Are you planning a summer holiday for later this year? If so, now is the ideal time to start planning. Of all the stunning European countries, France is a top contender for a destination that offers everything - from charming cobblestone villages to historic Mediaeval castles to world-class cuisine. Whether you want to immerse yourself in art and culture or simply unwind in a rural paradise, here is why you should consider France for your next getaway.
France is remarkably rich in terms of art and culture. With over 1,200 museums and art galleries, including world-famous examples of artistic excellence such as The Louvre, you won’t have to look far to get your fill of awe-inspiring exhibitions.
In essence, the French are lovers of art, with deep-rooted traditions central to painting, sculpture, music, dance and architecture. Furthermore, Paris - home to the largest number of cinemas per capita in the world - is the birthplace of cinema. In 1895, inventors Auguste and Louis Lumière hosted the first-ever film screening with the short film La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon. France has since become world-renowned for its influence on the global film industry.
The French famously take a great deal of pride in their historical heritage. You can experience some of history’s most culturally significant sites by experiencing the likes of Mont-Saint-Michel, Strasbourg Cathedral and The Château de Villandry.
We are all familiar with the Eiffel Towe - while its presence is truly remarkable, there is so much more to France in terms of breathtaking historical landmarks and stunning architecture. For example, consider visiting the Palace of Versailles - one of the most outstanding achievements of French 17th-century art with a tumultuous history.
Lovers of gothic architecture should list the mediaeval city of Chartres, located about 56 miles southwest of Paris. Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, is one of the most prestigious works of early 13th-century architectural prowess. With 176 extraordinary stained-glass windows and long pointed arches, Chartres Cathedral is considered a true prototype of religious Gothic architecture.
France has long maintained a reputation for being a world leader in wine production. From the rolling hills of the Champagne wine region to the thriving vineyards of the Rhône valley, a wine tour of France is a must for connoisseurs of all things grape-related. You will wonder whether or not you have ever truly appreciated wine until you are sampling a superbly aged, majestic Pauillac or Petit Verdot straight from an esteemed winery in The Médoc, arguably the most prestigious red wine district in the world.
What better way to celebrate world-class wine than with world-class cuisine? With emphasis on exceptional, fresh ingredients, and age-old cooking techniques, France has a rich and colourful history regarding food, and is home to 627 restaurants boasting at least one Michelin star. While luxury French restaurants are synonymous with elaborate, elegant dishes served alongside expertly-paired wine, simplistic, rustic cooking is equally celebrated for its authentic regional flavours from regions such as Provence, Normandy and Brittany.
You will seldom walk down the cobblestone streets of a quaint French village or town without experiencing the intoxicating aromas of a nearby boulangerie, where you can sample local treats and delicacies such as viennoiseries and freshly baked bread.
It would be wrong to celebrate the merits of French cuisine without acknowledging the ancient tradition of cheesemaking. With over a thousand different varieties of cheese, France truly is a cheese-lover's paradise. If you visit in late March, you can enjoy the festivities of National Cheese Day, which falls on the 27th.
If you’re looking for a cultural getaway to commemorate an anniversary, France is the ideal destination. France - particularly Paris - is often considered one of the most romantic locations in the world. With stunning, diverse natural landscapes and spectacular cityscapes, couples can get lost in a country where passion is relished. Whisk away your significant other to take in the spectacular views from the top of the Eiffel Tower or enjoy a long, romantic stroll on one of Brittany’s many stunning sandy beaches. Afterwards, you could treat yourselves to a candlelit dinner for two in a charming local bistro.