However long you spend exploring Europe’s largest country, you'll simply be scratching the surface of this vast and varied land. For this reason alone, France rates as one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the world. Every year, more than 80 million visitors arrive – and it can often seem there are just as many things to see and do. France is beautiful, historic, friendly and endlessly surprising – an absolute must-visit.
Its geography encompasses rugged coastline, seemingly infinite beaches, bustling cities, quaint countryside villages, the sun-drenched Riviera and fashionable mountain ski resorts.
Its history is as long as its geography is varied. France can trace its civilisation back to 50,000 BC and along its broad sweep it includes Roman and Frankish invasion, wars of power and religion, a wealthy and powerful monarchy that was crushed by a world-changing revolution, Napoleon and the two world wars. All this has left a rich heritage of cave paintings, castles, cathedrals and battle scars scattered across the land.
Yet so much of the French countryside seems timelessly beautiful and unchanged by the history that has taken its toll on other parts of the country. Traditional rural life still flourishes, and it is not hard to see why it was France that inspired Monet to reinvent our appreciation of colour in the landscape.
Art has made just as great an impact on France’s history as the great political events. There have been the Impressionists' enquiries into perception, the poetry of Rimbaud, Toulouse Lautrec's explorations of the dark underbelly of Paris and the haunting harmonies of Debussy.
France is also famous for its gastronomic inventions – from foie gras to frogs' legs – and for inventing the world's jet-set resorts of St Tropez and Port Grimaud.
Millions discover its wonders each year with a holiday in France, and your UK Travel Managers are standing by to help you rediscover the meaning of joie de vivre.
The south of France has a warm Mediterranean climate but strong winds, known as 'le Mistral', can occur in the Cote d'Azur, Provence and the Rhone valley.
Northern France, including Paris, has a temperate climate similar to southern England with warm summers, cold winters and rainfall throughout the year.
France’s western coast, from the Loire valley to the Pyrenees, is milder and summer days here can get very hot.
The warmest month in Paris is July, with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), falling as low as 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) in January’s midwinter. In comparison, the figures for Nice, on the Mediterranean coast, are all 4 degrees warmer.
The official language is French.
France is a member of the European Union. You may need a Schengen visa (short stay visa) to stay in the country for more than 90 days. Please check the rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
While generally safe, visitors to France are advised to take precautions against petty theft and should be aware that terrorist attacks have targeted Paris in recent years.
For all your high-end, bespoke leisure and corporate travel needs to France, contact our Travel Managers on 0203 535 9290 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.
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