Thought to have the best wine, food and art, France holidays are all about indulgence. Hit its iconic capital Paris for a dose of romance and spend your days strolling down tree-lined avenues and dining in cosy bistros. While the glamorous towns belonging to the French Riviera are adored for their coastal beauty and warm summers. And winter here is just as popular! The high-altitude thrills are endless in the Alps. Lined with snow-covered resorts, you’ve got access to some of the world’s best slopes.
Things to do
There is so much to look forward to in France. Paris alone has a tonne of attractions, from iconic cabaret shows to impressive architecture and, of course, who could forget the beautiful Eiffel Tower. The almighty Louvre is a landmark in itself. Not to mention it’s home to the most famous painting in the world Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. And that’s before we even get to Disneyland Paris, where kids will love posing for photos in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Over in its trendy French Riviera resorts, you won’t be short of sunbathing spots. Once ruled by Italy, Nice isn’t just known for its amazing weather, it also makes the most mouth-watering traditional gelato. Once a fishing village, St Tropez is just as popular with a host of famous faces among its crowd of visitors. And the same can be said for Cannes, which rolls out its red carpet every May for its glitzy film festival.
History buffs may prefer visits to Normandy, whose coastline is home to the D-Day landing beaches. Find German bunkers lying forgotten on the sand and a museum featuring an original bomber plane. While the UNESCO-listed Mont Saint-Michel could easily give the Eiffel Tower a run for its money with the number of visitors it gets each year. Over in the French Alps, you’ll find winter sports galore not to mention some of the best runs in Europe at Chamonix! Found at the foot of Mont Blanc, the country’s highest peak, the scenery is spectacular too.
Places to stay
If you’ve come to France for some sightseeing, Paris is just the spot! It may be worth staying close to the centre so you can tick off its biggest attractions, especially if you’re only there for a weekend. Families looking to spend the majority of their holiday in Disneyland Paris may prefer a hotel in Marne-la-Valle, which is around a 20-minute drive from the park.
If laid-back beach days sipping cocktails are more your style, the sun-drenched resorts along the French Riviera won’t disappoint. Michelin-starred cuisine, luxury boutiques and yacht-lined harbours are just some of the elite offerings.
France also has plenty of rural corners in and around its Bordeaux wine region where you’ll find local farmers’ markets, châteaus surrounded by vast countryside and bottles of red produced in some of the world’s oldest fine-wine vineyards.
Those planning on travelling to the Alps in winter have a wide range of resorts to choose from like Val d'Isere, where you’ll find slopes for all abilities. You’ve also got La Plagne which is great for families with its gentle descents, while its neighbour Les Arcs’ lengthy black runs are challenging, even for the most advanced skiers.
What should I pack?
What you will need to pack all depends on which part of France you are travelling to and when. In terms of clothing the weather will vary from place to place. The north is known for its showers, so a light raincoat will suffice. But come winter you’ll need to wrap up warm with chilly days and near-freezing temperatures at night.
Those heading to the warmer south should carry essentials such as sun cream, sunglasses and a towel. Planning on cramming in plenty of sightseeing? Comfy shoes are a must - it’s not fun trying to tackle a big city with blisters on your feet. A secure bag for you valuables is vital too.
As for its chilly mountain regions, you’ll need plenty of thermals. Ski-proof shoes and trousers are also essential so you can take on the slopes without getting too wet. Not forgetting a warm hat and clothes.