Travel to France to explore one of Europe’s most romantic destinations, and the most-visited country in the world. Its sheer diversity of places to see and things to do is what makes France such a popular holiday destination. Nowhere else can you enjoy so many different experiences, landscapes and so much beauty. Here you can soak up the sun on glorious beaches in the French Riviera, dine, shop and sightsee in Paris, revel in the beauty of Provence and go skiing in the French Alps.
With an excellent transportation system making travelling around France a cinch, this beautiful, stylish country is just begging to be explored. You can tour the country by car or train, visiting exciting destinations and immersing yourself in French culture. Or if you prefer, you can stay in just one part of this stunning country. It’s all up to you. Wherever you go in France, you’ll enjoy superb cuisine and a variety of exciting tourist attractions showcasing the country’s incredible art, culture and history.
Why visit France
- Take a trip to France to explore its beautiful landscapes, including Alpine mountains, farms, rivers and coastline.
- There are many picturesque, charming villages to discover, many of which are included in your France travel package.
- The legendary French Riviera is spectacular and enthralling.
- Paris is the fashion capital of the world, and the shopping is superb.
- The wine and champagne are legendary.
- You can hop over the channel to visit England – or vice-versa.
- It’s home to 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Take the kids to Disneyland Paris, dine out with friends in a top Parisian restaurant, enjoy a romantic idyll in Saint Tropez or explore the magnificent countryside on your own. Whatever you want to do and see, Thompsons Holidays will arrange the perfect trip to France for you with a carefully curated package holiday. Browse our deals now and let's plan your trip!
Home to fairytale castles, picturesque villages, medieval cathedrals and some of the best cuisine and wine in the world, a trip to France will delight your appetite – for food and culture! The City of Lights, Paris, is a must, with many famous tourist attractions to visit, including its landmark, the Eiffel Tower, as well as the magnificent Louvre museum, and charming Montmartre.
Shopping in France is always a joy, and skiing is another popular pastime, with stunning resorts offering every facility. Soaking up the culture and history in France involves visiting magnificent Versailles, or spectacular Grasse, where French perfume is made. There are so many things to do and places to visit in this diverse country, you’ll be spoilt for choice on your holiday.
Things to do in France
- Savour champagne in Champagne, where bubbly was first created.
- See the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo in the Louvre.
- Enjoy a drink at a pavement café on the Champs Elysees.
- Soak up the sun on a beach in Cannes.
- Explore charming artists’ villages and colourful markets in Provence.
- Attend the Royale Serenade at the Chateau de Versailles.
- Cycle around the picturesque Bordeaux region.
- Go skiing in the French Alps.
- Let your inner child come out to play in Disneyland Paris.
- Discover legendary Mont Saint Michel.
- Go shopping at Strasbourg’s famous Christmas market.
- Explore stunning chateaux in the Loire Valley.
- Cruise the French Canals on a relaxing barging holiday
Whether you’re looking for the ultimate family holiday or romantic getaway; if you want to sample wines and champagne throughout the country or soak up the history and culture on your own, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable holiday in France. Trust Thompsons Holidays to put together a holiday package to France tailored to your needs.
When is the best time to visit?
- France is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cool winters.
- The best time to visit France is in Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November).
- High season (summer) is June to August; winter is November to March.
Getting there & getting around
- There are regular flights from South Africa to France.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Paris: 10 hours, 55 minutes.
- Major cities in France have excellent public transport systems as a whole, including the subway, taxis, buses, and trains.
- Smaller cities, towns and villages in outlying areas may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
Do I need a visa?
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter France.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
What time is it?
- France is on Central European time, one hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Euro (€ or EUR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. Service charge is included in restaurants, but you can tip for good service at your discretion.
- Food is expensive in France.
Culture & religion
- Catholicism is the main religion in France.
- People practice many religions in France, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
- It is safe to drink tap water in France. Bottled water is readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
- Depending on when and where you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter, rain gear and beachwear if relevant. Choose items that can be layered.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor. The Europlug is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
- Support the local economy.
- Be mindful of your impact on the environment.
- Respect each other's culture and customs.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.