France Holidays: An Overview

It can be difficult for Brits to sing the praises of our great rivals across the Channel, but there's little argument that France is essentially the perfect destination for a luxury holiday - a fact borne out by the statistics that the country is the most visited on Earth.

Claudia and Flora are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Sample some of La Vie en Rose - or should that be rosé - in Provence. Wonderful climate, legendary food and lazy days spent enjoying both together with some local pink wine are one of the world's absolute best combinations
  • Lyon - a fascinating and much underrated city. France's capital of gastronomy (step aside Paris!) is choc-a-block with great bistrots, brasseries and high end gastro-temples to choose from
  • The Côte d'Azur - legendary sweep of achingly beautiful and glamorous coastline. Ogle the world's blingiest super yachts, gasp at the price of a demi-pression in St Tropez and then retire to some of the world's most impressive historical hotels to enjoy those rather special views
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Luxury Holidays to France: The Details

Those lucky Gallic types have got it all when it comes to luxury holidays, from Western Europe's highest peak and other spectacular mountains to a sublime Mediterranean coastline, the incomparable Paris and food and wine to take on any nations' and win hands down. We could go on, but it's too painful.

Oh, alright then. We'll start with Paris, l'épicentre of all things French. Until recently we thought twice about featuring a city so familiar to so many, but Paris might be the perfect victim of this era of social media-led information overload. So many boutique hotels to choose from, so many delicious bistros to sample, so many opinions on both. As a result, we are starting to work with a select few hotels that we think are best in show (or at least best in arrondisement) and we'd like to think our dossier of places to eat and drink in the city is so up to speed that a weekend in the City of Lights should be the perfect Big Short Break.

Did you know

  • More tourists visit France than any other country in the world
  • Paris was originally a Roman city called 'Lutetia'
  • France produces over 400 types of cheese
  • There are more than 40,000 chateaux in France
  • There is only one 'stop' sign in the entire capital city of Paris
  • French toast isn't actually French; Joseph French advertised the toast but forgot to add the apostrophe

If you're looking to take your luxury holiday to France further afield, there's some place called the Cote D'Azur that allegedly has some nice places to stay and rather attractive coastal scenery. You may have heard of it. The wider region of Provence with its trademark lavender fields and honey-coloured stone villages really does come close to God's own country. Despite what Yorkshiremen might have to say on the subject.

Over in the Alps, bon skiveurs will know all about the classic French ski resorts of the Trois Vallées, but Chamonix and Val d'Isère certainly give the holy trinity a red run for their money.

Heading west, the gastronomic heartland of France is not Paris, but the lovely city of Lyon with its ancient city centre, complete with mysterious traboules, secret passages dating back to the Middle Ages. Lyon is also the perfect place from which to strike out on your luxury holiday and explore the legendary wine regions of Burgundy and the Rhone Valley.

On the subject of wine, no lover of the grape could ever get bored with Bordeaux. The city itself is worth a look, built as it is on the profits of the sale of its most favourite export, but the wider wine region is just a very special place with the idyllic town of St Emilion a particular favourite.

Last but by no means least is a French island with Italian influences, which surely must rate as the most unbeatable of luxury holiday combinations. Corsica, the island in question, lacks for direct flights from the UK at present, but in combination with Paris or when reached by speedy hydrofoil from the Cote D'Azur it's a gem.

Get a flavour of what we've done

More on Luxury Holidays to France...

To wrap up, and if you hadn't guessed by now, we at Original Travel are completely smitten by all things French (OK, maybe other than the strikes and Parisian doggie doo-doos), and have spent a cumulative total of several years eating, drinking, skiing and sunning our way around the country in order to bring you the best that la belle France has to offer for your luxury holiday.


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Original Highlight

Test yourself against the Sir Bradleys, Froomes and Cavendishes of the real world by hiring bikes and seeing how far you can make it up the Spartan flanks of the Mont Ventoux. Collapse in the hamlet of Crillon Le Brave to your well-earned massage and Michelin-starred dinner.

Dave, Original Traveller

A note on price

A no-expense spared weekend on the Côte d'Azur can cost upwards of £2,500pp. Or, take a self-catered villa in Provence, arriving in comfort via the train to Aix en Provence, and your luxury holiday over the May half-term week can be taken care of for less than £10,000. Based on 8 people self-catering. Learn more about our pricing

More helpful tips
Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 6°C / 42°F
  • Rainfall — 5cm / 2.1 inches
Language

French

Currency

Euro

Visa Requirements

Not required

Religion

Catholic

Food & Drink

Chouquettes, slice of foie gras with a glass of Sauternes, a pot-au-feu (veeeeery slow cooked beef stew) with a glass of Madiran, perfect strong red wine for it!

What to pack

A good French map if you plan on driving (because it will be tough to find an English one once you are there, plus the French aren’t very good at giving instructions in English!) and a cheese knife!

