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This week in the spotlight, we’re going to get you inspired with some our top French activity holidays. It might be on the amber list for now, but as we outlined in our last article, travelling to amber countries can be more painless than you may think.

And with a country of snow-capped alpine mountains, golden-sand beaches, rolling hills covered with swathes of vineyards and ancient forests, idyllic villages and medieval castles, cities of incredibly rich history and culture and some of the best food and wine in the world sitting just over a 21 mile stretch of water, a trip to France may just be irresistible.

Learn French and Gastronomy in Lyon

lyon at night

When you start with an activity in France, where better to start than with its food? And where better to start with French food than the gastronomic capital of a country that boasts one of the most well-renowned cuisines in the world.

Immerse yourself in French culture by learning the language, allowing you an insight into the country that you simply don’t get when there is that language barrier, and explore the beautiful city of Lyon like a local on one of our most all-encompassing French activity holidays.

As well as this, you’ll embark on food-based adventures around a city that is the jewel in France’s considerable culinary crown. Wine tasting, patisserie tours, and a chance to join a cooking demonstration of some classic Lyonnaise dishes are all included, so that you can return home having had a deep dive into Lyon’s culture and cuisine.

French and Surfing in Biarritz

surfer riding waves in Biarritz

While France might not immediately strike you as one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations, a surfing holiday in France is more local and more authentic than you may think.

Biarritz is home to one of the oldest surf schools in the world, and to the locals, surfing is more a way of life than a hobby. Spend your days getting to a place where you can enjoy that truly euphoric feeling of getting up on your board and carving along a wave towards shore, as well as learning French so that you can really get to know the local way of life.

Your evenings are free to explore the many excellent cafes, bars and restaurants, soaking up a bit of French life with the new, like-minded people you meet along the way, making this the perfect holiday for solo travellers.

Perfume Making Break in Grasse

group try different scents in Grasse perfume studio

Think of perfume, and the odds are you’re immediately conjuring up brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Dior or Chanel. Yep, all of them are French. On this unique perfume-making break in the beautiful town of Grasse, you’ll find out exactly why on one of our most popular French activity holidays.

Surrounded by stunning countryside that harbours lavender, jasmine, mimosa, orange blossom and violets, the perfume capital of France is the ideal place to do something a little different, and deep dive into the world of perfume.

You’ll stay in a gorgeous 4* hotel, and spend your time learning all there is to know about perfume, and crafting your own with the help of professionals. Leave with a totally unique, bespoke souvenir of your time in this beautiful part of France, the fragrance of which will bring you straight back to long summer evenings spent relaxing, talking with new friends over some sumptuous local wine.

Popular Activity Holidays in France

Snowshoeing Foodie Adventure in the Pyrenees

France, French Pyrenees

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Learn French and Gastronomy in Lyon

France, Lyon

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French and Surfing in Biarritz

France, Biarritz

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Perfume Making Break in Grasse

France, French Riviera

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Yoga, Gastronomy and Culture in Provence

people on a beach in provence

Head to the medieval village of Saint-Jeannet, perched dramatically on the borders of Provence and the Cote D’Azur, surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful coastline, for a chance to get under the skin of southern French culture and unwind on daily yoga sessions.

Spend your time exploring 1000-year-old oak forests, swimming in freshwater pools and waterfalls, hiking to panoramic views of the glistening Mediterranean, sampling cheese at a local goat farm, or sipping wine as the sun sets at a family-run vineyard.

You’ll stay in a 19th century B&B, enjoying incredible breakfasts every day and getting the perfect base from which to explore the old cobbled streets and hidden gems of the village. A yoga holiday with a difference, this is a chance to explore the authentic, non-touristy side of Provence and the Cote D’Azur.

Painting Holiday in South West France

table and chairs outside in the sun

At Not In The Guidebooks, we know how much travellers love to combine exploring a new place, a chance to wind down, and their passion or interest when they go on holiday. This painting holiday in France is the perfect opportunity to do all three.

Relax in the beautiful countryside and enjoy stunning local wines and fresh cheeses, breads, all things French and good. Spend time capturing the landscape, the rolling hills and fairytale chateaux, and brush up on your skills as you learn to develop your creative instincts.

You’ll be far from the beaten track, staying in a rural farmhouse with a swimming pool and gorgeous views of the countryside, and you can spend your free time visiting the vibrant local towns, wandering around buzzing markets, or simply relaxing in the sun.

Snowshoeing Foodie Adventure in the French Pyrenees

person standing on a mountain in the french pyrenees

As far as chances to get truly off the beaten track come, they don’t come much better than this French activity holiday in the pristine peaks of the French Pyrenees. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the chance to escape the busy ski slopes and explore the quiet pine forests and untouched peaks by snowshoe, keeping an eye out for bears, vultures and deer.

You’ll stay at a cosy, family-run B&B, and get the opportunity to deep dive into French Pyrenees cuisine on fascinating trips out during the day to artisanal chocolate makers, local farms, and on an unforgettably atmospheric outdoor feast by torchlight.

Soak in the pools of the Balnea spa facility in Loudenvielle, cosy up by the fire in the evening with some local mulled cider and charcuterie, explore the nearby medieval villages, and head home with a bank of treasured memories that could only have been made in this beautiful corner of the world.


Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a wide variety of activity holidays in France, from the busy, vibrant, and beautiful streets of Paris, the wild beaches and open spaces of Brittany, all the way to the Mediterranean paradise of Nice and the jaw-dropping mountains of the Pyrenees.

No matter where you travel, we can guarantee that when your travel with Not In The Guidebooks you will experience a place like a local, get off the beaten track, and create memories that last a lifetime.

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