Create your own festive break to France
Christmas Markets in France, otherwise known as Marché de Noël, provide a great opportunity for a winter weekend break. The chance in France too visit a Christmas Market is unlimited as most towns and cities host a French Christmas Market between late November and the end of December.
They exude a fantastic atmosphere and provide the perfect shopping opportunity. Alongside this enjoy the food and drink stalls which are irresistible with spiced bread, traditional bredle cakes, and mulled wine.
With up to 50 daily sailings between the UK and France, it’s easy to take your car across the Channel for a fantastic French festive break. Alternatively, if you live in the north of England or Scotland, sail from Newcastle to our port in IJmuiden and save yourself a long drive south.
Head to the Place Rihour in Lille as it is revamped and taken over by over 80 stalls selling everything from food, arts and crafts and other traditional gifts while Christmas carols ring out around you. With a huge, 18-metre Christmas tree in the centre of the market, you can’t help but feel the joys of the season. You can even jump on the huge, 50 foot Ferris Wheel and get a stunning panoramic view of the whole city in its festive glory.
Where better for a truly magical Christmas than Disneyland Paris with its parades, shows and events? The Disney Dreams of Christmas parade includes a firework show as Sleeping Beauty’s castle is transformed into a shimmering winter scene. You can meet the big man himself, Santa Claus, at Cottonwood Creek Ranch, and watch Goofy leading a parade of Toy Soldiers in the Christmas Cavalcade, guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for all the family.
Alternatively, why not head to the pretty city of Caen for a Gallic festive break in beautiful surroundings? Traditional Christmas Markets don’t come much better, with over 50 stalls selling the famous Santon figurines for Christmas mangers, as well as foie gras, Christmas desserts, art, leather goods and jewellery. Father Christmas will also visit the market to hand out gifts!
Amiens is another big market in the north of France, with 130 stalls selling traditional gifts and food including the famous Amiens Macaroons, a special recipe including Valencia almonds and honey. With merry-go-rounds, an ice rink and a light show set against the cathedral, there is plenty for visitors at this excellent festive market.
Another Christmas Market with a wonderful setting is Rouen’s, which lies in front of the city’s Cathedral. There are two ice rinks for skating and plenty of stalls offering a huge range of gifts and tasty treats, perfect for friends and family back home.
In the north of France, Arras has a 90-stall Christmas Market, located in the square of the Grande Place. The square becomes a winter wonderland, with red carpets for guests to walk on, plus you can visit Santa’s house, perfect if you’ve got your little ones in tow!
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