Holidays in France – a great option on a budget
While not quite being a “staycation”, holidays in France have risen greatly in popularity since the global financial crisis left families all over the country strapped for cash.
Nowadays Britons have expanded upon these three options, exploring regions such as Normandy and Brittany, as well as islands such as Corsica, by train, ferry and coach.
But it’s not surprising that so many Britons opt to spend their weekends away, half-term breaks or summer holidays in France. The country that not only offers fantastic food and wine has something for everyone.
Easy travel options
As well as the more well-known travel options, such as ferry, train and aeroplane, Brits also have the option of using a bus company on many routes between the UK and France.
Just one of these companies is iDBUS, a new, high-quality long distance coach service operated by the French train operator, SNCF. Offering coach journeys between London and Lyon, iDBUS can offer British travellers a comfortable and affordable mode of transport to Lyon, Paris (city centre and Charles de Gaulle airport) and even Turin and Milan in Italy.
What’s on offer?
Paris is widely recognised as the most romantic city on the planet, and it’s little wonder why. Not only does it have the Eiffel Tower, but the Palace of Versailles, Sacre Coeur and plenty of opportunity for romantic strolls along the Seine. The food is universally lauded too, and it’s a cuisine with something for everyone.
As you move south in the country, it’s not only the climate that seems to change. It’s easy to forget that France not only borders the channel, but also the Mediterranean, and as you venture south from Paris the food turns Mediterranean and, as a result, the people become much more laid-back.
Lyon, France’s second largest conurbation, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has much to offer tourists. “The Capital of Lights”, as it is known after the festival it hosts each December, is also recognised as France’s capital of gastronomy. But it’s the history and the magic of Lyon that makes it a great city to visit, and iDBUS’ £45 (mini price) London to Lyon fare represents excellent value, especially if the “group deal” (four for the price of three) is taken advantage of.
Something for everyone
With the high cost of air travel becoming even more wallet hitting in these times of austerity, it’s easy to see why tourists are opting to ignore long-haul destinations such as Thailand and Florida. Even European destinations that are further afield and require a fair bit of travel time, such as Turkey, Greece and Italy, are losing popularity.
It’s no surprise why when you can experience so much in the country just across the water. France’s beautiful cities, such as Paris and Lyon, offer history and culture in abundance – and it’s all easily accessible on a budget.
The editorial unit
Photos: Jim Trodel (1) and Pablo Fernandez (2)