Low Cost Car Rental in France

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Cannes Beach in July


By Matt May

After Spain, France is the most popular holiday destination for the British. Although prices in France are comparable if not a little more expensive than those in the UK (and higher than in Spain), there are plenty of reasons why people head for France for their holidays.

So why does France attract so many tourists to its shores? For a start the French climate is better than in the UK, with the southern half of the country enjoying long, hot summers which stretch into October as you approach the south coast. As a general rule the southern coast of France from Nice around to Perpignan the Spanish border has the best of the weather.

The food and drink (particularly the wine) is a big attraction for tourists, although French cuisine is not to everyone's taste. Somewhat stereotyped for its frog's legs and snail's cuisine, France offers a gastronomic experience which is centred around meat dishes, so vegetarians may be disappointed.

Whether you are skiing in the French Alps, walking in the Pyrenees, mixing with the jet sets on the beaches of Cannes, rummaging in the street markets of Paris, France has something for everyone, and it's on the doorstep.

Visitor suggestions

Must do

Visit the French Riveira on the south coast. For a city break Nice is close to the affluent resorts of Cannes and Monte Carlo the home of the French Grand Prix. For a quieter resort try the picturesque town of Menton near the Italian border.

Must see

Aside from the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe, if you are visiting Paris make the effort to see the Pere Lachaise cemetery, final resting place of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and many more artists and celebrities.

Must Eat

Market stall with an array of French cheeses

France is renowned for its cheeses - goats cheeses are especially popular as are soft cheeses including Camembert and Brie.

Something different

If you are in the Pau region why not try camel riding - see the Camels in France website

Something healthy

For walkers, cyclists and nature lovers, the Pyrenees are an idyllic location for walkers. With some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe, and an abundance of birds, butterflies and other wildlife, the Pyrenees are a great destination for an active holiday. Always remember to take water and a map.

When to visit

Summers in France are generally more reliable the further south you venture. From Bordeaux southwards expect warm days from late April to mid-October.

The south coast resorts from the Italian border near Nice around to Perpignan have the best climates, and can be visited all year. Summer temperatures are generally in the high 20's, and in winter there is plenty of pleasant sunshine with temperatures on the coast regularly reaching 14-16 degrees centigrade. Venture a few kilometres in land in winter and the temperatures can drop very quickly.

How to get there

If you are driving from the UK, Eurotunnel have some good offers on the Channel Tunnel if you are flexible with dates.

Flights are available from the UK to most areas of France. Here is a quick guide to which airports are best depending on the purpose of your visit:

Beach Holidays

If you are looking for sun, sand and sea then Beziers, Biarritz, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Nice and Perpignan Airport are good choices.

The French Riviera has the best climatic conditions in France, with a warm micro-climate due to the sheltered location and proximity to the Mediterranean.

Le Touquet

In the north of France the exclusive resort of Le Touquet is popular with Parisiens in summertime. The pine-lined town is a magnet for designer shop outlets due to the rich clientele who holiday there.

Skiing Holidays

For skiing choose Chambery, Grenoble, Nice, Pau or Perpignan Airport.

Walking Holidays

If you are heading for the Pyrenees for a walking holiday then Carcassonne, Perpignan, Pau or Toulouse Airports offer good access.

Wine Holidays

Poitiers and Tours Airport in the Loire Valley offer an excellent base for wine holidays. On the south west coast Bordeaux Airport is good for a wine/beach holiday combination.

Historic Holidays

The beaches in Normandy in north western France were the scene of the second world war D-day landings. There are a number of WW2 museums and sites of historic interest along the coastlines of Normandy, Picardie and Calais.

Dunkirk near the border with Belgium was the site of the evacuation of Allied soldiers and is the theme of a Hollywood film. At Dunkirk at low tide it is possible to see the wrecks of some of the boats sunk by the German bombers.

9 seater minibus

Minibus Rental

If you require a larger vehicle, Blue Valley Car Hire provide 9 seat self-drive minibus rental at airports throughout Europe. We do not provide rental of vehicles with over 9 seats.

Scenery inland from the Costa del Sol near Competa

Spain Guides

We have guides to some of Spain's most popular holiday regions including the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Costa Brava, Costa Tropical and Costa Almeria.