France guide

France is conveniently situated in the heart of Europe, it’s a well-known holiday destination and sightseeing spot. It is one of the most visited countries in the world with some 89 million visiting year on year. Whether you prefer the Chateaux’s in northern and southern France, the excitement of Les Issambres in the south, or indeed the delights of Paris, France is a treat to visit any time of year. Its amazing architecture, romantic lifestyle, and its pleasant weather are what lures tourists and holiday home hunters to this lovely country and the best time to visit is anytime! Use this France travel guide to help you. The Côte d'Azur is especially picturesque and waiting for you to explore it.

It is also home to many ski resorts including Val d’Isere, Megeve and Meribel plus Courchevel, these vibrant ski resorts are not only scenic they are magical to visit throughout the year too. One of the biggest misconceptions there is, that ski resorts are only open in the winter months. This isn’t the case, many of the ski resorts are open year-round and cater for the summer season. France is home to 41 unesco world heritage venues. The country is divided into 18 regions with the English Channel to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and to the south is the Mediterranean.

History of France
Gaul or Gallia was the original name for France. The Franks were originally Germanic people who came from the east to conquer Gallic territory. Clovis, their chief, rose to become the First Frankish King, and the "Country of the Franks" was given the Latin name Francia, which is now translated as France in modern French. The small villages and hamlets throughout the country, give us a clue as to what it was like in medieval times. Beautiful market squares serving up traditional stalls, where one can buy a range of delicious foods are a treat to visit.

What is France famous for?
The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Palace of Versailles, the Moulin Rouge, Disneyland Paris, fashion, and fine wines are only a few of France's famous landmarks. It's a popular tourist destination with museums, art galleries, and fine dining. From the mountains of the French Alps to the stunning beaches of Côte d'Azur, Marseille, Corsica, and Nice, the south is renowned for its diverse landscapes.

What can you do in France?
Sightseers and history buffs can visit The Palace of Versailles, which was the main royal residence of French royalty from 1682 until the French Revolution in 1789, it’s about 20 km southwest of the centre of Paris. It’s a truly impressive and opulent building which features French baroque architecture with beautiful landscaped gardens, statues and fountains. No visit to Paris would be complete without a visit to the imposing French gothic style cathedral of Notre Dame. Built in the 13th century this was the setting for Victor Hugo’s classic, the Hunchback of Notre Dame which was published in 1831. There are so many places of interest to see in Paris especially, it’s almost impossible to list them however on your French travels you must try! A rural town, local hamlet or any one of the many villages are a delight to travel to especially in Provence and Normandy.

France is as diverse as a country you can get, made up of beaches along the Mediterranean, alpine ski villages, and its enchanting medieval towns and hamlets. Then we head to the cosmopolitan cities such as its capital Paris, the iconic Eiffel Tower is possibly its most famous landmark along with the Louvre. Add into the mix the elite fashion designers and houses, jewellers, and designer labels, Paris is a sheer delight to discover. The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is an iconic tree-lined avenue in Paris, its 1.9 km long and 70 metres wide. This is where the high-class stores and boutiques are found. When in Paris use your France travel guide to help you get around.

The south of France is a region of France for you to look up, on your travel guide when you plan your trip to France and the best time to visit is anytime! One of France’s best-loved areas is the Loire Valley. Your France travel guide will also tell you about St Tropez and its sandy beaches and when is the best time in the summer to visit and enjoy de la glace (some ice cream). The Loire Valley is ideal for nature lovers.

Skiing in France
Maybe you want to go skiing in the winter months in France, or how about spending your summer in the well-known ski resorts? Not all, but many of the ski resorts are open year-round offering cold wintery wonderlands and the perfect summer retreat. Tignes makes a great summer destination with plenty of activities to keep the whole family happy and you can visit from the end of June to the beginning of September. Use a travel guide to assist you in your ski destination.

