is not just about following the flame, it is also about immersing yourself in the cultural experience. Be flexible, stay spontaneous, and relish every unexpected turn in the journey. After all, it's these surprises that often weave the most cherished memories of a trip.

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