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French Connections

Find Holiday accommodation in France

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    Whether you’re in France or elsewhere, we wish you a truly happy New Year from all the team at French Connections.

    What better way to spend some time during January than planning your next trip to France? The most beautiful villas, gites and chateaux book quickly so make an early enquiry to be sure of maximum choice in all the popular holiday regions.

    Making French Connections is, of course, what we do - and we know that our owners are looking forward with enthusiasm to connecting with guests for the 2017 season.

    Many offer great deals and incentives on holiday homes at this time of year and these will build up as we go into January, so it’s the perfect time to grab an ‘earlybird’ bargain. You’ll find these deals in our Special Offers pages.

    Remember that if you like the look of a holiday home, you can ask the owner questions via their listing page or request that they phone you for a chat. They know their property and the local area really well and most are happy to help with travel routes, facilities for babies, local sights, days out and where to eat and shop.

    And we hope to see you at The France Show at London Olympia from 27-29 January. We’ll have a stand there and are excited about meeting new and existing property owners,  chatting to holidaymakers and helping anyone who’s looking to buy in France.

  • It’s the magical Christmas market season! All over France cities stage these fabulous mixtures of shopping, community and carnival to capture the traditional magic of Christmas as a season of light, good food and family feeling.  The markets are really worth a visit for both their atmosphere and the great shopping  - no wonder so many Francophiles and lovers of traditional Christmas spirit go every year for a market mini-break.  So where are this year’s Christmas market hotspots?

    Strasbourg market is really the daddy of them all. Dating back to 1570, it’s the oldest Christmas market in France and one of the largest. As if that weren’t enough, the setting in front of Strasbourg Cathedral is quite breathtaking. A must-see on a visit to Strasbourg market is La Petite France, a cosy neighborhood of timbered fairy-tale buildings with Christmas shops and a gingerbread bakery.

  • Made plans for the festive season yet? Christmas in France is magical, more traditional and less commercialised than in Britain. Our region of the month, Northern France, includes Paris which is transformed at this time of year, with lights twinkling along the Seine, streets lined with decorated fir trees and Christmas Markets springing up around the city.

    I love the idea of renting one of our cosy apartments in Paris for Christmas, shopping for presents in the chic department stores like Printemps for fashion and Galeries Lafayette for exotic foods and wonderful wines. Even outside the very centre, in trendy arrondissements, there are enticing local cafes and oh-so-French restaurants.

    I could wander the avenues, feasting my eyes on creative festive lights and tasteful shop windows, then maybe drop into a gallery or museum for some uplifting art and take time out in Notre Dame. Oh, and I’d have to go skating, take a trip on a bateau mouche and browse the Christmas markets for decorations that would grace my temporary Paris home and come out every year afterwards.

    For a big family or group Christmas, Northern France is an excellent destination and we have many country houses very close to lovely small towns where the Christmas spirit reigns with a very French, almost understated appeal. Some have fantastic special offers for the Christmas period.

    Browse our guides to Northern France and Paris and grab a festive season Special Offer.

  • Destination France is a sumptuous magazine with a passion for France. It's packed with news, events, holiday ideas and in-depth guides with beautiful photographs. The Autumn issue features the Christmas and New Year pages at French Connections, where owners can see a useful guide and promote their properties and holidaymakers will soon be able to find and book their perfect French getaway for the festive season.

    One regional focus for the Autumn issue of the magazine is the department of Yvelines, just west of Paris in the Ile de France. Its most popular attraction is the vast Palace of Versailles, centre of the royal court since the 17th century and probably most famous for its association with Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.  Here, you can see not only the main apartments and chapel but also the gardens and even Marie Antoinette's farm.

    But Versailles is not the only chateau worth visiting in this area. The magazine also recommends the less well known Grand and Petit Trianon, the Chateau de Rambouillet set in forest in the south west of Yvelines and the Chateau de Breteuil at Choisel, which has stunning gardens and life-sized waxwork figures.

    Destination France magazine is published quarterly and currently has a special offer on postal subscriptions.

  • Fancy doing something different this Christmas? Make the festive season a really feel-good time with a trip to France. Pop across before the event to savour the delights of Christmas markets and pick up some wine bargains; spend the holiday in traditional style in the countryside or a  French town; take family and friends for a fun New Year celebration.

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    Christmas in France seems to capture a traditional joy, magic and goodwill that many of us aspire to, with imaginative decorations in public places and plenty of community events ensuring a Joyeux Noel.

