Driving in France

Driving In France: The Laws Of The Land

France is a great holiday destination; especially for people in the UK who can’t stand long travel. Just across the pond, you can find art, viticulture, and beautiful scenery (and pay next to nothing in travel costs). Of course, you’ll want to explore as much as you can, so you’re getting around by car; but are you prepared for French driving laws?

Driving in France


Motorway Breakdowns

If your vehicle kicks the bucket in the middle of the motorway, you can’t call your breakdown provider. In France, there are roadside motorway phones (very orange) every 2km, and you must report your breakdown to one of these. You’ll be towed away and taken to a destination, where you can finally meet your breakdown provider.

Driving Licence

You have to be 18 years or older to drive or ride a vehicle in France. If you were speedy and passed your test at 17, you won’t be allowed to drive. EU and EEA driving licences are accepted, and you don’t need to carry an International driving permit. As well as your driving licence, you need to have proof of your insurance, your passport, and your V5C certificate.

Stocking Your Car

By law, drivers have to carry reflective jackets, a warning triangle, headlamp beam deflectors, and a breathalyser. Yes, a breathalyser! Maybe the police can’t be bothered to carry them anymore…

No Honking

Between sunset and sunrise, there’s a strict ‘no honking’ policy, unless it is a serious necessity. To indicate a warning to fellow motorists, you may flash your lights.

Speed Limits

On the motorway, the max speed you’re allowed to reach is 130km/h or 110km/h in rainy conditions. For other roads, the speed limit is 90km/h or 80km/h in rainy conditions. In built-up areas, do not exceed 50km/h. If you’re caught driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit, you will have your licence confiscated on the spot.

Bear in mind that you’re not allowed devices in your car that detect speed cameras (so it’s wise to stick to the specified speed limit at all times – don’t want to put a serious dampener on your holiday by getting caught speeding!).


If you have more than a 0.05% level of alcohol in your blood and you’re behind the wheel, you’re likely to get caught. The police are allowed to conduct random breath tests.

If you’re caught speeding or not wearing a seatbelt, it’s likely that you’ll be tested for drugs too. This goes for riding a motorcycle without a helmet too!


You should only drive and park on the right side of the road, if you’re part of a two lane system. Bear in mind that you’re forbidden from parking in an area with an unbroken yellow line. On one way systems, you may be able to park on either side of the road.

Sea crossing at Dover

To France by ferry

With the financial crisis still affecting us all in some way it’s good that you can at least find a way to enjoy a great value holiday in France…or Belgium and Holland if you fancy travelling that little bit further.

The ferry option

Sea crossing at Dover

When it comes to travel costs taking one of the cross channel ferries to France takes a lot of beating.

There’s also the added bonus that, when you take the car ferry to France, there aren’t any baggage restrictions. So you can take as much as you can get in the car, and that includes passengers!!

Most of ferry prices include the cost of taking your car and a certain number of passengers. Take MyFerryLink for example, the cost you pay includes the car and up to 9 passengers. So, if you work out the cost per passenger it will be really very low.

Indeed, MyFerryLink believe they offer the cheapest ferries to France with prices from £19 each way on their any duration ticket. So, if you were to travel for £19 one way and you had 9 passengers in total that would be just over £2 per person!!

Onboard the ferries, you’ll find amenities including restaurants, a bar, shop and children’s play area, great offers on perfumes, beer, wine etc, so you can make even more savings compared to high street prices.

The trip doesn’t start  in France but onboard the ferry!

Let loose in France

Once in France, which only takes 90 minutes by the way, you’ll find all sorts of bargains awaiting you.

There are a number of major shopping malls, one being Cité Europe in Calais, which is definitely worth a visit, especially as within Cité Europe there’s a large Carrefour supermarket where you can buy just about anything, with many offers available.

A little further on from Calais, but not that far and quite an easy drive is Lille, with many shops including a large Designer Outlet for money off all your favourite designer labels.

Remember, you’ll have your car with you, so not only can you drive afar but you can also fill the car up with shopping without having to worry about luggage restrictions. Bye bye Easyjet and Ryanair!

