Whether you're celebrating a landmark birthday, heading away on a sophisticated hen weekend or trying to organise a family reunion with foreign relatives, you're sure to find the perfect spot for a group getaway in France. Blessed with an enchanting countryside that's sprinkled with medieval castles, quaint villages and world-class wineries, it's a place that can't fail to impress your guests.
France is known for its style and sophistication, so if it's luxury you're after then this is certainly the place to come. While cities such as Paris and Cannes are synonymous with the high life, you'll also find that the rural regions of the country can be equally lavish. In this guide we'll be taking you through some of the best places to go for your group celebration.
France's northern coast is a great place to go if you're travelling with the whole family as it's so close to the UK, meaning you won't have to spend too much time in transit. Yet just because it isn't far away doesn't mean it's not packed with excitement.
If you're celebrating a special occasion then you'll want to choose a location that has the ability to really take your breath away and leave some lasting memories. Normandy is one place that guarantees to do just that, partly due to its dramatic landscape and partly because of its irresistibly charming towns. The famous cliffs of Etretat, for example, have captivated a number of world-renowned artists through the years, including the likes of Claude Monet and Eugene Boudin, and also provide the perfect backdrop for the many medieval towns that line this part of the French coast.
Among these is Caen, which was chosen by William the Conqueror as an administrative seat for his Duchy, and despite being targeted during World War II has maintained much of its original charm. The 11th century Ducal Castle is one of the oldest forts in all of Europe, and exploring its ramparts really does feel like stepping back in time, adding that touch of magic to your trip.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont-Saint-Michel, meanwhile, is like no other place on Earth and is often referred to as the wonder of the western world. Located in the middle of a bay which features one of the greatest tidal ranges in Europe, this 8th century sanctuary is somewhat dreamlike in appearance and really does have to be seen to be believed.
The Loire Valley
If you're heading to France for a celebration then one thing you'll certainly want to do is sample some of its famous wine, and there are few places better than the Loire Valley for doing just that. Around 90 different appellations hail from this part of France, which is most famous for its high-quality whites such as chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc.
Many of the vineyards throughout the region offer tours and wine tastings, and there are also a number of designated tourist routes running through several of these wineries. The best way to get the most out of the area is to hire a chateau in the Loire Valley, from where you and your party can explore the surrounding countryside and taste as many different vintages as possible.
If you want to go all out then you may wish to consider hosting your celebration in the south of France, which is where you'll find a number of the world's classiest towns and cities, including the likes of Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez. The Mediterranean climate makes this a great place for a group getaway as it allows everyone to spend some quality time together lounging by the pool or on the beach.
In terms of day trips and attractions, you really are spoilt for choice here, with world-class art galleries such as the Musee Picasso in Antibes, as well as great shopping opportunities along the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes. The Var region - which is where Saint-Tropez is located - is also home to a number of excellent vineyards and Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the longest stretch of beach on the Cote d'Azur.