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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

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 gigantic pool

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

Long Pool at Les Orangeries

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

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€

Tree-house south of France

Orion B&B & Treehouses, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

Think Tarzan and Jane! One of the best tree houses we have visited. Close to medieval fortified village of St Paul de Vence inland from the French Riviera, Orion's tree houses and gorgeous natural outdoor pool are a great place to go with the kids.
4 treehouses and a separate cottage

From €160 per night (based on a minimum 2 night stay)

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

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

£374 to: £777.00 (based on two staying)

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

Exterior of Radisson Blu Lyon

Radisson Blu Lyon, Lyon, France

'The tallest hotel in Europe', this is the place to stay if you want amazing panoramic views from the top nine floors of Lyon's tallest building. Behind the spectacle and luxury there is also an impressive commitment to the environment.
245 rooms

Doubles from €159

La Violette, Avignon, France

Just a stone’s throw from the train station and Avignon's buzzing centre is this delightful B&B – a true home from home. Expect a warm welcome from Isabelle and family and a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere.
3 doubles, 1 single

Doubles from €75

The terrace of Home Sweet Home, where breakfast is served

Home Sweet Home, Lyon, France

Set on Fourviere hill just a few minutes' walk from central Lyon, this charming small guest house is filled with fascinating objects collected by the owner whilst travelling. The organic home-made breakfast is served on a lovely leafy terrace.
3 rooms: 2 doubles, 1 twin

From €58 per night

Exterior shot of Chalet Michelle, France

Chalet Michelle, Val Thorens, France

Wonderfully located for access to both the slopes and the cafes, bars and restaurants of Val Thorens, this comfortable ski chalet offers six twin rooms, log fire in the communal lounge, and use of a shared sauna and swimming pool.
6 twin rooms

From £499 per week

The walls of the bedrooms in Rêve de Mouettes are decorated with birds

Rêve de Mouettes, Marseille, France

This chic one-bedroom apartment is conveniently located just a few minutes' walk from Castellane Metro station. It's had a green makeover, with A-rated appliances, a water-conserving shower and toilet, organic toiletries and eco cleaning products.
One-bedroom apartment, sleeps 2

See website for details

Exterior of A Villa Massalia and outdoor swimming pool

A Villa Massalia, Marseille, France

This luxurious 4-star hotel definitely feels like a complete resort, with spa, swimming pool, restaurant serving gourmet meals and Borély Park and golf course just five minutes away. It's also making impressive progress on the sustainability side.
140 rooms

Doubles from €123.50

The lounge of Le Gite du Lievre de Mars

Le Gite du Lievre de Mars, Marseille, France

This light, bright two-bedroom property in the central Canebière area has many eco-friendly features and from the balcony you can enjoy beautiful panoramic rooftop views of the city.
2 bedrooms, sleeps up to 6 people

From €240 for a weekend or €470 a week.

Communal living room in the Marseille homestay apartment.

Homestay Marseille, Marseille, France

Experience Marseille like a local by renting a room in someone's house or apartment. This stylish apartment in the bohemian Cours Julien area is owned by Maxime and Gabriel who can also give advice on where to eat and what to do in the city.
One double room

€50 per night (4 nights minimum stay)

Modern glass-fronted exterior of Hotel Novotel, Lyon

Hotel Novotel Part-Dieu, Lyon, France

This well-priced 124-room hotel is conveniently located just minutes from the station and within easy reach of Lyon's attractions. It is committed to a programme of sustainable development including reducing energy use and water consumption.
124 rooms

Doubles from €100

Front facade of Hotel La Mirande

La Mirande, Avignon, France

This cosy 5-star hotel is a must for lovers of traditional, elegant luxury. A Michelin-starred chef lovingly prepares gourmet meals with organic, local ingredients and even runs a cookery school. Complementary toiletries are organic and natural.
27 rooms, including doubles and suites

Doubles from €350

Exterior of Villa Florentine lit up in the evening

Villa Florentine, Lyon, France

Set on the Fourviere hillside with splendid views over Lyon, this is a gloriously upscale hotel in a 17th-century mansion. The luxury here is created with impressive environmental care, from water and energy conservation to recycling.
28 rooms

Doubles from €290

Limousin Townhouse

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

£374.00 to: £777.00 (based on two staying)

Chateau Eurocamp Sequoia Parc Campsite, La Josephtrie, Gascony, France

Sequoia Parc Campsite, La Josephtrie, Gascony, France

Sequoia Parc Campsite, France, has a giant water park with a lazy river & waterslides, horse riding or tennis lessons, or relax in the restaurant/bar or enjoy evening entertainment. Close to the beach and dog friendly, perfect for all the family.
640 pitches

from £57 per night

Impressive architecture of the exterior of Pop' Hotel, Avignon

Pop' Hostel, Avignon, France

This bright and vibrant hostel doesn't just offer good value and a central location - it's also great for socialising, with a bar serving regional wines and tapas and a communal lounge area with a library of resources to help you plan your stay.
22 rooms - dorms and private rooms available

Dorm beds from €15; private double rooms from €50

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

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.

