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Best time to visit: May, June, July, August, September
Average high: 16˚C
Average low: 7˚C
Price of meals: 4/5
Holiday type: Adventure / Beach / Culture / Family / Party / Romantic
France’s close proximity to the UK can sometimes make it seem unexotic as a holiday choice. In fact, our neighbour’s geography and climate are more varied than ours, becoming warmer the further south you travel, while possessing attractions, history, and culture to impress any tourist.
Without a doubt, France’s must-see site is its capital city, Paris, “the city of lights and love”. Whether you want a quick weekend getaway with a romantic partner or you are beginning a journey across the nation, Paris simply must feature! The beautiful and famous sites are innumerable, from the Eiffel Tower and Sacré Cœur, to the historical and artistic wonders of the Louvre, the thrilling entertainment of the Moulin Rouge, and the magnificent architecture of Notre Dame—and that’s without mentioning the hundreds of world-renowned café-bistros, restaurants, street performers, shows, and romantic walks and river boats.
But as tempting as it can be to devote your entire break to Paris, consider the rest of what the country has to offer. Brittany and Normandy on the northern coast might have a similar climate to Britain, but the small towns are welcoming and the regions are packed with unsung, peaceful beaches and medieval towns boasting fascinating Anglo-French history.
Meanwhile, those looking for a change in climate should head south. The Alps boast some of the world’s best and exhilarating snow resorts, although adventurers should also consider paddling canoes through the warm, scenic Gorge du Verdon. Not far away is the eminent Côte d’Azur, France’s famed riviera, where the rich and famous rub shoulders with tourists seeking year-round sunshine on the beautiful beaches and tranquil water.
France is a modern country with luxurious amenities, meaning you will be well-catered for wherever you stay and however you travel. Adults soak up the music and entertainment that permeates from every corner of every town, relaxing or partying as they prefer, while families will no doubt want to enjoy one (or more) or the many outstanding theme parks, including Disneyland Paris and Parc Astérix.
France is the UK’s over-the-Channel neighbour and, consequently, the north shares a similar climate to the south of England. Like the UK, Western France receives the strong Atlantic winds, so winters are warmer while summers are cooler. Conversely, the summers are hotter in the east, although rainfall is heavier, too, and winters are snowy, especially in the mountainous regions. Southern France enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers, cool (but not cold) winters, and partial precipitation.
France is more or less on par with the UK in terms of economy performance, so food prices are very similar. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant averages £50, while a meal for one in an inexpensive restaurant in Paris costs only slightly cheaper than London prices, at about £13 to £14.
On the other hand, drink tends to be more expensive. A bottle of beer costs about £5.50 or more, with domestic and international beverages having little difference in price. Coffee averages at £2.95 per cup, while bottles of water cost approximately £1.70. As ever, prices are cheaper outside of the capital and major tourist centres.
Most popular attractions
- Côte d’Azur (French Riviera)
- Disneyland Paris
- Versailles Palace
- The Loire Valley
- Medieval Carcassonne City
- Pont du Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon
- Gorge du Verdon