France is a broad country, with a wide variety of landscapes and traditions in within its territory.
Paris is not the only amazing place where you can spend your holidays: you can encounter beauty in many other French regions as well. In this section we provide you with information on every region for you to be able to choose the most suitable destination. We are sure that you will find the appropriate destination, given that this country has beaches, mountains, prairies and hills together with all sorts of entertainments: sports, concerts, places of interest…
Throughout the country and its diverse regions there are different rental properties varying in style, size and comfort. Therefore, there is a choice for each traveler, suiting his taste, needs and budget. Very comfortable houses, placed in the middle of luxuriant nature, prevail and are ideal for those seeking to rest and enjoy their holidays.
We introduce some of the major regions of the country, to help you know them and begin to choose the place in France where you are looking forward to spending your holidays.
Île de France région ( North West)
This north western region embraces Paris and its surroundings. We request that you visit the respective link for further information on Paris. Disneyland Resort Paris is 32 km east of the capital, in Marne-la-Vallée. It is a big entertainment center open all year round, ideal for family holidays. This huge amusement park is 2000 hectares big, and within it main attractions are scattered: games and characters from Walt Disney Studios. This park further includes restaurants, hotels, shops, a campsite, and a golf course.
Île de France resto is an excellent place to spend your holiday if you need to be close to Paris, given that, even if you do not have a car, you may count on the brilliant French public transport system (particularly trains). You will be able to delight yourself with cozy towns, open and wooded places, woods, valleys, natural reserves, lakes and rivers. In short, a natural oasis in the outskirts of Paris.
In this region you will be able to do all sorts of creative activities. There are multiple open air leisure centers , with woods and lakes, where you can do trekking, bike riding, swimming, windsurfing or water-skiing. You may also spend a nice time horse riding along the place. There are wonderful golf courses for those golf lover tourists. Apart from these activities, there are tours to historical places such as castles and palaces belonging to the French nobility.
With respect to rental properties, Paris has apartments and offices available – referred to in the corresponding link- while in the outskirts smaller houses prevail. Rental prices vary according to the type of house, comfort, capacity and season. Below there are some average rental prices per week:
apartment for 4 people: €300 (low season) / €450 (high season)
apartment for 6 people: €500 (low season) / €1200 (high season)
house for 12 people: € 1000 (low season) / €1300 (high season)
Burgundy or Bourgogne région (Center)
This region is extremely calm and famous for its wines. It is known for its many fluvial networks, among which we can find Yonne river connecting this region with Paris. The climate is soft and dry, with long summers and hardly harsh winters. Its architecture bears an important Medieval and Roman heritage, portrayed in abbeys and cathedrals.
When it comes to wine production, Chablis is the most well-known white wine. Throughout the year there are several wine festivities, with celebrations and tasting. If you happen to rent in this region you will be able to visit the most famous vineyards as well as participate in festivities related to wine production. There are small towns everywhere , cattle, farms, peace and quiet, and pure air above all.
This region is ideal to do trekking, bike riding, horse riding, fishing, hang gliding, boat trips or golf. There are plenty of museums, as well as shops with fine products for those who are not just willing to practice sports. The summer is highly festive, there are carnivals, open air celebrations, historical shows and theatrical representations. As regards food, we recommend country small hotels served by their owners, because they offer affordable traditional dishes. You can not miss cheese, baking and chocolates.
Lodging: you can stay either at rental cottages and farms, or Bead & Breakfasts. Buildings are often antique, generally made of stone and tiles, with plenty of plants. Rental prices vary according to the type of house, comfort, capacity and season. Below there are some examples of weekly prices:
House for 5 people: €450 (low season) / €550 (high season).
House for 6 people: €500 (low season) / €600 (high season)
House for 8 people: € 750 (low season) / €850 (high season)
Champagne Ardenne région (North East)
The name of the northeastern region of France comes from the Latin word campagna meaning countryside. It further refers to the major production in the area: Champaign, a peculiar type of French wine. Vineyards are rooted in the hills with chalk soil, which makes them unique given that chalk soil keeps solar heat transmitting it to vine roots. This soil bears rich nutrients and due to its characteristics it retains humidity.
Besides Champaign there is another key attraction in this region: the landscape, largely variable. If you happen to visit this region you will come across impressive woods, natural reserves, hills, valleys, plains, rivers, channels, streams and lakes. Meuse and Semoy are among the major rivers. Another place to enjoy is the Bourbonne-les-bains thermal baths.