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
camel-in-morocco

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
Self guided walking holidays in France

Walking in France - Alps to the Mediterranean

This enjoyable self guided walking holiday starts in the enchanting town of La Brigue in the mountains, where you'll discover mixed woodland, gorges, dramatic peaks and even the mysterious Vallée des Merveilles ('Valley of Marvels').

From £692pp (from £892pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

5 days, 6 nights
Various departures from April- July & September-October
Walking the French Riviera, France

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
Saturday departures from April to October
The magnificent bridge at Albi

Cycling in France - The Timeless Tarn

Explore the sleepy villages, meandering river and rolling hills of the beautiful Tarn Valley under your own steam on two wheels, starting and ending in the delightful town of Albi, staying in authentic country inns and going at your own pace.

From £730pp (from £1010 inc rail from London)

7 nights/6 days
Various departures from April-October start any day (May-Aug) Thu-Mon (Sep & Oct); Wed-Mon (Apr)
Discover unspoiled medieval villages.

Special 'Getaway Break' in France - A Gastronomic Treat

Pop over the Channel for a few days of self guided driving and a stay at the Hostellerie des Tourelles in the pretty village of Le Wast just outside Calais, enjoy exquisite cooking (2 breakfasts and 2 dinners) and fine wines (including champagne)

From £208pp (including Channel crossing Dover-Calais)

2 nights
Various departures from January-October
Raid Pyrenean Coast to Coast Ride, Spain, France and Andorra

Raid Pyrenean Coast to Coast Ride, Spain, France and Andorra

An escorted and supported challenging road bike journey over eleven of the most famous Cols in the Pyrenees. Traverse the mighty Pyrenees hugging the Spanish border, travel through Andorra and France and swim in the Mediterranean sea .

From £869.00 GBP

8 days
Various Saturday departures from June to September
Photo © ATOUT FRANCE/Eric Larrayadieu

City short break in France - Lille

Discover this vibrant city from this 3-star hotel ideally located on the great Flemish square in the heart of Lille, with superb art collections at the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Palais des Beaux Arts, or shopping in the Euralille retail complex

From £106pp based on two people sharing

3 days, 2 nights
Various departures from March-October
Mont Blanc Chamonix

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
Various departures from May to October
Self guided walking holidays in Gascony

Walking in France - Pilgrim Routes of Gascony

Experience alluring landscapes, scenic self-guided walking routes, enriching cultural visits, tasty regional cuisine featuring truffles and duck, as you transfer from welcoming small hotel to hotel on this enjoyable holiday in Gascony.

From £585pp (from £788pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

5 days, 6 nights
Various departures from April - October Sun-Wed (Apr & Oct) Sat-Thu all other dates
Mont Blanc Ascent, France

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

8 days
Various departures
San Remo - Nice Bike Ride, Italy and France

San Remo - Nice Bike Ride, Italy and France

This fully escorted, supported and challenging bike tour will take us by road from the Italian to the French Riviera following the best parts of the coast and tackling some of the stunning climbs from the Milan–San Remo and Paris-Nice bike races.

From £929.00 GBP

8 days
Various Saturday departures from May to September
Self gudied walking holidays in France with Inntravel

Walking in France - Mountains of the Auvergne

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 on this self guided, hotel to hotel walking holiday.

From £698pp (from £905pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

6 days, 7 nights
Various departures from May to September
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

£1195

9 days (land only)
25 Jun, 27 Aug, 17 Sept 2016; 24 Jun 2017
From the Eiger to the Matterhorn Iconic peaks of the Bernese Oberland & Valais

Walking in Switzerland - From the Eiger to the Matterhorn

This is a holiday promising challenge and fulfilment, covering over 150km and at times reaching altitudes of almost 3,000 metres.

From £2225 (including rail) based on two people sharing

12 Days
Various departures from June to October
Self guided cycling holidays in France

Cycling in France - 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 as you cycle at your own pace between hotels.

