► France as a
In spite of
remains the world's number one tourist
destination, and by and large it remains one of the safer places in the
world to visit. it's not hard
to understand why. France has it all - or more or less. It has tourist
sights for all tastes; it has some of the greatest beaches
Europe, as well as the highest mountains and the finest historic
the most beautiful cities, the most idyllic countryside, the most
magnificent castles, the finest rivers, and
plenty more, not to mention some of the best restaurants and the
and more hotels
than any other country in Europe.
France has something for everyone,
which is one of
the reasons why it remains the world's number one tourist destination.
It has magnificent holiday opportunities for everything from a short
weekend city break, in places such as Paris,
Nice or Bordeaux, to a relaxed family holiday in a gite
in the countryside, a week or two's relaxation by the seaside, or an
energetic break hiking, climbing, kayaking or cycling in France's great outdoors.
Mont Saint Michel, Normandy
is just the icing on the cake - the French capital city and surely the
interesting city in the world. With its museums and monuments, its fine
boulevards and its river Seine, its culture, its restaurants and its
unique atmosphere, Paris is a city that you can visit for a week
or a month or a year, and never tire of. In the memorable words of
Thomas Jefferson, "A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history,
beauty, and in the point of life." And much more too. But
is just a starting point. France is much so much more than just Paris.
tourism in France
and art galleries
- which contrary to popular belief are not all located in Paris - offer
a magnificent collection of works of art and artefacts; and for those
for whom a holiday is an opportunity to discover Europe's historic
heritage, France's great
cathedrals, medieval castles, and thousands of
other ancient monuments are a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.
For themed breaks, the châteaux of the Loire (in the Centre region of
France) are an obvious choice; among the many other historic sites,
consider discovering the Roman
remains of Provence
the medieval bastide
towns of the southwest, or the castles and caves of the Dordogne.
There are even some scenic
for people who enjoy a trip down memory lane. Check out the regional
guides for information on sights, monuments and tourist attractions in
July and August, France's Mediterranean beaches tend to be pretty
packed; this is particularly the case in the famous resorts of Provence and
the French Riviera. By contrast, the long sandy beaches of the Languedoc offer much
more legroom. Away from the resorts, Brittany
offers plenty of good beaches, with the added fun of tides and good
waves; and France's Atlantic coast, south of the Loire, has plenty of
long sandy beaches, in the regions of Poitou-Charentes
South of Bordeaux, there are mile upon mile of fine beaches.
For more information see guide to the French coast.
off the beaten track:
you want the life, culture and bustle of the big city, go to Paris.
But France is a lot more than Paris. There are plenty of
places in deepest rural
France that are still very
much off the beaten track; and for camping
holidays, or for those who are content to put up in small rural inns,
several regions in France offer wonderful holiday opportunities away
from it all. Five French departments (counties) that are particularly
worth checking out are the Aveyron (Midi Pyrenees
region), the Haute Loire (part of the Auvergne
region, recommended for 2016 by Lonely Planet as one of the ten regions
of the world to visit),
the Corrèze (Limousin),
the Jura (Franche
and the Vosges (Lorraine):
all these departments include sparsely populated areas, attractive
scenery, and plenty of leisure opportunities - or just some great
places to sit back with a glass of wine, relax, and enjoy the peace and
quiet. One of the best times of year to visit France off the beaten
track is Autumn,
specially in the south of the country.
France has an extensive network of motorways, and many of them offer
relatively relaxed driving conditions, except at peak periods. Off the
motorways, driving on France's backroads can be a way to discover
motoring as it used to be, a pleasurable experience and a way to
discover the country. For more information click for our
guide - driving
tips and advice. and our checklist
of things not to forget before you leave.
culture and institutions
Finally, for those who are looking for deeper information about
France, this website contains pages explaining the main French
institutions and the functioning of French
life, including the
, plus pages on the French way of politics,
the French economy
and the press.
There is also a clearly written guide to the main points of French
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French life and customs, tourism in France and the ways and life of the
most visited country in Europe.
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