France’s Best a New Travel App Interview with Creator
Paul Shawcross lives in Newcastle, England, and he is a devoted Francophile who has made many work and personal trips to France. In 1979, passing through France for the first time on the way to Spain, his long relationship with the French country and its culture began. A professional travel writer and photographer, Paul has revised and written new text for several Michelin Green Guides to the French Regions, penning several Thomas Cook Pocket Guides and contributing articles to leading periodicals, including Living France and France Magazine. Taking the plunge into the digital formats, Paul has authored several apps for smart devices, including his latest France’s Best, a handheld travel guide with regional highlights for visitors.
Here is our interview with Paul about his latest project.
France’s Best Travel App
Creating a comprehensive App for all of France is a big undertaking. How long did it take you to research and consolidate the information?
Yes, it was a significant undertaking that took many years to research and involved travelling around all the French regions during that time. It took two years to consolidate the material and write the text. Most of the images used are my own, but I had to source a few.
The App covers everything from main tourist sites to “local” travel tips to national holidays. What did you leave out?
I felt that it was essential to include as many of the main tourist sites throughout the country as I could, but I am conscious that I did not include, for example, the theme parks of Puy d Fou in the Pays de la Loire or Parc Asterix in the Oise. Also, for this App edition, Paris is written from the point of view of what can be seen comfortably in a day, so quite a few places of interest have been omitted until future editions.
How often do you expect the App to be updated?
There has already been one update to include information on the Tour de France, and I expect to do one every few months.
Under the accommodation section, you have some general information and links to four (4) locations. Do you intend to build this out further?
These are examples of what is available, as it would be impossible to include everything.
How many itineraries are there on the App?
More than 40 itineraries are listed in the App, although most of these are trips proposed by local Tourism Authorities. However, several written by myself are either part of this App or are linked to one of my other apps. These include Provence’s Best, Dordogne’s Best and Nice’s Best.
My three favourite locations in Provence are the Luberon with its wonderful, perched villages, the Camargue with its pink flamingoes, white horses and black bulls and the beautiful city of Avignon with its fabulous Pont St-Bénèzet.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
As a travel writer, I have always preferred to feature France and its Regions/Cities/Points of Interest in my work. So, when asked to create a travel app covering the whole country, I delightedly agreed.
Where to Buy the App
France’s Best: Travel Guide by TouchScreenTravels is available for download on Android and IOS devices on Google Play and the Mac App Store.
Articles by Paul
Discover Nissa la Bella. Fabulous Nice lies along the shores of Baie des Anges at the eastern end of Provence. English speakers call this the French Riviera, and the French know it as the Côte d’Azur. The English aristocracy discovered its delights during the early Victorian era. However, the secret eventually got out, and the Riviera soon established itself as an international playground for everyone. Continue reading about Paul’s favourite places in beautiful Nice, France.
Côtes du Rhône a Wine-filled Driving Tour. Popes and Red Wine Villages in Provence’s Rhone Valley that begins in historic Avignon. Paul selected seven of his favourite wine villages for a day trip through the vineyards. All are on the left bank of the Southern Rhône and have A.O.P (i.e. Appellation d’Origine Protégée, previously A.O.C.) status guaranteeing that the wine comes from a particular village or region. There are 21 such villages – feel free to add your own to the itinerary if you have time! Continue reading about the wine itinerary.
Spend two days in the Luberon. The Luberon in the Vaucluse boasts many charming villages, four of which are classified as Plus Beaux Villages. Moreover, there are wooded hills with plenty of good walking, great markets, excellent restaurants, and a producer of quality wine. All in this relatively unspoiled corner of Provence. While this itinerary can be done in a day if you stay nearby, spending more time in this beautiful region is advisable. Continue reading to discover the idyllic Luberon.