Combining rural and urban France on a villa holiday

When most people think of French villa holidays, they think of rural retreats in the south of the country, dusty roads, vineyards and chateaux. But what about combining an idyllic rural villa holiday with the bright lights and culture of France's capital city?

Paris is one of the most popular tourist cities in the world and it's not hard to see why. Beautiful architecture, a rich and fascinating history, wonderful food and some of the best shopping in Europe make Paris the perfect destination for a city break.

For families, however, spending an entire holiday in Paris might not be the most appealing option. The city gets extremely hot and crowded in the summer months and while this is fine for most adults, kids might lose enthusiasm sooner than parents. There are countless villas in France within easy reach of Paris and many have their own pools, making them irresistible on hot sunny days. There is stunning countryside less than an hour's train journey from Paris so when looking for your perfect villa or gite, there's no need to look further afield than this.

Even if you've driven over to France, it's unlikely you'll want to drive into the city. When booking your villa or gite, check to make sure there are public transport links into Paris from nearby. If there is a local station with links to the city, you can drive to the station and leave your car there for the day. Staying outside Paris also means you have access to the pretty little towns and villages within easy reach of the city, but culturally a million miles away.

You could also easily plan your holiday to incorporate visits to other attractions and sites, such as the Palace of Versailles. A villa holiday is the perfect way to combine culture and sightseeing with leisure and relaxation. Of course, to little ones, Paris really means Disneyland Paris. Staying in a villa near Paris will enable you to spend a day or two at Disneyland making it a holiday to remember for the entire family.

There are plenty of villas in France which allow you to have an idyllic, relaxing break while placing you close enough to Paris to enjoy all the delights of the city. When you can combine all the capital's attractions with rest and relaxation in the countryside, how can you lose?