Northern France really is a region of contrasts, with naturally beautiful countryside and the cosmopolitan delights of Paris within easy reach. Paris is arguably the world’s most exciting city, with bars, restaurants, galleries and world-famous sights all vying for your attention. It also offers you Disneyland Resort Paris, which is worth a trip whether you are 8 or 80. Yet beyond the City of Light, Picardy and Normandy bring you rural splendour, historic sights and some of the finest cathedrals in Europe.
If you are in the right place on a good day you can see the White Cliffs of Dover from the French coastline. It’s that close. The variety of scenery across the region is very varied from the long sweeping beaches of Normandy and the Atlantic coastline to the famous wine growing regions of Champagne and Loire.
Nord Pas de Calais is the northern most region, bordering with Belgium and The North Sea and the English Channel. This region is the one of the major gateways between Britain and France and is very popular amongst British people. The region is great for relaxing on the beach and visiting museums to learn about the history of the area, you will find everything you want in this French region. The coast has miles of long sandy beaches as well as fortified towns which are worth visiting.
Further south on the channel coast is the area of Picardy. Picardy has a rich and eventful past, making it an extremely attractive place to go for a holiday. As well as relaxing in warm weather there’s lots of local history to track down and enjoy. Full of rolling valleys and green woodland this region is a popular destination for young families not keen on long journeys for their holidays. Some of the coastline is unspoilt and mixes cliffs, sandy beaches and sand dunes which are perfect for beach holidays.
Normandy consists of two areas, Lower and Upper. Upper Normandy (Haute Normandie) is home to Le Havre and Dieppe which means your journey will be very straight forward. Fall off the ferry and you’re here. Dieppe is very popular and has the largest street market in Northern France that just seems to consume all the cities streets. Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie) is normally lumped together with Upper Normandy and called simply Normandy. The region has a fantastic coastline, some lovely green countryside and a very good dairy industry which means that cheese and cream make the food of the area some of the best in France.
Brittany is one of the largest regions in Northern France. It has very long coastline with rugged scenery that is not unlike Cornwall. This area has many medieval villages that coexist with busy modern town such as Rennes with pretty seaside resorts such as Cancale. The area is a real home from home for many Brits who come here for wonderful countryside, great beaches and delicious food in abundance.
The Loire region, with it’s pretty Loire Valley is another popular holiday destination. To the west, the wild and rugged Atlantic coast contrasts with the lush countryside and rivers of the Loire valley in the centre. The region produces some of Frances best known white wines and has a large number of pretty chateaux with stunning architecture and wonderful gardens to visit.
Champagne-Ardenne is located in the north-east of France and is the home of Frances most famous wine, champagne. The region has plenty of natural countryside with lakes and forest that make this a particularly popular holiday destination.