Flight from London

1:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +1 hr

Best visit months

Year Round


Top picks for France

Cour des Loges

Cour des Loges

Lyon, Burgundy & the Rhone Valley

La Cour des Loges is a stylish property located on an attractive, pedestrian-only street in the heart of Vieux Lyon.

Where to stay

Cour des Loges
The Three Valleys

The Three Valleys

France

Welcome to the world's biggest single ski area.

Where to go

The Three Valleys
Lyon, Burgundy & the Rhone Valley

Lyon, Burgundy & the Rhone Valley

France

Explore the gastronomic heartland of France from France's second city of Lyon to the winelands of Burgundy.

Where to go

Lyon, Burgundy & the Rhone Valley
Val d’Isere

Val d’Isere

France

Val D'Isere has got the lot for a luxury ski holiday - extensive and excellent skiing, fun nightlife and lovely places to stay.

Where to go

Val d’Isere
Hotel Bel Ami

Hotel Bel Ami

Paris

In the heart of the literary left bank area of Paris, The contemporary Hotel Bel Ami is located, appropriately enough, in a former printworks.

Where to stay

Hotel Bel Ami
Paris

Paris

France

The City of Light? the City of Love? Certainly one of the world's greatest cities.

Where to go

Paris
Ski The Three Valleys

Ski The Three Valleys

The Three Valleys

Ski enthusiast or not - don’t miss out on the Three Valleys, home to eight internationally renowned ski resorts and the world’s largest ski area. 600 kilometres of interconnected slopes and 180 ski lifts await you here for the ultimate skiing experience.

What to do

Ski The Three Valleys
Le Bristol

Le Bristol

Paris

A grande dame city needs a grande dame hotel or two, and they don’t come much grander than Le Bristol.

Where to stay

Le Bristol
The Haute Route

The Haute Route

Chamonix

The most rewarding way to explore the Mont-Blanc massif is by ski-mountaineering, an exhilarating combination of ascent right into the heart of the Alps, followed by a liberating descent in totally untouched powder.

What to do

The Haute Route
Hotel Keppler

Hotel Keppler

Paris

Hotel Keppler is an au courant ‘new art’ luxury boutique hotel in Paris, a stone’s throw from shopping haven the Champs Elysees but also a welcome haven from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Where to stay

Hotel Keppler
Hameau Albert 1ER

Hameau Albert 1ER

Chamonix

Owned and managed by the Carrier family for more than a century, the Hameau Albert 1er is widely considered to be Chamonix’s best hotel.

Where to stay

Hameau Albert 1ER
Corsica

Corsica

France

Take two of our favourite countries – France and Italy – blend their cultures (and particularly cuisines), plonk the resulting Franco-Italian population onto a staggeringly beautiful island in the Mediterranean and hey presto, you have Corsica.

Where to go

Corsica
Ferme de Moudon

Ferme de Moudon

Chamonix

Once a rustic farmhouse, this immaculate chalet sits in its own grounds just three minutes drive from the centre and main lifts of the resort of Les Gets.

Where to stay

Ferme de Moudon
Chateau de Bagnols

Chateau de Bagnols

Lyon, Burgundy & the Rhone Valley

Dating from the 13th century, this five-star property is one of France’s finest château-hotels, set amongst vineyards, forests and green hills in the heart of the Beaujolais countryside. Following a renovation at the beginning of 2012, Château de Bagnols is now even better and more beautiful than ever.

Where to stay

Chateau de Bagnols
Bordeaux & The Dordogne

Bordeaux & The Dordogne

France

Vineyard visits, spectacular chateaux, wine tasting and luxury accommodation; what more could a person want?

Where to go

Bordeaux & The Dordogne
Wine Tour in Bordeaux & the Dordogne

Wine Tour in Bordeaux & the Dordogne

Bordeaux & The Dordogne

If there’s one thing that can’t be missed while visiting the beautiful Bordeaux & Dordogne area, it's – you guessed it - the wine it's famous for. Bordeaux wine is a synonym to quality for sommeliers and the Dordogne hosts some of the world’s most famous vineyards, a must for vino-philiacs who want to experience true variety and authenticity.

What to do

Wine Tour in Bordeaux & the Dordogne
Cycle Provence and the Cote D'Azur

Cycle Provence and the Cote D'Azur

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

What better way to enjoy the Mediterranean climate of the stunning French Riviera and Provence than by cycling through its picturesque landscapes and historic villages. The region has something to offer for every type of cyclist, whether you prefer to take casual day trips or hit the more challenging routes.

What to do

Cycle Provence and the Cote D'Azur
L'Hotel

L'Hotel

Paris

L’Hotel is a charming boutique bolthole located in the arty left bank of Paris. Being Oscar Wilde’s last humble abode has done wonders for the hotel’s marketing team and made the hotel quite the Parisian society highlight.

Where to stay

L'Hotel

Thank you so much for the wonderful wonderful Sharky and George packs! They are quite marvellous - and I thought the way the tickets and itinerary were packed was top notch! We really will be booking again with you!

Sandra

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