Rendez-vous en ville! To stay in a French city is to live to the rhythm of its inhabitants and to discover a unique way of life. It also means finding out about a strong regional identity : your stay will have a different flavour whether you are visiting Lille, a northern town, or Marseille with its Mediterranean feel.
Paris, city of lights and fashion capital will seduce you for sure… Just for a change you can visit in less than three hours other French cities thanks to the TGV network or internal flights. Discover a selection of cities via various videos such as discovery of the UNESCO sites and heritage, shopping at the heart of the city, cultural outings, exhibitions, festivals, cookery or wine courses, or just enjoying some quality time outside at a café.
The region around Paris, the “city of light”
The Ile-de-France region offers a unique and ideal backdrop for any vacation: from the Eiffel Tower and the Notre-Dame to the Moulin Rouge, the emblematic monuments of Paris rival the châteaux, landscapes, forests and valleys of its surrounding areas.
Admire the fantastic view over the rooftops of Paris from the steps of the Sacré Cœur in Montmartre, or from the top of the Arc de triomphe, from the 5th floor of the Centre Pompidou, or even from the top of the Montparnasse Tower or the roof of the “Grande Arche”. Ile-de-France is filled with destinations that are ideal for visiting with friends or family. Famous sites throughout the region, outside of Paris, include Disneyland Paris, France Miniature, the Musée Grévin waxworks museum, the City of Science and Industry, and the Jardin d’Acclimatation. From the National Museum of Archeology in Saint-Germain-en-Laye to the Château de Versailles, the region is filled with French history.
Ile-de-France combines nature and relaxation
From the National Park in Saint-Cloud to the Forest of Fontainebleau, to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Jardin des Tuileries and the tranquil Buttes-Chaumont , the Ile-de-France region combines nature and relaxation. Four regional natural parks offer all the charms and diversity of the Ile-de France countryside.
See Ile-de-France through the eyes of painters: the Château d’Auvers-sur-Oise or the Island of the Impressionists will transport you straight into the landscapes that have been immortalized by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Daubigny and Pissarro. This pictorial discovery will lead you to some of the top museums in the world, such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay.
Ile-de-France produces a vast number of gourmet products
Paris boasts nearly 70 Michelin-starred restaurants and a vast number of prestigious establishments. Typical brasseries serve French classics such as steak-frites and pommes parisiennes (Parisian potatoes), as well as more elaborate “bistro” style dishes. If you want to grab some food on the go, opt for a traditional simple baguette sandwich with ham and butter from any boulangerie, and enjoy a picnic on a bench in one of the many parks.
Nice, a natural brilliance
Capital of the French Riviera, Nice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Its assets are unique and numerous. Nice has an ideal location right between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains, just a few kilometers from the Italian border. It boasts a mild climate, bright sun, diverse landscapes, and of course beautiful beaches with blue azure waters.
A city of history, culture, art, creation, events, leisure, nature, and culinary flavors, Nice combines an authentic charm with the conviviality of the Mediterranean by offering a host of activities and sites to visits.
Take an opportunity to visit the 20th-century collections in Nice’s great museums and galleries, which house prestigious collections with contributions from Matisse, Chagall or even the famous School of Nice.
Thanks to the French Riviera Pass, you can receive discounts on some of the city’s top guided tours and museums. Discover or rediscover Nice, a city of scents and flavors, through visiting the some of the many markets, boasting fresh flowers, vegetables, fruit and fish. Also don’t miss the old town with its many narrow streets – its “Piazzetta” offers many other treasures.
Urban, cultural, seaside and culinary explorations are all awaiting you.
Marseille, the frontdoor of Provence
Founded in 600 BC by the Greeks from Phocaea, Marseille is the oldest city in France and the second largest after Paris. The city is home to almost 900,000 people living in its 16 districts, most of which have held onto their authentic village atmosphere.
Marseille has much to offer its locals and tourists: an incredible coastline, a harbour which turns foreign sailors green with envy and 300 days of sunshine every year!
Marseille has an impressive natural heritage with numerous lush parks in the heart of the city, offering refreshing havens when the sun is beating down. Just a few kilometres from the Vieux-Port lies the Calanques National Park, which is the perfect spot for year-round outdoor activities. The famous Calanques cover 20 kilometres with untamed creeks to explore and clear blue water to enjoy.
A dozen museums exhibit a wide variety of collections from antiquity to modern art, and several galleries display the work of famous artists and rising stars. Marseille is the European Capital of Culture in 2013 offering a variety of entertainment all year long. The city and region host over 400 events, including performances, street art, exhibitions, theatre, literary debates, and Mediterranean cooking.
As you stroll around this Mediterranean city you will see its impressive heritage for yourself. Marseille is brimming with hidden gems from the old town of Panier to the Second Empire buildings and the Roman churches.
The Alps are the largest mountain chain in Europe, extending for almost 1,000km with a surface area of 35,000km² in France.
The Alps also boast some of the highest peaks in Europe, with striking differences between the Northern Alps and Southern Alps.
In the north, the most symbolic peak of the mountain range is Mont Blanc which stands at an altitude of 4,810m, while in the south, although many of the peaks reach altitudes of 4,000m, there is an obvious progression towards the sea.
The same can be said for the vegetation. The northern mountains are home to beautiful forests of spruce and fir, while the vegetation further south is more arid and composed of larch, thyme and lavender.
The three departments in the Northern Alps are the Haute-Savoie, Savoie and Isère.
This region is home to France’s famous historic ski resorts such as Chamonix and Megève, as well as its major skiing areas such as the Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, Les Ménuires) and Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry).
The Southern Alps consist of six departments: the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes, as well as parts of the Drôme, Var and Vaucluse. Serre-Chevalier, Montgenèvre, Pra Loup and Isola 2000 are the most emblematic ski resorts in this region.
The French Alps offer numerous opportunities for hiking through the natural parks. In addition to acting as habitat for many protected species, the parks also boast beautiful lakes such as Lake Annecy, Lake Le Bourget and Lake Geneva, with the town of Evian, famous for its waters, overlooking the latter.
The Alps are the ideal destination for a whole host of leisure and outdoor activities – skiing, hiking, mountaineering, white water rafting, pot-holing, mountain biking, visiting thermal baths and much more.