Where do you begin with France? Let’s start with the fact that it’s the world’s most popular tourist destination, the European Union’s largest country and the gastronomic capital of the world? Whatever type of holiday you’re after, you’ll find it in this diverse country – glamorous beach retreat, city break with a difference, or even a week on the snow, they’re all here and more. The problem? Choosing which one is right for you.
France is a beach bum’s paradise and tourists are spoilt for choice with the chic resorts around Nice and the Côte d’Azur. Will you be bathing on the beach at Saint Tropez, mingling with the stars in Cannes or taking the kids out for a stroll in Juan-les-Pins? If you like your sand looking like it came fresh from the Caribbean then you’ll be more at home in Corsica, with its turquoise waters and perfect white beaches. And when it’s not enticing you to its shores with the promise of endless sun-kissed beaches, it’ll be its cities that catch your eye. From the gastronomic delights of Lyon and the romantic Neo-classical grandeur of Bordeaux to the Victorian seaside charm of Biarritz and the historical splendours of La Rochelle, France’s cities are packed to bursting with tourist goodies at every turn. And, for love and romance, nowhere does it quite so well as Paris. France’s capital is an architectural dream, a culinary delight and certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world – perfect for a romantic city break or that weekend of culture you’ve been longing for.
Venture from the cities and you’ll find another world completely, one full of fortified medieval towns, ancient hilltop villages and a countryside littered with stone farmhouses and vineyard after vineyard. In the north, Brest and the surrounding region of Brittany pull in the tourists with their green Celtic hills, while further south Toulouse and the Lauragais valleys take you on a kaleidoscopic journey through colourful farmland, unspoilt meadows and sunflowers as far as the eye can see. What more could you ask for? Well, how about some good old mountain vistas? Base yourself in Grenoble if you want the best France has to offer in the way of ski resorts. Not to mention, the snow-capped views that will simply take your breath away. Have we managed to convince you yet?
Given its size, France experiences a range of weather types depending on where in the country you are. To the west you can expect a maritime climate, which sees less extremes in temperature during summer and winter. Further south you can expect temperatures to be a few degrees warmer, with sunny winters and moderate rainfall. As you move further inland, the weather becomes more extreme with larger variations between the seasons. There is a greater chance of snow, while summers are wetter and more humid. And along the Mediterranean coast? Scorching summers, 12 hours of sunshine a day and winters that are surprisingly mild.