France is the largest country in the European Union with a wide diversity of landscapes, ranging from the coastal plains of the north and gently rolling hills of the hinterlands, to the rugged mountains of the Alps and the Pyrenees in the south and east.
Such a large area has an equally diverse climate range. The north of the country enjoys a temperate climate, changing to oceanic along the Atlantic coast, while the south of France boasts long, hot, dry summers. Whenever and wherever you wish to visit, France has a climate that will suit you. With 37 World Heritage sites, magnificent historic towns and chateaux, and exciting cities that are home to world-renowned monuments and landmarks, France is always t popular with tourists. From winter sports in the mountains where you can rent chalets, to sunny seaside resorts where there are villas with pools, there is so much to do in France from the comfort of your holiday home.
Paris is rich with the legacy of 2,000 years of history. France’s capital boasts superb monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, as well as beautiful parks, some of which date back to the Renaissance. The city also hosts an array of world-class museums including the Louvre, and fabulous churches such as Notre Dame Cathedral. On the outskirts of the city is Europe's most popular theme park, Disneyland Paris, ideal for family holidays.
Nice is the second largest city and one of the best destinations on the Mediterranean coast. It has a picturesque Old Town, which is well worth a wander, and the famous Promenade of the English along the seafront. There are several fine museums to be found here, including those devoted to the artists Chagall and Matisse. The Colline du Chateau is a ruined castle above the city, which is definitely worth the climb just for the stunning view it commands. A cliff walk follows the curve of the bay, along which can be found some very attractive holiday villas ideal for self-catering holidays.
Cannes, on the French Riviera, is where the famous annual film festival takes place and is a glamorous haunt of the beautiful people, with some equally glamorous apartments to rent. In the bay is Saint Marguerite Island, home to the fort that held the Man In The Iron Mask. His former cell is now a part of the Museum of the Sea. Cannes also has museums devoted to perfume and photography.
The sophisticated and cosmopolitan resort of Saint Tropez is also located on the French Riviera. It is known as the summer playground of Europe's wealthy, yet beneath all the glitter can be found the quaint beauty and charm of the traditional fishing village that lies at the city's heart. Explore the cobbled lanes and the fishing quarter of La Ponche. This stretch of coast boasts some 300 days of sunshine annually, making it the perfect choice for a villa getaway.
Lyon, the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region, is the world's second largest Renaissance city after Venice, and offers a marvellous cultural, artistic, and culinary heritage. With its late Middle Ages buildings, splendid old churches, and fascinating architecture, it is a great place simply to roam. Lyon is also the birthplace of cinema and this is celebrated in the Lumière Museum.
The major city of Provence is Avignon, on the banks of the Rhone. With its well preserved medieval ramparts, Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage site full of architectural treasures, cobbled streets, and 18th century waterwheels. The Angladon Museum has works by Picasso, Monet, and Cezanne. Wine enthusiasts will surely wish to take a tasting tour of the Chateauneuf du Pape during their self-catering holiday.
The largest Mediterranean port is Marseille, which has a charming old harbour and many ancient buildings and places of interest to explore. The city has over 20 museums covering subjects such as fine arts, natural history, and archaeology. Saint Victor Abbey, one of the oldest places of Christian worship still in existence in Europe, has fascinating 5th century crypts and catacombs.
Biarritz is a seaside resort on the Bay of Biscay, and offers excellent beaches including the Grand Plage. One of the most popular holiday destinations in France, it has also been renowned since 1957 as a surfer's paradise and today hosts an annual surfing festival. The surf beach at Cote de Basque is particularly popular. Biarritz also has some marvellous aquariums in its Museum of the Sea, plus a Museum of Chocolate for sweet-toothed tourists! Golf enthusiasts know that the southwest of France has an enviable reputation for quality golf courses, and some of these can be found close to the resort.