...thank you for all the work you did to put our European trip together. It was a phenomenal trip! The guides in Normandy, Giverny, Paris and Prague were fantastic. The Uniworld river cruise was a great way to see a country! We got to walk around beautiful German towns, see wonderful castles and gardens, and meet local people...thank you for a fantastic experience.
France Trip Recommendations
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Things to Do and See in France
With the City of Lights at its heart and so many fantastic things to see and do, to truly experience France means to go beyond the standard tourist activities and sights of Paris as you venture into the French countryside. Those who travel beyond Paris may be surprised to find beautiful, pastoral farmland; rugged northern coastlines; spectacular wine-country; soaring Alps; and a pastel-painted southern coast are their rich rewards.
France is a country near obsessed with the quality of the food and drink it consumes, with the art it views, and in general, with the culture that is, well, French. To experience France is to immerse yourself in the terroir of the place. Tour the vineyard; taste the wine; buy the cheese direct from the purveyor at the open air market. Enjoy the party-like atmosphere of the bistro, the calm sophistication of the café tabac, or the sidewalk café. Explore a museum, castle, or Roman-era ruin while you’re there, to fully appreciate everything this country has to offer.
The Weather in France
France experiences the standard four seasons that most North Americans are familiar with. It snows in the Northern and more mountainous parts of the country in the winter, rains everywhere but the south in the spring and fall, and is sunny and warm during the summer.
The temperatures inland of the Cote d’Azur, or French Riviera, can be very high in the summer months, however, and along the Northern coast, summer temperatures can be surprisingly low. So depending on your itinerary, pack for the weather that you’re likely to encounter.
France’s Transportation Options
The whole of France is available to travelers by rail or by road. Trains are available to take you to nearly every small village, medium-sized town, and large city in the whole of the country. Renting a car can be advisable if you have special needs or if you require greater flexibility than the French rail system can deliver, but it is rarely necessary for a vacation. Of course, TravelStore can arrange for your rail tickets in advance, as part of your trip arrangements, as well as private car and driver to pre-arrange airport transfers, or a day of touring in the country or city with a qualified and knowledgeable guide.
Hotels & Resorts in France
France has abundant accommodations in just about every price range in nearly every town of reasonable size. The larger cities have everything from youth hostels to luxury spa resorts, offering the highest quality of service and comfort. The South of France is home to many beach-facing or beachfront hotels, and Paris is home to some of the best, most luxurious hotels anywhere in the world. At many of our hand-picked hotels and resorts, we extend special amenities to travelers.
Lodging can be somewhat more challenging to find in the smaller towns of the French countryside, however, so if you plan to get off the beaten path, advance booking is recommended. This is true for cities as large as Paris, Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo, as well, so we encourage travelers to book advanced reservations as often as possible to get the most out of their stay in France.
Unique Adventures and Experiences in France
France is abundant with interesting things to see and do, and Paris alone is probably worthy of a thousand vacations. But if you’ve gotten tired of jockeying for position with all the other tourists thronging the Champs-Elysees or waiting in the lines at Notre Dame, the Louvre, and Sacre Coeur, then you may want to invest some of your vacation in seeing a bit of the rest of France. Here are some suggestions for you.
Step back in time more than thirty thousand years at Lascaux. While you may not be able to see the actual prehistoric artwork at this amazing cultural site (too much exposure to humans is actually damaging the fragile paintings), the nearby true-to-scale replica is well worth the excursion (and guilt-free).
Inspect the fortifications on the Maginot line in Alsace. Spend a day exploring the ruins of the bunkers and other fortifications that were supposed to protect the French from Hitler’s blitzkrieg during World War II. Just make sure you leave room to sample the local wine and the choucroute garnie.
If you're an active adventurer, take some time to go canyoning near the Cote d’Azur. You may not have heard, but France is one of the world’s premier canyoning sites. Canyoning is the sport of descending narrow slot canyons via a combination of swimming, rock climbing, and rappelling. Just make sure that you hire a reputable local guide; canyoning can be very dangerous if safety isn’t put first.
Consider adding a river cruise in Bordeaux to explore this renowned wine region while enjoying the comforts and convenience of a river cruise, or perhaps chartering a small live-aboard boat along the country's canals.
More About France
Plan your French country adventure or a Paris honeymoon. Whether visiting just Paris, or spending your vacation wandering the French Countryside from Callais to Marseille, you can enrich your French vacation experience just by calling a France travel expert today. Learn more about vacations in France and plan yours.