Here’s something to help:


What you get then

If you are still undecided between taking the plane or the ferry, the following list should help. The ferry option to France certainly saves you money all around:

  • Low price ticket
  • The bigger your group, the cheaper the ticket
  • Stretch your legs, move around, eat, drink, play and do some shopping
  • Unrestricted luggage allowance
  • Duty-free on selected items on board
  • No need to hire a car once on firm ground

So what are you waiting for? Enjoy the savings and have more to spend on your holiday. I’m off to the continent now.


Tulips at the Eiffel Tower

Paris: ideas for a Valentine’s getaway

Paris is often referred to as the city of love and is regularly named as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, making it an ideal candidate for a Valentine’s getaway.

Of course, there are lots to keep loved-up couples occupied all year round, but it can be nice to stroll through the city’s streets and soak up the atmosphere on Valentine’s Day. So, if you want to spoil your partner this February 14th, here are a few things to see and do in Paris on a romantic break.

Watch the sunset from the Eiffel Tower

Tulips at the Eiffel Tower

Climbing the Eiffel Tower is something of a must for tourists in Paris – and if you want the experience to be extra special for you and your partner, you should aim to be at the top for sunset.

You can enjoy the stunning views across the city as the day turns into night and watch the streets light up below you. If you’re after a picturesque photo of the two of you, you won’t find a better backdrop. To really push the boat out, you could book a table at the restaurant in the tower, where you can enjoy a sumptuous meal and a glass or two of champagne.

Dine at a gourmet restaurant

The French are renowned for their delicious cuisine and there is no shortage of romantic eateries in Paris. For a special treat, head to the city’s oldest restaurant – L’Auberge Nicholas Flamel on rue de Montmorency, where you can sample French dishes in an elegant setting.

Another option is Restaurant Lasserre on avenue Franklin Roosevelt, which boasts opulent decor and a range of tasty meals. The chefs use seasonal produce for many of their creations, with the likes of foie gras, langoustines and caviar on the menu.

Other establishments you could visit on a romantic break include Nos Ancetres les Gaulois, Cristal Room Baccarat and the restaurant at the Musee du Vins. Ah, la cuisine française!

Go ice skating

Ice skating is a great activity for couples, as you can glide hand-in-hand around the rink and have a lot of fun while you do so. There are several outdoor ice rinks in Paris throughout the winter, but among the most picturesque is the one outside l’Hôtel de Ville (the city hall).

With this impressive building as a backdrop, you can skate to your heart’s content with your loved one, and then step off the ice for a warming drink at one of the nearby cafes. Ice skating here is free, although you’ll need to hire skates if you don’t have your own.

Look out for deals

Of course, a romantic Valentine’s escape can be expensive if you really want to treat your partner, but don’t let this put you off heading to the French capital this February.

Every year, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau works alongside local tourism organisations and professionals to put together a selection of deals for loved-up couples throughout February. Details of what’s available this year can be found on the city’s main tourism website.

You should also search for offers on hotels at this time of the year to help you save money on your accommodation without having to compromise on style and comfort – you’ll find a selection of affordable hotels here, giving you an indication of what’s available.

Down we go

7 Reasons Why Chamonix is the Must Visit Ski Resort in 2013

1. Mont Blanc

The main reason for going to Chamonix is clear the second you arrive. Situated in the French Alps, the sight that is Mont Blanc is enough to take your breath away. But this structure not only dominates the landscape you see, it also dominates the ski facilities that are available.Down we go

The vertical drops from the Mont Blanc mastiff are outstanding and with a lift servicing the more picturesque side of this amazing phenomenon, you can enjoy physical challenges within your holiday that are simply not available anywhere else.

And though we all want to ensure our ski day is as long as possible, stop short at least one evening and take in the wonder of watching the sun set behind one of the worlds most awe inspiring mountains.

2. Accessibility

Whether you are travelling by plane, train or automobile, Chamonix is easy to find and even easier to get to.

