Designated a UNESCO heritage city, Avignon was for centuries one of the major artistic centres of France. Located on the banks of the River Rhône, this medieval city is dominated by the awesome Pope´s Palace. Although there are countless museums, chapels and churches to visit in the city, don't go home without seeing the lavender fields, neat olive groves and gnarled vines of the stunning Provence countryside.
Bordeaux is a thriving port city on the Garonne River with beautiful 18th century mansions and architecture, including its Grand Theatre by architect Victor Louis. Home to one of France's most important wine regions, Bordeaux is especially known for its award-winning reds. Tour the chateaux, taste the world-class wines and indulge in the regional cuisine. Bordeaux also offers excellent museums, nightlife and nearby beaches.
This vibrant student city boasts one of the best-preserved town centres in France. Packed with beautifully decorated townhouses (built by wealthy medieval burghers), Dijon still displays the grandeur of the former capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. Be sure to put Dijon Mustard, cassis blackcurrant liqueur and Burgundian wines at the top of your shopping list, as you stroll the main thoroughfare, rue de la Liberté.
Renowned as a snowboarding and skiing holiday destination, the French Alps offer a picturesque region that is also home to medieval towns, historical landmarks and attractions. The region also offers picturesque freshwater lakes and an indulgent range of day spa facilities.
A breathtakingly picturesque region, the Loire Valley is home to fragrant flower gardens and ripe and resplendent fruit orchards. Host to many festivals, the Loire Valley offers a scenic river route however the region's most popular attractions is its gourmet fresh local produce and wines.
Dating back to Roman times, the UNESCO Heritage city of Lyon is full of surprises. Europe's largest Renaissance quarter intrigues with its Italianate courtyards, cobbled streets, and maze of hidden passageways known as "traboules". Foodies will enjoy the city too - in France only Paris beats Lyon for Michelin-starred restaurants. Once a leader in Europe for silk production, this immense city is now a major commercial and banking hub.
Wander through the medieval rabbit warren of the old town, stroll along the famous seafront "Promenade" and see the fin-de-siècle residences that made Nice one of Europe's most fashionable winter retreats. Nearby Cannes is probably the most glamorous spot on the Cote d' Azur. Popular for its film festival and casinos, the beautiful bay, sandy beaches and pretty port are also great attractions.
The Normandy region of France combines a 360-mile dramatic coastline, including the dramatically evocative World War II landing beaches, with a verdant interior of lush farmland, bustling market towns, and historic landmarks such as the cities of Caen, Bayeux and Rouen. Gastronomic delights abound, from fine cheese to cider and Calvados; a distilled brandy made from apples.
Paris is, without a doubt, the most glamorous city in Europe. Stylish, romantic and cosmopolitan, the City of Light is famous for its blend of the traditional and modern. Here, you'll discover grand monuments such as the Eiffel Tower alongside the tiny lanes and alleyways of the historic quarters. Be sure to also take time for boulevard-strolling, café-sitting and shopping - all favourite past-times of the elegant Parisians.
Located between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast, Toulouse is a vibrant city of students, a centre of cutting-edge European technology and a place to enjoy the good life. Famed for its redbrick architecture, fine food, Belle Epoque cafés and the Canal du Midi, the historic Ville Rose of South-Western France is attracting a growing number of new inhabitants and visitors alike.