Top France Travel Tips for Planning your Vacation

Get Quick Hints, Cheats and Tips on France Travel

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••• Chambord Chateau, Loire Valley. © AtoutFrance/Leonard de Serres

Why do France the hard way? Get a little help with these France travel tips on getting around, the French language, French people, specific destinations, important and emergency numbers, packing checklists, and more.

Destination Guides

Get a good idea of the country before you go. This will help you work out which of the many varied regions to choose. France is the largest country in western Europe, so the choice is yours.

Do you want the north of France which has more than its fair share of historic sites, abbeys and castles as well as the fascinating history around World War I and World War II? Are you going for the glorious Atlantic coast with its rolling surf and delightful small islands. Or do you fancy the Mediterranean with its glitz and glamour?

North France is a wonderful area, rich in history and with a superb series of long sandy beaches.

The west Atlantic coast in the great region of Aquitaine of France is less well known but it’s a wonderful part of the country. Beaches are long; and the surf around Biarritz is world famous. Islands dot the coastline offering peaceful vacations or a bit of island hopping and just inland is the best theme park in the world, the Puy du Fou which makes a great family day out (and you can stay there as well).

Provence is a favorite destination for vacations.

It stretches from the mountains down to the coast. It has great abbeys in peaceful settings, small hilltop towns to wander through, glorious countryside with river valleys and canyons and of course great food and wine.

The French Riviera, the Côte d'Azur that runs along the Mediterranean to the border with Italy is one of the world's great playgrounds.

 

The Loire Valley is one of France’s most popular destinations. It’s close to Paris so you can do day trips there, or base yourself in one of the cities such as Orleans at the Loire’s northerly tip or at Blois with its fabulous chateau and grisly history. If you’re a gardener, this is one of the best places to explore the glorious gardens, from stately castle formal gardens to vegetable gardens (potagers in French) where chickens cluck around and vegetables grow fat and delicious in the summer sunshine.

Beach holiday

Base yourself in a City

Try more Unusual Places

Packing

Getting Around

France has one of Europe's best rail systems, with the TGV Express trains (Train de Grande Vitesse) providing fast and efficient services around the country.

The latest fast service takes you from London St Pancras to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille without changing in a mere 6 hours 27 minutes making the South of France accessible for a short break. 

Safety & Health Issues

Lodging in France

There's every kind of lodging in France from small delightful bed and breakfasts to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

Special interests

World War I and II in France

Family Travel in France

Staying in Touch

Money Matters

Holidays, Events & Festivals

You might want to plan your trip to France around a holiday or festival, a carnival or Christmas markets. Here are a few tips on when to go to France

Edited by Mary Anne Evans