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The Tourists Guide to France

THE TOURISTS GUIDE TO FRANCE France is officially the world's most popular tourist destination - welcoming millions of visitors each year. In this piece, we'll tell you everything there is to know about France, from how much to spend to rules of the road. Getting there: Most visitors to gites and villas in France prefer the freedom of taking their own car. This means taking the ferry either from the Channel port of Dover or travellers to Western and Southern France can sail from Land area: 547,000 square km Population: 66 million *This makes France the largest country in the EU, with the second highest population (to Germany) Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth. Travellers from Scotland and the North of England can take a ferry from Newcastle or Hull. For a faster journey, Eurotunnel le shuttle offers an alternative with a journey time of just 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais. Travellers to the south of France can choose from many regional airport destinations and then hire a car. 82 people visit France every year, making it the world's most popular tourist MILLION destination country 6 Currency: Euro Nickname: Motto: QUICK FACTS L'Hexagone Liberté, égalitié, fraternité A Holiday Types: Rural, Beach, Ski, City Breaks Coastline: Language: French 3427km Travelling in France - Public Transport & Driving By train: By bus: Bus is another option for tourists, although it's not as dependable as France boasts the most extensive train network in Western Europe, making rail a great option for tourists. The national rail company SNCF runs fast, efficient trains between France's major towns. The high-speed TGV is a great option, with the main Paris hub featuring lines to Lille, Strasbourg, Marseille, Bordeaux and more. the train network. Buses cover rural areas, but the services can often be sporadic and the departure times are sometimes awkward. If you want to visit rural areas, your best bet is to opt for your own transport (usually a car). By car: Driving through France is an absolute pleausre, with stunning scenery and a fantastic network of roads. If you're looking to make good time, the motorway tolls are the best option. Try to avoid big cities in high season, particularly at the weekends nearest July 14th (Bastille Day) and August 15th when you'll be sharing the roads with many French holidaymakers and all major roads can become very congested. If you are planning to drive in France during your stay, here is some key information: Motorway speed limit: E 130km/h (110km/h wet) /80mph (70mph wet) The minimum age 18 for driving in France is 18 years old Check with your insurance that you are fully covered for driving in France You will also need to ensure you have the following in or on your car while you're driving in France: GB Red warning triangle Spare set of bulbs Fully stocked first-aid kit Identification Reflective Single-use breathalyser letters (GB, etc) jacket Budgeting for your holiday As always, prices for accommodation vary hugely depending on your destination and time of year. July and August are peak holiday season and therefore command a premium. Staying in a villa or gite can be cheaper than paying for a long stay in a hotel however. Choosing a property with a private pool and large garden will increase the price but staying with another family can make it more affordable. Here's a guide to how much you might expect to spend on a week's villa or gite accommodation in August (Prices taken from in March 2017): Budget (up to) Mid-range Top end £250 per week £1,600 per week £5,270 per week 1 Bedroom gite in Limousin Sleeps 3 people Shared pool 7 Bedroom farmhouse Sleeps 15 people Private pool 4 acre grounds 8 Bedroom Chateau in Midi-Pyrenees Sleeps 12 people Private pool and sauna 120 acre grounds Healthcare in France You have very little to worry about as far as health goes when visiting France. There are no nasty diseases, no vaccinations are needed and the tap water is safe to drink. If you do need treatment, you will find that the French healthcare system is rated as one of the best in the world. An EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is a crucial thing to have when visiting France, or any European country EHIC CARD Every member of the family (including children) must have their own card An EHIC card will mean you avoid upfront charges for hospital treatment (although you may have to pay a 20% co-payment for treatment) An EHIC will also entitle you to a refund of 70% for doctors' consultations, prescribed medicines or ambulance call-outs Things to See and Do in France There is a phenomenal amount to see and do in France, but here are our highlights: The D-Day Beaches, Normandy Learn all about the WWII D-Day landings The Palace of Versailles Iconic palace built by Louis XIV near Paris Explore the Loire Valley Visit the vineyards and chateaus of Loire Drink wine in Bordeaux Explore fine wines in this famous location Take in the history of Lyon Visit the castles of this beautiful city Relax in Nice Unwind in this stunning seaside town Visit St Tropez Bump shoulders with the rich and famous Have a flutter in Monaco Hobnob with the rich in this tiny kingdom See Alsace Wander through Parc de la Villette A great choice for those with children This old town full of history is a must visit Explore Roman ruins I Visiting places like Orange, Nimes & Arles See the trenches Get a real history lesson Verdun Get a skiing lesson Enjoy fantastic skiing in the French Alps Visit Carcassonne Enjoy this amazing medieval walled city GITES.COUK SOURCES | |

The Tourists Guide to France

shared by Eavesy on May 12
Here is an infographic from the guys at that is packed with info for tourists heading to France on holiday. Read about transport and driving, budgeting for your trip, healthcare and more.



france guide


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