As this resort is only one hour from Geneva airport it is the ideal destination for a short break or weekend away.

For the longer term traveller, the site is easily accessible via road from the UK or can be accessed by train or bus from one of the major airports. There are even SNCF railway stations in the resort itself to ensure maximum accessibility to every potential guest.

3. Ski Pass Opportunities

With the appropriate Ski Pass in Chamonix you can gain access to trails and slopes across almost the whole valley. The range of skiing facilities available is exceptional and the quality of the snow makes each trail an experience you are going to want to repeat again and again.

There is no need to limit yourself to a few really good slopes when Chamonix offers 108 km of beautiful pistes including 10 black pistes, 20 red, 28 blue and 8 green.

All welcome to Chamonix!

4. Variety of Skiing and Snowboard Possibilities

First timers and experts can all enjoy the range of possibilities within Chamonix. Boasting some of the finest long slopes across the French Alps, there are also beginners slopes, trails through sensational scenery or off piste adventures that are just waiting to be discovered.

The nursery slopes and ski school will boost the abilities and confidence of any level of skier and ensure that you can take advantage of the incredible options that are available in the region.

5. Resort Life

Though Chamonix is a very popular French ski resort, thanks to the way that the villages are laid out it is possible to be as included in the hustle and bustle as you would like.

Book your accommodation in a satellite village that offers routes off of the beaten track and you can take advantage of a more laid back, serene holiday.

Alternatively site yourself close to the main area of the town for a lively and vibrant vacation that will ensure you never stop day or night.

But if you would like the best of both worlds, spend some time experiencing the range of options available throughout the resort and experience a different kind of holiday every night of your stay.

6. Outstanding Facilities

In recent months, two freestyle parks have opened at the Grands Monetes and on the Brévent side to enable everyone to show off their skills. Or if it is speed you are after, the speed piste on the Flégère side will be the ultimate in downhill challenge.

And the facilities are not limited to skiing; there are many amenities for children and adults alike from dog sledging for the kids through to full scale climbing walls for those that like their adventure on and off the piste.Drab!

7. Apres Ski

Chamonix is not a purpose build ski village but a traditional town that has become one of the major ski resorts in the world. Mainly thanks to its conventional beginnings, the range of après ski options available within the resort is staggering.

The variety of accommodation means there is something to suit every type of holiday. If you decided to have a catered ski chalet in Chamonix then it would mean that you have more time to hit the slopes while someone else deals with the more domestic side of life.

Take advantage of a full range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs within the resort if you want to burn the candle at both ends. But if you like to wind down after a hard day on the slopes, the cyber cafes, lounge bars, spas and sightseeing opportunities mean there is no such thing as a dull moment.


Roquebrune on the French Riviera

5 great reasons to visit the French Riviera

Roquebrune on the French Riviera

When it comes to planning a holiday the hardest part can often be deciding where to go. The French Riviera has been a popular destination for decades, and it’s easy to see why. Stunning in both winter and summer, with beautiful vistas and much celebrated cuisine, the French Riviera has something to satisfy every holiday-makers’ appetite.

Below are five great reasons to consider heading to the French Riviera.

1. Food

When thinking of good food it’s very hard to ignore French cuisine. Italian cuisine is beautiful in its simplicity, Spanish cuisine is famed for its variety but nobody does flavour, sauces and condiments like the French. For many a holiday-maker food and dining out are a big part of the holiday and the French Riviera is sure not to disappoint.

There are many famous restaurants along the Cote d’Azur but be prepared to venture out to some of the more remote ones too. Local restaurants in tiny villages can often offer up incredible meals. Talk to the locals for hints on the best places to go, especially if you’d like to avoid the tourist hordes. The dress code is usually fairly relaxed during the day but be prepared to don smarter clothing once night falls.

2. Language

Exploring a culture different to your own makes for a truly fulfilling holiday and what better way to do that than to learn about the language of the country you’re visiting? If you’re in Monaco, Nice or Cannes being able to speak the odd line of French will make your time there that much more enriched. The French are also notoriously intolerant of tourists so showing them you’ve made the effort to learn French will go a very long way.

