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Fantastique Holidays in France for Free Spirits

Holidays in France were at the top of our list pre-pandemic in 2019. Since then, France may have lost its title as the top holiday destination in the world. However, we encourage you to still include it on your bucket list.

Holidays in France can include idyllic castle stays, blissful beachside breaks in villas, and train trips. Not to mention some breathtaking ski settings. We want to inspire and give you the confidence to holiday in France. First, we should refer to the travel requirements before visiting…

Holidays to France and COVID

What are the travel restrictions to France during the COVID-19 pandemic?

On Monday 4th October, France moved to the UK Government’s non-red – i.e. safe – countries list. Although the UK has deemed France as a safe country to visit, the state still has travel restrictions in place to ensure the safety of its citizens. However, if you’re fully vaccinated you can enter without restrictions and only require an approved full vaccination certificate or COVID vaccine passport.

View our at-a-glance table to see all the travel restrictions for France and countries across Europe. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, everyone will need to follow France’s COVID rules throughout their stay.

The COVID rules in France

  • Check with the airline to see which type of mask needs to be worn.
  • Wear masks in all enclosed public spaces, public transport, taxis, and private hire vehicles without a plexiglass screen.

Also, view more COVID travel information while holidaying in France here.

Take travel insurance that includes Coronavirus cover

To travel with confidence, take Free Spirit travel insurance which includes Coronavirus Cover.

Free Spirit Coronavirus Cover includes:

  • Cancellation, if you have to cancel your trip due to you or anyone in your party becoming ill with Coronavirus.
  • Emergency Medical & Associated Expenses.
  • Repatriation expenses if you have to cut your trip short.

Haven’t explored the country fondly referred to as l’Hexagon (“The Hexagon”) before? Then you might be thinking – what’s the best holiday destination to visit in France?

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Top holiday destinations in France

map of France

  • The department of Pas-de-Calais, for a walk along the surprising Opal coastline in the north.
  • Also in northern France is Normandy a location famous for castles, which inspired Impressionist painters.
  • Head southwest to Dordogne and explore green, lush landscapes and hillsides full of history for a picnic.
  • Montpellier, a modern, chic city known for fine wines and drenched in sunshine, due to its southern, Mediterranean location.
  • Nice, famed for its beaches is also one of the best places to catch up on some vitamin D while tucking into classic French flavours and delicacies.
  • Marseillan situated on a large lagoon has many beaches, as well as a 17th-century village.

Holidays in France for couples

Want to treat your partner? Give a nod to the country that’s renowned for romance! Find a romantic location to explore, surrounded by stunning scenery and superb cuisine. You could stay in a historic hotel, quiet villa or charming castle…

French chateau holidays

chateau holidays in France

A chateau holiday in France gives you the opportunity to step back in time, within an ancient castle visited by kings and queens of the past. Many castles haven’t changed for centuries but are close to cities, situated within majestic mountain landscapes. Take your pick! Sleep in hand-carved four-poster beds and eat in grand, stone-walled restaurants. Or, just book a room and visit the local town, for the freedom to try the distinctive flavours of France.

Where are the best chateau holidays located in France?

Within the hillside of Dordogne, find Chateau de Castel Novel in Varetz Take a 15-minute walk to discover the natural beauty spot of Les Jardins de Colette. You will also find golf courses, canoeing, and cycling tracks nearby. Finish your trip with something sweet by visiting the Bovetti Chocolate Museum – a cultural highlight.

Outside the historic city of Normandy, stay in Chateau La Cheneviere, which sits between the D-day landing beaches and Bayeux. Bayeux is known for the Bayeux tapestry that depicts the Norman conquest of England. However, you can also admire the medieval architecture outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, or stroll through the botanical gardens.

Near Nice, relax in Chateau de Picomtal which overlooks the Serre-Poncon Lake, within the Hautes-Alpes. A 14th-16th century chateau with an extensive garden and orchard to explore. During your stay, join a tour to learn about the castle. For more action, cycle through The Ecrins National Park before visiting the Les Orres ski resort just 7.5 miles away.

To find more ski holidays in France and the rest of Europe, read our super snowy ski holidays blog. However, if you’re looking for somewhere to embrace the sun, you may want to go on a villa holiday in France…

Villa holidays in Francevilla holidays with French food

There are thousands of villas in France to rent and choose from. Some of the best villas can be located in the south, with private pools. Find one near the sea to create a beautiful beach holiday in France – for you and your partner. Or for you and a group of friends! Whoever you choose to holiday with, take our Super Duper cover option, to be covered for End Supplier Failure Insurance. This will cover the losses if your accommodation provider comes into financial failure.

Where can I find top villas in France?

In Hossegor, France which sits on the south coast of the Aquitaine region. Stay in a beach house and coastal retreat, where you can enjoy a range of water sports, before tucking into oysters for lunch.

Depart to Dordogne, where you’ll find a beautiful barn conversion within a scenic rural location of the Lot valley. Slip into your own pool after exploring local farms. To live like a local, go on a culinary journey to the gastronomic centre Agen, before a visit to Pujols, one of France’s most beautiful villages. Enjoy a glass of wine? You’ll be spoilt for choice too!

