France: Why go

The joys of France need little introduction: superb cuisine, fine wines, stylish seaside towns, languid medieval villages and, quite simply, a great quality of life. Where else would you find 345 types of cheese, over 1,000 appellations of wine, and such a reverent appreciation of both?

There’s a deep passion for art of all kinds, from Tati films to techno music, and no shortage of contemporary talent to add to (and challenge) the masters. In Provence you can walk through the sunflower fields of Van Gogh before checking into the room where Picasso and Hemingway slept (not together, I hasten to add). In Paris, city of light, romance and art, you can read Le Monde in the café where Sartre and Beauvoir hung out, or wander the lanes of Amélie's Montmartre.

Its landscapes are incredibly diverse: the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast; the flamingo-filled floodplains of the Camargue; idyllic, lavender-scented Provencal hills chosen by the Romans; the rolling bucolic gastronomic countryside; the Côte d’Azur sunny playground of the rich and famous; the snowy peaks and vast valleys of the Alps. You can come every year for 20 years, and see a new pays each time.

08:59 | GMT + 1 Hours