Traveling in the South of France

From the French Riviera to the Pyrenees, the mediterranean coastline of France paints an idealized image of beauty and grandeur that very much becomes reality to those lucky enough to visit the area. With beautiful natural surroundings, pleasant weather, delicious cuisine, and plenty of lesser-known towns that offer a slower pace of life, the South of France will have you enamored.

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This coastline and hinterland is made up of two regions, PACA or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to the east of the Rhone, and Languedoc Roussillon to the west of the Rhone. Those who do not want to spend their holidays on packed beaches in the ever so popular Côte d’Azur will prefer areas inland from the coastal strip, notably to the hills and mountains of Provence, where dry landscapes and valleys lead to a more rural feel. Regardless of taste and preference, those traveling to the South of France can rely on long sandy beaches, huge vineyards, stunning Mediteranean hills with unique vegetation, and scenic fields. With that, it is not by chance that we offer an eclectic and hand-picked collection of homes in this area. As one of the most coveted vacation spots in the world, the South of France also amazes in the realms of design and architecture (let’s not even get started with the food).

The historic area of Provence (which used to include land to the west of the Rhone as well as the east) has a lot of historic cities, such as Avignon with its famous bridge, Arles with its Roman remains, the Camargue, and the university town of Aix en Provence. For those looking for lots of life and restaurants and bars, the Languedoc coast has plenty to offer; but with its some 200 km of sandy coasts, Languedoc also has some fairly uncrowded beaches, even in high summer. Regardless, we highly encourage exploring the region, even the more overdone towns. There is something to be said about touristy places. While crowded and sometimes hard to navigate, some things just need to be seen in life (St Tropez is an example). Whether you choose to drive and enjoy the scenery or fly directly there, we have pout together a short list of places and accommodations to help you get there.

 

Provence

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Just outside of the charming little village of Paradou between Avignon and Arles, the property sits at the base of the nearby Alpilles Mountains and Natural Park. Based at the foot of the Alpilles Nature Reserve on over twelve acres of protected countryside, this charming boutique hotel offers a unique all in one holiday concept that pairs hospitality with cultural and artistic expression.

Eze

Medieval village of Eze, near Nice, France.

Côte d’Azur’s less glitzy side is also worthy of exploration and will probably suit seasoned travelers more than the start studded beaches of St Tropez. The ancient village of Eze is quaint, charming, and considered a hidden gem for a good reason -the unique topography of the land exposes a village that is literally carved out of the cliffs almost 1500 feet above sea level. In addition, many artisan shops, art galleries, and restaurants attract travelers from all over the world.

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Stay: Beach Front

Nice

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Nice is likely one of the first places that comes to mind when thinking of the South of France. Why? Think of beautiful broad avenues, golden beaches, the famous Promenade des Anglais, the Matisse museum, the Russian Cathedral and Vieux Nice… There is so much to do and see.

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Stay: Vieille Ville Loft

St Tropez

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This top South of France resort owns up to its reputation- you may have heard lots about it and it’s all probably true. Yes, it’s relaxed, chic, beautiful, and famous.  St Tropez’s beaches are among the best in the world and its harbor only loses out to Monaco for the impressive collection of yachts on show.

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Stay: La Croix-Valmer House

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Stay: Tropezian House

Nimes

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Known as the town of art and history, Nimes, situated on the Languedoc-Roussillon region, was established by the Romans is proud of its roman remains and old buildings. Art enthusiasts will be intrigued by the cultural mix of elements and architectures but Nimes is also worth visiting for its attractive old town and gardens, as well as its ideal location for discovering the Cevennes national park to the north or the renowned wetlands of the Camargue to the south.

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Stay: Nimes Mas

Montpellier

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Montpellier has become one of Europe’s newest holiday destinations. This is due to the combination of its proximity to the Mediterranean, its beautiful medieval city core and a vibrant nightlife (a quarter of its citizens are students). It is also a good destination for adventure seekers – the mountains of Cévennes are only an hour’s drive away.

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Stay: Montpellier Villa

Assignan

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Located in the Languedoc region of southern France that stretches from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains, this famous wine producing region borders Spain to the south. The coastal areas are just over an hour drive and feature less touristy beaches than the neighboring cote d’azur as well as the Parc Naturel de la Narbonnaise, a large swath of protected lagoons, islands and wetlands with stretches of white sandy beaches. Haut Languedoc lies inland and features the wild hills, forests and the Parc National des Cévennes. Nearby Carcassone can be reached in a hour.

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Stay: Maison Vic

Lagrasse

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The village is famed for its Abbey, Medieval houses and streets, book and pottery fairs over the Summer months, and a lovely 12th century hump backed bridge. It is good place to explore anytime of the year and has a number of good restaurants. Lagrasse is also  now home to numerous pottery workers and artists, attracted by the place itself and the renowned natural light of the region. In the summer you can cool off by swimming in the river at Lagrasse.

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Stay: Riverview Terrace

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Stay: Artist’s House

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