There are plenty of activities to do in this luxuriant nature. Fishing, canoeing, rowing, trekking or bike touring are some good options to enjoy the landscape. During the summer the climate is warm and dry, and during the winter it is cold, though temperatures are not extreme. Food is really tasty. Traditional dishes are based mainly on game and fish.
This region is rich also because of its historical heritage. Reims used to be the city where kings were crowned , and thus it is a place where one can learn much about the political history of the country. In the south we can encounter Langres, a fortified city, where a defensive architecture can be appreciated. On the other hand, this is the land of well known writers such as Rimbaud and Verlaine.
Rental properties in this site are basically roomy houses and chalets, generally all of them with plenty of capacity.
Rental prices per week vary according to the type of place, comfort, capacity and season, however they are usually affordable:
house for 6 people: €280 (low season) / €390 (high season)
Country house for 6 people, with swimming pool: €320 (low season) / €480 (high season)
Country house for 14 people: € 150 (low season) / €650 (high season)
Brittany or Bretagne région(Northwest)
This is a coastal region in the north of France, with beaches, steep cliffs, bathing places and small ports, ideal for those lovers of the beach and its activities (swimming, fishing, sailing). Moving inwards, the region poses another geography, characterized by its valleys, heathlands, woods and rivers. Nevertheless, this region has a typically marine climate, with mild winters and soft summers.
In addition to the landscape this region has a very distinctive cultural tradition. This culture takes pride in its myths, legends and folkloric art, as well as in the still spoken Breton language. King Arthur’s legend as well as dwarfs and giants tales are still very vivid. This mythological culture interweaves with the Christian tradition, also strong in Brittany. Between May and September big religious festivals and processions take place, venerating saints, with Celtic music and typical costumes. A place tourists can not miss is Saint-Michel’s Cathedral, devoted to archangel Michel, placed in a small tidal island.
Just as in any marine city, some of the main activities to practice during holidays are aquatic (swimming, fishing, sailing, windsurfing). Moving inlands, activities may be long walks, or excursions on bike or horse back. If you wish to take a handcraft from Brittany , there ‘s nothing better than choosing among the embroideries, pottery, glassware and carvings typical of this French region. Regarding food we recommend dishes based on fish and seafood, as well as those based on farm products (chicken, cheese, honey, eggs and milk). Regional fresh fruits and vegetables are also very tasty.
Holidays in Brittany shall be magic indeed and unforgettable, due to both its landscape and the culture that fills the air. Rental houses are generally small, with capacity for 2 to 5 people. Many are close to the beach and have swimming pools. Others are within the woods, made of stone. Rental prices vary according to the type of house, capacity and season. Below we include estimated prices per week.
apartment for 2 or 3 people: €180 (low season) / €250 (high season)
house for 6 people: €400 (low season) / €600 (high season)
house for 15 people: € 800 (low season) / €1700 (high season)
Normandy or Normandie Region (Northwest)
Like Brittany, this French region has two clear cut landscapes: the coastal landscape, with beaches cliffs and granite and the inner landscape, with beech woods, valleys, hills and apple orchards. The River Seine flows through this region from Paris into the English channel. Rouen is the capital of Normandy, on the left side of the Seine. In the coast there are several high quality bathing places such as Cabourg, Deauville and Trouville, with fancy beaches, restaurants and casinos. Giverny gardens can be found to the south, place where Claude Monet, renowned French impressionist painter, lived and worked. The climate is typically marine, with mild summers and soft and humid winters.
This region bears a historical tradition very linked to Great Britain. In 911 Normandy was won by the Vikings. Later, between 1066 and 1204 it became a British domain. After the 100 years war, in which France and Great Britain fought for the territory, the French eventually regained it in 1450. This region has been home to important historical events. Joan of Arch was prosecuted and sentenced in this place, and in the XX century, it was already the allies front against German occupants.
Many activities can be performed in Normandy. Among which, there are, of course, those related to the sea: sailing is an excellent choice as well as visiting the diverse ports and participating in summer festivals. Trekking and horse riding are other options. Given that it is a key equestrian region, horse riding excursions, varying in length, are generally organized. Fishing in the rivers, playing golf, attending festivals and visiting all sorts of exhibitions are among the activities on schedule.
The region is known for the manufacture of milk products, frequently used in Norman cooking. It is also famous for the Calvados, an alcoholic drink made of apples grown in the region, and for its cider.
