Retirement to rosé season: Six essential articles about life in France

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Retirement to rosé season: Six essential articles about life in France
A female resident of the Henri IV retirement home hold her sprig of Lily of the Valley or Muguet offered to her by a member of staff in Toulouse, southern France, a tradition in France to mark May Day on May 1, 2021. (Photo by GEORGES GOBET / AFP)

From flu shots to spa treatments, the 90-day rule to saucy French firemen calendars, here are six essential articles to read about life in France.


We know that many people dream of retiring to France one day, but before you give up work and start practising for the village pétanque team there are some boring but important matters to consider first.

We've put together this guide on how you can retire to France, taking in visas and residency, pensions, healthcare, transport and taxes.

How to retire to France

For those already in France the winter flu vaccination campaign has begun, brought forward from its planned start date.

Here's how you can get your shot, which groups are eligible for free vaccination and how much it costs for those not in priority groups.

How to get your flu vaccination in France


If you're already in France you will probably know that the season for calendar-sellers is beginning.

An annual tradition by various groups including firefighters to raise money for charity, the door-to-door selling can also be taken advantage of by scammers, so we look at how to make sure your money is going to a worthy cause.

France's calendar sellers: How to avoid scams

Talking of seasons, it something feels as though France has a season for everything from rosé and oysters to protests and sales.

So if you want to know when you should get your big coat out of the wardrobe and which flowers to buy in May, we've put together a cultural calendar of France, explaining its real 'seasons'.

Oysters to fireman's balls: France's cultural calendar

As travel opens up again, our British readers are coming back to the second homes in France, and many are encountering the 90-day rule for the first time.

This post-Brexit restriction on the amount of time British visitors can stay in France has had a big impact on the plans of some second-home owners, so we're looking at your options if you want to spend more than 90 days at a time at your French property.

How can British second-home owners spend more than 90 days in France?


You may have read that the Italian government is giving out €200 spa vouchers for anyone who feels that they need a bit of pampering.

Unfortunately, the French government doesn't appear to be following suit (we have suggested it, obviously) but did you know that your doctor could prescribe a spa cure?

It's one of several surprising things that are available via the French state health system.

Carte vitale: Five surprising things available on your French health insurance


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