France follows the CEST time zone, which is 1 hour ahead of UK. Being part of the European Union, the official currency is the Euro (€). A flight takes just over 30 minutes to get from London to Paris over the English Channel, and there is a large choice of international airports. The quaint architecture, food and art-oriented culture and the opposite driving rules will transport you to a totally different world. Speaking a little French goes a long way in being welcomed by the locals.
Mainland France is divided into 21 regions, each having a different climate, landscape and culture. Right in the center is the Ile-de-France region with the national capital, Paris. A cultural and fashion hot-spot internationally, it is also famous for its exotic cuisine; sample the wines, breads, oysters, snails, frogs legs, pheasant and foie gras. Honeymooners love its romantic charm, while art lovers enjoy its many museums.
In the north-east, Alsace-Lorraine has sleepy villages with vineyards, gingerbread houses and aromatic patisseries. This region shows German influence from across the border. The eastern coast has the Rhone Alps, sharing borders with Switzerland and Italy. Its Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe and is filled with ski-enthusiasts. The regions capital, Lyon, is a city rich in history and culture; museums and art and music festivals are the main attractions.
To the south-east, Nice in the Provence region offers horse riding, sailing and fishing. The stunning scenery is an inspiration to painters and poets. Further south lies Cote d´Azur; the Riviera and St. Tropez are destinations for the rich and famous to gamble or sunbathe in luxury. The south-west is dominated by Midi-Pyrénées, the largest region in France. Here, Bordeaux is home to Roquefort, Rocamadour and other famous cheeses, as well as chateaux with vineyards. Toulouse is a student-dominated metropolitan town. There are two mountain ranges, the Pyrénées and Massif Central, partly touching Spain.
In north-western France is Pays de la Loire, where outdoor activities like cycling, golf and water sports take precedence. There are many vibrant markets to be explored. Medieval and historic Normandy lies further north. Calais is the northern-most region, and the closest to England.
Overall, France experiences a temperate climate. The average temperature in summer is 25 °C, with July and August as the hottest months. Towards autumn, occasional rain showers can be expected. Winter temperatures average at 10 °C., with heavy snowfall in the mountains. The best time for France holidays is during spring, between March and May. To beat the crowds and get cheaper accommodation, visit in October.
France holidays are not all that expensive, if planned well. 1,000 Euro per person can cover a 2 week visit, including decent accommodation, food, entertainment and shopping. The following prices of basic food items will give you an idea about the cost of living:
|Loaf of Bread||£1.09|
|Bottle of Water||£0.78|
|Pint of Beer||£3.51|
|Bottle of Wine||£3.90|
You can use our expertise and experience to plan your France holiday, including help with booking flights and accommodation. We promise you a memorable visit.