Paris, France needs no introduction. The 'City of Lights' has long been an inspiration for artists, writers and musicians ranging from Gustav Flaubert to Serge Gainsbourg. Each and every nook, cranny and café of the city is rich with a poetic history you can still see and taste. But there’s so much more to this western European country than the stylish bistros that line the Seine or the impressive works of the Musée du Louvre. From skiing in the French Rhône-Alps and the Pyrenees, to a trip through the rolling hills of the French countryside, an inspiration for everyone from filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard to painter Claude Monet, there is truly something for all.
If you’re a culture vulture, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of the Cannes Film Festival, the yearly screening series and fête held in a particularly sunny patch of southern France. But don’t stop your exploring there - this is truly one of the most breathtaking regions in the world. Côte d'Azur, also known as the French Riviera, showcases Mediterranean-splashed white sands and was once a favourite destination of new wave bombshell Bridget Bardot. Today the area is visited in equal parts by rock stars and the fashion world elite as it is by relaxation seekers and nature enthusiasts. With relatively mild year-round weather, visitors can hike among the oak trees or check out the regional wineries of Bordeaux and Provence, amidst scenic lavender fields that are the stuff of legend.