Everything from swimming, walking, hiking, mountain bike riding, pedal boat, trampoline, archery, crazy airbag and hot jumping. You can even ski on the Grande Motte Glacier in the Alps. Thrill-seekers can enjoy paragliding over the mountains and lakes and take in the panoramic views. Or if you prefer, go horse riding along the lake. Summer in the ski resorts offer lots of things to do, and is ideal especially for those who prefer to be active rather than lie on a beach all day.

Why is France so popular to visit?
In a nutshell, France offers the full package use a travel guide to help you. From stunning beaches, chic cities, and skiing in the French Alps, all bases are covered. Why do you want to visit France? For the sun-soaked beaches in the south on the French Riviera? The exclusive resorts here are Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Nice plus Monaco. The Cote d'Azur offers invredible views.

St Tropez - became the most popular resort to visit in the 1960s and this is where the rich and famous spent their summer holidays. Popular for its golden beaches and vibrant nightlife it’s still a super resort with expensive yachts moored up at the old port.

Cannes - is known for the Cannes Film Festival where each year the latest films are screened with a plethora of film stars walking the red carpet.

Nice - was founded by the Greeks and has been a favourite haunt for artists attracted to the area to paint the picturesque beaches and landscape. Henri Matisse was a resident here and his collection of modern art paintings are exhibited at the Musee Matisse.

Monaco - is the Principality of Monaco located on the French Riviera. It’s a sovereign state and is bordered by France and the Mediterranean Sea and is just 15 km from the Italian border. This rich country is small and perfectly formed and is visited by thousands of people each year, although most visit for just one day. The casino at Monte Carlo is where most tourists head to, it was made famous by appearing in several James Bond films and it’s one of the most iconic landmarks in the area.

Where to buy your property in France?
Paris
- no visit to France would be complete without spending time in Paris the capital of France. This amazing city has everything you could want. Famous landmarks, the River Seine you can sail down day or night, art galleries, museums, and the most fantastic restaurants, cafes, and bars. On the outskirts of Paris, nature lovers can visit several National Parks.

Les Issambres – on the picturesque Cote d’Azur is where one goes to relax and take in the stunning views. The area is rich in cuisine, culture, and arts, and is often a playground for the wealthy. The location is set along the Mediterranean Sea.

Courcheval – is part of the Three Valleys ski domain. This ski resort is ideal for beginners, intermediate, and some runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Megeve – is part of the Domain Evasion Montblanc, its close proximity to Mont Blanc makes it a favourite. This ski resort is popular for non-skiers due to its picturesque location.

Meribel – is part of the Tarentaise Valley. This ski resort is perfect for all skiing levels and abilities.

Val d’Isere – is part of the Espace Killy ski domain. It’s within the Tarentaise Valley. This upmarket and exclusive ski resort is popular with wealthy skiers.

French cuisine
One of Frances highlights is its first class cuisine, delicious wine and champagne. French cuisine is known for its gastronomic excellence and of course we have all heard of the Michelin Guide for upmarket restaurants that deliver outstanding dishes. Maybe you just want to enjoy a traditional French dinner at a bistro and soak up the atmosphere. There are eateries galore, or head to one of the many roof top bars for a nightcap and admire the views. If you want more, there are many live music venues and nightclubs it’s your choice.

Entertainment in Paris
Entertainment in the evening is wonderful, whether you choose to sit at the base of the Eiffel Tower at midnight with a loved one and drink champagne or take a river boat ride along the Seine with a gourmet dinner included. Dinner under the stars is a romantic setting indeed and they do say Paris is the most romantic city in the world. If you like cabaret a must see is the Moulin Rouge, it was originally built in 1885 and was the place high society, would go to enjoy champagne filled evenings out. The French cancan is still performed there today, keeping the traditional dance alive. It is one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in the world with spectacular costumes and dancers. The venue is easily recognisable by its illuminated windmill and is a spectacular venue. For a more cultured night out visit the Opera or Ballet at the Garnier.

