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Getting to France

There are many options for travelling to France - ferries, budget / scheduled airlines and train (with or without the car). There is excess capacity on most routes and so prices remain remarkably keen. You can usually get a good deal by booking direct, although some travel companies have the benefit of negotiating special rates, so it can pay to shop around.

There are several options available. Eurostar provides a passenger service which you can join either in London at Waterloo or at Ashford in Kent - you can travel from London to Paris in around 2.5 hours. Eurotunnel provides a vehicle service from Folkestone to Calais - the fastest method of crossing the channel.

If you are anxious to get there quickly then travel by air, especially if you are heading south. The budget airline industry ensures that many regional airports are served - arrange a hire car in advance. There are downsides - the convenience depends on how close the departure airport is, and on the distance from your arrival airport to your destination.

Travel by sea is excellent if you want a break to stretch your legs during the journey. In the summer the weather is usually calm so you can have a comfortable crossing. In our opinion, the nicest way to go to the west coast is to combine it with an overnight ferry, where you wake up in the morning close to your destination. Reserve a cabin - the cost is worth it!

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France Facts

65,073,482 (2009)


Official language:

Recognised regional languages:


Euro (EUR)

Time zone:
CET (UTC+1) - Summer (UTC+1)

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