Bonjour, travellers! With over 2,000 years of history under its belt and a beautiful and diverse landscape – from vibrant cities like Paris to the gorgeous French Riviera – a holiday in France
will truly whisk you away into another world. where should you visit though? Here are our top tips.
One of the world’s most significant cities and most toured destinations, Paris draws millions travellers from all over the globe each year. Popular tourist sites here include the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Assemblee Nationale and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. For those interested in the rich history of France, Paris is the main home of the French Revolution, embedded today in places like the Bastille. Of course, you also can’t ignore the fine arts in Paris, with the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay holding some of the world’s most infamous artworks, such as Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night.’ A cruise down the Seine river is also a must for those travelling to Paris and will bring you a glimpse of all of Paris’s most treasured destinations.
On the south-eastern coast, overlooking the Mediterranean, Nice is a stunning port city that boasts amazing beaches and a wonderful climate. Nice offers travellers a wonderful seaside experience, with museums to discover and delightful dining to enjoy, whether you’re after a simple café brunch or a deluxe restaurant for dinner. Tourists should also explore the rich, colourful markets, visit the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum and take a swim in the warm, Riviera waters. If you love Nice, the towns of Eze, Cannes and Monte Carlo are also just a short cruise, bus or train ride away.
Located in southern France, on the banks of the River Garonne, Toulouse is the country’s fourth largest city. With 2,000 years of culture behind it, Toulouse is proud of its friendly, welcoming nature, from historic sites and small cafes to local markets and major fashion brand stores. For the aesthetically minded, Toulouse also contains esteemed museums and stunning architecture, presenting the evolution of French architecture. The bell tower of the Basilica of St. Sernin, the Musée des Augustins, the Théâtre du Capitole and the Château d'Eau water tower are all particularly remarkable and definitely worth a visit.
Characterised by its impressive beauty, the city of Avignon presents a panoply of Christian architecture and is one of the best towns to explore by guided tour. A visit to the Romanesque Notre Dame des Doms Cathedral, which was completed in the 12th century, is a must-see, as is the Papal Palace and City Hall and of course, the famous Pont Saint-Bénezet bridge.
On France’s south-western coast lies Bordeaux, France’s wine capital! Bordeaux’s charming architecture has largely remained unchanged for over 200 years and is therefore a UNESCO World Heritage site. Reared by its wine trade, Bordeaux is the centre of the world’s wine industry. Here, you can learn about this exciting historical era at the Museum of Wine and then head off to the vineyards to get a taste of the drop that brought Bordeaux fame. There is beautiful countryside to be seen, and Bordeaux’s nightlife, with its casino, opera and café theatres, is bustling.
The French Alps and Chamonix
For lovers of the outdoors, the French Alps are sure to excite. Chamonix (Cha-mon-ee) is an amazing tourist town that offers a wealth of accommodation, easy transport, adventure activities and fine dining. Chamonix is located near Mount Blanc, giving visitors the opportunity to ski, sled or snowboard down the highest mountain in Western Europe. At the end of your energetic day, unwind with a range of spa options, where you can relax with an indulgent massage and pampering session before heading off to an exquisite, French dinner overlooking the spectacular Alps. For those less keen on skiing, cable car rides, train rides and tram journeys offer an amazing way to see this snowy slice of France.