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France

France is effortlessly chic, bursting with romantic cities, pavement cafés perfect for people watching, world-famous food and wine, and a southern coastline which epitomises Mediterranean glamour.

Its capital, Paris, is regarded as the most romantic city in the world. It is revered for its wine and cuisines. It has an almost unrivalled historic and cultural heritage in its architecture, artworks and music. Beyond compelling cities that routinely feature exquisite palaces, ornamental gardens, gourmet restaurants and world-class museums, France also boasts natural beauty that extends from the snow-clad Alps to the sun-kissed beaches of the French Riviera.

France also possesses one of the most modern and efficient rail networks in Europe, and an escorted rail tour in France with Great Rail Journeys is one of the easiest and most comfortable ways in which to explore and enjoy a host of France's greatest attractions.

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28 results matching: France

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Europe 2023

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Sardinia Island
Small Group
Booking Offer
2023AprMayJunSepOct
12 days from
£2,895 pp £2,745 pp
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12 days from
£2,895
£2,745
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  • DestinationFrance, Italy
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Premium Rhine Cruise
Save 10%
4.2 stars(54 reviews)
2023MayJunJulAugSep
8 days from
£2,195 pp
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8 days from
£2,195
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationFrance, Germany, The Netherlands
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Save 10%
7 days from
£1,895
per person
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International, London Heathrow
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Avignon, the Rhône & Provence
Small Group
Booking Offer
4.2 stars(74 reviews)
2023MayJunJulAugSepOct
7 days from
£1,595 pp £1,445 pp
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7 days from
£1,595
£1,445
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Carcassonne & the Canal du Midi
Small Group
Booking Offer
4.1 stars(66 reviews)
2023MayJunJulAugSepOct
7 days from
£1,795 pp £1,645 pp
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Booking Offer
7 days from
£1,795
£1,645
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tour map
  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Loire Valley
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4.2 stars(24 reviews)
2023MayJunAugSep
7 days from
£2,395 pp
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7 days from
£2,395
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation

Europe 2023

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Nice & the Cote d'Azur
Small Group
Booking Offer
3.8 stars(30 reviews)
2023MayJulAugSepOct
7 days from
£1,695 pp £1,545 pp
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7 days from
£1,695
£1,545
per person
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Premium Rhône Cruise
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4.6 stars(30 reviews)
2023JunJulAug
8 days from
£2,095 pp
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8 days from
£2,095
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
San Sebastian
Small Group
Booking Offer
3.8 stars(13 reviews)
2023AprMayJunSepOct
8 days from
£1,895 pp £1,745 pp
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8 days from
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£1,745
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  • DestinationFrance, Spain
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Nice Carnival
4.5 stars(13 reviews)
2023Feb
7 days from
£1,695 pp
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7 days from
£1,695
per person
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Save 10%
7 days from
£1,895
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsLondon Heathrow
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportFlight, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Save 10%
7 days from
£1,995
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our France tours
The Beautiful Basque Country
28/Oct
G Foulis
5 stars
“This trip offered something different every day. San Sebastián resort, Bilbao for Guggenheim museum, Rioja scenery and wine tasting, French coastal resorts, historical town as a base in the centuries-old Parador hotel which used to be a castle. Unfortunately the mountain railway is seasonal, so didn’t operate when we were there, but our guide made sure we saw similar scenery, and he did some lovely local walks with those who wanted.
Collected by Trustpilot
Avignon, the Rhône and Provence
27/Oct
H Yesson
5 stars
“A very good tour exploring a beautiful part of France. Excellent tour manager and interesting day trips. The Novotel rooms were spacious and comfortable, and though there were occasional breakfast blips (how can a hotel allow itself to run out of standard black tea when it knows there are British guests staying?!), that did not mar the overall experience. My father had a lovely time too.
Collected by Trustpilot
The Majestic Rhine (Rail and Cruise)
13/Oct
Mr Howells
5 stars
“An excellent rail/cruise. The Tour Guides were extremely helpful and supported the tour without a hitch, The Amadeus boat could not be faulted, and the on-board crew and staff were first rate. The tour was well thought out and it was well worth the trip.
Collected by Trustpilot
Secrets of Provence by Barge
28/Sep
Gillie
5 stars
“Wonderful holiday - staff on barge excellent. Food (except the meat) very French and delicious. Places interesting and unusual 'Course Camarguaise' (bulls in arena), olive oil making farm and Roman ruins (Arles) Transfer thro' Paris once again a shambles - Gt Rail need to sort this out - but ride in a Parisian taxi was much more exciting than a coach! More barge holidays will be booked!
Collected by Trustpilot
Nice and the Côte d'Azur
23/Sep
P Peters
5 stars
“It lived upto my expectations
Collected by Trustpilot
Lille, Flanders and the Somme
20/Sep
MN
5 stars
“Very good. Very emotive experience and would recommend it to everyone.
Collected by Trustpilot
Provence and The Elegant Rhône (Rail and Cruise)
15/Sep
David
5 stars
“Excellent. Trips out were good & the meals & service were equally good.
Collected by Trustpilot
The Cote d'Azur and Nice Carnival
29/Mar
Roger Witt
5 stars
“A well organised holiday. The carnival was amazing
Collected by Trustpilot
Carcassonne and Cathar Castles of France
15/Nov
C Munday
4 stars
“This was a really enjoyable holiday for us. We found the train journey to be far more relaxing than air travel. The trips were varied and interesting and the guide was very in-tune with our group and dealt with a range of unforeseen circumstances with good humour and efficiency. The hotel was in a lovely location just by the river with a good view of Carcassone and the breakfasts were very good although being on the wrong side of 60 we did have problems working out how to manage the shower and the hot water generally in our bathroom. I would recommend this holiday.
Collected by Trustpilot

