Ah, la belle France! Vistas of lazy summers in the Vendée, the Dordogne or Provence.
What about winter though? Maybe you’d prefer to stay at home, but France is a fantastic destination for a winter break, so why not have a look at what you could do and where you could be in this beautiful country?
It may seem a bit obvious but Paris in winter is well worth experiencing. Many major cities throughout the world put on great displays over the Christmas period, but Paris has that additional edge of love and romance that has to be experienced to be believed.
It may be, and probably will be, a little chilly at times, but you can ignore that and just enjoy the Christmas lights around the Grand Palais and Champs Elysées as well as the ice rinks for real winter fun. Shops, both department stores such as Galeries Lafayette and the hundreds of amazing boutiques that throng the arrondissement streets, offer superb choices of branded goods or individually crafted products that make perfect Christmas gifts.
If you want to go to Paris then book well in advance to get the best deals on accommodations, and don’t forget a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower when it’s dark so that you can see the lights.
Apart from the world-renowned wines you can often find it quite warm in winter and benefit from a climate that has the warm currents that come in from the Atlantic. Surfing is very popular all year round and if the wind is up, so is the surf.
You will also not be far away from the Festival du Film that takes place in Sarlat, and the Carnaval de Périgueux is well worth a trip during the winter months.
Popular in the summer, Provence in winter is much less hectic and will give you a chance to relax and enjoy the Christmas markets in beautiful Avignon, a medieval town that demonstrates the richness of France’s long history. There are many other towns to visit too, such as Grasse and Aix-en-Provence, and if you want some coastal time, Nice and Cannes are not far away. The average temperature is around 14C, so you don’t have to freeze! Look out for good gîte and villa accommodations.
When you think of winter skiing in France you’ll probably think of the Alps. Sure, they’re really fantastic, but why not consider that amazing mountainous barrier between France and Spain – the Pyrenees – for your skiing holiday? There are fantastic resorts to enjoy – try the Aude Valley or Couiza – and though the mountains are not as high as the Alps you can enjoy great skiing as well as taking part in walking and hiking activities.
If you’re a member of Royal Holiday you can build up credits by booking your French winter destination through the company and get really good deals in the future, using your credits to pay for accommodations worldwide.