Visiting France The blog

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July 17 2019
How to find a bargain on a holiday home in France

Summer is the time to pick up bargains when you're hunting for a holiday home in France. In the middle of high season, homeowners get last minute cancellations or have days still unfilled.

If you're looking for a special deal on a French holiday, your first step is to take a look at's special offers and last minute deals.… More

June 21 2019
Tips on renting a holiday home in France: Safe ways to pay

When you want to rent a French holiday home, you can expect to have to send the owner money well in advance. Typically, the owner will require a deposit of at least 25% immediately, with full payment usually due six weeks or so before your holiday starts.

So you will most likely need to send money internationally. How best to do this?

June 5 2019
Tips on renting a holiday home in France: Swimming pool safety

If you're planning on renting a holiday home in France, a pool can be a great blessing, especially during the warmest months of June, July, and August. Homes with pools cost more, so give some thought to the kinds of activities you'll want to do. If you're planning to spend most of your time outside of the house sightseeing, you may be happy to spend less on a place without a pool.

Swimming pool safety is a vital consideration, especially if you have children. Those under 5 are most in danger. Since 2004, France has had a swimming pool law that's intended to keep children safe. It gives owners of private pools three options to secure their pools:… More

April 26 2019
Tips on renting a holiday home in France: Rural, village, or town? What's best?
Where do you find the "real" France? Is it in the bakeries and bistros of the Latin Quarter in Paris, in the public square of a traditional Provençal village, or in the fields and hills of Acquitaine? You'll find it everywhere, but you may not be sure where you want to go. Here's some ideas on how to find the holiday that suits you best.… More
April 17 2019
Remembering Nôtre Dame Cathedral- and looking forward to her return

Nôtre Dame is the heart of Paris. She stands on that little island in the Seine, neither of the Left Bank nor the Right. Outside her doors, a plaque marks the centre of the city. After a day of cafés and boutiques and booksellers, you want stillness. You have to cross water to find it.

Ten bridges connect to that little island, and as you walk over the river, you find a calm in the midst of a hectic city in a hectic world. Between those two great towers at the west end of the cathedral are a pair of doors that have been open to everyone, rich or poor, with faith or without, burdened or joyful, for eight hundred years. Inside, you sit, and instead of doing, here is a place where you can just be. Be in this serene stillness at the heart of Paris. … More

April 3 2019
Tips on renting a holiday home in France: What's the best option for a large group?

If you're planning a holiday in France for a big group of people - say 10 or more - what's the best choice for self-catering accommodation? Your options may be to find a single home with multiple bedrooms, or a property with two or more separate units on the same location.

Think firstly about the group that you're bringing. If it's one single family and you're used to spending time together under the same roof, then a single large house such as Pallas may be ideal. … More

March 15 2019
Tips on renting a holiday home: Will I need heating or air conditioning?

Before you rent a holiday home on, you may be concerned about the danger of fraud. What guarantee do you have that the home you want to rent is real? Is it possible that the person claiming to be the owner is just a fraudster who will take your money and leave you with no holiday home?

These are good questions to ask. At, we verify the identity of every new homeowner who adds their holiday property to our website.… More

March 7 2019
Tips on renting a holiday home: Will I need heating or air conditioning?

Before you rent a holiday home in France, take a moment to think about whether you need a home with heating or air conditioning. It all depends on where you'll be and at what time of the year. Heatwaves are increasingly common and are likely to be the bigger problem. Excessive heat is most likely in July and August, but be prepared for the possibility in June and September, especially in the southern half of the country.… More

February 5 2019
When you rent a French holiday home with, you rent directly from the owner. This way, you avoid paying a big commission, and you get a personal connection with the owner. To ensure a trouble-free holiday, get a clear and detailed rental agreement before you send money.… More
January 9 2019

The Midi-Pyrénées region of Southwest France has a great wealth of history, culture, wine and food to enjoy. Here's a few places to put on your list when you get there.

