City Discoveries in France
Long or short breaks discovering the rich heritage of France's best cities
French Leave Holidays offer a choice of discovery breaks to France’s best city destinations. We have selected them not only for their ease of access from the UK but also for the unique experience that each one has to offer. You can travel in your own car with a short ferry crossing from Dover or Newhaven and the even faster Eurotunnel from Folkestone. Eurostar from London & Kent to Paris offers fast connecting services to the regions and with the recent line improvements, train journeys have been reduced even further. You can also choose to travel by air with flights usually available from your local airport to most of France’s main cities. While by no means exhaustive, we have listed the direct flight routes available in each city break page on the website. These cities have unique accommodation experiences with some exceptional hotels in great locations – from the hustle and bustle of the city centers to quieter retreats in surrounding areas.
Taking your own car on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle offers you total freedom and is one of the most convenient and economical ways of getting to France. You can plan a crossing time to suit your needs and enjoy the convenience of travelling to your destination with everything you need packed in your boot. With a crossing time of only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle offers the fastest Channel crossing with your car. The service operates round the clock, 365 days a year, taking the hassle out of travelling to France. Choose from up to 4 departures an hour during peak periods – no other cross-Channel operator offers you more choice. With its own motorway junction (11a M20), access to the Passenger Terminal couldn’t be simpler. Prior to boarding the shuttles, you will pass through both UK and French frontier controls which means on arrival in France, you simply drive off the shuttle and onto the European motorway network. The Eurotunnel experience is simple and hassle free and over 1 million motorists each year choose this option. You can upgrade to FlexiPlus to benefit from a dedicated check-in, exclusive lounge serving complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks and priority boarding on the next available shuttle.
By air, most of the UK airports have at least one flight to France’s 170 arrival points covered by lowcost, no frills and legacy airlines all with the common factor of offering good value fares and short flight times – so if you forget your golf shoes at home (although not advisable), it might be possible to pop back to get them without breaking the bank and still make your tee time. Our French Leave Holidays flight-inclusive packages are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. Please refer to our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL certificate visit www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
By rail, French National Railways (SNCF) has and extensive rail network with direct Eurostar and great onward connecting services. This is an excellent alternative to flying or taking your own car and most courses are a short taxi ride from the nearest train station. Like all public transport, there are fewer luggage restrictions so taking your own equipment is easy if you’re prepared to transit with your bags between platforms and trains.
Booking with French Leave Holidays: we will discuss with you and recommend the best holiday to meet your requirements. We endeavour to eventually gain first hand knowledge of all our products to be able to relay our personal experiences so please ask us for our opinion. Where we haven’t yet visited, we have at least established a face to face relationship with the supplier which forms the basis of our selection.
Cities to visit in France
- Auvergne Rhône-Alpes
- Grand Est
- Paris & Ile-de-France
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
In the heart of Provence, Avignon was once the hub of the Christian world and has been left with an impressive architectural legacy including the UNESCO World Heritage Palais des Papes.
France’s wine capital since Roman times, Bordeaux is a fascinating and cosmopolitan city with a blend of contemporary and fine 18th century architecture.
The medieval first city of Flanders, Lille truly is the underrated gem of Northern France. The city has a Flemish feel with quaint cobbled streets and vast squares. Its a thriving metropolis with great shopping, eateries, museums and galleries.
An impressive city that sits along the Rhone and Saône rivers, Lyon is an elegant old town made up of fine Renaissance and ultra modern architecture. The city is known as the culinary capital of France and there’s a wealth of experiences to discover and enjoy.
France’s second largest city and one of the great ports on the Mediterranean. The Old Port is in the heart of the cosmopolitan centre with many pedestrianised streets and squares for you to enjoy. It’s a perfect destination to discover with a year round temperate climate and lovely beaches nearby.
Capital of the French Riviera on the Côte d’Azur, Nice is set in a stunning Mediterranean location with a vibrant street life, colourful markets, old world opulence and year round sunshine.
“You, who have ever been to Paris, know . And you who have not been to Paris – go” John Ruskin
Reims, capital of Champagne with many producers located in the centre is a wonderful city to discover. The magnificent Gothic cathedral, fabulous fines arts museum and many delicious eateries can be enjoyed on foot along the city’s cobbled streets and wide squares.
The historic capital of Normandy, Rouen’s Gothic cathedral is the jewel in the crown of this city’s history and art. Nicknamed “city of a hundred spires” there is a wealth of places to visit.
Capital of the Alsace region, Strasbourg is an amazing historic city to discover. The old town in the heart of the city is set on an island with a warren of cobbled streets lined with medieval timber houses.
Nicknamed “La Ville Rose” (The Pink City) because of its ochre rooftops and use of blushing bricks, Toulouse sits astride the river Garonne and is a city with tons to discover.
To find out more or plan your trip, call us today
+ 44 (0) 1737 452000
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