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'Do the viaduct': Why 2019 is a great year in France for public holidays

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'Do the viaduct': Why 2019 is a great year in France for public holidays
Photo: AFP
13:37 CET+01:00
France can look forward to a great year for public holidays in 2019. And you'll find there is ample opportunity to 'do the viaduct'...

It's a good year for public holidays in France this year, with just one falling on a weekend.

The French have nine weekday public holidays left in 2019, with four of them falling on Mondays meaning you get that long weekend without even trying.

This year only Ascension (May 30th) and Assumption Day (August 15th) fall on a Thursday (and none fall on a Tuesday) giving you just two chances to use that nifty little system called "doing the bridge" (faire le pont) so don't miss out on taking off Friday August 16th for an extra long break.

However while there isn't much chance to faire le pont in 2019, there is ample opportunity to 'do the viaduct' (faire le viaduc) as some have dubbed it, which although far less common than "doing the bridge", means taking two days off (either the Monday and the Tuesday or the Thursday and Friday) in order to make the most of the public holiday. 

This year three public holidays fall on a Wednesday so now's the time to get your holiday requests in. 

Four and indeed five-day weekends are a joy not just to workers but to the tourism industry as many in France will go away for a short break. On these weekends Paris could feel like it does in mid-August when most of the locals are at the beach.
 
Workers in the UK often miss out on the chances for these extra long weekends because most public holidays fall on a Monday or a Friday. 
 
The only downside to this year's public holidays is that July 14th - France's National Day or Bastille Day as we call it, falls on a Sunday, so we won't get a day off this year.
 
New Year's Day: Monday January 1st
Easter Monday: Monday April 22nd
Labour Day: Wednesday May 1st
Victory in Europe Day (end of WWII): Wednesday May 8th
Ascension: Thursday May 30th
Pentecost: Monday June 10th
National Day: Sunday July 14th
Assumption Day: Thursday August 15th
All Saints' Day: Friday November 1st
Remembrance Day: Monday November 11th
Christmas Day: Wednesday December 25th
 
And if you're looking for the best way to spend all that free time, why not check out this list of the ten must-visit French villages you've never heard of.
 
 
Or pack a bag and head into the French countryside to one of the ten stunning places to go camping in France.
 
Ten stunning places to go camping in France
 
Alternatively, browse this list of the one place you absolutely have to visit in each department of France for inspiration. 
 
The one place you absolutely have to visit in each department of France
 
And if you're on a tight budget, don't despair. Here's a list of the best free thing to do in each Paris arrondissement.
 
The best FREE thing to do in each Paris arrondissement
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