However well you think you know France, this contrary nation will always find a way of surprising you. Regional differences are so pronounced that travelling between areas almost feels like passing through different countries. The sleepy fishing villages of Brittany have more in common with rural Cornwall than they do with the jet-set scene that dominates the French Riviera; while the stately, sophisticated beauty of Paris is the antithesis of Provence’s rolling lavender fields and rustic cuisine. France has some of the world’s most beautiful cities – Paris, Lyon, Avignon – but its incredible scenic diversity is just as impressive. From hiking in the Pyrenees to relaxing on the beaches of Biarritz and discovering the wine regions of Bordeaux and Champagne, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.