Bordeaux’s free holiday cabins: basic but still beautiful

Dotted around Bordeaux, Les Refuges Périurbains are architect-designed shelters that cost nothing to stay in – though don’t expect hot tubs or minibars

10 of the best beach bars in France

Trays of oysters, iced rosé, swordfish brochettes, even Trump-inspired cocktails … these bars de plage boast superb fare and sunshine vibes

Flea to France: shopping at Europe’s largest vintage market

The Provençal village of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has the largest concentration of vintage stores outside Paris and also hosts a giant open-air flea market. The next is in August – so get ready for a bric-a-brac bargain

France road trip: Perpignan, Cathar castles and the Spanish border

This spectacular two-week journey boasts Pyrenean peaks, hot springs, freshwater swimming and plenty of Spanish influence. Plus great food, of course

France road trip: Lyon to Nice

This two-week route through some of France’s most beautiful landscapes takes in gorgeous farmhouse stays, camping and kayaking, lavender fields and finally the Med

Great hotels, gites and auberges in France.

From Picardy to Provence here is some recommended accommodation in chateaux, converted stables and cottages to suit all budgets.