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France
Discover the country’s bistros, chateaux, Bordeaux… and Pernod!
France has so much to offer and it’s so easy to get to!

Ocean Cruise French Reverie

Discover the unspoilt Atlantic coast of France, from sandy coves and white cliffs, to pretty fishing ports and medieval towns.

Stay and Relax Grand Hotel Les Lecques QQQ

Explore the best of France's Côte d'Azur, as well as the world-famous scenery of Provence with its historic cities, iconic vineyards and hazy fields of lavender, from the locally rated 3-star Grand Hotel Les Lecques (3Q).

Active Explorer Footprint 2 A Channel Island Sojourn

Discover the unique charm of the Channel Islands, where British and French traditions have mingled to create a unique culture and history.

Escorted Tour Pace 2 Road of Remembrance

Explore sites associated with The Great War, visit some of Europe's most fascinating war museums and enjoy two relaxing days in Bruges.

Ocean Cruise A French Interlude

Enjoy a taste of the Continent on this mini cruise to Guernsey and France.

River Cruise Best of the Rhine

Sail from Switzerland to Holland, calling at many fascinating cities. Compare the pretty French town of Strasbourg to historic Cologne and cosmopolitan Amsterdam.

A host of historic and cultural cities await on this lap of the western Mediterranean aboard MSC Preziosa.

Sail through the beautiful Rhine Gorge, explore the home of Liebfraumilch and discover a host of picturesque castles.

River Cruise Christmas on the Rhine

Enjoy a truly unforgettable Christmas in the Rhine's festive towns and cities.

Experience wine tasting in the heart of Beaujolais or discover Lyon on this seven night cruise.

Discover beautiful Basel, Mainz and Cologne on this nine-night cruise along the Rhine and Moselle

Follow the length of the Rhine from Holland to Switzerland and call at the best stops en route, including Cologne and medieval Strasbourg.

Language

French - The language spoken throughout France is, of course, French. You'll find English is widely understood in most tourist areas, but it’s always worth learning a few handy phrases as a courtesy.

Tipping

In restaurants a service charge is included, but it is customary to leave small change with your payment. Taxi drivers will expect a 10-15% tip on top of your fare.

Population and size

France has a slightly larger population than the UK, with approximately 65.8 million.

At 674,843 square kilometres, France is more than two-and-a-half times the size of the UK.

Currency

Euro - The official currency is the euro. One euro is divided into 100 cents.

Culture

French cuisine is world-renowned, and in 2010 was added to UNESCO’s list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. Food and wine play an important part in French culture, and you can’t visit without getting a taste for the region – whether it’s biting into a crumbly croissant or a sitting down to a hearty bouillabaisse. Dishes and specialities are diverse, and influenced by the ingredients available in each region.

When visiting shops in France it is customary to say good morning or evening ('bonjour' or 'bonsoir') to the assistant or owner and say goodbye ('au revoir') when you leave.

Handshaking is a customary greeting between strangers, while friends will lightly kiss on the cheeks, once on the left cheek and once on the right.

The famous sons and daughters of France are, frankly, a colourful bunch and include Napoleon Bonaparte, Brigitte Bardot, Claude Monet, Joan of Arc, Louis Pasteur, Nostradamus, Charles Aznavour, Marie Antoinette, Marcel Marceau, Andre the Giant, Cyrano de Bergerac, Cahterine Deneuve, Raymond Blanc, Edith Piaf, Eric Cantona, Louis Braille, Jules Verne, Jacques Clouseau and Athos, Portos, Aramis and D’Artangnan.

Phrases

Here are a few handy words and phrases:

Je ne parle pas français – I don't speak French

Parlez-vous anglais? – Do you speak English?

Bonjour – Hello

Au revoir – Goodbye

S'il vous plaît – Please

Merci – Thank you

Oui – Yes

Non – No

Excusez-moi – Excuse me

Timezone

France is one hour ahead of GMT.

Electricity

The mains voltage is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). Sockets take small round two-pin plugs, so most British appliances will require an adaptor.

It’s best to take one with you, as it can be hard to track down shops that sell them when you are on your travels.

Climate

You'll find the climate in northern France is similar to that of the UK. As you travel south, sunshine increases and the temperature rises until you reach Provence with its long, hot summers and cooler but bright winters.

Health

Mosquitoes can be a problem in southern France during the summer, especially in the evening when you simply want to watch the sun set with a vin blanc in hand! You may find it helpful to wear long sleeves and trousers, and to use mosquito repellents on exposed areas of skin.

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see www.nathnac.org, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.

Passports and visas

British citizens don't require a visa, but you will need a current passport that is valid for the duration of your holiday.

Smoking

As in all EU countries, smoking is banned on public transport and in public places, including bars, restaurants and hotels.

Flight time

From London to Marseille it takes approximately one hour 45 minutes.

If you’re travelling to Paris by Eurostar it’ll take approximately two hours 20 minutes.


Corsica

Welcome to the French island off the coast of Italy…