I didn’t write the following blog post but I think it is delightful and makes me want to go on holiday. The company paid for its inclusion.
Rien ne sert d’être vivant s’il faut qu’on travaille.
Being alive serves no purpose if you have to work.
(André Breton, French poet)
France offers so much to do – and so many ways to make us feel alive again – that it is the perfect place to inject some much needed stimulation, excitement and pleasure back into our lives. Forget the mundane world of work and the routines of la vie quotidienne: here are the best things to do in France on your next holiday.
1 Speed down the slopes
Val d’Isère is spread out near France’s highest mountain pass and offers fun for all the family. The Children’s Village lies at the base of the slopes and there is excellent ski action to be had both on and off-piste. Expect to pay for the luxury here – but expect to get more than your money’s worth.
If the piste seems a bit passé but you are still looking for thrills check out the Olympian bobsleigh run at La Plagne. Strap yourself in, lie back and be ready for some serious thrills as you hurtle down the run at speeds of up to 90km/h.
2 Delight in delectable chocolates
The birthplace of French chocolate is in the historic Basque port of Bayonne. The chocolatiers are still alive and well here and have been infusing the town’s airs since the 17th century.
You can whet your appetite at the excellent Planète Musée du Chocolat, which tells the story of chocolate in bite size pieces. Next you can see chocolates being made at the Atelier du Chocolat de Bayonne before tucking into the real reason for your visit: your choice of some of the finest chocolate creations in France.
3 Have a brush with the past
Lying in the Vezere Valley of the Dordogne is the Lascaux cave and other ancient sites where cave paintings of horses, bison, deer and fish are a vivid reminder of how ancient communities lived. Justifiably popular, be sure to book in advance to have your own brush with the past.
4 Lose yourself in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is the stuff that fairy tales are made of. Scattered amidst the lush scenery are castles, medieval villas and enough romantic ambience to melt the stoniest of hearts. The historic towns of Amboise, Chinon, Saumur and Angers unfold before you, each with its own castle and beautifully preserved centre. An unforgettable road trip.
5 Freshen up your French
Where better to improve your French than France itself? Combining a little language learning helps you to feel a part of the place you visit and opens up many chances to mingle with the locals and get off the well-trodden tourist trail.
More than 200 million people speak French across the globe: it is the second most widely learned foreign language and the ninth most widely spoken. Organisations such as uiclondon.com can arrange for you to learn French while holidaying there.
If you want to learn the language before you travel there area also courses at home in preparation for your French holiday: click here for more information.
6 Marvel at the museums
The vibrant arts scene in France is matched only by its superb showcases that house its artefacts.
In Paris alone you have the Louvre’s collection which requires a lifetime not a holiday to exhaust, the strikingly modern Pompidou centre and the Musee d’Orsay, which provides a metaphorical bridge between the classics of the Louvre and the contemporary art of the Pompidou. These, and a host of others, cannot fail to delight the art lover in Paris.