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France

Cheap flights to France

With, let’s be honest, some of the best food in Europe – possibly even the world, few other reasons are required to visit France. However, the food is merely the icing on the French gateaux. From fairy-tale medieval towns like Carcassonne and seas of lavender fields in perfume-making Provence; to the works of art hiding in the iconic museums and galleries of Paris and the galleries themselves, to the snow-covered majesty of the Alps – France is far from just a gastronomic delight.

Snow sports enthusiasts enjoy the après ski of Mont Blanc or the powder in glitzy resorts like Val d'Isère and Courcheval. Sun seekers don’t need to go further than the sparkling seas of glamorous St. Tropez or the nearby film festival capital of the world Cannes on the French Riviera. Take a gamble in the casinos of Monaco or walk the Formula One track held on its elegant streets. For seaside and seafood, visit one Europe’s oldest cities, Marseille. Here Roman ruins can be found in-between the beautiful medieval buildings that shape the narrow cobbled alleys of the city. Not far from North Africa, an exotic influence permeates both the culture and food.

Speaking of food, the gastronomic capital Lyon sits in the stunning Rhone-Alpes region and is filled with some of the best restaurants in the country. Lively bars, beautiful parks like the Tete d’Or, gothic churches and its quirky hidden passageways known as traboule make Lyon a must see. The extraordinary beauty of Arles is steeped in Provencal culture and history. Once the home of Vincent van Gogh, today the highlight of Arles’ calendar is the world famous Les Recontres D’Arles Photography Festival that lasts from June to September.

Cycle through the Loire Valley and admire its fairy-tale chateaus that nestle in the rolling hills, or the tiny, picturesque villages like Amboise where Leonardo da Vinci lived for a time. Bordeaux may the home of some of the best wines in the world but it is also a cultural paradise. With over 350 historic structures and landmarks the city boasts stunning plazas and elegant architecture, not to mention some of the most impressive museums and galleries in the region.

So much of France is recognisable and iconic but so much is unknown and undiscovered. This is the pleasure awaiting visitors to France.

The following information is correct as of August 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.

Fly In

With over 200 airports, wherever you plan to visit in France, it’s likely that there will be an airport close by. Paris Charles de Gaulle International is undoubtedly the largest and most popular airport, located just 16 mile from the herat of Paris. Buses, a fast metro and taxis mean a speedy journey into the city.

Other airports include Paris Orly; used by low cost carries such as Easyjet and Flybe, only 25 minutes from Paris by train or bus; Strasbourg airport, serving eastern France, Marseille and Nice airports for the south of France and Bordeaux and Toulouse airports for the mountainous southwest region.

What you need to know

Currency: The Euro (EUR) €

Visas: EU nationals do not require a visa to enter France, simply a valid passport. It is possible that some nationalities may require a visa. For more information, check with a local embassy or the Foreign Office website.

Laws: Smoking is prohibited in all public places in France including museums, monuments, cinemas and on public transport. Fines of up to 500 Euro can be given to anyone caught breaking this rule. Restaurants in France are often divided into smoking and non-smoking areas. The legal drinking age in France is 18. Over 16’s may drink if accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

Best Time to Visit

Ella Fitzgerald loved Paris in the springtime. With the weather warmer than in the UK, fewer tourists and slightly cheaper flights than in summer, it is the perfect season to visit. Summer really hots up in France and is of course perfect time for visiting the stunning beaches of Biarritz, Corsica, Montpellier and St. Tropez, but flights and accommodation will be dearer at this time of year.

For winter sports enthusiasts there is no better time to visit France than December to March when the Alps and the Pyrenees get a spectacular dusting of snow and the ski season begins in earnest. Christmas is also a lovely time to be in France when festive markets start popping up all over the country. Autumn is off season with unpredictable temperatures but if you want to experience a more peaceful, tourist free France this is the time to go.

Some visitors may want to go for the festivals, for example the Lemon Festival in Menton in March, the Berk Sur Mer Kite Festival in April, the world famous Cannes Film Festival in May and the spectacular Carcassonne Festival from June to August. Bastille Day celebrations are held on the 14th July, while 400 plus chocolate stalls pop up on the streets of Paris for Le Salon du Chocolate and

finally the beautiful Festival of Lights in Lyon in December where windows fill with candles, is also un-missable.   

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Flights to France

Images by Flickr/ariel wants a chip