Eastern France is a hotchpotch of cultures. The region fuses French traditions with the tastes and styles and sounds of central Europe - particularly strong are the region's distinct German influences. At the centre of Western Europe, where the great River Rhine divides the continent, Eastern France has been at the strategic centre of empires and warring nations for centuries and has the deep scars and the many historical landmarks to prove it.
Alsace and Lorraine, in the north-east of France, posses the most obvious German trademarks - in Strasbourg, the Alsatian capital, you can start dinner with local sauerkraut and Germanic beer and end on the delicate French pastries for which the region is famous.
The further from the German and Swiss borders you go, the more French the towns and cities become. Franche-Comte acts as a bridge between the Alps and the winegrowing plains of Burgundy, whilst the forests of the Ardennes in the north shelter the Champagne region and that region's famous bottles of bubbly. Visiting the champagne houses in and around Reims is a particular travel highlight in that part of France.
An interesting and beautiful area for its distinct identity and stunning countryside, Eastern France is well worth exploring.