French Alps blanketed in deep snow, a citrus parade on the Cote d’Azur, luxury ski resorts. A carnival in February is just a few of the reasons to visit this winter paradise.
In addition, since it is the wintertime, many of France’s major cities, such as Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, and Lyon, see less visitors during the winter months, resulting in reduced flight. Accommodation costs throughout the season. Listed here is a selection of the best places to visit in France during the December Global Holidays.
1. The city of Annecy
With a line of picturesque water canals that are ringed by Lake Annecy, Annecy is often referred to as “the Venice of France.” Annecy, in the Auvergne-Rhone Alps area of southeast France, is a little over 20 miles from Geneva, Switzerland. It is a popular tourist destination. Lake Annecy is one of the biggest and cleanest lakes in France. It is located near the city of Annecy.
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During the Christmas season, Annecy transforms into a festive, Alpine wonderland, complete with an actual Christmas market, an ice skating rink, seasonal lights and illuminations, classical performances, and a sightseeing train.
While strolling through the old alleys of the Old Town, you will be able to take in the history and beauty of the city. Which includes buildings dating back to the Middle Ages, quaint restaurants and cafés, and tiny specialty shops.
The construction of the Chateau d’Annecy spanned four centuries, from the 1200s to the 1600s. The edifice served as a residence for dukes and counted for hundreds of years after its completion. It was eventually abandoned and converted into a barracks facility. The chateau was purchased by the municipality in 1953. It is repaired with the aid of the government historical society before being converted into a museum. The Palais de l’Ile, located on a separate island. Served as the residence of the nobility of Annecy until being converted into a jail. As a museum and the Center for the Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage. It serves the community.
A beautiful day is ideal for a bicycle tour around Lake Annecy, so bundle up and get out there. You’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of the snow-capped Alps as a reward for your efforts. The GlaGla Race takes place in January. It attracts hundreds of competitors, largely from France, who glide across the frigid Lake Annecy on standup paddleboards. Is a spectacular event.
Menton is the second-most populous city in France.
On the Cote d’Azur in the south of France, is the sunniest spot in the country, with over 300 sunny days each year. Menton has a unique micro-climate that allows it to have over 300 sunny days per year. During the winter months, the average temperature in Menton is around 64 degrees Fahrenheit, which, along with the bright weather, makes it an excellent location.
The Citrus Festival (Fete du Citron), which takes place in February, is the most important and anticipated event of the year in Menton. When I went to the festival in 2017, the theme was Broadway musicals. There were floats from the operas’ Grease, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and Little Shop of Horrors in the parade. Every year, there is a different theme. When I went in 2017, the theme was Broadway musicals.
The Jean Cocteau Museum honors the artist, poet, filmmaker, writer, and designer Jean Cocteau, who was born in Paris in 1926. The museum houses more than 1,000 pieces of the iconic artist’s work, including essays, paintings, poetry, videos, and drawings. All of which were created during the mid-20th century. One of Menton’s most popular tourist attractions is the Val-Rahmeh Botanical Gardens, a former estate that now contains acres of native and exotic plants and flowers.
You may take a short train journey to Ventimiglia on Friday to view the big open-air market, which sells food, clothes, and souvenirs. Because Menton lies near the border with Italy. You can attend the market on Saturday. While you’re there, treat yourself to a meal in a traditional Italian trattoria.
Megeve, number three.
Megeve, once a sleepy mountain farming community, has blossomed into one of France’s most opulent ski destinations. Originally found by the aristocratic Rothschild family in the 1920s. Megeve has since attracted other elites and the affluent, establishing itself as an alternative to skiing in the Saint Moritz enclave. Where it is still popular today.
As a result of its proximity to Mont Blanc, Europe’s tallest peak and the highest point in the Alps. Megeve offers some of France’s most favorable skiing conditions. Three major ski slopes are located in the region. Mont D’arbois, Rochebrune, and Le Jaillet, which together comprise 200 kilometers of skiing terrain and 88 lifts. Megeve has excellent cross-country skiing. With about 25 miles of defined tracks for skiers of all abilities. From beginners to experts. The picturesque routes go through pine trees with gentle inclines and descents. Electric fat bikes. Feature bigger tires that can handle icy terrain.
Megeve takes its gastronomy seriously, and for such a tiny hamlet, it has an unusually high number of Michelin-starred establishments, including the two-star La Table de l’Alpaga and the three-star Flocons de Sel restaurants. At the Chez Olivia, you may enjoy a stack of pancakes as well as other regional dishes in a more relaxed setting.
It’s quite nice
Nice is another mild-weather option in France during the winter months. Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, has temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit during the winter season, as well as a high number of sunny days throughout the year.
Compared to other carnival venues like as Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans, the Nice Carnival is on par with them. In the year 2021, the theme of the Nice Carnival will be “King of the Animals.” During the carnival, there are two primary parades to attend.
The Parade of Lights takes place on Place Massena, the city’s largest plaza, and begins at 9 p.m., when all of the floats are lit and illuminated. This year’s festival kicks off on Saturday with the Flower Parade, in which dressed float models joyfully toss millions of flowers to an adoring crowd on the streets. The Parada Nissarda has 18 floats, as well as performances by theatre troupes and music ensembles, as well as enormous puppet heads. The cost of admission is little less than 30 euros per person for reserved seats and slightly more than 10 euros per person to stand.
In Nice, if you dress up as a character during Carnival, you may be eligible for free entrance to certain of the parades.
Lyon is number five.
The Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumieres) in Lyon. Which takes place at the beginning of December, is well worth the effort of planning a special vacation to France. The Fete des Lumieres, which began as a local practise of inhabitants setting blazing candles in their windows to symbolise their love to Mary, the mother of Jesus, has grown into an internationally known yearly festival attended by more than 200,000 people and has become a worldwide model.
Apart from being a significant tourist attraction. The Fete des Lumieres also gathers representatives from the laser light and outdoor lighting industries. The festival showcases some of the most technologically complex and sophisticated light systems in the world, among other things.
Over the course of three days, 36 designated indoor and outdoor places will host light displays. Including illuminations on church and cathedral facades, contemporary buildings, the banks of the Rhine, the City Hall courtyard, city squares, and train stations.
Pro Tip: If you want to attend the Fete des Lumieres. Book your hotel reservations four to six months in advance to ensure that you have a place to stay.
The city of Paris
“Paris is always a good idea,” Audrey Hepburn once observed. I wholeheartedly agree with her — so much so that I now call this city home.
The month of January is an excellent time to visit Paris. Since the city has emptied out after the bustling tourist season that began in December. Reservations at the most exclusive, difficult-to-get-into restaurants are simpler to come by. The most popular tourist sites, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, and the d’Orsay Museum. Easier to traverse and have shorter lineups, if any, than they were the previous year. It is the offseason, airline tickets, hotels, and Airbnbs are substantially less expensive. You’ll find great bargains, such as a free night when you book three. More nights at some hotels, or free room upgrades when you book online. Because the Martin Luther King holiday falls on a Monday, Paris may be a convenient destination for a long weekend.
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