  1. The perched village of Rocamadour
  2. Rocamadour

    This gem of a medieval town is set in a gorge above a tributary of the Dordogne. Hugging a cliff, the upper part of the town is filled with old churches and monastic buildings, while the winding narrow streets lined with houses and shops lie on the lower slopes. You'll need to climb a lot of steps to explore the town, but luckily there are plenty of spots to take refreshment.… More

November 9 2018

Want to discover France? Here's ten great French destinations to start with!

  1. The Eiffel Tower, Paris
  2. The Eiffel Tower, Paris
    Photo: Yann Caradec

    Paris is a beautiful, walkable city that's best explored on foot, with regular stops at the patisserie. What it doesn't have is tall buildings in the centre... except for one. So start with a visit to the Eiffel Tower to get an overview of the city that's waiting to be discovered. Opened in 1889 for the World's Fair, it's the most-visited paid monument in the world.

April 25 2018
Don't miss the museum of fairground art in Paris!

After you've seen the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Musée d'Orsay, what will you see in Paris? The city's full of less well known attractions, some of which are delightfully quirky. Such as the Musée des Arts Forains, or museum of fairground art. … More

March 12 2018
Visit the abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou in the Pyrénées
If you're visiting the Atlantic end of the Pyrénees, a great day out is to visit the Abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou. This is a working abbey, still home to monks, but visitors are welcome. The abbey was founded in 1009 on a peak in the mountains. To reach it, take the long, tiring, and ultimately rewarding path that winds up the mountain. The view from the top makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy the serenity of the cloisters while you get your breath back.… More
February 14 2018
Cahors and its famous bridge

When you're in southwestern France, don't miss the chance to visit the city of Cahors. Built by the Romans two thousand years ago, the city still has plenty of Roman artifacts. It was an important city during the Middle Ages, had a university, and was a centre of medieval banking. This led to Cahors getting a nasty mention in Dante's Inferno.

January 29 2018
The Camargue: where wild horses roam
The Camargue is a great natural region where the river Rhône meets the Mediterranean sea in an immense flat plain. Most of it consists of lagoons of salt water, surrounded by sandbars and marshes.

As Europe's largest river delta, it is rich in natural beauty and is home to a great variety of animals and plants. The area is protected from development, so more than 400 species of birds make their homes here, including flamingos, who throng the salt pools in large flocks.… More

November 13 2017
The cave homes of France

People lived in the caves of central France tens of thousands of years ago- and they still live there now. France's prehistoric cave dwellers created the cave paintings of horses, buffalos, and action scenes of hunting that you can see at dedicated exhibits at Lascaux and Chauvet.… More

September 22 2017
Autumn in France

Autumn can be one of the best times to visit France. The lower temperatures can be very pleasant, making it possible to get plenty of sunshine without the scorching heat. The high season for tourism ends when September arrives, so you can have a beach almost to yourself. Many outdoor sports, such as hiking and cycling, are more pleasant on a crisp autumn day than under a hot sun.… More

July 11 2017

If you love the timelessly beautiful art of the Impressionists, don't miss the chance to visit the village of Giverny, site of the home where Claude Monet spent the latter half of his life and painted many of his most famous canvases. It's 80km north of Paris, so it's well situated for a day trip.… More

June 6 2017
Celebrate Bastille Day!
Bastille Day, the 14th of July, is France's national holiday. In every city, town and village all over the country, citizens celebrate the birth of their republic with fireworks, music, food and drink.… More
April 27 2017
Get in gear for the Tour de France, cycling's biggest challenge

Rural France is renowned for its slow pace of life, but if you go at the right time, you'll enjoy some of the fastest action on two wheels. The Tour de France, the world's most prestigious bicycle race, takes place every July over about three weeks. … More

April 27 2017
The Avignon Festival: Provence takes centre stage

For three weeks every July, the Provençal city of Avignon hosts one of the world's greatest arts festivals, the Festival d'Avignon. The official festival is centred on the city's great medieval Papal Palace and is focused on theatre, but also includes films, musical performances, dance, readings, and live discussions.… More