The number one tourist destination of the world France shares her border with Brazil to the south and east, with Suriname to the west, with Andorra, Spain and Monaco to the south west and Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the north east. The third largest country of Europe, France is the largest country of Western Europe. It is the wealthiest country in Europe and has a very high standard of living. As per WHO (World Health Organization) report no other country in the world provides better overall health care to its citizens than France. As compared to the other countries of the world, France earns the maximum revenue from tourism. With many beaches, ski resorts, picturesque villages, beautiful gardens and parks, renowned museums and castles, cities with historic background and cultural heritage, many world heritage sites and the best facilities for the tourists, France indeed is a country that leaves an indelible impression in the minds and souls of the visitors. France is officially known as the French Republic and has the largest area (547, 030 square kilometres) among European Union member countries. Seine, Loire, Garonne and Rhome are the main rivers of France that divide, the Alps (in the southeast) from the Massif Central (south-central) and flow past into the Mediterranean Sea. Out of 27 administrative regions of France, five are over-seas and 22 are in metropolitan France. Paris is the capital and the biggest city of France.
Paris is approx 495 km from London. Paris is well connected with all the major European cities both by rail and by flight. There is a train available almost every hour from London (St. Pancras station) to the Gare du Nord (Central Paris). The most comfortable and exciting journey from London to Paris (approx 2 ½ hours) is by Eurostar train. On its way to Paris the Eurostar train stops at many historical places, e.g. Calais and Lille. Calais is near Dunkirk (a World War II historical location). Connecting trains are available from Gare Lyon (walking distance from the Gard du Nord station) to go to the south of France.
Southern France is the most popular holiday location with lots of beaches and skiing in the Pyrenees on the border with Spain and Andorra.
What to do in France:
Paris: Eiffel tower, Palace of Versailles, Moulin Rouge Show and Dinner, Cabaret show at Paris Lido on Paris’s Champs-Elysees, Guided tour of the Louvre Museum (view Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo), the fairytale island of Mount Saint Michel, Disneyland Paris, Seine River Cruise, Notre Dame Cathedral are the top ten out of 197 worth visiting places in and around Paris.
Normandy: Normandy has great historical importance for the D Day landings on its beaches and for the historic Battle of Normandy during World War II that ultimately resulted in the restoration of the French Republic and in the Liberation of Paris. This great place can easily be a part of Paris tour if a tourist has only a couple of days to spare. A Paris tour is incomplete without a visit to Normandy. It takes approx 2 hours by train and approx 2 ½ hours by car to reach Normandy from Paris and is nearly 222 km from Paris.
Bordeaux: A high-speed TGV train will take you to Bordeaux in 3 hours from Paris. The distance between Bordeaux and Paris by highway is approx 582 km and takes almost 7 hours to reach by car. Bordeaux is the 9th biggest city of France and is a port city situated in Southwestern France. Bordeaux is famous all over the world for Vinexpo (the main wine fair of the world) and is considered to be the capital of the wine industry of the world. It gained World Heritage Status in the year 2007. With new techniques evolving continuously to upgrade the taste of wine in the winery and the vineyard, it is no wonder Bordeaux and the region around it is known as the Vineyard of France. Apart from visiting the world famous vineyards and tasting some of the finest brands of wine, Opera National de Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, Utopia (art house), Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux (Old city entrance), Notre Dame Church, Place Parlement is the top out of 49 worth visiting places in and around Bordeaux.
Cannes: Famous for i) Cannes Film Festival held every year in May ii) Midem, the most important trade show of the world for the music industry iii) The International Festival Games iv) The International Luxury Travel Market, it is located in the southeast of France, on the Mediterranean coast, between Nice and Marseille and nearly 900 km from Paris. lles de Lerins, Isla Santa Margarita (island and beach), Rue d’Antibes (shopping), Inter Continental Carlton Beach, Musee de la Mer (Museum) is arguably the top out of 27 worth visiting places in and around Cannes.
Marsille: One of the oldest cities of Europe, it is the centre for arts and culture of France and has museums and opera houses. It is located on the southeast coast of France and nearly 800 km from Paris and takes approx 3 hours to reach by train.
There are many Ski Resorts in France suitable for Beginners, Intermediates and Expert Skiers. Les Arcs, Tignes, Alpe d’Huez, Flaine, La Tania, Les Gets, Morzine, Tarentaise, Megeve, Avoriaz are arguably the top ten out of nearly 250 ski resorts in France.
a) Les Arcs: Of all the Les Arc ski areas, the liveliest and the most popular is Arc 1800. It is also the biggest. Due to its great ski-in and ski-out convenience, overall friendly atmosphere, easy access to the ski area, choice of skiing altitude, spacious nursery slope and nice easy blues runs has made this location the best for the beginners. It is located in the South of France in Savoie.
b) Tignes: The place for freestylers in summertime. It is the sportiest ski resort of France and really meant for serious skiing enthusiasts. Skiers have access to trails spread over 320 km. Tignes is open throughout the year for the skiers and has a lot to offer not only to the but also to beginners, the expert skiers. It is located in the Savoi region in South-eastern France.
c) La Tania: La Tania offers many wild ski-runs to the skiers and the biggest skiing area in the world. It offers runs of nearly 600 km in ‘Les 3 Vallees’ domain. The best time to visit with family or friends is in winter. It is known as the ‘Children’s Paradise of the Three Valleys’. This is the place where children should and must get their initial experiences with snow and skiing. It offers specially designed areas for children on the Troika slope. It is located very close to Courchevd in South of France.
South of France has some of the best beaches of the world. The places in south of France having the best beaches are: a) Cap Ferrat (Paloma Plage beach), b) Cannes (Plages de la Boca beach, Plage du Midi beach), c) Cap d’Antibes (La Salis beach, Plage du Ponteil beach, Plage de la Garope beach), d) St. Tropez (Port Grimund beach, Tahiti Plage beach, Nikki Plage beach).
French Cuisine: French cuisine caters to the need and taste of every individual. It changes with the season. There are nearly 9000 restaurants in Paris and anybody can have almost any cuisine here. Cheese and wine are a major part of French cuisine.
Hotels, bars, restaurants, night clubs are plentiful and cater to the need and budget of every individual.