As Spring approaches consider a quick getaway to France. Whether you want a city escape, time in the countryside, or even majestic beaches and historic towns we have you covered. With regular flights, ferries, and trains in operation, this end-of-low season is the perfect opportunity to visit France. We’ll go over just a few of the top spots easy to reach from the UK for a weekend or week away. Enjoy the cuisine, shops, fresh air, and beautiful architecture this spring.
Visit the city of lights for a few days of amazing food, famous art, history, and fine wine. If you travel soon, you’ll beat many of the tourist crowds in the world’s most romantic city. Paris is a great place to visit any time of the year. Visit with friends, your partner, or simply on a solo adventure. There are obvious things to see, such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe, to name a few. Consider centering the trip around certain places. Le Marais is one of the trendiest districts in Paris. It’s a cobble-stoned area filled with old mansions, incredible shopping, art installations, boutique cafes, and restaurants. Montparnasse is another interesting spot where Picasso and Matisse once lived. As well as also having stretches of niche shops and cafes you can also visit Musee Bourdelle.
In just a couple of hours by plane, you can be in one of the most beautiful southern cities in France. Montpellier was built to attract gentry in the 17th Century and as such, it is full of beautiful chateaus. The weather even at the end of winter is warm with temperatures around 13-16°C. While visiting this incredible city make sure you spend time in the old town. L’Ecusson contains winding streets comprised of Baroque buildings, shaded by trees as well as its famous Promenade de Prayou. One former residence to visit is Château de Flaugergues, a well-preserved mansion in the warehouse district. You can explore its kept gardens and see some 17th Century tapestries, art and furniture inside. With warm weather, you can even pack the car and drive just 20 minutes to the Hérault coast. Spend the day on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches or even consider a resort for a few days.
Another warm escape, Marseilles is already turning quite warm around March with around 16°C days. Flight times are also around 2 hours. It’s therefore not too strenuous a journey to end up in this famous ancient city. While visiting it would be hard to miss the Old Port. This famous landmark was established around 600 BC. Nowadays you can see the exquisite buildings or simply watch the world go by eating or drinking at one of the many bars, cafes, and seafood restaurants. If you’ve hired a car a must-do drive is La Corniche, which you can start from the Old Port. This 7km stretch has the Mediterranean on your side as you also pass funky neighbourhoods and sandy beaches. If you’d rather have a nice walk head to Boulevard Longchamp filled with regal parks, famous fountains, and 19th-century mansions.
Our final stop in southern France is the beautiful city of Bordeaux. Located on the southwest, near the Bay of Biscay, you can count on warm weather as it turns to spring with 15°C days. The entire region is known for excellent vineyards and wine. Visit an array of gorgeous châteaux in the second-biggest wine-producing region in the world and see the process from vine to glass. Inside the city, you’ll be taken back by the enchanting still-standing medieval architecture giving a fantasy-like impression. Port Cailheau, for example, is a quaint street where you see sections of the old defensive walls, the quirky townhall with its medieval roofs, and the iconic La Grosse Gloche. There are so many little districts with excellently maintained architecture capturing the historical majesty of Bordeaux. If you love art and history then the Musée d’Aquitaine is a must-see, not just for its astonishing collection but for the sheer beauty of the building itself.
We’ll finish the list with the broader, but easy to reach, region of Normandy. Although perhaps not as warm in winter/spring there are so many places to explore. It’s an ideal destination if you want to take your time as it’s filled with famous towns, historical sites, museums and much more. As you can reach it via ferry or Eurostar it’s even worth considering packing the car and making a road trip out of it. Honfleur is a small harbour town that was the inspiration behind many works by famous impressionist painters including Monet. In fact, you can even pay a visit to the famous artist’s house if you go through Giverny. Mont-Saint-Michel is the iconic tidal island holding the fortified monastery that reaches the sky. Near Mont-Saint-Michel are two other significant attractions, Normandy Beach where the allies invaded occupied France in WW2, and dating much further back is the preserved Bayeux Tapestry depicting William the Conquerer’s conquest of 1066.