Regarding food, we suggest fish and seafood dishes, as well as all sorts of cream and cheese from the region. Chicken, duck and lamb are typical, cooked in very tasty recipes. For dessert you can pick nothing better than a fruit pie.
You will fully enjoy your stay in Normandy. You will be able to rent a roomy house to share with your family or friends, a wooden farm or an ancestral house. This is the best way to contact nature and the people from the region. Rental prices vary according to the type of house, capacity and comfort, as well as season. The following are some estimated prices per week:
house for 6 people: €350 (low season) / €700 (high season)
House for 8 people: €550 (low season) / €1000 (high season)
House for 14 people, with swimming pool: € 1900 (low season) / €2700 (high season)
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur région (South East)
Provence is one of the most famous regions in France, due to its history, its Mediterranean beaches and its wonderful mild and bright climate. It stretches from the Italian border to the north of the High Alps. Côte d’Azur is the name given to the diverse bathing places, ports and beaches overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Nice is the main seaside city in the region, with a great tourist flow during summer months.
Marseille is the capital of this region, the second most important city in France and the major commercial port. The French national Anthem, called “the Marseillaise” bears this name because it emerged from the chants of the troops of Marseille encouraging the French Revolution. Among the interesting places in this city we can mention: Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Cathedral, Château d’lf ( an old prison) and the Unité d’ Habitation de Marseille, designed by the architect Le Corbussier. Near Marseille we can find the Aix-en-Provence university city, intellectual center of the region.
There are other important cities such as Avignon and Grasse. Avignon, famous for its bridge and immortalized in a child’s song, has been seat of the papacy. The period between 1309 and 1377 was called Avignon papacy, given that during this period this city served as home to several popes. Avignon, was then governed by the king of Sicily. It was not until 1791 that the city was reincorporated with France through the Revolution. The influence of this papacy can still be noticed in the architecture of the city.
On the other hand, Grasse, north of Cannes, is known as the center of the French perfume industry, with fields of lavender, rose and jasmine.
The activities that can be performed in the Mediterranean coast are diverse. Swimming is an excellent choice, as well as strolling along the beautiful beaches, enjoying the climate. Summers are long and hot, excellent to taste the sea and sand. However, this region has another landscape apart from the coast: the Alps and alpine valleys. This area is ideal to do trekking along the roads specifically designed to such end. Mountain guides are recommended for those willing to do hiking or bike excursions during several days. This region is also ideal for horse riding or climbing the many canyons, aided by highly qualified instructors. There are also excursions to Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps ( 4,808 meters). During the winter you can have a go at the amazing ski runs. Although winters are not very harsh, the Mistral wind may cause inconveniences, given that it is a cold and dry wind that makes temperature go down.
In addition to the above mentioned activities, there are countless concerts, festivals, plays and exhibitions of all sorts. Therefore, spending your holidays in Provence is your best choice, and to fully enjoy them you should ideally rent a house from where to enjoy nature, whether in the Mediterranean coast or in the Alps. Country houses and villas, all of them roomy and generally with swimming pools, are available for rent. Holidays spent in this land will certainly be unforgettable. Rental prices per week vary according to the type of house, comfort, capacity and season.
Apartment for 2 or 4 people: €200 ( low season ) / €450 (high season)
Chalet for 8 people: €550 (low season) / €1200 (high season)
Chalet for 12 people: € 3500 (low season) / €9000 (high season)
Aquitaine région (South west)
Aquitaine is a French region in the southwest of the country, bounded by Poitou-Charentes region to the north, and by the Basque country, the Spanish frontier and the Pyrenees to the south. The entire coast overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and has enchanting beaches, popular during the summer. This region is still incompletely discovered by tourism, in spite of the attractions it has, and it is therefore ideal for those travelers seeking tranquility.
Bordeaux is the capital of this region, near the Atlantic coast and Garonne river. The city’s main attractions are its active port, its university and its wines. There are tours to vineyards and wine production centers, where the best wines worldwide can be tasted. The city has also many stores where to go shopping. In the region of Landes you can find magnificent beaches, bathing places, trees and dunes in the coastal area, and lakes and prairies inland. Villeneuve-sur-lot is a city characterized by fruit production. There are valleys, hills and fertile lands in which apples, plums, strawberries and sunflowers are grown.
