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France Holidays

France Holidays

France Introduction

France is the most visited country in the world. It has everything that you could ever want to see on your holidays: a great city like Paris, good beaches, more monuments than any other country, lovely nature and incredible mountain scenery.

Why Go To France?

France has good food and great wines. Paris, the city of light and its surroundings are one of the most visited areas. It's without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. The Alps are great for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. There are also museums like the Louvre of Paris, open all the year, and other monuments like churches, cathedrals, châteaux, France is an architectural country and you will find a lot to see across all the country, surely a good destination to visit.

The South with its lovely nature, good food, roman ruins and of course the Riviera draws a lot of visitors every year. Towns like Orange, and Arles but also big cities like Marseille and Toulon are must sees. The Province is dotted with pleasant small villages. In the South west of France the Dordogne is one of the most quintessential French regions. The valley is so pretty, the towns are so cute and the food is so good, that it is hard to believe that the people who live here go somewhere else for their holidays. The Languedoc has its own language and culture. In the south of the Languedoc you find the Pyrenees, a great mountain range separating France from Spain, where you can hike and ski. The towns of Toulouse and Montpellier are nice and the medieval town of Carcassone is a top destination.

When To Go To France?

If you are a skier you will love to go to the mountains between November and May, the Pyrenees Mountains are less crowded and expensive than other resorts in winter season. Between May and October you can go to the Mediterranean beaches of France, they are more crowded in July and August, but you will enjoy it, Cannes and Nice have France's best beaches, they are all surrounded by cafés and restaurants that complete a beautiful sunny day, and don't forget to visit Corsica, the best place to practice water sports.

France - The Place

West of France is turned towards the Atlantic Coast. In the north are rolling hills, sandy beaches and quiet little harbour towns. Normandy & Brittany have a more rugged coast and many Neolithic sites. It has quite a distinct atmosphere from the rest of the country; you can still sense the Celtic origin of the region and its inhabitants.

The eastern part of France consists of the Alsace, Lorraine, Franche Comté and Burgundy regions. The landscape has rolling hills and many beautiful cities, such as Metz, Strasbourg, Nancy and Dijon. This region produces many famous wines, including magnificent pinot noirs and chardonnays valued the world over, as well as the famous "Yellow wine" from the Jura mountain vineyard.

The Centre of France is in many ways the quietest part of France. But the great treasure of this region is the Loire valley, with many great castles and beautiful towns.

France Culture

France is full of plenty of monuments, famous museums, and is known for its world renowned dinning. Notre Dame Cathedral, with its ornate interior is awe inspiring and popular destination. Pay homage to French author Victor Hugo, and ascend the bell tower for a look at the gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Arc de Triumph, located on the famed avenue Champs Elysees and centred in the world largest traffic roundabout, is a simple, yet daunting monument commissioned by Napoleon.

There's the Pompidou National Centre of Art & Culture, home to an extensive modern art collection. The Musée d'Orsay, in a former railway station, displays French art nouveau, impressionist, and postimpressionist works. The Musée de Cluny, contains works from the middle ages, and a former Roman bath house, dating back to around 200 AD.

France is home to the world famous Louvre which was built in the 12th century, and contains over 35,000 pieces of art, including the Mona Lisa. The Eiffel Tower is an impressive sight in Paris worth getting close to. Lie in the grass at the Champs de mars and gaze at the steel structure.Ascend the tower for spectacular views of Paris.

France Nightlife

In the important cities like Paris, Lyon or Marseilles, there are nightclubs that do not charge any entrance, although sometimes, probably the drinks are more expensive. Alternatively, the price of the entrance includes consumption. As alternative, there are many bars and pubs open all night. In provinces, generally French people spend the night eating and drinking, although in the most popular tourist areas there will be discotheques and dance clubs. There are almost 130 public casinos in the country.

France Shopping

If you like shopping, Paris is the capital of the world. The variety and style of the stores makes a Paris shopping trip a must for any fashion-conscious traveller. In Paris shopping is an art. Parisians take fashion very seriously, so shopping in Paris can be savoured and enjoyed as much as a meal in one of the city's many excellent restaurants or a visit to one of its world-class museums.

Shopping in Paris can be done on any budget. All the best designers have boutiques in Paris, and many are worth a visit just to breathe in the elegance or to get an idea of the latest styles before heading to a more affordable department store or flea market. Shopping in Paris is a serious affair, though. Don't expect a friendly welcome if you are wearing shorts, sneakers, or a printed t-shirt, don't touch displays, and be sure to ask for assistance with a polite "s'il vous plait."

Avenue Montaigne in the 8ème arrondissement exemplifies chic Paris shopping. Here you can find the best shopping in Paris, with stores from the top names in international fashion, including Céline, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Valentino. On nearby Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré boutiques by Chloé, Christian Lacroix, Gucci, and Hermès alternate with some of the city's best art galleries and antiquaries.

A Paris shopping trip is incomplete without a visit to one of les grand's Magasins, Paris' huge department stores. To many, these capture the best shopping in Paris. Clustered along the Boulevard Haussmann in the 9ème arrondissement, enormous stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps have everything you could ever dream of, including clothes by scores of big name designers.

Most stores in Paris are closed on a Sunday, so you may want to take that day to explore one of the city's flea markets. These offer the best shopping in Paris for those on a shoestring budget. The best are probably the Porte de Montreuil in the 20 ème arrondissement and the Porte de Clignancourt in the 18 ème.

France Eating

French cuisine is one of the most exquisite foods around the world, the French cuisine has been taken as a model in many culinary schools as a base for cooking because of its technique, a little bit complicated. The worst part is for vegetarian people, there are some places with vegetarian food in towns and in other cities, but you'll better opt for going to any pizzeria and ask for a vegetarian pizza or making your own food, there are plenty of markets where you can make your buys.

Each region of France has its own cuisine, there is the Loire Valley cuisine, the Basque cuisine and the Roussillon cuisine, so if you travel along France you'll know each regions flavour. If you want to make a dinner by yourself, you can buy fruits and vegetables from supermarkets, grocery stores, smaller markets or street markets but these are open only for specific days in some regions, or if you want any other food, the Chinese cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine are very popular too.

Local France Customs

France is a secular state with a Catholic tradition and culture. Up until the mid-nineteen-sixties, the Catholic Church was an important institution and 91.7% of newborns were baptised. In the early nineteen-sixties, church-going started to decline in France's most devout regions and differences between regions faded.

Tipping in France is not compulsory but recommended. The bill in restaurants and cafés often includes a 15 percent tip. It is referred to "service compris". However, it is customary to leave small change unless you are dissatisfied. If the service is not included in the price, "service non compris," a 15 percent tip is customary. However, in chic restaurants, leave a generous tip.