Five reasons to visit France in Winter? There are many reasons to visit France in Winter. Albeit the temperature can be chilly, France takes on a special magic in Winter … from the fairy lights of Paris to the stark vineyards of Burgundy and the majestic snow adorne Alps of the Haute Savoie. Bistros beckon with warm bourguignon, stores lure with incredible sales, and the most elegant hotels offer amazing deals.
1. France in winter is beautiful
France in Winter is beautiful, discreet and quiet. She becomes the elegant old dame and the haunting beauty. In this season of crisp mornings and dark evenings there is a sense of peace, and permission to regenerate and to reflect while being immersed in a deep rich history. It doesn’t mean the country sleeps; it’s lit by thousands of sparkling lights that make everything pretty and glowing. France in Winter – with its space and solitude – allows you to feel the country is yours, and for a moment, you become part of its tapestry you feel like you belong.
2. Amazing French hotels offers
In a French winter, the crowds are less and the French hotels offer great deals. Three nights for the price of two … original room prices reduced and upgrades are given to chambres you would normally only dream about – like this gorgeous room upgrade I was given at Symphonie des Sens in the old part of Rennes, Brittany, while on business. I felt like a queen, especially after a complimentary glass of champagne. C’est perfect!
3. The French sales that keep on giving
Imagine yourself meandering through a little medieval town after taking in the wonders of a master impressionist exhibition when you see the sign ‘soldes -30%’ in a gorgeous window display. It’s written in French but the word ‘sale’ is a universal language. And the French sales mandated by the French Government to take place across the country once in winter and once in summer – are unforgettable. You walk inside the store and the most strikingly fashionable outfits from French or international designers draw you in – not just one off pieces, but whole ensembles – the shoes, trousers, shirt, jacket, scarf … and lingerie. Silks and woollens and leathers, fine stitching, classic cuts, original styles … and being winter chances are your size is still available … all at reduced prices. To me, it’s heaven. You take it home less the duty further reducing the price, and each time you walk out the door in your new French outfit oh la la you are reminded of that little ancient town on that cold sunny day. This is why the French sales keep on giving. But if you can’t make them then visit our French Heart Store or join our newsletter for exclusive specials and sales.
4. Beautiful French ski villages
France has some of the most beautiful ski villages in the world. Snow covered churches in 12th Century villages mingle with traditional chalets, Fresh scents of wood-smoke beckon you into little farm-like bistros on piste, exhilarating runs off towering mountains or through serene pine-fringed bunny trails, traditional mountain cuisine using locally produced ingredients and hot wine served with a dash of Grand Marnier. Skiing in France is not a sport, it’s a cultural experience that will satisfy the most die-hard skier or those who are simply going along for the ride.
5. French winter food is … everything
There is nothing more satisfying during a French winter than to wade through the thick curtains at the door of a French restaurant, take off a heavy jacket and sit feeling light and warm at the dining table. The anticipation is just as exciting as the meal itself. Rich bouguignon, steak a la planche, or the divine truffle experience like Chez Bruno’s in the south of France pictured.
Quick tips for visiting France in Winter
- Wear warm socks ~ queues will be shorter for major attractions in Paris but there is often still a wait, standing on very cold stone.
- Pack layers – singlet or slip, long sleeve shirt, jumper, jacket, tights or pants / jeans, scarf, gloves, hat if you wish.
- If you don’t have the right gear visit Monoprix – France’s answer to Target.
- Search your hotels online for three night for price of two deals or ask the hotel manager for an upgrade or discount.
- Some attractions will be closed ~ possibly around Christmas, or February so do your research first before visiting.