France is your oyster
France’s diversity has to be seen to be believed. Starting in the north, the atmospheric, windswept area known for its delightful cider gives way to Paris and the Île-de-France, which in turn gives way to the verdant valleys of the Loire and Dordogne. The Mediterranean south boasts warm, terracotta rooves and the sparkling blue waters of the Côte d’Azur. To the east, the Alps burst forth with their snow-capped peaks, while the Pyrenees lie to the southwest, creating a mountainous, natural border between France and Spain.
Paris is often synonymous with France for good reason. It is a cultural hotspot. Take in the cityscape from Sacré Coeur at sunset or have a peaceful moment of self-reflection during an early morning visit to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. But venture further afield, and you’ll find the Festival of Lights waiting for you in Lyon in December as well as the famed Fragonard perfumery in Grasse.
If the winter ski season isn’t your cup of tea, wait until warmer weather melts the snow from Alpine peaks and lace up your hiking boots to set off into a stunning, mountain world. Visit breath-taking waterfalls, Alpine lakes – maybe for a spot of swimming? – and keep your camera at the ready to capture those incredible views.
When to go
France has something to offer everyone all year round, making it the perfect destination for when wanderlust strikes. High season hits in July and August for most of the big cities, although it should be noted that a lot of Paris closes during August when most Parisian business owners take a well-earned holiday. That said, Christmas, Easter and New Year’s are also high tourist season as is December through March, which marks the peak skiing season in the Alps. Expect increased airfares around these times.
The shoulder season, April to June and September, is an excellent time to visit as the weather is still warm, main attractions tend to be quieter and prices for return flights tend to drop. Plus, with the vendage (wine harvest) in the autumn, this can be excellent time to visit France’s numerous vineyards and sample their wares.
France’s diversity in terrain results in varied weather patterns. The Riviera has hot summers and mild winters. The ‘oceanic’ northern and western regions tends to experience mild winters, warmer summers and year-round precipitation. Temperatures drop in the more mountainous regions, and central France benefits from a continental climate.
Airports and airlines
Netflights has great deals for cheap flights to France. Use our Flights to Europe page to check the best deals available by entering your proposed travel details and comparing the airfares for your selected route. Search by month and in advance to find some of the best prices. Nevertheless, you could get lucky, and find an incredible last-minute deal on France flights today.
France is one of the easiest countries to travel to from the United Kingdom (UK). Direct routes to Paris are offered by almost all major UK airports and are operated by a number of different airlines. Carriers like Air France, British Airways, KLM, easyJet and Ryan Air are the most common choices.
You are likely to find the most direct flights to further afield French destinations, like Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon and Nice, leaving from London. If you want to travel from another airport, keep in mind that it may require a transfer in London, Paris or Amsterdam.