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Green Holidays in France

Not for nothing is France the world's most popular tourist destination. Who could resist its combination of stunning scenery, beautiful architecture, rich culture and fine cuisine? What's more, it's just a hop, skip and a jump from the UK, easily accessible without flying (see our journey planner for details of how to travel by train from the UK to France).

Cycle past ancient chateaux, sample local gourmet delights (and fine wine in Burgundy), walk through the Lavender fields of Provence, try a green break in the Alpine snow or simply relax under the Mediterranean sun and glamour of the Riviera.

There are plenty of green places to stay throughout the country - from ecogîtes to one of the largest luxury yurt camps. Below are some of the best eco-friendly holidays and places to stay in this beautiful, varied country - all of which you can reach by train or ferry.

>> See also our unique green travel guides to the Lot Valley and Savoie Mont Blanc.

Long Pool at Les Orangeries

Hotel Les Orangeries, Poitou-Charentes, France

Swim in a long pool beneath the orange trees and enjoy wonderful food in this tranquil and harmonious hotel, rated as a Three Star Sustainable Restaurant by the SRA since September 2012, achieving annual well deserved accolades.
room overlooking the village €115

Featured places to stay in France

Featured Holidays in France

Featured Articles on France

How to travel by train or ferry from the UK to France







Our detailed rail journey planner shows you how to travel by train from London to France, showing you where to change platforms/stations, prices, timetables, journey times and how to book tickets for the following rail journeys:







There are many great ways to travel from the UK to France and our ferry travel planner provides in-depth information, including intermediate travel, prices, timetables, journey times and how to book tickets for the following ferry crossings:

Ferry from Dover to Calais
Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen
Ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg
Ferry from Poole to Cherbourg
Ferry from Poole to St Malo (Summer only)
Ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff
Ferry from Rosslare to Cherbourg

Ferry from Rosslare to Roscoff
Ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe
Ferry from Weymouth to St Malo

More places to stay in France

Les Clauzades Vieilles

Les Clauzades Vieilles, Lot Valley, France

An exquisite family home in the middle of the Lot Valley complete with pool, housekeeper, chef-on-call and tennis court. Perfect for a luxurious family holiday where the active may not even be tempted to leave the walled compound to explore the Lot.
6 Bedrooms in the house, 2 in the gite

Gite from £350 per week, main house from £1100. 2 nights minimum

Sweet French Cottages

Sweet French Cottages, Lot Valley, France

Nestled just above the Lot River on 10 acres of woodlands with a stream are enchanting stone cottages restored by the Artist-Designer owner: cozy beds, fireplaces, terraces with mountain views and a pool. Featured in 'Art & Decoration' Magazine.
1 King or Queen Bedroom

Weekly Rates: Oct-Mar 500-700€, Apr-May 600-800€, June&Sept 700-900€, July&Aug 800-1000€

Cottage la Figuerie at Barrau

La Figuerie, Barrau, Tarn et Garonne, France

A 15 acre hilly and wild private nature reserve. Largely unploughed, resulting in flora and fauna as diverse and unspoilt as a century ago. An hour from Toulouse, surrounded by woodland, come and hear incredible birdsong and see amazing night skies.
3: galley kitchen, shower/WC, and a lounge with twin beds

Between €280 and €380 Per week. Or stay a minimum of 3 nights between €120 €160.

Long Pool at Les Orangeries

Hotel Les Orangeries, Poitou-Charentes, France

Swim in a long pool beneath the orange trees and enjoy wonderful food in this tranquil and harmonious hotel, rated as a Three Star Sustainable Restaurant by the SRA since September 2012, achieving annual well deserved accolades.
15 : 9 doubles or 6 twins, 2 singles, 4 suites

room overlooking the village €115

 Limousin Townhouse exterior.

