France vakantie

Ervaar France

Best Places to Visit

Paris is one of the main attractions during holidays to France, and it's not difficult to see why the capital continues to appeal to tourists from all over the world. The city has no end of museums, including the Louvre, along with architectural wonders such as the cathedral of Notre Dame, plenty of restaurants and fantastic nightlife. However, there are many other great places to see in France, all with their own unique charm.

Bayeux, northwest of Paris, is on the Normandy Coast. Steeped in history, it is home to the Bayeux Tapestry, which documents the invasion of Normandy in 1066. In the north, there are also the D-Day invasion beaches, stunning stretches of sand which were the sites of the Normandy Landings in 1944.

Heading south from Paris, tourists will find Rocamadour, through which the River Dordogne flows, creating stunning gorges and cliffs. It's an extremely religious place as it is said to be the resting place of the Virgin Mary.

Another well-known religious city is Lourdes, in the Pyrenees. The Virgin Mary is said to have appeared here to a miller's daughter, and it has long been a destination for those seeking miracles. The Stations of the Cross, arranged at intervals along a steep path, are a point of interest and the candle-lit parade through the town at night is a wonderful sight.

For glamour, it has to be the French Riviera. Here, tourists on France holidays can find some of the most luxurious resorts and no end of stunning beaches. Cannes Film Festival, held in the city of Cannes every May, sees all the Hollywood stars turn out in their numbers for the red carpet. St Tropez, just along the coast, is another amazing place for celebrity spotting. Vanoise National Park is one of the largest parks in France. Here, tourists will find the Vanoise Mountains, with the highest peak being the Grand Casse, at over 3,000m high.

France is renowned for its cuisine, and it's impossible to miss amazing food wherever you go. However, Lyon, in the northeast, is the number one place for French haute cuisine. The restaurants in Lyon are renowned as some of the best in the world, so this city is well worth a visit. Anywhere in the country, it's worth stopping off at a roadside cafe to try croque-monsieur - a grilled cheese and ham sandwich smothered in rich sauce - or a selection of savoury and sweet pastries.

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Need to know

Language

The official language of France is French. However, English is spoken in the tourist industry and by the majority of citizens in the big cities, so it is easy for UK visitors to get by. German and Spanish are also commonly spoken in border areas. For those visitors looking into rural package holidays to France, a phrasebook is a good idea. While almost all French citizens have at least a basic grasp of English, you may offend someone if you don't know at least basic greetings and phrases like 'thank you'.

Currency

The official French currency is the euro. Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept Visa and MasterCard. ATMs are easy to find in the cities and towns, and at post offices, and typically accept foreign cards. Money can be exchanged at any bank or exchange point, as well as at any airport and in some hotels. It's advisable not to take travellers' cheques as it can be difficult to find a bank that accepts them. It's best to stick to a mixture of cards and cash.

Visas

France is a member of the Schengen Agreement, meaning nationals of Schengen countries do not require a visa and can move across the border of France into other Schengen countries without having to clear immigration again. EU and EFTA citizens, including British nationals, are also allowed visa-free entry for a stay of unlimited length. You will need a valid passport however, so make sure this will not expire during your stay, even if your return trip is delayed.

Climate

France has a variety of weather, but cool winters and mild summers are the norm across most of the country. However, mild winter temperatures of around 8ºC and hot summers with highs of 22ºC can be experienced on the Mediterranean coast. The ideal holiday time depends on what kind of holiday a visitor has in mind, with France a year-round destination. Avoiding the peak summer season (July and August) guarantees fewer crowds, while the main ski season in the Alps runs December to February.

Main Airports

The main international airport of France is Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, which receives regular flights from the UK. A range of carriers, including budget airlines, fly to Beauvais-Tille Airport, northwest of Paris. All of the main cities including Nice, Toulouse, Lyon and Marseilles have international airports with links to the UK.

Flight Options

Airlines fly from London-Heathrow to most regions of France.Travellers can also reach Paris from London-Luton, Belfast-International and Glasgow-International, while Beauvais-Tille is served from Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow-Prestwick. Flight times from London range between an hour and a half to Paris, and two hours to Nice in the south of France.

Travel Advice

Flights to France from the UK can be picked up at low prices with budget airlines. It is cheapest to fly outside of school holiday periods. It's also cheaper to fly on a weekday, but there's often little difference in price between UK airports. Many tourists fly into Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, from where there is transport into the city.

Other Transport Options

The train is a great way of getting to France from the UK. High-speed trains run from St Pancras International Station in London to Paris Gare du Nord, taking two hours and 15 minutes. The ride to Calais takes just one hour and 30 minutes. Passengers' passports are checked in the UK before leaving as appose to on arrival. Tickets can be expensive during peak season but return deals are available.

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Feiten

  1. Frankrijk is uniek omdat het land Europa bestrijkt vanaf het Engelse Kanaal helemaal naar de kust van de Middellandse Zee.
  2. France Métropolitaine of Metropolitaans Frankrijk beslaat het grootste gedeelte van het Franse grondgebied, waaronder verschillende omliggende eilanden zoals Corsica in de Middellandse Zee.
  3. De Franse overzeese gebieden worden over het algemeen ook beschouwd als onderdeel van het land zelf. Dat betekent dat sommige Caraïbische eilanden de euro gebruiken als valuta en gezien worden als wezenlijk Frans.

Feiten

  1. Frankrijk is uniek omdat het land Europa bestrijkt vanaf het Engelse Kanaal helemaal naar de kust van de Middellandse Zee.
  2. France Métropolitaine of Metropolitaans Frankrijk beslaat het grootste gedeelte van het Franse grondgebied, waaronder verschillende omliggende eilanden zoals Corsica in de Middellandse Zee.
  3. De Franse overzeese gebieden worden over het algemeen ook beschouwd als onderdeel van het land zelf. Dat betekent dat sommige Caraïbische eilanden de euro gebruiken als valuta en gezien worden als wezenlijk Frans.

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