ance, the world’s most-visited country and our nearest neighbourine ghbour,, is a land o is a land of extraordinary diversity. Her we pick sopick some

France, the world’ most visited country and our nearest xtraordinary diversity. Here we

me of its highlights on a tour fromnorth to south

Just across the Channel, the region of Hauts-de-France marks a great entry point to France’s hidden treasures, from the gentle countryside of Aisne to buzzing capital Lille, with its flea market and fabulous waffles. The awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Cathedral in Amiens is France’s largest, and one of the 90 listed Monuments Nationaux. There are great attractions too, from the rollercoaster thrills of Parc Astérix to Europe’s largest aquarium, the spectacular Nausicaa in Pas-de-Calais.

Head south a little and you’re in one of the world’s most iconic cities, Paris. You’re never far from the water in this romantic and stylish city. Canal- side strolls and boat trips on the Seine with Vedettes de Paris should be on your list, while cultural gems such as the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac line the riverbanks. Consider staying in one of Club Hôtelier 78’s hotels around Versailles to tick off its historic palace too.

Heading northwest, it’s time to raise a glass at Normandy’s Calvados Experience as you explore the history of this famed apple brandy. Tour France’s westernmost tip in Finistere and work your way along the rest of Brittany’s sublime coastline of sandy

From top: Paris, French Alps, Lille, Corsica PICTURES: PORSCHELEGEND, FOTOLIA.COM/ATOUT FRANCE, JEAN ISENMANN, ROBERT PALOMBA its highlights on a tour from north to south

beaches, cliffs and islands. You’ll soon be in the Atlantic Loire Valley, where majestic chateaux meet thalassotherapy spas.

Continue south to Nouvelle-Aquitaine to relax in picturesque Vienne and learn about Cognac – the town and the tipple. Huge surfing swells beckon in Biarritz-Pays Basque, while the glamorous sparkle of the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur), and regional capital Nice, awaits in the south. And don’t forget the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica.

Your final call is at foodie hotspot Lyon, gateway to the beloved snowsports playground of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. When it comes to accommodation, Pierre & Vacances and Odalys boast a range of superb holiday rental properties here and across the country, and for those flying to France, the 11 Vinci Airports make the whole process hassle-free.

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