France is the most visited country in the world, and for good reason. With a 65 million population, France receives almost 50% of its own population in tourists each year – almost 90 million pre-pandemic would visit per year.
The reason for France’s popularity regarding tourism is complicated. There is a wide range of reasons to visit France depending on your interests and age. For example, a young active person may see France as the perfect skiing destination, whilst a couple may see it as the ultimate romantic weekend. Plus, many of us already speak some basic French.
Of course, foodies can indulge in world-class cuisine, and those looking for cultural immersion can indulge in the incredible history, architecture, and art. From a beach holiday with good weather to a cultural expedition, France fits the bill for almost everyone.
How to travel to France
Another reason why France is so popular is due to its geographical proximity. It takes no longer than three hours to reach from anywhere in Europe and has many, many airports. These airports are perfect for people travelling through a chartered jet on a luxury trip, partly because of their selection of private terminals, but also has plenty of economy class commercial flights inbound.
Flying to France is both easy and cheap, but there are some alternatives. It is possible to enter the country over the sea on a ship. There are direct ferries from a variety of locations in Ireland, England, and Spain. From any of these, it’s easy to catch a regular ferry to Caen, Roscoff, Le Harve, Calais, and Cherbourg.
These ferries usually have spaces for vehicles too, making it easy to drive to France. It will cost extra for a ticket to park a car, but ultimately, if you’re looking to take your private car to France, it couldn’t be easier.
Finally, it’s possible to travel to France via train. France borders Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. You can quite easily catch a train from all of these countries directly into France, though it’s more difficult for some than others. What many forget is that whilst France doesn’t border the UK, with a large stretch of sea separating the two, there’s an underground train called the Eurostar that goes from London to Paris. The Eurostar only takes just over 2 hours. It’s also worth keeping in mind that France is very much central in the Eurail pass, so it’s very easy to travel around with such a pass, and enter into nearby EU countries under the same ticket.
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Of course, the pandemic stands as an obstacle for some of these methods. Generally, you can enter through the methods above (with chartered jets being the easiest option in side-stepping covid obstacles, of course), and is particularly smooth if you’re vaccinated and an EU citizen. For those outside of the EU, a negative Covid test will need to be shown 48 hours before arriving (24 hours for the non-vaccinated). For those arriving from the EU but are unvaccinated, a negative Covid test will also need to be provided. These measures are prone to changing in the near future, so check for updates here.