France has something for everyone, whether it’s skiing in the Alps, basking on the beaches of the south coast or exploring picturesque cities – and with a 'blink and you'll miss it' flight time from the UK, it's an easy, on your doorstep destination for holidays that hit the ground running.
It may seem like a familiar country, sitting just across the Channel, but there’s plenty to discover in France. Aside from the famous culinary delights like escargot and foie gras, the country boasts some seriously varied cities and resorts that will tempt even the most travelled of tourists.
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Sitting at the foot of the French Alps, Grenoble is a great base for winter holidays, with easy transfers to the slopes of the Isere region of the Dauphine Alps, including the popular resorts of the Chartreuse and Belledonne. Whatever your skiing ability or age, you'll find it in this breathtakingly beautiful part of the country. Lyon is a mere hour away and offers all the facilities for culture, clubbing and shopping that you'd expect from France's third largest city.
Cathedrals, palaces and art galleries rub shoulders with Roman ruins and pretty parks in this stunning city. Known as the country's second city, Marseille sits nestled between the sea and the hills – a city crammed with cultural gems, wedged between beautiful sandy beaches and dramatic, craggy peaks. Whether you want to practise your skills on the slopes, enjoy a family beach holiday or immerse yourself in culture, art and gastronomy, France is waiting at the other end of a very short flight.
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Top 5 things to do in France
Tick off some tasty French treats and try frog’s legs, foie gras, escargot (or snails as they’re better known), tartiflette (an indulgent potato flan), and moules marinières (mussels in a rich garlic sauce). If there’s anywhere where it’s ok to put on a few pounds, it’s definitely France.
Saint Pierre de Chartreuse
Go skiing in Saint Pierre de Chartreuse. This charming village sits nestled in the heart of the snowy forests of the Regional Natural Park of Chartreuse, and boasts a varied set of skills suitable for all abilities and ages.
Parc Naturel Regional du Vercors
In the warmer months, the peaks and valleys of the French countryside become a playground for hikers, bikers and avid explorers. Head into the Parc Naturel Regional du Vercors, just outside of Grenoble, for breath-taking mountain views, forest hikes and pretty, hidden villages.
Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Take the funicular railway from St. Jean's cathedral up to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere for panoramic views of the whole of Lyon. Afterwards, scale down with a trip to Lyon’s famous Museum of Miniatures for a day of big and small adventures.
Parc National des Calanques
Try and visit all the calanques in the Parc National des Calanques in Marseilles. This stunning National Park is home to several of these beautiful naturally formed coves which provide the perfect environment to enjoy a guided tour or maybe even some climbing or scuba diving.
10 facts about France
France has 11 national fete days per year, with Mardi Gras in February being one of the most spectacular. Visit at this time for an explosion of festivities.
Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its long history and fine architecture across all styles, from Gothic to classical to French renaissance.
Marseille’s old port has been used since Greek settlers landed there in 600 B.C. It is now a cosmopolitan hub of trendy bars, restaurants and sights.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris recently celebrated its 126th birthday and still remains the most visited paid-for monument in the world.
Grenoble, in the French Alps, offers some delicious French dishes like Caillette pork meatballs and Gratin de Crozet, a creamy buckwheat pasta bake.
The Parc de la Tete d'Or in Lyon is home to a charming boating lake, a botanical garden, a velodrome for track cycling and even a zoo with rare animals!
France is famous for its weird and wonderful cuisines, but the oddest of them all is Cervelle d'agneau, or sheep’s brains – do you dare to try some?
The Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde is number one of things to do in Marseille on TripAdvisor for its incredible views over the city.
Chartreuse is a famous green liqueur made by Carthusian Monks since 1737. Supposedly only two remaining monks know the recipe of 130 herbs, plants, and flowers.
Grenoble’s Bastille has one of the world’s first ever cable cars which you can take all the way to the top of the mountain to the fascinating fort.