Explore France Explore France

France’s 10 Best Beaches

1. La Grande Plage, Biarritz It’s no wonder that Biarritz rhymes with glitz. Souvenirs of its illustrious history remain in the Art Deco and Belle Époque architecture which lines La Grande Plage, its largest, chicest beach....
Boats in French harbour

Cassis and the Calanques: Exploring France’s Mediterranean Coast

As I walked down the hillside into the backstreets of Cassis, there was no sign of the autumn mists and torrential rains which had struck Provence during the previous days. In the distance, the...
abbey and fortresss

The Île Saint-Honorat: The French Riviera’s Isle of Sacred Vines

Due to France’s fierce political secularism, and the headlines that it generates, the country’s Catholicism can be easily overlooked. Yet up to 88 per cent of l’Hexagone’s population still identifies itself as Roman Catholic...
Martin Parr in Evian

The Buzz in Evian: Life’s a Beach by Photographer Martin Parr

Acclaimed British photographer Martin Parr has zoomed in once again on his perennial theme of ‘beach life’, which he’s been documenting for decades, though this time his work appears in a town without a...

Top French Beach Resorts: The Revival of Trouville-sur-Mer in Normandy

The old haunt of Marcel Proust and Marguerite Duras, this elegant resort town is famed for its spa waters.

Villefranche-sur-Mer: A Beautiful Hideaway on the Côte d’Azur

I sat in a Chicago sidewalk café this week with my face tilted up to bake in the unusually warm October sunshine and felt a pang for the Côte d'Azur I had experienced just a...

The Tranquil Ile de Ré

With its mild climate and its indigo sky—writer and painter Eugène Fromentin called it “an Egyptian sky”—you might think the Ile de Ré was a daughter of the Mediterranean. It juts out into the...

Summertime, and the living in France is easy!

1. Faire la fête The south of France is blessed with a glorious summer climate and the locals make the most of it, at festivals which are spread throughout the season. Arts and theatre aficionados are...

Dog Days on the Riviera

Choupette – Karl Lagerfeld’s indulged cat – may try her best to convince the world that felines have stolen the hearts of the French, but the truth is that they love their dogs. Much...

10 reasons to visit Cherbourg, Normandy

Where else would you find big sandy beaches, exotic plants and the deepest aquarium in Europe?  1. Prizewinning Parks There are two ‘Jardins Remarquables’ in Cherbourg – Parc Liais on account of its non-indigenous species (including a Japanese azaelea...