Famous worldwide for its picturesque rolling vineyards, prestigious wines, glamorous cities, and elegant towns, such as the sun-soaked Côte d’Azur, France is an enduring icon of luxury. Much of the country’s beauty lies in its diversity, something that luxury travellers cannot resist.
Browse below for ideas on where to go for your luxury vacation in France.
Aquitaine is the third-largest region in France and has everything you need for a relaxing luxury holiday – stunning beaches, picturesque cities steeped in history, fortified villages, and scenic vineyards.
Those who love outdoor adventures can go on cycling tours or hike through the Pyrenees. There are also water activities, such as surfing and white-water kayak rides. For the history buffs, glorious chateaux and prehistoric caves are waiting for you to discover. And if you’re culturally inclined, you’ll enjoy strolling through the charming cities of Aquitaine, which are replete with historical and architectural sites. Foodies and wine lovers will be more than content with the gourmet offerings in the region, most especially the top-quality Bordeaux wines.
If you’re here for pure relaxation, you will find many beaches to choose from. With its 250 km of ocean coast, Aquitaine has Europe’s longest stretch of fine white sands. Add to this is the 500 km shores alongside the estuaries and lakes. Having a vast coastline also means there are many harbours and charming seaside resorts in Aquitaine, from the Basque Coast to the beaches of Medoc in the north.
2. The Camargue
Camargue is a vast marshland situated in the Rhône Delta, home to white horses, long-horned bulls, and beautiful flamingos. A haven for nature lovers, it is the French version of the Wild West and an ideal spot for horseback riding and bird watching.
Small and agile, the white horses of Camargue are said to be the world’s oldest breeds. Jump astride in one of these animals to explore the Camargue Regional Nature Park, a vast expanse of salt marshes, rice fields, lakes, and glass-covered moors. As you explore the park, you could come across flocks of flamingos. Camargue is the only site in Europe where these pretty pink birds regularly breed at an average of 10,000 pairs per year! If you want to see them up close, head to Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gau, where you’ll find scenic trails ambling through the marshy landscapes.
One of the best things to do in Camargue is to hire a canal boat on the Canal du Midi. Winding through the stunning vineyards and picturesque countryside, it is one of the oldest canals in Europe that’s still in operation.
Provence offers a diverse and rich landscape, from breathtaking vineyards to endless lavender fields, rocky hilltop villages and gleaming Côte D’Azur waters. With its major landmarks, stunning port towns, and rich countryside, Provence very much epitomises a luxury Mediterranean destination.
Côte d’Azur, famous for its charming and elegant towns like Saint-Tropez and Cannes, is a must-visit for your luxury holiday in France. The hills on the coast are dotted with charming ancient villages offering a glimpse into the region’s long and turbulent history, not to mention spectacular views. About halfway between Cassis and Marseille, you’ll find Calanques, one of the most beautiful spots along the French coast of the Mediterranean Sea. High above the sea, you’ll find a series of colourful limestone cliffs towering above secluded coves.
In the heart of Marseille, the capital city of Provence, you’ll find MuCEM or the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. It’s a super-modern museum sitting right next to the medieval fort of Saint-Jean, built by Louis XIV in 1660. The area is also home to some attractions, such as the Villa Méditerranée and Musée Regards de Provence.
4. Cote D’Azur
Côte d’Azur has everything to delight luxury travellers – sunny beaches, chic resorts, picturesque marinas, charming stone villages, and endless lavender fields. It’s so beautiful that famous painters like Van Gogh have called it home.
There’s so much more to explore in the Côte d’Azur than its sea-hugging cities. Up into the rocky highlands, you’ll find picturesque villages like the Les Baux-de-Provence. Its charming narrow streets are rightly popular with tourists, and given its clifftop locations, there are many stunning viewpoints to enjoy here. Head to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, one of the grandest villas in France. Built by Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild in 1905, the main purpose of the palace was to house her growing art collections.
After a day of exploring the villages, spend the night away at Monte Carlo, home to some of the world’s best casinos. While Monte Carlo is located in the small country of Monaco, it’s just right next to Côte d’Azur. It may be small, but it certainly packs a lot of glamour. Stay in a luxury French villa with a concierge service, for a true luxury experience.
5. The Loire Valley
The charming nature of the Loire Valley captivates all kinds of travellers, including those seeking a luxury experience in France, from wine lovers to gourmets and history enthusiasts. Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the picturesque Loire Valley is home to rolling green fields and bountiful vineyards.
Sitting pretty at the banks of the Loire River, Loire Valley is known as the “Garden of France”, thanks to its rich fertile land, producing fresh ingredients that fill the kitchens and cellars of the finest restaurants in France. If you’re into fine wines, it’s hard to imagine a better place to visit. The area is famous for its vineyards, producing an excellent variety of wines, from Cabernet Franc to Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Historically, Loire is a favourite holiday destination of French nobles, and this preference has left its mark through the abundance of fine architecture and magnificent castles in this picturesque valley. Loire Valley is also home to hundreds of chateaux with fascinating interiors and spectacular gardens. Amboise, which used to house the French royal court, is a particularly popular destination in the Loire Valley and is also known for being the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci.