Bastille Day, held annually on 14th July, is an incredibly important event in the French calendar, signifying the start of the French Revolution and the unity of the French people. Wherever you’re staying, join the crowds and soak up the lively atmosphere, enjoying colourful street parades, food, drink, music, dancing and magnificent displays of fireworks. Another world-famous event is Le Tour de France, a bike race that stretches over a staggering three weeks and covers around 3,500 kilometres. Starting points and routes vary each year, but the finish line is always at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris – just a stroll from our luxury city hotels.
Whether you visit for the food, shopping or iconic sights, Paris offers the very best of everything. Don’t miss a trip up the striking Eiffel Tower, a stroll along the Champs-Élysées, a luxury cruise along the Seine or a glimpse of the famed Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Each of our luxury hotels offer an invaluable concierge service, able to inform you about the latest place to eat Michelin-starred cuisine, the hippest spot to drink cocktails, the newest gallery of cutting-edge art, or the best place for freshly-baked croissants. Paris is an ever-evolving city and a delight to explore, a place you are unlikely to forget.
Explore the sun-kissed corner of Provence, a heavenly region of picturesque countryside just inland from the Côte d’Azur. Explore old stone villages perched atop rolling hills, wander down trails of ancient sites, or enjoy the exquisite scent at a pretty lavender farm. Stride out on foot and discover a mix of russet ravines and windswept wetlands, interspersed with old olive groves and farming land. Once home to Rénoir, Cézanne and other great artists, these amazingly diverse landscapes came to life on their world-renowned canvases. End a sunny day of sightseeing, sport or relaxation with a feast of regional delights, washed down with chilled rosé wine.
Picture vivid aqua seas, glistening golden sands and a ribbon of glamorous resorts and villages dotted along the coastline: welcome to the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, a place that’s been seducing visitors for many years. The vistas are beautiful and the climate typically Mediterranean, with endless summer sunshine and mild winters – an ideal destination to frequent year-round. Consider adding on a couple of nights in the über-chic principality of Monaco, tucked inside the Maritime Alps close to the Italian border. Acclaimed for its casinos, luxury hotels and superyachts, exclusivity and excess are the hallmarks of this glitzy enclave.
Outdoor Adventure in the Alps
Planning a ski trip? Offering well-groomed slopes catering for all abilities, the latest in lift technology, top-class instruction and a collection of hotels featuring the finest accommodation and facilities around, the French Alps should be a serious contender for your next skiing holiday. The Alps are also a glorious destination in the summer - enjoy an array of outdoor activities, from cross-country hiking and cycling to golf and stand-up paddle boarding.
When it comes to fine dining, the French take the prize, their chefs and restaurants ranking among the world’s best. This exquisite cuisine continues into our featured hotels, where flavoursome food is served morning, noon and night. Enjoy rich sauces, succulent meat, delicious seafood, delicate pastries, delectable desserts and oven-warm bread, fresh from your local boulangerie. France is also well-known for its cheeses, with hundreds to choose from - including soft, creamy favourites, like brie and camembert, salty blue creations like Roquefort, and heaps of artisanal goats’ cheeses, sometimes flavoured with herbs.
Wine is produced in several regions throughout France, making it the world’s largest wine producer -including of some of the world’s most loved grapes such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Book a vineyard tour and watch the fascinating process, from the planting of the vineyards into the finished product. If you’re visiting the Alps, sample some interesting labels such as Beaujolais, Savoie and Jura or, in Provence, sample the region’s deliciously light rosés. Of course, our luxury hotels will offer handpicked bottles to pair perfectly with menu options, while local restaurants will offer carafes of regional wines ideal alongside the ‘plat du jour’.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
British Airways from London Heathrow to Paris and from London Heathrow and London Gatwick to Nice. UK regional departures and charter flights are also available.
From London Heathrow to Paris: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
From London Heathrow to Nice: 2 hours.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
New Local Government Regulations - Local Laws and Customs
You must be able to prove your identity either by providing documents when asked or within 4 hours at a police station. Identity documents can be a passport, a photo driving licence or other documentation provided by a government body.
The full FCO travel advice for France can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.