You can learn French in France from a language school. There are usually a variety of courses on offer and you can learn as casually or intensively as you wish. Many schools offer courses for youngsters as well, so if you’re looking for your child, why not find out more information on school websites and see what they have to offer?

3. Must-sees

French cheese sellerSt Tropez, Antibes… where to start? The French Riviera is truly home to some of the most stunning spots in the world. St Tropez is a destination known across the globe. This glam sea-side town is home to a thriving nightlife and has been the darling of the rich and famous for many years. Don’t be put off by its glossy reputation, however. There are plenty of secluded sandy beaches and tucked-away petanque courts for those in search of a relaxed holiday.

Perhaps most famous for being the home and inspiration of Picasso, Antibes is the essence of romance. While away the morning at the food markets or put your walking shoes on and go beach-hopping. Antibes is a touch more relaxed than some of the other destinations along the French Riviera and perfect if putting your feet up is what you have in mind.

4. Sun

Feel like working on your tan? On the French Riviera you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. If you find yourself dazzled by all the options, then basing yourself in Nice and doing day trips is a good idea. Many tour companies operate trips out of Nice to Monte Carlo, Monaco and other sunny destinations.

5. Snow

When you mention the French Riviera, most people’s thoughts spring instantly to sandy beaches. However, it’s also home to some amazing skiing. If you’re after a winter holiday, then a short car journey from Nice will see you on some of the world’s most beautiful slopes. Nordic skiing is very popular as is regular skiing and snowboarding.

Au Palais de Versailles

The best of France

France is a great holiday destination for people who look for diversity. It has a very rich and interesting history which can still be found in the architecture. For those who just want to relax on the beach during summer there are some great places to go, especially on the South coast, but also on the Atlantic coast. Gourmets of wine can find some great vineyards in the South of the country. But France is not only popular in summer. A lot of people go there for skiing and hiking in winter. No wonder France is one of the most visited countries in the world by tourists.

Summer activities

Au Palais de Versailles

The best thing to do in summer is to visit all the great sights France has to offer, from the Eiffel Tower to the Versailles Palace. One of the places which is definitely worth visiting is the Abbaye Du Mont Saint Michel. One of the first sights to obtain UNESCO World Heritage listing, Abbaye Du Mont Saint Michel is a historical monument representing the French pride and their resistance to English attacks in the Hundred Years War. The beautiful combination of nature and medieval architecture, together creating the magnificent picture of an isolated town on a rock, makes it an unforgetable experience. There are many more places to visit and things to see, but it is just not possible to describe them all.

Winter activities

In winter it’s worth checking for some cheap sport activity offers. Other popular activities include hiking and mountain climbing, but untrained people be warned! Both are very ambitious activities and preparation is essential to complete them unharmed. The French Alps are a must on every traveller’s list. The beautiful scenery of the white snow in combination with the blue sky is breathtaking. In summer the combination of colors are obviously different, but still worth seeing. There are over 700 ski resorts in France. People from all over Europe travel there to enjoy the huge variety of skiing slopes.


Paris is another very popular place worth visiting. Especially in spring and summer Paris turns into the city of love with many romantic cafes and restaurants along the riverside. Paris itself is full of sights, some more famous than others like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. A great trip to recommend is the boat tour on the river Seine. A great tip is to take a walk at the Seine at night to see the beautiful lights of Paris reflect in the water.

Don’t miss out on the Sacre Coeur cathedral either. Sitting at the very top of the Montmartre this white dome is the perfect spot to see the whole of Paris in one glance. The interior is mostly made of mosaic and gold, which is a strong contrast to the pale white outside walls.

Fountain in the Parc Richelieu

My trip to northern France

This past weekend I hopped on a ferry to France from the south coast of England (Dover) to the Northern French town of Calais. Here is what I saw in this quiet town:

Calais Lighthouse

After a short walk from the ferry port I came across the Lighthouse which stands tall in a quiet part of town. Still in great condition, there are 271 steps to climb for a view across the Channel and town, after a €2.50 entrance fee. With my fear of heights I passed up on this opportunity.

