Located just north east of Paris, this region is the sole producer of the fine sparkling wine, Champagne. The capital of the region is Reims – a fantastic town to visit with an imposing and impressive medieval cathedral at its heart. This region is extremely popular with wine tourism. Many visitors will head to the town of Epernay which is home to several Champagne houses. Visitors can take tours of the vineyards and the cellars where the finest Champagnes are produced and stored.
Located on the west of France with a stunning Atlantic coastline, this area is well known for its stunning beaches and picturesque towns. La Rochelle is a well-known town and a superb holiday destination. The Ile-de-Re and Ile d’Oleron are beautiful little islands just off the La Rochelle coastline with an abundance of sandy beaches and pretty villages, popular with families. Pretty harbour towns are a joy to visit and to watch the fishing boat activity. Seafood is popular in this area and the daily catch is typically on the menu.
The Cote d’Azur is the southernmost coast of France located between Italy and Spain. Boasting over 300 days a year of sunshine, this coastline has a feeling of exclusivity and attracts the rich and famous. The Mediterranean Sea lends itself to beautiful large, sandy beaches, perfect for a relaxing holiday. The amazingly warm climate and is a magnet to the yachting fraternity with mega yachts galore in St. Tropez, Cannes and Nice.
One of the most iconic and visited landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower attracts around 7 million visitors a year. The Tower was completed in 1889 and originally built to commemorate the French revolution. The Tower can be seen from miles around and proudly overlooks the city of Paris. Visitors can climb to the top for the most spectacular views. The glamourous avenue of the Champs-Élysées and the epicentre of the Arc de Triomphe are a pleasant stroll from the Eiffel Tower so lots of sights can be seen in one day. Paris is chic and stylish and is a great place for a short break or longer holiday.
The Haute de France is the most northerly region in France. With both Dunkirk and Calais on its coastline, the capital city of the region is Lille. A huge and often understated city, Lille is the sixth largest city in France and a bustling university city; great for a weekend visit or extended holiday. With many influences from nearby Belgium, Lille boasts a large central square and attractive pedestrianised cobbled streets. The Old Town is a great place to explore with its red brick buildings alongside the pretty river, the architecture is fascinating. Known for its arts and culture scene, Lille has many galleries and museums to visit. There is a great atmosphere around this city with street musicians and a great café culture to sit and watch the world go by.
The Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France is in the South West of France and enjoys a huge stretch of Atlantic coastline along with dramatic and lush inland areas. The capital of the region is Bordeaux, a city with numerous attractions. Located on the River Garonne, there are many impressive buildings located near its banks such as the Place de la Bourse and Puerta de Cailhau. The Rue Sainte Catherine is the pedestrianised main street in Bordeaux and is well known for its shopping and bustling atmosphere. Bordeaux is perhaps most well-known for its red wine making, in particular Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The mild climate and fertile land mean that this area of France is perfect for vineyards to flourish. It is estimated that more than 400 million bottles of wine are produced every year in the Bordeaux area.
France is the European centre of gastronomy and many believe the cuisine is the best in the world. With regional delicacies throughout the country such as oysters, mussels, snails or frogs’ legs, perhaps the most consistent food throughout the country is cheese. Local markets are filled with cheese sellers with locally produced cows, goats and sheep’s cheese. Famous French cheeses include the soft cheeses Camembert and Brie, blue cheeses Roquefort and Blue d’Auvergne, and hard cheeses Reblochon and emmental. All together it is thought that there are over 1,500 different types of French cheese produced; spoilt for choice indeed.
While France’s weather varies across its 26 different regions, the summer months of June through to September are often pleasant and warm throughout the country. Coastal areas of France often experience colder winters and heavier rainfall in winter, but the summer months are glorious to spend by the ocean.
If you are a British citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter France but you must have a valid passport. For the latest information on European travel regulations, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france.
The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).
In France, the main language spoken is French.