Limousin Townhouse, Limousin, Central France

A restored French medieval townhouse, dating back to the 15th century, in Bellac. Retaining original features including a staircase over 500 years old, late medieval floor tiles and cut granite fireplace. Home to a traditional full French 'box bed'.
Sleeps 7: twin (ground floor), double, single, twin

£167 - £252 - for a 2 night stay based on two guests, 5% for each additional guest

View from the garden at Amondans

Amondans Auberge, Comté, France

A rustic guesthouse in one of the greenest corners of France. Try your hand at the guided activities, such as canoeing, horse-riding and walking, or simply relax in a hammock gazing out at the surrounding countryside. Great for families.
12 rooms (6 double, 3 triple, 3 family rooms)

Single ocupancy € 73.00, Double room € 106.00, Triple room €147.00, Group € 44.00 p.p. All rates inclusive half board. Special long stay rates available

Luxury tented camp

Le Camp, Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France

A stunning six-tented luxury camp in a beautiful part of SW France. Extra king-size beds in spacious tents, well equipped communal kitchen, free concierge service and lots of play opportunities for children including a lovely natural swimming pool.
Six tents sleeping 2-8: 4 Yurts, 1 Giant Yurt, 1 Big Tent

€267 per night for safari tent. €219 per night for woodland yurt. Children €25 per child per night. No other charges, everything else included.

You will love to sleep on the water...

Floating Village of Pressac - France

France's first ever floating village - offering amazing private cabins for the whole family or just for two, bobbing in a lake, with fishing and cycling on site. Picnic hampers are available, cake and champagne delivery, too!
80 people max. 8 family cabins (4/5 persons) and 13 doubles.

130 euros for 2 people and 195 euros for four people

Blanzac Townhouse

Blanzac Townhouse, Limousin, France

Blanzac Townhouse is a fabulous, rustic and original French medieval townhouse in the beautiful Limousin region of central France. This house, and its neighbour that is also let, are perfect for families and groups, yet intimate enough for just two.
Sleeps 8: Master Double, Twin, Double, Twin

£280 - 2 night stay, £705 - 7 stay

Exterior of The Rustic Retreat

The Rustic Retreat, SW France

A peaceful place tucked away in a valley with shady veranda surrounded by gardens, perfect for families or as quiet retreat. Books, cats, hens, endless walks, swimming river, local markets, castles. Climbing, cycling, canoeing and hiking all nearby.
2: 1 Double, 1 Twin + cot.

Low season £650 per week, High season £1000.

Yurt La Bergerie

La Voute Life, Mainzac, Charente, France

Surrounded by some 55 acres of beautiful countryside, La Voute Life is a secluded yurt camp in the Poitou-Charentes region of south-west France. With a superb range of facilities and activities, this is ideal for a real taste of rural French life.
king size bed in each Yurt, childrens beds available

From £495 a week

More holidays in France

It is important to be firm : One of you leading your donkey with the rope

Mercantour self-guided walking holidays, France

Through the fragrant foothills of Provence and up to the alpine panoramas of the Mercantour. With or without the help of one of our devoted donkeys, take in sights such as Europe's largest glacial lake, red gorges, marmots, chamois and golden eagles.

€612 adult /€498 child under 12, full board at a guest house, hotel and mountain refuge, and including luggage transport by donkey and transfer from/to train station

8 days (7 nights)
15 May to 15 September
Self gudied walking holidays in France with Inntravel

Walking in the Auvergne Mountains, France

Explore this rugged walking country, ancient volcanic activity having created spectacular formations here, with solidified lava flows filling valleys and rivers to form lakes and waterfalls.

From £770pp (from £940pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

6 days, 7 nights
From 16 May to 30 September 2015; start any day
Cycling through pretty Alsace

Alsace's Route du Vin, France

This varied cycling holiday takes you along the wine route that runs north to south between the Vosges mountains and the Alsace plain, bordered on the east by the Rhine, with a foray across the river into Germany for two nights.

From £1037 tour only. Quote GT1234 when you book and receive a free bottle of champagne per booking!

9 days
Every two days from 13 May to 24 Sep
Lacanau Holiday Village, Aquitaine, France

Lacanau Holiday Village, France

Located in Aquitaine region, next to the sea and where the Nature and sport go together, Lacanau Village is the perfect place to spend holidays.

From €306 for 7 nights for 4/5 people

2 or 7 Days.
From December 2011. Residence is opened from 06/04/2012 to 30/09/2012
Photo © ATOUT FRANCE/Eric Larrayadieu

City short break in Lille

Discover this vibrant city from this 3-star hotel ideally located on the great Flemish square in the heart of Lille.