Within a luxury French villa in Côte d’Azur, along the French Rivera. French villas are known for being spacious, so they could provide the perfect setting for a gathering in a barn, chateaux, or even a historic wine estate. As the sun sets, relax in a secluded garden, or visit an unspoiled beach to feel the sand between your toes.

If you wish to book a villa holiday, view our blog to find more inspiration. On the other hand, if you’d prefer a city break for a bit more buzz and glamour head to Paris – a city of light and love…

happy travelling with Free Spirit travel insurance

Paris holidays in France

A classic, cultural and charming city, Paris has a lot to offer if you go for a week or a long weekend. It happens to be one of the most photographed cities in the world, so remember to take your camera. Do so with peace of mind: gadget cover is standard on all Free Spirit policies.

What can I do during a Paris city break?

  • Admire world-famous landmarks, such as the Champs-Élysées, Jardins du Trocadéro, and the Eiffel Tower at nightfall. Reach the top to view the entire city at nightfall. Or see the world’s largest museum: the Louvre.
  • A visit to the Musse du Louvre may inspire you to create a piece of art when returning home. Full of western civilisation’s most wonderful masterpieces; see the Mona Lisa in all its glory for yourself. Why not spend an afternoon there, after a picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens?
  • Go shopping in the global centre of fashion and style. Browse within vintage shops, designer stores at the Triangle d’Or, and Parisian department stores at The Boulevard Haussmann. To end the day, tuck into hearty Steak Frites, a fresh seafood plate, or impressive appetiser escargot (cooked snails).
  • Immerse yourself in Paris’s alluring charm by cruising along the river Seine, which weaves itself through the heart of the capital. Outside Paris, canal holidays in France are also an option.

Holidays in France for families

Caravan and Camping Holidays in France

If you’re holidaying with children or Grand Children, explore the great outdoors (with better weather than you’d find in the UK), during a caravan or camping holiday in France. One of the benefits of travelling with Free Spirit is there’s no upper age limit. So everyone in your party will be covered, wherever you stay. You could head for the carefree countryside in Normany, or the south of France to stay in a family holiday park. Most come with a kids club, splashing water parks, cafes, and/or restaurants. You can rent a tent/caravan or bring your own!

Where are the best campsites in France?

On Marseillan beach, along the Languedoc coast, you’ll find a lovely retreat for your family. With lots of on-site activities to choose from and direct access to the beach, you won’t be short of things to do. To experience French cuisine here, regional specialties are served at the restaurant and local markets. To dive into more divine dishes, drive to Beziers or Montpellier.

Outside the medieval city of Montpellier, find Le lac des Reves. A great location to relax in the countryside or admire it while soaking in a swimming pool. For more action, head to Montpellier to shop. Then play on the Languedoc beaches before bed. For a day trip, explore the Camargue national park, where wild horses and flamingos live – the perfect location for wildlife watching.

flamingos in France

Another place to see stunning scenery is within the Pas-de-Calais region. Take in the views of the Opal Coast, while staying within a high cliff-top setting, in the coastal town of le Portel. There are lots of outdoor activities to keep you occupied here too. You can go for a wander, cycle along the coast or the younger members of your party can try windsurfing. Windsurfing is one of 100 activities included for free in our policy so, feel free to try something different in Pas-de-Calais.

Pas-de-Calais is just a 28-mile drive from the ferry in Calais, which is one way to reach France to begin your holiday…

How to get to France?

Hop on the ferry

To avoid air travel, try a traditional trip to France by ferry from one of these UK ports:

  • Cross the Channel from Portsmouth to reach St Malo in the north.
  • Depart from Dover to find Dunkirk and Calais.
  • Plan a trip from Plymouth to reach Roscoff.

There are different ferries to choose from, each with its own benefits. Find a good deal by booking a ferry holiday to France in October when some of the best deals are released.

Visit France by train

France is easily within reach of the UK and as you’d expect getting there by train is easy too. It boasts one of the most modern and efficient rail networks in Europe, which can be accessed from London via St Pancras train station. Hop aboard the Eurostar and you’ll be in Paris in just over two hours. You can also reach Calais and Lille in less than two hours from London. To travel to Southern France, change trains to hop on a different line or enjoy one of many unique train holidays in France.

Holidays to France by car

Want to reach France by car? Find out what you require before booking a return standard Eurotunnel crossing for a standard car. For a pit stop, book a FlexiPlus ticket in the UK (Folkestone) and France (Calais) with Eurotunnel before you begin your journey. At a FlexiPLus lounge, you can enjoy beverages and catch up with the news before heading to your boarding lane to depart. For a Christmas break in France by car, drive through the Eurotunnel and head northeast to Metz.

Travel insurance for holidays in France

We hope we’ve provided you with enough inspiration to put France back on your bucket list. As you can see, it can still be one of the best locations for a holiday.

Just give yourself the freedom to plan your holiday in France any way you want. There are many ways to get there and top destinations to explore. Whatever you plan to do on your holiday to France, take Free Spirit for the trip – le France c’est fantastique!

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