The lighthouse at Calais

Fort Risban

A short walk down the road from the Lighthouse, and across the coastline is Fort Risban. Or what is left of the fort, which isn’t much, more than 500 years after it came under siege from England. Still, it’s a landmark in this town and two statues worth checking out stand close by.

In the northern-most part of town it was very quiet and generally looked very poor. The buildings looked outdated and the restaurants didn’t look attractive. But a 5-10 minute walk into town, heading towards the train station and things looked much brighter in Calais.

What remains of Fort Risban nowadays

Parc Richelieu

The most attractive park I passed in Calais was Parc Richelieu. Located a couple of steps away from the train station, this park was perfect on the hot summer’s day to take a rest. On the entrance stands the Calais War Memorial whilst inside is well-maintained and even has a small water fountain.

Fountain in the Parc Richelieu

Fine Arts and Lace Museum

Adjacent to Parc Richelieu is the Fine Arts and Lace Museum. For a €3 entrance fee, inside you can see work from Rodin, Pablo Picasso, and Dubuffet amongst others.

Calais Town Hall

You can catch a sight of the elegant watch tower from outside of Parc Richelieu, and once you cross the Jacquard Bridge and reach the Town Hall you can appreciate the fantastic architecture of the building. Without doubt the most impressive building in town. The front garden, which plays host to Rodin’s famous Six Burgher’s of Calais monument, also hosts art work throughout the year. During my visit, I saw work from Laurence Jenkell, as shown in the photos below:

Is this art?Town hall of CalaisDifferent view of the town hall

War Museum

Opposite the Calais Town hall is the Parc Saint Pierre. Inside the park you can find the war museum. Entrance is €6 and offers insight into World War II, including photographs and objects that depict the war.

As well as these visiting these sights, Calais has a number of statues and monuments around town to view. On top of the previously-mentioned War Memorial and Six Burgher’s of Calais, there is a monument dedicated to the Pluviose disaster, a Remembrance Monument opposite the Town Hall and even one of a former deputy mayor as well as many more.

I didn’t sleep over in Calais as I had viewed all of the attractions in less than a day. So I caught the train to Lille, the fourth largest city in France and close to the border of Belgium.

I spent a day and a half in Lille which did not give me enough time to view everything or take photos of every statue in the city. However, here is what I did find of interest:

Lille Grand Place

The Grand Place in Lille was certainly the busiest part of this city when I visited. And that wasn’t a great surprise. This is the main part of the city, where there is history and shopping opportunities aplenty. The Grand Place hosts several impressive architectural buildings and sights to visit. Whever you stand in this area you will find something beautiful to see.

Lille Grand Place

Vieille Bourse

The Old Stock Exchange, or the Vieille Bourse as it is called is one of the most prestigious buildings in Lille. It is located between the Grand Place and Theatre Squad, opposite Europe’s largest book store. A sight to see, on the front courtyard I was greeted by book sellers and florists. A very popular sight amongst tourists and locals alike.

Old Stock Exchange at Lille

The Citadel

The huge pentagon-shaped Citadel of Lille is located north of the city, which is either a long walk from the centre of a short, €1.40 bus journey. This Citadel remains the largest in France and dates back to the 17th century when it was constructed by over 2,000 men, before being besieged during the 1708 Siege of Lille. These days, the Citadel remains in tip-top condition and tour guides are available for €7 during the summer.

Towards the Citadel of Lille

The Zoo

Lille’s zoo can be found next door to the Citadel. Entrance is free and the zoo plays host to more than 70 different species of animal from all five continents. Animals on display here include Birds, Gibbons, Rhinos and Zebras.

Animals in the zoo in LilleSavannah animals in the zooAnteaters?




