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
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.
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
From the gallery
Luxury Holidays to France: The Details
Those lucky Gallic types have got it all, 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 French foray 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.
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.
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.