Take in Paris’ inside-out Pompidou Centre and skyscraping Eiffel Tower before heading the South to Renaissance Lyon and Spanish-influenced Toulouse. France’s SNCF train network takes you the West to neo-classical Bordeaux, East to canal-crossed Strasbourg and North to Rouen’s inspiring Gothic cathedral.
Travel by train through France’s lush Provence region, chateau-hop in the Loire Valley or touch prehistoric stones in wind-swept Brittany. Run with wild horses on the Camargue plateau or go blueberry-picking in the Alps. Paraglide in the Pyrenees, canoe along Ardèche’s river or swim in Corsica’s clear waters.
Buy olive oil in Provence, foie gras in Dordogne and blue-veined Roquefort cheese. Bag designer labels in Paris, Saint-Tropez and Cannes, bargains at Lille’s outlets, handmade gloves in Millau or Limoges porcelain. Stock up on Loire, Burgundy and Bordeaux wines, and pear cider from Normandy.
Take the train around France to sample cassoulet (pork and bean stew) in the southwest, Normandy’s galettes (savoury pancakes), and Marseille’s bouillabaisse (fish soup), washed down with anise-flavoured Pastis or good-value Languedoc vintages.
Hang out at contemporary art venues like Abattoires in Toulouse or Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, or swoop along the Millau viaduct, Norman Foster’s breathtaking bridge.
A Eurail Pass valid for France is also valid by using reservation for travel from France to Basel (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland), Ventimiglia (Italy) and Port Bou (Spain).
REDUCED BOAT CROSSINGS
Grimaldi Ferries 20% on official fares (port taxes excluded)
SeaFrance 50% discount
[Irish Ferries] 30% discount, advance booking recommended
Bus free transportation
Chemins de fer de Corse All journeys in Corsica 50% discount
Chemins de fer de Provence
Bus SNCF free transportation