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France has been the most popular tourist destination in the world for the last 30 years and Paris is the most romantic city in the world.

Famous for its fashion houses, champagne, vineyards and sophisticated gastronomy, France is a must visit place for the sophisticated traveller.

France is in Western Europe across the channel from the United Kingdom and shares land borders with 8 different countries including Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Italy and Andorra.

Central European Summer Time which is one hour ahead of the UK and six hours ahead of New York.

The weather varies considerably depending on whereabouts you travel in France. The south of France is well known for its mild and sunny climate. Paris gets very hot in the summer and most Parisians leave Paris during August and travel towards the coast. The North of France is opposite the English Channel and tends to be the cooler part of France.

The official language in France is French with various dialects depending on the location and in many place French is the only language spoken.

In the tourist areas you will find people who can speak English but the French are veery proud of their language and expect visitors to make an effort to speak French.

This depends on your country of departure so you must always check before you fly.

Officially a Roman Catholic country.

The French have a good health system but to access it you need to have medical insurance as only French residents have automatic access to health care in France. Wherever you intend to visit it is always wise to take out a travel medical insurance policy because then you can consult a doctor or hospital on a private basis.

France is a safe country for travel and if there are any extreme weather warnings they are publicised in the media.

Currency – Euro

In France you can change money in Exchange Bureau’s and Post Offices. Most French banks will only exchange currency for their account holders so without a French account you cannot change money in a French bank.

Yes, most shops in France accept debit and credit cards in fact many shops and cafes will not accept cash payments anymore. So having a debit or credit card is essential.

As France is a catholic country most shops are closed on Sundays. During the other six days they are usually open from 9 am to 7pm except for holidays and festivals.

France is famous for its gourmet food and wine. In fact many tourists book holidays where they just travel around the many vineyards and champagne region in France. Food is revered in France and a trip to the local supermarket or farmers market is highly recommended to see all the delicious treats available first hand.

France has a plethora of beautiful places to visit and is steeped in history. Visiting the Musee du Louvre in Paris provides the opportunity to see the French Kings personal art collections and is considered to hold the largest art collection in the world. Lyon in Eastern France is famed for its gastronomy with several unique food tours. Le Touquet in Northern France has the most beautiful white beaches and is favourite visiting place with the French themselves.

The French Riviera is on the Cote D’Azur and is renowned for its glamourous beach resorts like St Tropez and Cannes and the principality of Monaco. Loved by the rich and famous this part of the French coast is saturated with luxury yachts and hotels. If you want to be seen with the right crowd– this is the place to go.

Spain is a catholic country which celebrates all the religious holidays within the catholic calendar.

The French do not approve of people drinking and eating in the street. Lunch is considered a leisurely affair eaten at a table usually over a 2 hour period.

As a Christian country Spain celebrates all the Christian landmark days such as Easter and Christmas and there is a total of 11 National bank holidays a year. However, some of the provinces within France also declare their own individual holidays. France also has an abundance of festivals which celebrate religion, music, food and art.

Car hire is easily available as are most modes of transport including Train, boat, bus, and Tram.

We always advise travellers to book their car hire before arrival because it is normally easier to get a better deal and all the details are sorted out in advance.

The best and cheapest way to get around Paris is by Metro. There are also hop on and off sightseeing buses. Day and weekly tickets are available and it is easy to book these tickets in advance if you speak to your travel agent.

The French eat 25,000 tonnes of snails a year.

France is the largest country in the EU with breath takingly beautiful countryside.

Be courteous and always begin with “Bonjour” Try to learn a few French phrases and do not expect to be spoken to in English.

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