We’ve great memories of waving goodbye to England and taking a ferry to France channel crossing, especially in the summer months with our two boys. Living in Cornwall we usually opt for Portsmouth Dock being the closest and spend at least a week in France, sometimes travelling around to different locations, other times staying in one place. In the summer we love the coast and the vineyards. In the winter months we love to ski and snowboard in the Alps, one of the best ski locations in the World. Here are our 5 reasons why we love France:

1. The French Riviera 

France has fantastic coastline and beaches attracting millions of holidaymakers in summer months. The Provence coast and the French Riviera are our favourites, a rocky jagged coast characterised by its small inlets, shingly or sandy beaches, and beautiful landscapes.

It should be noted that a lot of the beaches here are of shingle or fine pebbles, including the famous beach beside the seafront at Nice. This is the region with the most famous of French seaside resorts – Saint Tropez, Juan les Pins, Saint Raphael, Cannes, Nice and many others.
It is an area that is extremely popular in summer months and holidaymakers thinking of going here in July or August should make sure that they have booked up their hotel or campsite well in advance.
Saint Tropez
Nice…no really, it’s Nice.

2. The Villages

There are many beautiful villages in France that are great to take a car drive to. Many villages have Internet access, ATMs and cell phone service whilst still retaining their historic architecture, gorgeous views and quiet pace of life.Strasbourg in eastern Alsace-Lorraine, combines a Shakespearean set dominated by half-timbered structures with a glam Hollywood movie through its modern glass buildings.


And Aix-en-Provence in the southern sun of Provence, offers people-watching in its many fountains and squares.

Sénanque Abbey, France

Garden House, Bourgogne, France
3. The Alps Living in England means we must travel abroad to ski in winter months and the closest mountain range to us is the Alps. Meribel and Courchevel are ski resorts we’ve skied in recent years and both resorts had great skiing conditions.We’ve travelled to the Alps once in the summer holidays for a walking break and it was fantastic.

Meribel in winter, a great ski resort
Stunning photo of Mont Blanc at night

Aiguille du Midi cable car station in the French Alps


Mont Aiguille, France – a mountain in the Vercors Plateau of the FrenchPrealps, located 58 km (36 mi) south of Grenoble


Chartreuse Arch in the French Alps

4. Art and Culture
France oozes sophisticated art, chique cafe culture and overall French elegance! Pay homage to the Giverny house and gardens (giverny.org), which formed the subjects of many of his paintings. If you prefer more modern work, cities on the Riviera boast several collections. Try the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice (mamac-nice.org).

The Louvre is arguably the best art museum in the world, celebrates paintings such as the Mona Lisa and sculptures from all of Europe. Buy a Paris Museum Pass so you can digest this history of beauty in small chunks over several days.

The Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa

5. Castles and Palaces 

The French countryside is littered with stunning castles, many with similar crenellations, towers and ancestral portraits. The Palace of Versailles has to be the most impressive which is also covered by the Museum Pass. We also really enjoyed our visit to Mont Saint-Michel Abbey which reminded us of our very own St Michaels Mount in Penzance, Cornwall where we live.

Palace of Versailles
Mont Saint-Michel Abbey in Normandy, France
The Château de Chambord is one of the many French royal residences of the Loire Valley