As with Calais, Lille also has a large number of statues and monuments. There were many that I did not find, but those that I saw included The Goddess, General Faidherbe and the Pigeon Voyageur as shown below:


Statue of the General FaidherbeStatue of the Pigeon VoyageurStatue of The Goddess

After visiting the sites in Lille, I ended the evening with one of the local specialities: a saucepan of mussels! Of all the restaurant menus I glanced at when walking past, these were on most of them. So if you come to Lille there’s no excuse for not tasting them!

Le Pantheon in Paris

Great Historical Tours in France

France is blessed with several scenic destinations, yet many consider visiting the country mostly because of its historical architecture. Its territorial boundary in itself is considered a living museum. It has witnessed dozen of wars and monarchial disputes. It has seen how kings and queens prospered and handled its citizens with justice and righteousness. It has also seen decay and corruption in various eras recorded in history.

France is a travel machine that can take you to the past without the aid of any technology. You just need to use your imagination and you can easily be transported to the time of knights, kings, queens and the medieval period. Be ready for a journey to the past and into the future. Take your grip and settle for a ride you are bound to cherish.

The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is rightfully considered as the Garden of France. It holds many of the most popular castles and chateaux in the region. You will be enchanted by its charming vineyards, rolling green hills, and beautiful flowers. Enter into the premises of the popular castles in this area and go back in time as you gaze at its well-preserved furniture and works of art. Choose to visit Amboise, Tours, Chambord, Blois, Bourges, Orleans, or Charts and be delighted with the grandiose architectural design of ancient monuments.

D-Day Beaches

Some may wish to relive the gruesome details of World War II. Those who wish to do so can immediately request the taxicab driver from any French Airport to take them to the D-Day beaches. It will be a very emotional experience for those who were veterans of war, especially those who fought during this period. It would be best if you could bring your grandparents over to see a glimpse of the place where they once fought for justice and freedom. It is highly recommended to visit during late spring or early fall. Nevertheless, be sure to know the schedule of these places to know the hour and day when they are open.

Le Panthéon

Le Pantheon in Paris

Greece has been blessed with the Pantheon, but France took the initiative to have its own glorious monument, Le Panthéon. It is worthy to be given this name, as it is host to tombs of famous individuals like Voltaire, Emile Zola, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille, and Victor Hugo. These are prominent French personalities who have their own tomb resting in its midst. You will be thrilled to see impressive frescoes and wonderful paintings and sculptures created by the masters of the art. It will only cost you 7.50 euro for adults, but those aged 18 to 25 may enter with a discounted rate of 4.80; however, anyone under the age of 18 is allowed to enter for free.

Your study of arts, literature, history and culture will never be complete unless you have a tour of France. Before you choose exploring the country for leisure, consider a day filled with educational experience. It is worth your time, money, and effort. Feed your mind with the best art works and architectural design. Go visit France and travel back in time.

The stunning scenery of Mont Ventoux in Vaucluse

Top 5 places to visit in Provence

In the heart of Provence the Vaucluse offers a large variety of landscapes; it is a place full of history and tradition. Everywhere you will be seduced by a sunny terrace or a shady vine arbour. Impossible to resist! Here are the top 5 places to visit in Provence:

Avignon – the Pope’s Palace

Music festival in Avignon attracts the crowd
The majestic Pope’s Palace dominates the old part of Avignon. It was built during the 14th century and is today the most important Gothic palace worldwide. Classified as “World Heritage for Humanity” by UNESCO, it is a symbol of the temporal spiritual influence of the papacy at the time. Discover large ceremonial rooms, chapels with frescoes, the private apartments of the Pope and terraces with breathtaking views of the city.

Luberon – Ochres of Rousillon

The ochre lands of Roussillon in the Luberon shine in a range of beautiful red, orange and yellow colours contrasting with white lime stones, deep green pine trees and the blue Provencal sky; a real feast for the eyes! Via a trail through the village and the ochre lands, with information signs along the way, you can discover the geology, the flora and the history of the ochre deposits. Make use of technology to find popular places to visit in local areas.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape and its vine

Roger Sabon - a wine to remember
Surrounded by ruins and ancient chateau towering, the village is mostly known for the international reputation of its vines. With three other villages nearby, it produces its famous AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape vines out of thirteen selected grape varieties. A tradition, that exists since the 14th century when the Popes started to encourage the planting of vineyards. You will be enchanted by the particular bouquets and aromas during a vine tasting offered by many wineries of this region.

