It's hard to generalise about France - as Charles de Gaulle once remarked, 'how can one describe a country which has 365 kinds of cheese?'
Yet there is something about this magnificent land which draws millions of francophiles back year after year for a taste of la vie Français.
Could it be the chic boulevards of Paris, the sparkling ski slopes of the Alps, sunlit vineyards and sun-baked beaches, a dusty game of boules, or coffee and croissants in an undiscovered village?
Or perhaps it's a tour of the majestic châteaux of the Loire that appeals, the glamorous jet-set lifestyle of the Mediterranean, or a relaxing picnic in Provence, where the air is fragrant with wild herbs and lavender?
Consider also the delights of other lesser-known regions such as Franche-Comté, Gascony or Berry, deep in the green heart of France - regions firmly rooted to the land, whose sleepy villages offer visitors a chance to sample the true douceur de vivre of provincial France.
There is no denying that France is a land of great contrasts, offering an endless choice of enticing destinations, a rich diversity of landscapes, cuisines, climates and peoples, with an exceptional cultural heritage.
It's easy to see why the French stay at home for their holidays and why they so felicitously call their country La Belle France.