There are thirteen regions in continental France which might almost be thirteen independent nation states, such is the enormous variety between each one. From the dramatic Atlantic coast in the north to the sunny beaches in the south, via great cities, great mountains and so many great places to eat, France is a country to which you can return again and again.
For those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities, Paris is one of the world’s great destinations. Its handsome, wide boulevards echo the shape and grace of the River Seine which sweeps through the city centre. World-famous art galleries, including the Louvre, jostle for attention with beautiful architecture, historic monuments, chic bars and a dazzling array of shops. From the capital, it is easy to get to some of the country’s other great towns and cities, with high-speed trains connecting you to exciting destinations such as Avignon, Nice, Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg.
However, if your idea of a holiday is to escape the hustle and bustle, rather than revel in it, France’s countryside has a richness and variety envied the world over. Provence’s lavender fields and meandering rivers give way to the beautiful and dramatic Alps, whilst to the South the Mediterranean welcomes paddlers, swimmers and divers alike. So whether you want to hike, bike, row, swim or just relax, France offers you the opportunity to do all of these things in beautiful surroundings.
The train from London St Pancras to Paris’ Gare du Nord takes approximately 2.5 hours and once in the French capital, you are at the centre of one of the world’s finest high-speed networks, connecting Paris with the rest of the nation. In the summer, you can even get a direct train from London to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille! Bon voyage!