Mont Ventoux – Biosphere

The stunning scenery of Mont Ventoux in Vaucluse
Known as “Giant of Provence”, the Mont Ventoux has gained fame through its use in the Tour de France cycling race. Classified as a UNESCO biosphere it has an exceptional flora and fauna. One can find Mediterranean plants but also rare species. Like a den, it announces the arrival of winter when its summit is covered in snow. The mountain is surrounded by various landscapes, such as the plain of the Comtat Venaissin with Côtes du Ventoux vineyards, truffle oaks and in springtime, flowering cherry trees and strawberries, the Sault Valley with vast lavender fields and the Toulourenc Valley with medieval hilltop villages.

Isle sur la Sorgue and its antiquarians

Isle sur la Sorgue - capital of antiquarians!
Also called “Small Venice of the Comtat”, Isle sur la Sorgue has become over the past 30 years the capital of antiquarians. Featuring 10 villages with antique dealers and many shops and galleries, it is now ranked second only to Paris. A visit of the antique market on Sundays and a stroll along the emerald clear green water of one of the numerous arms of the river Sorgue will leave you unforgettable impressions.

Vaucluse Tourism in Provence is the official website of the department of Vaucluse. Plan your next holidays in South of France: book your hotel, B&B, rental house or campsite across Provence with us. Vaucluse Tourism will be pleased to assist you with organising your stay. Visit us at http://www.provenceguide.co.uk.

Rural villa in the French countryside

Tips to rent a villa in France

Rural villa in the French countryside

When you are researching suitable accommodation for your holiday you are spoiled for choice and various options might come to mind. In recent years renting a holiday home in the form of a luxury villa, cottage or apartment has become more mainstream and acceptable. The increase in the popularity of the Internet has allowed holiday homeowners to list their pride and joy online and for you as the holidaymaker an opportunity to consider more properties than ever before.  One of the most popular destinations amongst holidaymakers who are looking to reside in a holiday home is France. Whether you are considering renting the property directly or using one of the many holiday villa companies, the following tips will prove useful.

Bring all documentation

It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that any required legal document such as a passport or visa is available.  If you are a EU member and wish to vacation in France you require only a passport, however if any of your party are non-EU members they should consult with the French embassy to avoid disappointment.

Confirm check-in and check-out times

Each country has a different time for checking-in and checking-out. It is acceptable to check-in to your villa in France after 5pm and before 7pm in contrary in other countries such as Croatia where the acceptable time is much earlier so please check with the villa owner or the villa company from which you are booking with. Checking-out on time is also essential, as the villa will require cleaning prior to the arrival of the next party. In France the acceptable time for checking-out is 09:30.

Sort out your transport

Often overlooked, you are responsible for your travel to the villa and of course for any traveling in the area you might want to try. As you would expect France has a suitable and on time public transportation system and you can safely count on its performance during your holiday. Nevertheless if you are contemplating a villa in the south of France, as a more rural area you should consider hiring a car so you are spending more time on holiday and less time focusing on travel. Should you decide to take the route of hiring a car be sure to bring a valid driving license (if you have a UK photo card driving license you will also need to produce the paper part) in addition to a credit card all in the driver’s name.

Confirm what’s included

Perhaps one of the most important pieces of research prior to booking is to check what is included in the price. Naturally the property itself and essentials such as linen, bedclothes and small towels are included and also electricity and gas unless otherwise stated, however from here on the level of spec might vary depending on the villa. Note down what is important to you and compare it against the offer. Modern facilities and equipment are often hard to do without even on holiday. These might include Wi-Fi, TV, DVD, Telephone and other modern amenities that your party might need. Work on a checklist and you’ll be sure to miss little if any at all.


Enjoy your holiday!