I have a real fascination with France. I took French lessons for nearly 5 years (albeit I still can’t string a proper sentence together) and it’s one of those countries I could never see enough of. One day, I hope to join some friends and stay in one of the many houses for rent in France for the entire summer. I’m thinking slow weekends strolling the Provence markets, lazy afternoons with rosé, & candle-lit dinners in the cobbled streets. Can you see it now?
Beyond Paris, the South of France is where I would love to spend my days. If you’ve not discovered the charm and beauty of the regions, here’s a few I’d be adding to my list this year.
An jet-set favourite coastal town on the French Riviera in southeastern France. Saint-Tropez is all about beaches and nightlife. Spend your days strolling by sparkling yachts after devouring a tarte tropezienne at La Tarte Tropezienne (the cafe that created them), long lunches at Vecchio Porte and crazy all-day parties at Nikki Beach. This isn’t really the place for tourists who want to be on the go and explore; it’s the place to have a proper vacation. Also, I think I’d like to stay here. Anyone else?
I feel like you a trip to the South of France isn’t complete without visiting the Provence region. St-Remy-de-Provence in particular happens to be one of the most popular towns in the region, buzzing all summer long. It’s a very pretty town that offers an authentic village life; a fusion of art, style, food and local tradition. Wednesday is market day where you can pick up lots of local goods, otherwise enjoy galleries, shopping and food boutiques, and don’t forget Martha’s Vineyeard, also known as “the Hamptoms of Provence.”
Gorges du Verdon
The Gorges du Verdon is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful and I’m sure you can all see why. It flows for 25km through Haute-Provence’s limestone plateau to the foothills of the Alps, surrounded by dramatic cliffs. It’s an unmissable place along the Southern France route!
With a long and compelling history, the village of Seillans has built itself up over the centuries inside fortfied walls. It’s managed to keep it’s medieval charm amidst a stunning countryside comprised of cobbled streets, rustic portals, shaded courts and ancient fountains. Truly a charming place to spend your time!
From Vieux Port, the vibrant heart of the city filled with sparkling yachts, the ancient Le Panier neighbourhood, to the Re’publique quarter, packed with stylish boutiques, Marseille offers a lot to a traveler. Although it may not be as lavish as fellow coastal towns of Cannes or St-Tropez, but it’s edgy, bustling and rich in history.
Porquerolles Island seems to be a bit of a hidden, off-the-beaten-path destination to most visiting France. With over 300 sunny days a year and mild winters, your spoiled for time. It’s surrounded by turquoise waters, vibrant scuba diving spots, charming villages and lush forests. Talk about a secret seaside escape!
Antibes is a picture-perfect seasude resort situated between Nice and Cannes. It’s considered one of the Mediterranean’s most luxurious harbors where multi-million dollar yachts are the norm. Besides the glitz and glam, its boat-bedecked port, 16th-century ramparts and narrow cobblestone streets festooned with flowers have stolen the hearts of not only myself, but many artists and writers.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a town famed by inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh, one can only imagine how beautiful it is. It is remote and uneventful compared to other towns, but it is perfect for a relaxing time away (especially if you’re a bit of a history buff yourself). They town also runs a Saturday market which is among Provence’s best.
Famed for its international film festival, Cannes is a sight to behold. It’s coast is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and lavish hotels. It is indeed the epitome of harbourside glamour but it’s wealth cannot fail to impress, even if you’re just admiring from afar. You might want to also visit the nearby Lérins Islands for a little slice of paradise!