As Europe’s second largest country, with a landmass three times the size of New England, it’s not surprising that you’d have some options for where to go. In fact, ACIS offers 31 different tours that focus exclusively on France. Ooh la la!
Here are a few tips to help you get started with your sorting:
- Paris, obviously! You would be hard pressed to find a trip to France that doesn’t include the City of Light, and with good reason. From iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame to just soaking in the atmosphere in one of the city’s wonderful plazas, Paris offers a great introduction to all things français.
- Depth vs. Breadth. On a typical 9-12 day tour of France it’s possible to cover a fair amount of ground. The question is, do you want to? Getting a flavor of several of the country’s regions is an understandable priority, but it will mean changing hotels multiple times, with all of the packing and unpacking that entails. On the flip side, some tours spend all of their overnights in a single city (usually Paris), with day trips arranged to outlying areas. Knowing the preferred pace for your group is an important step in finding the right tour.
- North or South? If you’ve opted out of the Grand Tour, a common dividing line you might consider is tours focusing on northern France versus those that head south. The north offers the history of Normandy’s D-Day beaches, the stunning Mont Saint-Michel and the castles of the Loire Valley. In the south you’ll bask in the Mediterranean climate, with likely stops in Avignon, Nice and one or more of the many Roman ruins in the area (the Pont du Gard is my personal favorite).
- Special Requests. Normandy and Provence might be the most well-known, but France has many other options to suit different tastes. Chamonix offers a glimpse of France’s alpine side. Strasbourg feels as German as it does French. Or maybe you’re after a different type of travel experience such as a homestay. Don’t be afraid to ask your tour consultant what you can do to make your tour unique.
- When is your next trip after this one? It’s always smart to think ahead. If you plan on making a French trip an annual event, it might be smart to give each trip a more narrow focus. All the more reason for your students to join you on more than one trip! If you see this trip as a less common occurrence, a more comprehensive tour may be in the cards.
These pointers should help you to organize your search. What other factors have you taken into account when planning a trip to France?
For more literature inspired travel, download our 5 Trips for French Teachers:
5 TRIPS FOR FRENCH TEACHERS