“Life is short. Live your dream. Share your passion"

I am a writer, photographer and French-speaking, American tour guide living in Southwest France. In 2006, I followed my dream into the heart of the French countryside where I found a new home. A variety of life-changing experiences brought me to the small village of Ayzieu, in the historical region of Gascony, virtually unchanged by industry, or tourism since the 1950s.

For more than thirty years, my appreciation of French culture informed my work as an architect and designer living and working in the Pacific Northwest. Honing my entrepreneurial and organizational skills, as well, I built and ran Edenwild Inn on Lopez Island, Washington. At the same time I worked with non-profit organizations supporting education and the arts. I chaired the Boards of The Northwest School and Gage Academy of Art for twelve years.

Since moving to Southwest France I have rooted myself in its unique culture by researching its history, exploring its storied landscapes, and joining local organizations dedicated to preserving its heritage. As a private guide for Tours By Locals.  I’ve developed an insider’s knowledge of what makes this corner of the world so special.   

Whether we voyage across the world, or walk from one side of the street to the other, we all seek refreshment and connection. When you take the time to experience the local culture of a country, you discover more than just the sights – you discover that travel can be enriching and transformative in subtle and unimagined ways. I created French Country Adventures to share my passion for France with you. 

À bientôt


“My wife and I just returned from a nine night trip to Gascony with Sue Aran of French Country Adventures. We returned with wonderful memories, wonderful photos, wonderful Armagnac, and a wonderful new friend.Traveling with Sue is truly like traveling with a friend or family. Her only concern is that her guests have a great time. This all began with the planning process, making sure that we were happy with the accommodation and itinerary. Once we arrived, it seemed like we were old friends. She is truly knowledgeable about the area and is great at sharing that knowledge. She really tries to show what it is like to live in the area. We had an opportunity to meet some of her local friends. Her choice of restaurants was great and the visits to some of the local producers really added to the experience. The days were as full as we wanted them to be. She never watched the clock. 

I really can’t say enough good things about our trip and Sue. We are already starting to think about our next adventure with her.”

Jordan and Mary Bromberg


I am a local guide, writer, and photographer who
has in-depth knowledge of the history, culture, and traditions of
Gascony, the Pays Basque, Occitanie, Provence, and parts
beyond. I lead all of the tours. I have been living in France for
sixteen years, and have personally assessed each hotel,
restaurant, museum, and class for quality, and service in order
to provide you with an authentic travel experience.

I specialize in very small group tours in order to
give you a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t find anywhere
else. Each tour has no more than 6 people. My travelers are a
dynamic, and interesting group of people from all walks of life,
ranging from the age of 45-85.

The tour price includes your 10 or 12 day
accommodation at a Chateau, French Country Estate, 4 or 5
star Hôtel du Charme, or Boutique B&B for the entire tour, all
meals, pick-up and return from/to airport or train station, all
transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, admission to
museums, festivals, ateliers, and classes.

The art of traveling slowly offers an opportunity to
engage deeply and experience a different way of life. Slow
travel offers the opportunity to explore each destination
thoroughly, and to experience the local art, music, history, and
cuisine of regional cultures. My philosophy is simple: When you
do less, you experience more.

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