Discovering the best of France with Great Rail Journeys

At Great Rail Journeys we offer our guests a variety of escorted rail tours in France covering everything from a romantic Seine cruise to a short break in the rustic Dordogne region or a longer relaxing stay on the shores of Lake Annecy. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that our French rail breaks offer excellent value. The price of your trip covers travel to, from and within France, accommodation of a high standard, an itinerary of excursions designed to highlight the best aspects of each French destination and a selection of meals.

You'll stay in hotels that we've personally selected for their quality and value to ensure that you enjoy the best comfort, service and facilities. Where possible you'll stay in family-run hotels which we find are more relaxed and give our guests a more personal service.

 

 

You'll be escorted throughout your French train holiday by our friendly and professional Tour Manager who is on-hand whenever needed to provide assistance, answer questions and offer information and advice about the places you'll visit.

France's History and Culture

France's modern history is a story of invasions and conflicts for control. The region of Europe originally known as Gaul was ruled by Celtic tribes until the Roman Empire, under Julius Caesar, took control in 58BC. When Rome fell, Gaul was ruled by a heathen tribe - the 'Franks', who gave the country its name and its first king: Charlemagne. The monarchy continued despite an attempted invasion by the English during the 'Hundred Years War' between 1337 and 1453. They were defeated thanks to the army-rallying efforts of a young French peasant called Joan of Arc. By the seventeenth-century, ruled by King Louis XIV France had become a European superpower but a subsequent financial crisis and disillusionment with the monarchy sparked the French Revolution in 1789. The monarchy was abolished and France became the republic that it remains today.

 

 

 

France's Climate

France's climate varies with location, but is generally mild and temperate throughout the year. The north and west of the country are the coolest and experience most rainfall, whilst the Mediterranean coast enjoys the driest, warmest and sunniest weather. Spring and summer are the best times to visit anywhere in the country unless you're a snow sports enthusiast, whilst autumn is typically the wettest season.

French Cuisine

Great Rail Journeys' tours allow you to enjoy French cuisine which is renowned for its culinary artistry, flair and flavour. Should Escargots de Bourgogne (snails in garlic butter) or cuisses de grenouille (frogs legs) not be to your taste there are countless other French classic dishes and specialities to enjoy such as baked Camembert cheese, Moules Marinières; mussels cooked in a white wine broth; Soupe à L'oignon; an onion soup traditionally served with a unique crust; Cassoulet; a popular stew of duck and beans and Bouillabaisse; a colourful stew of fish and shellfish flavoured with saffron.

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Ashleigh Howe
Ashleigh
James Starkie
James
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
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