    Christmas Eve is at the heart of family and religious celebrations, with families gathering at home for the Réveillon de Noel, a late-night feast. This is also the time to celebrate midnight mass– an uplifting tradition that visitors are welcome to share at churches in towns and cities across the country.

    bethune marche de noel 2007 001web

    Although the French Christmas holiday is confined to just a few days, many community seasonal events and festivals extend over several weeks –including the Christmas markets that are held all over France, each with its own character, traditions and range of goods.

    Festival events often continue into the New Year, which is marked with firework displays, dinners and even balls. Again, tradition calls for a feast, le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre, which usually includes champagne and delicacies like foie gras, along with kisses under the mistletoe at midnight.

    If you want to experience Christmas or New year in France, we still have availability for  holiday lets. Although rentals normally start on a Saturday, which this year falls on Christmas Eve, many owners are willing to be flexible on dates. Some offer food shopping or catering and decorations in the house to make your stay easy and relaxing. Several have special offers, including a £100 discount plus champagne reception. Check out availability for Christmas and New year weeks at our Last Minute Availability page.

  • Now is the time to start planning your fabulous Christmas in France. Traditional celebrations, stylish decorations, hassle-free shopping, Christmas markets, gorgeous food and wine, Disneyland Paris. All these can make the French Noel a relaxing and memorable experience.

    Celebrations are also shorter, starting on Christmas Eve and all over by Boxing Day, with life returning quickly to normal. This has great appeal both for visitors who want a quiet time with little fuss and those who like to get out and about once the main event is over. However, during the crucial few days, virtually all shops and restaurants close down, so that self-catering accommodation can mean exactly that – although some owners are happy to provide meals.

    Choose from a family house, a romantic cottage or grand chateau, a cosy gite or a sociable B&B. And don’t forget to check out our special offers.

    This week there’s a special rate of 750 euros a week for Christmas & New Year plus a free case of wine at the Ferme des Molles and its neighbouring cottage. Each sleeps six people and they lie in the heart of south-west France (ID 152886 and 163956). Or you can get 25% discount plus champagne at Villa la Perception, a superbly located five bedroom villa close to Nice airport and within easy walk of a hill village (ID148191).

  • Thinking of a change of scene for the festive season? We reckon that France is a perfect and memorable destination for Christmas or New Year – and our owners are making some great seasonal offers.

    There’s something about the way things are done in France at this time of year that truly captures traditional joy, magic and goodwill - and plenty of community events ensure a Joyeux Noel.

    Christmas Eve is time to celebrate midnight mass– an uplifting tradition when all churches, from big city cathedrals to small country chapels, are aglow with dozens of candles and filled with the sounds of carols and hymns, which visitors are welcome to share.

    Alongside Christmas markets, many towns and cities host cultural festivals for Christmas. Attractions might include skating, colourful parades through streets and squares and concerts, art exhibitions and dance. The atmosphere is fun and inclusive, with all generations joining in.

    Festival events often continue into the New Year, which is marked with firework displays, dinners and even balls (une soirée dansante). New Year's Eve is known in France as la Saint-Sylvestre. There’s usually a feast with champagne and delicacies like foie gras. At midnight, everyone kisses under the mistletoe – a New Year rather then Christmas tradition - and exchange best wishes.

    On New Year's Day, le Jour de l'An, friends and family gather to share their New Year's resolutions. Although work, routine and services continue as normal between Christmas and New Year and from 2nd January, the official end of the festive season is on 6th January, with the religious tradition of Epiphany, marked by eating a cake called la galette des rois, which has a lucky charm inside.

    Some Christmas and New Year special offers from our owners:

    158924 La Bouzole Christmas decorationsLa Bouzole, (left) a pretty villa near Carcassonne with Pyrennees views that sleeps seven. Includes woodburning stove and a new six-seater hot tub, decorations, Christmas tree and cheap car hire – all for £450 a week. You can see more about this holiday let and its owners in our major feature on Christmas in France in the December issue of French Property News magazine, published 17th November.

    La Mirande, a gorgeous Ardeche farmhouse offering luxury B&B in a stunning location with views to the Alps. From 3rd Dec to 3rd Jan enjoy a short break with a cosy log fire and fantastic food, visit Avignon Christmas market and cultural events. 150-180 Euro per night for dinner, bed and breakfast for two people.

    Les Eaux Calmes – a village house in Languedoc. Situated between sea and mountains, the house sleeps seven and is built into the old village walls in Gabian, a delightful fortified medieval village. Christmas and New Year rentals just £440 a week.

    Belle Vue - Village house Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Blangy Le Chateau, Calvados, Normandy. For Christmas, there’s 10% off on the third night for a double room, usual price 77 euros a night.

    Check out all our Special Offers and search availability by date at our Last Minute Deals