It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Have you visited France during the festive period? If not, we certainly recommend that you do and here are 5 reasons why.
There is no better way to feel the festive spirit than to wander through the stalls of a Christmas market. France holds some of the biggest and most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. The most popular ones take place in Alsace (North-East of France) although you will find many other great markets throughout France. The oldest French Christmas market takes place in the lovely city of Strasbourg and has 300 stalls of delicious warming food, traditional toys, Christmas decorations and festive cheer. The Christmas market of Colmar is also really popular and always worth a visit if you want to soak up in the Christmas spirit. You can read more about Christmas markets in France here.
Who doesn’t want a white Christmas? Waking up to a magical winter wonderland is something we certainly all want for Christmas and the French Alps or Pyrénées offer you just that only a few hours away from home. France is a popular destination for ski holidays and there are many cosy chalets just waiting for you to settle in to enjoy Christmas with all the festive trimmings. And after the celebration, the ski slopes are just a few minutes’ away to help you burn off all the calories you ate the day before! Have a look at our ski properties just here!
Most countries put an extra effort to make delicious dishes for Christmas, but nothing compares to the French idea of a Christmas feast! During the festive period, supermarkets and markets pile up with food you don’t find every day. Among the delicacies, you will find foie gras, oysters, truffles, scallops and yes, snails and frog legs too! For the Réveillon, French people might go for a turkey but also for rarer pieces of meat like deer, boar, pheasant or even ostrich! Christmas is the one time of the year where everything is allowed food-wise and the French certainly, take advantage of this!
The Réveillon de Noël isn’t complete without a taste of a delicious bûche de Noël! Coming in many shapes, colors and flavors, it is the traditional dessert of the Christmas feast. In France, the bûche is usually ordered at the local patisserie a few days prior to the big day. Made of chocolate, cream and / or fruit, these delicious cakes consist of a light sponge coated in chocolate or cream which is then rolled to make a log. It is then iced with more chocolate or cream and decorated to look like a log. The cream can be alcohol flavored with Grand-Marnier for the icing (a French classic) or fruit flavored and frozen for a more modern twist.
The French do not only pay a great attention to what they are going to eat on the Réveillon but also on what they are going to drink. Christmas is usually the ideal time to enjoy nice vintage Champagne and Crémants. Sweet wines and liqueurs are also quite popular when paired with foie gras and cheeses for instance. French will usually enjoy 3 to 4 different types of wine during the feast, depending on what is on the menu.
Christmas is truly a magical time to come and visit France – although, of course, we think you will find many others reasons to visit this beautiful country all year round!