Transport in France
With 146 km of road and 6.2 km of rail lines per 100 km2, France has one of the world's densest transportation networks. It's built in the shape of a network, with Paris at the heart. In France, rail, road, air, and water transportation are all well-developed modes of transportation. France's major cities have underground rail networks known as metros, as well as trams and buses. The Batobus, a boat in Paris, is another choice. It runs right through the heart of the city, along the river, and you can hop on and off all day. Bicycle rental schemes are available in many French cities for very low prices.

In France, rail transport is dominated by passenger traffic, which is fueled in part by high-speed rail. The majority of passenger and freight services on the national network are operated by the SNCF, the national state-owned railway company.

How do you reach France?

The Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris is the country's most important and legendary international airport. It is also the home airport of Air France, the country's national carrier. Orly (south of Paris) is the next main airport, which assists in the handling of international traffic. If you are visiting the south of France you can fly into Nice Airport. If you are visiting the French Alps for skiing most direct flights go to Chambery or Geneva Airport.

Why should you buy your dream home in France?
France appeals to many buyers across the board. From city centre apartments to ski chalets in the French Alps or chateaux’s in the heart of the countryside. To frontline beach villas in the warm sunshine, France ticks lots of boxes for many overseas investors. Short haul flights from the UK and even less from Europe, its ease to get there is another advantage.

What the professional investor sees for your future investment:
The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2020 ranks France 7th.
The European Union accounts for the vast majority of foreign trade.
Each year, 89 million international tourists visit France.
The value of France’s exports is 571.5 billion USD.
France’s economy's expansion is in the moderately free category.
In addition, the government's budget deficit has dropped in 2020.

French property – stability on property prices and EU protection:
France belongs to the European Union. France is a stable economy with a good legal system. It is a successful EU countries to invest in thanks to its low interests and healthy rental sector.
Schengen countries do not need a visa.
Residency in one of Europe's most desirable countries.
If you're from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you are free to work in France without a work permit.
The WHO reported that France provides the best overall health care in the world. The French government usually refunds patients 70% of health care costs, and 100% in long term ailments.

What is the climate like in France?
Despite its many regional differences, France has a generally temperate climate. France has cool winters and moderate summers, with the exception of the Mediterranean, where cold winters and hot summers are the norm. The glamorous French Riviera, with its Mediterranean climate; the temperate climate of the rolling hills of the wine regions of Dordogne and Aquitaine; Central France, with its impressive historic architecture in Dijon, which brings slightly more extreme conditions but also hosts the picturesque French Alps to the south; and finally, Paris and north and western France, which has a pleasurable climate.

Average temperature °C

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Paris 5 6 9 11 15 16 20 20 16 12 7 5
South 9 9 11 14 17 20 23 23 20 17 13 10
French Alps 2 3 7 9 15 18 20 19 15 10 4 2

 Average sunny days

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Paris 1 2 2 5 6 6 8 8 8 5 2 2
South 5 7 7 7 8 10 11 10 8 6 5 5
French Alps 3 4 5 6 7 7 8 7 6 5 3 3

Facts about France:
The population of France in 2021 is 67 million.
The official title of France is French Republic.
Paris is the capital of France and the largest city.
In France, the second-largest city is Lyon.
French is the sole official language of France.
France’s highest mountain is Mont Blanc at 4,808.72 m.
France has 41 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Today, thanks to France, we can all enjoy delicious cuisine, wine and champagne.
In France, Pot-au-Feu is a portion of traditional comfort food for all the family.
In France, locals have lunch between 12 and 2 pm and dinner between 7 and 9 pm.
89 million tourists go to France every year.
France is a popular holiday destination and weekend break.
There are 251 ski resorts in France.
France exports aircraft, helicopters and spacecraft.
France is famous for its production of wine and champagne. It’s in the world’s top two producers of wine.

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