From £112pp based on two people sharing

3 days, 2 nights
From 9 March to 31 October 2015

Mont Blanc Highlights, France

The Tour du Mont Blanc offers some of the finest walking routes in the Alps. This 8 day walking holiday selects some of the top sections of the tour, with accommodation in a comfortable chalet in Chamonix.

From 799.00 GBP

8 Days
From Jul 15 to Oct 17

Cycling Bordeaux and the Atlantic Coast, France

Cycle through the blossoming vineyards of the Gironde to the dunes and pine forests by the Atlantic. Visit the peaceful harbour town of Pauillac, pass the world famous wine growing chateaux of Margaux and Lamarque and discover unspoilt landscapes.

From 779.00 GBP

8 days
From Jul 15 to Oct 15
Moliets Holiday Village, Aquitaine

Moliets Holiday Village, France

Perfectly located this holiday villages allows you to enjoy the sea as well as visiting both Spain and France.

From €298 for 7 nights for 4/5 people

2 or 7 Days.
From December 2011. Residence is opened from 31/03/2012 to 30/09/2012

Walking the French Riviera, France

Menton, located on the Franco-Italian border, 'The Pearl of France,' combines a city of gardens, seaport, beach resort and a paradise for hikers all rolled into one! Many of the trails start here offering some of the finest views of the Riviera.

From 849.00 GBP

8 days
From Aug 15 to Oct 15

Picardy Charm - Special 'Getaway Break' to Inxent, France

Gently discover the lush countryside of the Course Valley from a delightful hamlet in Picardy, staying at the traditional Auberge d'Inxent, famed for its 'Menu de Terroir'.

From £192pp (including Channel crossing Dover-Calais)

2 nights, 3 days
From 12 February to 31 October 2015; start Thu to Sun (the hotel is closed on Tue & Wed, except in July and August, when it is closed on Tue only)
Self guided walking holidays in France

Self-guided Walking in the Land of the Crusades, France

The countryside north of the Tarn Valley hides a timeless landscape of unspoiled medieval 'bastides', or fortified villages, largely dating from the turbulent 12th-century when the English sought to dominate this land.

From £695 per person (from £898pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

7 nights, 6 days
From 28 March to 12 July & 22 August to 11 October 2015; start any day
Self guided walking holidays in Gascony

Pilgrim Routes of Gascony; self-guided walking holiday

Experience alluring landscapes, scenic walking routes, enriching cultural visits, tasty regional cuisine featuring truffles and duck, and welcoming small hotels on this enjoyable holiday in Gascony.

From £588pp (from £795pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

5 days, 6 nights
29 March-31 October 2015, start Sun-Wed (Apr & Oct) any day all other dates

Mont Blanc Circuit, French Alps, France

One of the most dramatic walks in Europe, the Tour du Mont Blanc offers two weeks of climbing passes, traversing glaciers and meandering through meadows - all under the watchful gaze of the Alps' most beautiful peaks.

From 1149.00 GBP

15 Days
From Jul 15 to Sep 17
Discover unspoiled medieval villages.

Gastronomic Treat - Special 'Getaway Break', Picardy, France

Pop over the Channel for a few days at the Hostellerie des Tourelles in the pretty village of Le Wast just outside Calais, and enjoy exquisite cooking and fine wines.

From £215pp (including Channel crossing Dover-Calais)

2 nights
From 2 January to 14 December 2015; start any day
The pretty villages and vineyards of Alsace

Alsace Wine Trail, France

Easy walking through vineyards, ancient oak forest and totally unspoilt gingerbread villages bedecked with flowers, with great views of the Black Forest, Vosges mountains and their string of stone castles on panoramic peaks.

Tour only from £878. Quote GT1234 when you book and receive a free bottle of champagne per booking!

9 days
Every two days from 13 May 13 to 24 Sep
Self guided cycling holidays in France

Cycling in France through Bordeaux and St Emilion

In the famous wine-producing region around Bordeaux and St Emilion, there are handsome villages with colourful histories to be explored and no better way to discover this beguiling area than on two wheels.

From £785pp (£935pp including rail travel) based on 2 people sharing

5 days, 6 nights
From 28 March to 31 October 2015; start Monday-Saturday

Mont Blanc Ascent, France

Climb Western Europe's highest peak in this gruelling yet hugely rewarding 8 day walking holiday. Practice important techniques on snow and ice before taking part in the 3 day ascent, sleeping in remote mountain refuges on route.

