France travel our tips & ideas

Planning a trip to France? From Paris to Provence, Normandy to Nice, France is home to some of the most famous (and most beautiful) vacation spots in the world. With sweeping vineyards, quaint Christmas markets and too many castles, cathedrals, and other cultural sights to count, France is a country with something for everyone. More interested in lounging on the beach than soaking up culture? You won’t be disappointed in France. And that’s without even mentioning a culinary heritage famous the world over (did someone say fromage?). However, the variety the country offers also means that planning your first (or hundredth) trip to France can be a little daunting. Don’t know where to start? Read on for our ultimate France travel guide, covering some of the country’s most popular regions – as well as some top-secret spots you may not find in the guidebooks – and start making your France itinerary today.

When is it best to travel to France ?

Because it’s a country with such a variety of sights to see and activities to do, holidaymakers come to France all year round. But of course, certain regions really do come into their own at specific times of year.

In general, the busiest (and hottest) season in France is the summer, running from mid-June through to the end of August. If you’re dreaming of a vacation spent soaking up the rays and sipping cocktails on the beach, this is the best time to plan your trip. Just expect that beach to be crowded, particularly in the most popular tourist spots.

If you’re willing to compromise, consider planning your couple’s getaways, girls’ trips, or family holidays in France for the shoulder season, which runs from April-May, and then from September to early October. The weather is still mild, (and usually sunny!) but you’ll be able to avoid those summer crowds.

And in the winter? Well, France also has a reputation for world-class skiing, so if the slopes are calling to you, plan your trip to France during the winter months. And across the country, you’ll find twinkling Christmas lights, impressive Christmas trees, and charming traditional Christmas markets, all of which make the holiday season a great time to plan a trip to France.

However, one particular region is especially good to visit at Christmas time: Alsace. Bordering Germany and Switzerland, Alsace is a place which has always kept its unique character, and that’s never clearer than during the holidays, when the major cities and many of the villages come alive with traditional markets. Alsace’s Christmas markets are famous throughout the world, and usually run from the end of November to the beginning of January. See some more suggestions from our partners here

Visiting Paris? There’s a reason we’re called Paris-Toujours.

The word “toujours” means “always” in French, and we firmly believe that Paris is always a good idea. As one of the most visited cities in the world, Paris welcomes visitors year-round, whether for outdoor activities in the summer, culture-soaking in museums in the Spring or Autumn, or twinkly Christmas lights and markets in the winter. The only time we wouldn’t recommend visiting Paris is the first two weeks of August, when most of the city is on holiday.

We’ll include specific information on each page for the best time to visit each region of France, so that you can plan ahead to get the most out of your France travels.

Is it safe to travel to France?

We’re firmly convinced that Paris – and France – is always a good idea ! Before traveling, be sure to check your local foreign office’s latest advice on travelling abroad. And if you’re concerned about traveling to France or have questions on how to keep your family safe, feel free to contact us for support.

 

Let us take you through the French regions and plan your French adventure

PARIS, the City of Light

Looking for things to do in Paris ? With its sweeping, tree-lined boulevards, bustling shopping streets, world-renowned museums and monuments,...

NORMANDY, a taste of History

The Normandy region in north-western France is famous for its charming countryside, quaint seaside towns and villages, and world-class cuisine....

BURGUNDY, the ‘gold rush’

With rolling green hills dotted with mustard fields, vast forests, and acres of vineyards, Burgundy is home to some of...

BORDEAUX, wine and ocean

A one-time important Gallo-Roman wine-trading town, and later a key port of Europe in the middle ages, Bordeaux is a...

LOIRE VALLEY, castles and vines

The area surrounding the 1000km (620 mile)-long Loire River is one of the most famous and most visited regions of...

PROVENCE, lavender fields, perched villages and vineyards

Provence has been a top tourist destination for decades. And with its pastoral landscapes, fragrant Provence lavender fields, world-famous vineyards,...

The FRENCH RIVIERA, glamour on the seaside

The French Riviera extends along the Mediterranean coast from Cassis, Toulon, or St-Tropez in the west, to Menton, on the...

ALSACE, christmas markets and wine road

Alsace is characterized by gently rolling countryside covered with vines, dramatic pine forests hiding picturesque villages, towns and cities, and...