5 reasons you should visit France in 2011

If you’re currently planning your 2011 holidays and are unsure where you would like to visit, one destination that you should be sure to consider is France.

With so much on offer, it is the perfect holiday destination for a number of reasons.

Here, we look at 5 reasons why you should visit France for your holidays in 2011.

The landscape

One of France’s greatest strengths as a holiday destination is its diverse and varied landscape. It doesn’t matter what type of holiday you are planning as France is able to cater to most if not all requirements.

If it’s a beach holiday you’re after, you may want to head to the Cote d’Azur (also known as the French Riviera) as it has fine sands, sparkling Mediterranean waters and beautiful surrounding scenery. There are other stunning beaches around France including those on the coasts of Brittany and Normandy.

Those wanting to ski can head to the French Alps and the Pyrenees. With some of the best skiing conditions in Europe if not the world, France is an ideal holiday destination for both skiing and snowboarding no matter what your experience and competence level.

Those planning to visit France for a city break won’t be disappointed as France is home to some fantastic cities. Paris is the obvious choice thanks to its famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe but there are other French cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg that are well worth a visit also.

There are plenty of other types of holidays available in France which means there is something to suit most if not all holiday requirements.

The lifestyle

The pace of life in France obviously varies depending on where you are in the country but for the most part it is pretty relaxed and laid-back.

This in itself makes France a great holiday destination if you are looking to unwind and get away from it all.

The slower pace of life in France is the perfect setting for those wanting to recharge their batteries in a beautiful country abroad.

The history

For the culture vultures out there, France is a great destination as it is laced in a colourful and chequered history.

Again it is Paris that many will initially think of when it comes to historical sites thanks to the likes of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Palace of Versailles.

However, France has over 30 UNESCO heritage sites scattered across the country and not just Paris so there are plenty of other historical monuments and sites to see when visiting France.

Examples of things you can see include Roman relics which can be found particularly in Nimes and Languedoc and the Royal Saltworks which are found near Besancon.

The cuisine

France is renowned worldwide for its wonderful cuisine and some of the world’s best known and most highly regarded chefs are French. The country is home to famous restaurants such as Pierre Gagnaire and Le Chateaubriand and the quality of food served throughout the country is up there with anywhere else in the world.

Whether you visit one of these well-known restaurants or buy food at one of France’s many food markets, you can expect to be served food of a fantastic standard.

Dishes including moules marinières, coq au vin and bouillabaisse are just some of the dishes that were first introduced in France and are now served worldwide.

Any ‘foodies’ should definitely consider visiting France if they want to enjoy superbly cooked dishes; after all it was France that gave the world Michelin Stars so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about good food.

France is almost famous for the wine it produces and these are sure to compliment the fine gastronomy delights that France has on offer.

The shopping

Another of the things that France is famous for is shopping, particularly when it comes to fashion.

Paris is the most renowned shopping city in France and it has an array of fashionable shopping outlets. The Champs-Elysées is especially famous for this and it has a range of boutique stores which sell the latest fashion items from world-renowned designers.

As well as these boutique shops there are also markets that are well worth checking out. One of the best known markets is the Saint Ouen Flea Market which is located just north of Paris and is home to over 2000 stalls selling a huge range of items including antiques, furniture, jewellery and many other things.

Amazing shopping experiences aren’t limited to Paris however and there are other destinations in France that also cater to all your shopping needs.

Cities worth visiting to shop include Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Toulouse.