France is the largest country in Western Europe. Incredibly diverse, a trip to the country allows many possible itineraries. The glaciated peaks of the French Alps are the perfect scenery for all types of mountain activities, while visiting the wine regions of Champagne and Bordeaux makes for a singular experience. To the south, the French Riviera allures travelers with sun-drenched beaches and the island of Corsica, tucked in the Mediterranean Sea, provides endless options for hikers and explorers alike, including the most challenging hiking route in Europe: the GR20. When it comes to cities, the big favorite is always Paris: a major tourist destination featuring some of the world’s most iconic historical sites, museums, architecture and cuisine.
Weather varies greatly between regions: the northern cities and mountain towns have very cold winters (with heavy snowfalls on the mountains) and warm summers; while the coastal cities by the Mediterranean enjoy mild temperatures almost all year and very hot days during the summer season.
Most of the world’s major airlines have direct flights to Paris. Other important regional airports include Lyon, Nice, Marseille and Toulouse. France is well-connected to many European cities by train, bus or ferry. If you are traveling to the French Alps, the closest airports are Geneva (in Switzerland, near the French border), Grenoble and Chámbery. To explore the French Riviera, the best gateway is Nice.
France can be visited all-year-round. During spring (April-June) and fall (September-November) you’ll find less tourists, lower prices and mild temperatures. Summer (especially July) is very crowded. The ski season in the French Alps runs from December to April.
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