Time difference: GMT +1 hour
Flight time: 1 hour
On a summer’s day in France you can relax on the sunny beaches of the Riviera, trip through cobbled villages in search of fine wines and even finer cheeses, drift along canals lined with historic churches brimming with history, and ski in the glamorous ski resorts of the dramatically beautiful French Alps. That’s right – ski. Despite being so close to home, France’s size means a huge variation in temperature and climate, so while it’s roasting down on the Cote d’Azur, the mountains in the east are often still dusted with snow.
One of France’s most popular destinations is, of course, Paris. The city of romance, the city of light: however you view it, Paris has its own special kind of magic that bewitches its visitors with it architecture – French Renaissance, Belle Époque, Art Nouveau – its museums – Louvre, Pompidou, d’Orsay – and designer shopping – Chanel, Vuitton, Dior.
Almost the entire country is blanketed in stunning, rolling countryside, from the fertile Dordogne to the lavender-clad hills of Provence. The south of France remains the place to see and be seen for the glitterati. From the old-school glamour of Monaco to the glitzy streets of Cannes, everyone from A-list stars of the silver screen to supermodels, oligarchs and royalty come to the dazzling azure shores and sleepy hillside towns where local markets carry on uninterrupted as they have for centuries, selling great wheels of cheese, shiny, ripe vegetables and cured meats to residents and travellers alike.