France remains one of the most visited countries in the world, due in part to it’s long and enthralling history and it’s present position as a cultural leader amongst nations. Another reason for France’s popularity is that it has a number of breathtaking rural areas which not only offer visitors the peace and quiet they crave, but also allows visitors to get a real sense of what life in France is like. Far from the hustle and bustle of cities like Paris, Nice and Bordeaux, rural France seems to move at a speed slower to it’s urban counterparts. It is still possible to encounter a farmer with a horse and cart, just as it is also possible to find yourself unable to shop on a weekend because many of the stores stay shut. These little intricacies are what keep tourists returning to the rural areas in France.
Fortunately, getting to your ultimate rural destination isn’t too difficult, particularly as the UK and France are neighbours connected not only by several airports but by the Channel Tunnel and ferry routes. If you browse through the flight deals on offer from the main airlines that service the area, you should quickly find that there are plenty of opportunities to fly out of the UK for a negligible price. You can rent a car from a company like 121 car hire france and then it is just a matter of finding your accommodation!
Accommodation too can be easy to come by – you can either look around for a cheap package holiday or you can browse through the hundreds of bed and breakfasts, chalets and cottages that are listed for short-term stays or holiday-rents online. Ultimately the selection you have to choose from is determined by the region you would like to stay in – wine-growing regions, for instance, are likely to have more accommodation facilities available as they are more popular; whereas areas in central and south-west France may have less to offer. Another factor to consider is that summer holidays can make even the quietest of rural areas busy – if you are planning to visit an area of rural France during the peak period, make sure you book several months ahead of time.
If you do decide to holiday in rural France, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is which region to visit. France has many distinct areas that have numerous attractions: the Champagne region, for instance, is popular with bubbly-wine lovers; whilst Burgundy is popular with red wine fans. Normandy is popular with Brits travelling by ferry from the south coast of England, and is also a location that many military historians and relatives of World War II servicemen visit. Provence, meanwhile, is renowned for it’s rich rural cuisine; whereas the rural areas bordering the southern coast of France are famous for their fresh produce and sunny weather. Each region has it’s own cuisine and many of the dishes you sample will be hard to find elsewhere. Fondue, for instance, is found in Burgundy and in the Alps; bouillabaisse meanwhile will be found closer to the French Riviera. These are some of the simple pleasures which holidaying in rural France has to offer.