From £760pp (£910pp including rail travel) based on 2 people sharing

5 days, 6 nights
Various departures from May-October
Mont Blanc Snowshoe Winter Wonderland

Mont Blanc Snowshoe Week - Chamonix Winter Walking

Based in charming Chamonix, this week-long tour is suitable for beginners to Alpine snowshoeing. Stay in a superb chalet in the Chamonix valley and be led by a professional, friendly team. Top of off with a night in the Grand St. Bernard Monastery.

£995 Land Only

8 days
30 Jan, 20 Feb and 5 Mar 2016
Stunning views on Sherpa self-guided walking holiday

Walk The Way of St James | 12 Days self-guided

This self-guided walking holiday takes you through rural France, visiting some more unusual, less popular locations and landscapes over 12 days. In doing so, you complete a Grande Randonnee (GR65) on The Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela

From £940pp based on twin sharing

12 Days
Various departures from May to October
Snowshoeing in Chamonix

Snowshoeing and Trekking in Chamonix, France

From a fantastic base, Chalet Savoy in Les Houches, embark on a stunning series of walks amongst Europe's highest peaks. Explore alpine valleys and climb to mountain plateaux and peaks where you will enjoy some of the finest vistas in the Alps.

From £979.00 GBP

8 days
Various departures from December to March
Varied countryside

Walking in France - Beneath Mont Lozère

Unspoiled and largely undiscovered, the Cevennes National Park is a land of rugged mountains coated in heather, gorse and open grassland that turns golden in the sun. Experience it all on this wonderful walking holiday from Inntravel.

From £1015 (including rail) based on two people sharing

6 Days
Various departures from May to September
Relaxing short breaks at the Auberge d'Inxent in Picardy

Special 'Getaway Break' in France - Picardy Charm

Gently discover the lush countryside of the Course Valley as you self drive from a hamlet in Picardy, staying at the traditional Auberge d'Inxent, famed for its 'Menu de Terroir' and scoff 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners and quaff a bottle of champagne.

From £187pp (including Channel crossing Dover-Calais)

2 nights, 3 days
Various departures from February-October
Dogsledding in Chamonix Valley

Chamonix Winter Activity Week, France

From a comfortable chalet enjoy an array of fun activities including a horse-sleigh ride, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, snowshoe walking, ice-skating, riding the Mont Blanc Express train and also visiting a St. Bernard dog kennels.

From £1099

8 days
Various Saturday departures from January to March
Views on the Mont Blanc Circuit, France

Tour du Mont Blanc, France

This 'fast and light' 8-day tour of the Mont Blanc circuit includes the most challenging sections of the tour, designed to suit only the biggest trekking enthusiasts.

From £999

8 Days
Various Saturday departures from July to September
Self guided walking holidays in France

Walking in France - Land of the Crusades

Explore the countryside north of the Tarn Valley, 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 on this self guided walk.

From £698 per person (from £930pp inc rail) based on 2 people sharing

7 nights, 6 days
Various departures from April-July & August-October
Nice Carnival

Nice Carnival and the Côte d’Azur by First Class Rail

Soak up the sun during this first class, self-guided 5-day rail holiday to Nice, where you'll not only be able to revel in the beauty of the French Riviera's turquoise shores, but also explore the vibrancy of the Nice carnival.

From £495.00 per person (based on two people travelling together)

5 Days or tailor-made to your specific requirements
Between 12th and 28th February 2016 you can experience Nice Carnival
Beautyful harbour of Cannes

Nice and Cannes by Train

Explore the glamorous Côte d'Azur in the south of France with its glittering Mediterranean coastline. From beaches to boutiques, and the exclusive Principality of Monaco, the French Riviera is the perfect holiday destination.

See full itinerary

7 days
Daily
Mont Blanc Walking Holidays France

Mont Blanc Hotel Trek, France

A 15-day, moderately challenging version of the classic Tour du Mont Blanc, exploring rugged landscapes and rolling fields while traversing the borders between France, Italy and Switzerland.

From £1899.00 GBP

15 days
Various departures from June to September
Mont Blanc Circuit, French Alps, France

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

15 Days
Various Saturday departures from June to September
Zip wires in the Ardeche

Ardeche Mixed Activity Week

Explore the beautiful Ardeche by kayak and bike, enjoy a rope park and visit the Ardeche region of France's natural wonders. Perfect adventure for families.

From £1039.00 GBP

8 days
Sunday departures from May to September
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 £1595

8 days
Various departures from May to October