Tourism in France

May 17, 2017

France is rightly one of the world’s top tourism destinations. It comes out top of the league table for international tourist arrivals, with 85 million people visiting the country in 2015. From cities overflowing with history and culture, to stunning natural scenery and idyllic countryside, France has a lot to offer any visitor.

History and culture

Most of us could easily reel off a list of landmarks and historic sites in France, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Champagne region and the medieval Northern towns of Rouen and Boulogne. Its home to 37 World Heritage Sites, one of the highest numbers for any country, reflecting its rich culture.

Paris is naturally one of the top destinations for many tourists, making it one of the most visited cities in the world. It’s home to some of the very best museums and galleries, such as the world-famous Louvre, and the Musée d’Orsay, as well as the most recognised landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame cathedral.

Wherever you go in France you’ll find history and culture, from the elegant chateaux of the Loire Valley to the historic beaches and war graves of Normandy. There’s also the incredible Bayeux Tapestry which recorded the invasion of England in 1066, and the romantic and mysterious Mont Saint Michel.

Natural beauty

France is home to a beautiful and diverse landscape, from the lavender fields of Provence to the snow-topped French Alps. There spectacular beaches along all its coasts, from the cliffs and pinnacles of Étretat in the north to the famous seafronts of Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez.

There are numerous national and regional parks around France, preserving areas of natural beauty such as the course of the Seine through Normandy, the Opal regional park near Calais, and the Cevennes National Park in the south.

The soaring French Alps are famous for skiing holidays in the winter, and mountain climbing and hiking in the summer. They are also home to the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc, reaching nearly 5000m in height.

Food and drink

When you think of France you of course think of food. French culinary skills are world-renowned, from fine dining to rustic, hearty dishes. Every region has its own special and signature cuisine, from cassoulet in the southwest, quiche in Lorraine, and beef bourguignon from Bourgogne.

Every region also has its cheeses, many of which are popular around the world, such as brie, camembert and Roquefort. French President Charles de Gaulle once famously said “How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”

Just as renowned as the cheese is the wine, recognised as some of the best in the world, such as Bordeaux, Beaujolais and, of course, Champagne. A visit to Epernay in the Champagne region allows you to see many of the biggest names in the industry, including Moet et Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, and Pol Roger, all arranged in stately premises along the Avenue de Champagne.

Getting to France

For an easy way to travel across the Channel to explore the best France has to offer, take a look at our ferries to France options. There are several different routes available with flexible travel options, allowing you to take your car and spend a fantastic holiday in France.

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