There are so many choices for where to visit in the world, it might come as a surprise to hear that 80% of French nationals choose to stay in their own country when they book a holiday.
But, when you start having a look at what France has to offer, you can soon understand why. For a start, the country is blessed with a good climate. Though there are some places where the weather can be extreme, there’s plenty of the country that has mild weather in the winter and lovely hot summers. For anyone who doesn’t like extremely hot summers, there are lots of coastal destinations that have the sun, but benefit from cooling ocean breezes, too.
For sporty types, you can get into pretty much any sport in France. Obviously there are the ski destinations such as Chamonix, Courchevel and Méribel for winter trips, but those same destinations take on a different look in the summer, offering visitors sports such as canyoning and luge-ing, as well as climbing and abseiling.
All over France, you can do some great cycling trips, ranging from the flat and easy bike paths that track behind the beaches on the Atlantic coast, through to some serious climbing cycles through the Massif Central and every level of cycling in between. And every year, there’s the option of following some or all of the Tour de France as cyclists battle it out for the yellow jersey each July. Surfers, on the other hand, head to the Atlantic coast, to towns such as Mimizan and Biarritz to catch the best waves and eat fabulous seafood.
Next year, football fans will be heading in droves to France as it’s the host country for Euro 2016 finals. Although the French are expected to do well in the competition, football betting odds are currently favoring Germany to be crowned as Euro 2016 champions following on from their success in last year’s FIFA World Cup. If you’re not a football fan, the months of June and July might be good ones not to visit France next year!
Away from sport, another big draw for anyone visiting France is, of course, the amazing array of culture, art and history that you can find in every city. The most-visited city is Paris and almost 30 million people visit the French capital every year. As well as having a center that’s compact enough to walk around, it also has an excellent public transport for whenever you feel like taking a break between sightseeing stops.
The highlights are almost too many to mention, but must-see sights include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe and, just outside the city, the Palais de Versailles.
If you’re not a city-lover, the Dordogne is another part of France that draws visitors from all over the world because of its majestic river (also the Dordogne), the caves of Lascaux and the hilltop villages, many of which date from the middle ages and really give you the sensation of stepping back in time when you wander around them, or sit and drink a citron pressé at a café in the town square.
Of course, this is only a flavor of what France has to offer its visitors from home and abroad. One thing’s for sure, if you visit la belle France once, you’re likely to follow the French custom and make this beautiful country your number one holiday destination.