From the heady scent of Provence’s sprawling lavender fields to the enduring glamour of the Cote D’Azur, France is a diverse and colorful country with something to occupy even the most travel weary of visitors. Lose yourself in culture, shopping, gastronomy, monuments of a bygone age and the glorious towns, villages and cities steeped in history.
There’s nowhere quite like the lifestyle in Cannes or St Tropez in summer, while the charming villages of Provence, France’s national parks and intriguing cities such as Nantes give many reasons to explore.
- Soak up the glitz and glamour and white sandy beaches of the Cote d’Azur.
- Lying on the southwest coast of France, Arcachon is a convivial fisherman’s town with a rich oyster-farming heritage, including the giant sand dune, Dune du Pilat.
- Provence is the home of lavender, with fields ablaze in purple as far as the eye can see.
- Visit aristocratic chateaux, such as Azay-Le-Rideau, and historic vineyards in the Loire Valley.
- The French Alps are a must for skiers in the winter, and also for hikers and lovers of outdoor adventure in the summer.
When to visit
With a typical northern European climate, and a Mediterranean climate in the south, expect hot summers (particularly in the south), cooler autumn months and cold winters. If you want to avoid the holiday crowds the best time to visit is May to July or September to October. If you are looking for snow in the Alps, visit from December to April.
Areas of France
Pont du Garde
The Romans arrived in France in 121BC and took control of modern-day Provence. They built complex road networks and viaducts, the most stunning of which is the Pont du Gard. The Hundred Years’ War began in 1337 – it was during these battles that Joan of Arc established herself as a national hero. The French Revolution followed and after the Napoleonic Wars a third French Republic was formed. Today France enjoys relative economic stability and is a leading world power.