Guests of France vacation rentals find year round activities, whether in ski chalets in the Alps to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. During the summer months, sailing and yachting are a favorite past time along both coastlines while along the beaches, popular surf spots are crowded with windsurfers, kite boarders and Jet Ski riders. Hikers and bikers take to the alpine trails to soak up the pristine beauty of the mountains or ride the rapids in a kayak down the roaring rivers.
In the metropolitan areas, art museums like the Louvre showcase classical masterpieces while avant garde galleries promote up and coming artist. Amusement and theme parks fill visitors' days with everything from grandiose rides at Disneyland Paris to the modest carousel in the Jardin des Tuileries. The Cite des Science explores the possibilities of the future while the Paris Underground is a stark reminder of France's tumultuous past. From classical opera houses to lusty cabarets, the streets of Paris transformed into an adult playground by night.
Considered the world's premier shopping destination, Paris fashions are sought after by trendsetters while bargain hunters love to explore the cast off treasures in the local flea markets and antique stores. Food boutiques offer mouth watering cheeses, chocolates and pastries that are sought after as both gifts and souvenirs. Limousine tours are a perfect way to enjoy a day of wine tasting in the countryside, ideally topped off with a sunset hot air balloon ride over the vineyards.
Gastronomy, the art and science of eating and drinking, has been perfected for centuries in France and the result is some of the most delicious foods on the planet. From the humble baguette to the flaming creme brulee, almost everything is available in the central regions, but as you move out into the countryside, traditional dishes take the spotlight.
Along the coastline, seafood, particularly shellfish like oysters and lobsters, are paired with native fruits and vegetables into delicious stews like Coq au vin. Along the Rhone valley, delicious sausages and wild game complement soft white cheeses served with the Chartreuse liqueur produced at a nearby monastery. In the Basque country, fresh water fish and delicacies like truffles and foie gras assured for a sharp cheeses made with sheep milk and finished off with a nice Bordeaux wine.
In the northeast Champagne region, the delicious hams are an integral part of quiche Lorraine, a regional specialty that has gained popularity around the world. Beers in this region are hearty with a distinct German influence and of course, the sparkling wine of the same name.
Brittany and Normandy chefs produce thick stews that highlight the abundant wild game and amazing fresh produce grown in the region. Camembert cheese on fresh, hot French bread is a common appetizer while the main dishes often integrate apples from their numerous orchards, from which they also make excellent cider. Crème Chantilly adds the perfect flourish to those incredible pastries that guests of France luxury villas relish.
France basically has five different climatic zones that range from changeable maritime conditions along the Atlantic Coast to sunny days in the south punctuated by sudden heavy showers. Mediterranean-style weather prevails along the western coast although it can get extremely hot in the summer. In the mountainous regions, snow and ice dominate in the wintertime while from spring to autumn the run-off and thunderstorms keep the terrain moist.
Preferred Escapes presents an astonishing array of France vacation rentals from family seaside cottages along the French Riviera to stately executive mansions in the vineyards of Burgundy to penthouses for swinging couples in Paris. Our top notch accommodations offer self-catering facilities or provide a helpful staff.
France contains 27 regions that are grouped by general location. The Centre region includes Paris, where cosmopolitan France luxury villas reside on streets that lead to favourite destinations like the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Opera House and the Louvre. Considered the heart of historic France, the cities of Orleans and Blois still embrace old world elegance and serve as living tributes to the powerful forces that shaped this region.
The south of France, known colloquially as "le Midi," stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean along the Spanish border. In the eastern section, the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur boasts some of the finest France villa rentals in country and coastal settings. The French Riviera has long been considered a playground of the rich and famous so cities like Nice and Monaco drip indulgences while the Cannes Film Festival attracts flocks of movie stars to France every spring.
In Provence, stunning landscapes have inspired such painters as Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Monet and Renoir and even serve as background in the modern British film "A Good Year." Further south, Languedoc Roussillon offers France villa rentals on the grounds of impressive vineyards that have been producing world-class wines for generations. The Languedoc stretch of coastline, infamous for their clothing optional beaches, also has the longest beach in France, the Espiguette, with miles of sand dunes. Charming seaside villages like Leucate Plage contain surprisingly great restaurants, modern surf shops and art galleries while maintaining a relaxed vibe.
France vacation rentals in the Northwest Loire valley, often referred to as "the garden of France," find a rich, fertile land where quaint farms dot the landscape. Long considered sacred ground, the valley holds Renaissance treasures such as the Chartres Cathedral and the impressive Chambord Castle. France luxury villas with full service staffs are secluded by formal gardens that flank the clear rivers running through the valley. In towns like Burgundy, beef Bourguignon is meticulously prepared to complement the popular red wines grown in this region.
The northwest region of Brittany and Normandy boast a rugged splendour inspired by the pink granite coastlines that have been fashioned into everything from cathedrals to standing stones. Medieval fortresses, sedate fishing villages and seaside resorts give France villa rentals a rustic charm that is best expressed in their famous Benedictine liqueur.
Trust, Experience, Quality, Service