Discover beautiful countryside, dramatic architecture or indulge in fashion shopping and fabulous food, fresh from markets, great restaurants or warm bread from the bakers. And of course there is so much more, museums, art galleries, people watching.
Our hand picked summer villas in France, cottages, chateau and gites either have a swimming pool or are near to the beach so it’s easy to relax and for children to be happy. Many of our French chateau have private tennis courts as well as a pool. Our winter chalets and apartments in the mountains offer exceptional skiing holidays in superbly appointed chalets and luxury apartments (many with shared pool).
For what to see and what to visit in France in 2013 follow here France holiday attractions 2013. To find out what events are on in France in 2013, see our social calendar for France 2013, follow here villa holiday events in France 2013.
Travelling to France
Travel to France is easy and there are a wide range of options. France is the predominant destination for self drive holidays with car ferry companies such as Brittany Ferries, P & O and LD Lines offering short (Dover to Calais) and long sea crossings (Portsmouth to Saint Malo, Cherbourg and Caen), Plymouth to Roscoff and St Malo, Poole to Cherbourg, Cork to Roscoff). Eurotunnel offer an option for drive on drive off using the train and the channel tunnel.
The TGV fast train is becoming an increasingly popular option as connections improve. You can pick up your hire car direct from the station.
There are numerous fly drive options with low cost flight operators offering a wide range of flights from regional airports.
Flying times to our French villas: France is well serviced by low cost, charter and scheduled flights. The main airlines flying to France are Easyjet, Ryanair, Flybe, Jet2, Thomsonfly, Aurigny and British Airways. The following are the average flight times from London.
Flying times for French villas in Brittany: Flights from London to Brest (BES 1hr 10 minutes) London to Dinard (DNR 1hr 10 minutes).
Flying times for French villas in Dordogne: Flights from London to Bordeaux (1hr 35 minutes), London to Bergerac (1hr 40 minutes), London to Limoges (1 hr 30 minutes).
Flying times for French villas in south of France, Cote d'Azur, Provence and Languedoc Roussillon: Flights from London to Nice (NCE 2hrs), London to Marseille (MRS 1 hr 55 minutes), London to Toulon (TLN 1hr 45 minutes), London to Nimes (FNI 1 hr 50 minutes), London to Montpellier (MPL 1 hr 45 minutes).
Flying times for French villas in Corsica: Flights from London to Bastia (BIA 2 hrs and 10 minutes), London to Ajaccio (AJA 2 hrs and 10 minutes). Charter flights from London to Figari (FSC 2hrs 20 minutes).
The weather in France is generally good although there is a big difference between the Mediterranean climate in the south of France and the more temperate north. Temperatures in the south of France often hit 30 degrees centigrade in July and August, it is less in June and September and although still lower in April, May and October there are still beach temperatures. In the north of France average temperatures peak around 25 degrees in the height of the school summer holidays and drop down for the low season, in southern Brittany the gulf stream helps maintain the warmth.
Snowfall for France is exceptionally good with the northern Alps enjoying deep snow covering through the winter months. The southern Alps get slightly less but plenty of sunshine although some resorts like Isola 2000 enjoy exceptional snow conditions. The Pyrenees are less reliable but still have a pretty impressive snow record.
France lies in the Central European Time Zone and Central European Standard Time (CET) is one hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time. So France is an hour ahead of the UK.
France food and drink
French cuisine is recognised as arguably the best in the world. If you like your food and drink then there is nowhere better as the produce is just excellent. You have fabulous wines, Cognac, seafood and fresh produce sold and beautifully displayed in charming markets and shops in the towns and villages throughout France.
Eating out in France
There is nothing like a good meal out in France. For the gastronome it is paradise as you can find great restaurants everywhere but they are also very good for families as there is a long standing culture of welcoming children into a restaurant. The variety is vast as there are so many regional differences and equally there is something for all budgets, wherever you go to eat out in France.
France holiday books to read
There are many to go at, we recommend Peter Mayle - A Year in Provence, Joan Harris - Five quarters of an Orange and Chocolate, for light, entertaining reading. James Pope-Hennessy - Aspects of Provence for a taste of the south though the real master is Marcel Pagnol with novels Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources. Classics include Emile Zola - La Bete Humaine, Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities and Victor Hugo - Les Miserables.
Films to see before a holiday in France
Midnight in Paris directed by Woody Allen is a really nice introductory film for a taste of Paris, French artists and French history. The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks is another with great images of France.
Rent a villa in France, what to expect
Most of our rental villas in France have linen and towels included in the French villa rental. You will usually have to pay a security deposit and sometimes France villa rental involves paying a local change-over or cleaning charge. All these items are detailed on the France villa rental page for each villa under what is or is not included in the French villa rental price.
Villa and gite accommodation for school holidays in France
French school holidays are not always the same as UK school holidays so you need to be careful. Easter holidays tend to book early for ski holidays but the summer is reasonable. However the main school summer holiday time of July and August are highly sought after. Spring bank holiday is a great time to holiday in France. October half term is popular in gite and villa accommodation with heated and indoor pools. Christmas and New Year are very busy for skiing holidays and you need to book early in May or June if possible.
Villas, gites, holiday homes, farm houses, manors, chateaux, chalets and luxury appartments
Although we offer more than just France we have an unrivalled range of accommodation in France, ours is practically a French villa directory, including quality villas, holiday cottages, luxury gites, ski chalets, comfortable houses, luxury apartments and chateaux. If you want to rent a French barn or even a fort on a private island in France we have it, supported by over 25 years of in depth experience offering blue chip ski apartment, gite, chalet and villa holidays in France. Our selection process for our accommodation in France is rigorous and we refuse many prospective apartments, chalets, gites, cottages and villas in France with pools to maintain our standards. Book one of our French villas, cottages, gites, chalets or luxury apartment now using the quick search at the top left of this page. Browse our pure France villas, luxury gites, country cottages, French ski chalets and luxury ski apartments range using the quick search tool on this page.