Top 5 French course destinations this autumn

1. Montreal

Montreal is a fascinating city with a cosmopolitan feel and a wide range of cultural offerings. Summer in the city can be very hot, and winter extremely cold. For this reason, September-November is an ideal time to go and experience what the city has to offer. As well as the usual sights and attractions, there are also an array of festivals and events to enjoy during the autumn-time, including: the Escales Improbables Festival, POP Montreal (21st-25th September), the OFF Jazz Festival (7th-15th October) and the Festival of New Cinema (12th – 23rd October).

2. Paris

To be honest, Paris is a city that is buzzing with activity all year round. If you visit in autumn though, you will probably find fewer tourists, shorter queues, and less expensive accommodation. It’s also one of the prettiest times to visit, as the trees change colour and the fallen leaves dance at your feet – it’ll really indulge your image of Paris at its romantic best. Festival and event wise, Paris is jam-packed with options throughout September, October and November, but some of the highlights include the Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days), held from 17-18th September and introduced to allow visitors a peek behind the doors of the 14,000 buildings that are usually closed to the public and the self-explanatory ‘Fête des Jardins’ (24th-25th September). Visit the Whatsonwhen website for full Paris events listings.

3. Guadeloupe

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If you’re not quite ready to get the winter coat out and contemplate turning the heating back on, why not extend your summer by heading to Guadeloupe this autumn. Guadeloupe is a beautiful country located in the French West Indies, with stunning scenery and average temperatures of more than 24 degrees centigrade all year round. The hurricane season in this part of the world can sometimes extend to mid October, so late October and November are good times to go.

4. Bordeaux

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Anyone heading to Bordeaux this autumn will have a huge range of activities to choose from. This vibrant university city is at the heart of one of France’s most prestigious wine-growing regions, and September and October events include the Fête Du Vin Nouveau, when inhabitants celebrate the new vintage, and the Marathon du Medoc, a sporting event with a twist! Also to be recommended are the Journées du Patrimoine, when Bordeaux opens its wealth of historical sites to the public, the Foire aux Plaisirs Funfair (October-November), a long-standing fair in the city’s Place des Quinconces, and also the Bordeaux Opera Season, with scores of performances by the acclaimed National Opera of Bordeaux.

5. Lyon

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Lyon is often known as the gastronomic capital of France, but the huge range of events being held in the city this autumn shows that its talents don’t stop here. Throughout September and October visitors can attend, amongst other things, the Tupiniers Pottery Fair, the Dance Biennial, Les Musicades music festival, les Salons des Plaisirs Créatifs Art Expo, the Red Carpet Antiques Festival, the International New Generation Film Festival and the Equita Horse Fair, one of Europe’s premier riding events.

Please visit the Cactus Language website for full listings of French courses in France, Martinique and Canada.

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