Lourdes is another major city of Aquitaine, famous for Saint Bernadette’s holly grave, saint of said city. Thousands of pilgrims arrive year after year to visit the body of Saint Bernadette, who was canonized for her visions of Virgin Mary focusing on the merits of prayer, poverty and penance. Lourdes overlooks the Pyrenees, and it has plenty of restaurants, cafés and, shops with gifs and religious objects. On the other hand, and following the religious line, you can also join the famous European pilgrimage along the Caminos de Santiago, up to Santiago the Compostela’s Cathedral, in Galicia.
Aquitaine’s various landscapes pave the way to endless activities. In the coast swimming, sailing and windsurfing are possible. The marine climate of this region bears long summers and soft winters. During the summer the Pyrenees area is ideal for hiking and climbing, and in winter for skiing, enjoying the snow and the cool of the mountains. This region has many shops, open air fairs, concerts, plays and dance shows. Typical cooking is based on goose and duck meat, and goose fat is used to season most dishes. In the south, typical dishes are based on fish and seafood, such as filets and paella, seasoned with garlic, onion and parsley, given the Spanish and Provencal influence. In the Pyrenees exquisite goat milk cheese can be tasted. Armagnac is a cognac, typical of these lands that no tourist visiting Aquitaine can miss. Desserts are prepared with fruits and chocolate and are actually mouthwatering.
This region, filled with a country and mystic spirit, is the ideal holiday destination for those willing to have a quiet journey, enjoying nature. There are medium and big rental houses and cottages , with gardens, swimming pools and many other facilities that will guaranty your comfort. It must be noticed that rental prices vary according to the type of place, comfort, capacity and season. Below we give some average weekly prices:
House for 6 people, with swimming pool: €450 (low season) /€1200 (high season)
House for 8 people, with swimming pool: €700 (low season) / €1400 (high season)
House for 10 people, with swimming pool: € 2000 (low season) / €1400 (high season)
Rhône- Alpes région (South)
This French region has a great variety of landscapes, all of which are astoundingly beautiful. The Alps are in the border between France and Italy. Mountains are a paramount tourist attraction given that they are impressive and a challenge for adventure lovers. Many climbers visit the mountains during both, summer and winter, in attempt to defy the challenges posed by the highest peaks, including Mont Blanc. Apart from the Alps, the region has greenish woods, prairies, valleys and lakes.
Chamonix is a town furnished with good facilities to do mountain activities. In this place you can ski and climb, aided by highly qualified and experienced instructors. You can also find Mont Blanc tunnel, a construction that crosses the Alps and joins France and Italy. At present, it has been refurbished to improve its safety conditions. Chamonix, together with Thonon, Aixles-Bains and Evian are renowned highly attractive tourist cities worldwide. Grenoble is another important city, situated at the foot of the Alps, with great commercial and industrial development. It also has a well known university, from where the renowned French writer Stendhal sprang. There are as well excellent ski facilities.
The capital of this region is Lyon, one of the major cities in France, after Paris and Marseilles. River Rhône flows through the city and into the Mediterranean sea. Lyon is known for its great industrial development, ever since the Industrial Revolution. Besides, it has a very important cultural life, including a university, several museums, theatres, monuments and important architectonic works.
What activities can be done in this region? Plenty. The Alps are suitable for the sporty and adventurous, given that trekking, climbing and skiing can be done during the winter ( as it snows rather heavily), and there are training schools and instructors available. Other non conventional sports can be practiced as well: paragliding, bungee jumping, ballooning. There are top quality facilities: ski runs, trekking paths, swimming pools, skating rinks, restaurants and discotheques. The summer is usually mild and long, you can practice canoeing, rafting and fishing in the rivers, streams and lakes throughout the region. Besides, this region has high-quality golf courses, specially suited for golf players.
If you choose this region to spend your holidays you will be able to enjoy not only the landscape but also the exquisite cooking, given that it is an important gastronomic center. There are all sorts of dishes and prices, so that each person can find the one that best suits his taste. Dishes include pork, wild boar, champignons, lentils, leek and several other vegetables. Cheese is well known: Boudane, Beaufort and Tamié, among others. Mountain wines are also prime and are worth tasting.
Rental places: chalets, big houses and apartments in the Alps, with wonderful views, heating and all the comfort necessary to enjoy your stay in these lands. Rental prices vary according to the type of place, comfort, capacity and season. These are some estimated prices per week:
Bungalow for 4 people : €150 (low season) / €200 (high season)
house for 6 people, with swimming pool: €450 (low season) / €650 (high season)
house for 12 people, with swimming pool: € 1300 (low season) / €2500 (high season)
Check our friends' websites