From 1999.00 GBP

8 days
From Jul 15 to Sep 15
Belle Dune Holiday Village, Picardy Region, reachable by train

Belle Dune Holiday Village, France

Belle Dune: a perfect place to spend holidays with friends and family, located in the Picardy region near Paris, the Bay of Somme and Touquet.

From €288 for 7 nights for 4/5 people

2 or 7 Days.
March to November 2012

Moroccan Self-Guided Discovery by Train

Take an unforgettable trip to another continent without flying! Let the sights and sounds of Morocco engulf your senses on this incredible, flight-free adventure as you travel to and from Morocco via France and Spain's high-speed rail network.

from £1495 per person including rail travel from the UK

14 days
Daily departures all year round
Cycling holiday in France and Switzerland, from Geneva to Nice

Geneva to Nice Road Cycle Tour - Best of the Alps

Ride the Complete Route! Fully guided and vehicle supported, we road bike from airport to airport, Geneva to Nice, climbing some of the most historic road biking cols of Europe. Stunning Alpine scenery makes for a superb cycling holiday


9 days (land only)
20 Jun, 29 Aug, 19 Sep 2015 and 18 Jun 2016
Cycling in Alsace by the canal

Cycling in the Village & Vineyards of Alsace, France

Embark on this leisurely cycling holiday through historic villages, down country back roads and up hills with the most magnificent views of the valley. Discover the rich culture of the region by sampling local dishes accompanied by tasty wines.

From £625pp (from £865 inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

5 days/6 nights
From 28 March to 11 October 2015; start any day
Escorted Dordogne Rail Holiday

Escorted Dordogne Rail Holiday

Based in a hotel built into the cliff face in the town of Rocamadour, explore the diverse scenery, pretty villages and fascinating architecture of this picturesque region in southwest France of the country from the comfort of your train seat.

From £708

6 days
from 12 April to 11 October

Wine and Gastronomy: France and Spain

A true treat for the taste buds, this rail itinerary will satisfy the foodies amongst you. In Bordeaux, go on a vineyard tour, then experience the glamorBiarritz. Cross into Spain to taste the delights of San Sebastian and its famed gastronomy.

from £895 per person including rail travel from the UK

8 days
All year round
Premium Rhone Cruise

Premium Rhone Cruise, France

Hop on the MS Amadeus Symphony for a special trip along the River Rhone. Admire beautiful landscapes and scenic valleys relaxing on board, while on land discover charming cities, elegant buildings and historic towns along the river.

From £2145

8 days
First departure 15 May 2014, Last departure 28 August 2014
French Riviera by Train

French Riviera by Train

The French Riviera, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is surrounded by pretty harbours and leafy trees as you relax in the typically warm climate of the French Riviera on a train holiday. Discover the tiny alleyways of Nice.

From £745

7 days
From 20th March to 9th October
The Venice Simplon Orient Express

The Venice Simplon Orient Express

Explore Paris, Milan and Venice with a guide on this truly relaxing, romantic and elegant holiday. Travel on one of the most glamorous and famous trains of all time, the Venice Simplon Orient Express.

From £2950

9 days
First departure 23 April 2014, Last departure 08 October 2014
On the Trail of Vincent van Gogh

On the Trail of Vincent van Gogh

On this fascinating rail holiday, you will visit all the sites that were significant in Van Gogh's life and see the vast majority of his artwork in various locations throughout the Netherlands and France.

from £1095 per person including rail travel from the UK

10 days
All year round
Across the Spine of the Alps

Across the Spine of the Alps

With some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, the Alps stretch from France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy into Slovenia. On this rail holiday you will track their course, arriving into the achingly beautiful lakeside town of Bled in Slovenia.

from £1395 per person including rail travel from the UK

13 days
All year round
Dordogne by Train, France

Dordogne by Train, France

Travel by train and boat and experience this delightful area of France has to offer, from the town of Rocamadour that is built into the cliffs that rise above the River Alzou, to the narrow alleyways of the Old Town of Sarlat.

from £698

6 days
From 14th April to 15th September