Just saying Provence conjures up a scene of summer, of air filled with the scent of lavender, the tangy aroma of freshly pressed olive oil and the sound of cicadas singing. In winter though, there’s nothing quite like the sight of the snow-capped peak of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain. Provence really is a year round destination which offers a taste of the good life in a way that’s truly unique. Genuine joie de vivre is found in every corner...
The Cote d'Azur, (The French Riviera) is known the world over for its glamour and beauty—but these spots take it to a whole new level. From the see-and-be-seen beaches and boardwalks of Cannes and Monaco to the lavender fields of Grasse and the medieval villages of Èze, with its craggy cliffs high above the sea, the medieval village of Èze is a delightful step back in time and blissfully calm for the Riviera. There are a plethora of places to explore throughout the summer and beyond.
The French Riviera which stretches from Hyères to Menton and receives a large and rather affluent tourist clientele. The cities and coastline abound with first class hotels, great restaurants, chic boutiques, private beaches and beautiful houses. The main cities are Nice, Cannes, Saint Tropez... the coast is also Camargue (a region of France located south of Arles, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône delta) and the great ports of Marseille, Toulon and Nice, all three, gateways to Africa since ancient times.
Any trip to the Côte d'Azur should begin with a stop in Nice, overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Start with a climb up to La Colline du Château (Castle Hill) to see what the the fuss is about: Once you get to the top, panoramic views of the Baie des Anges, Old Town, Nice's boardwalk, and the city's varied and vibrant architecture abound. And while a few crumbling walls are all that remain of the namesake castle on the hill, there is a verdant park that's perfect for a picnic after a full day of sightseeing.
The heart of Provence is in the hills that bind the sea to the alps. With sloping vineyards; the cultivated lands and the colorful scenery that charmed Cezanne (Aix en Provence), Van Gogh (Arles), Chagall ou Giono... In Provence, the local people have a soft singing accent which evokes their whole relaxed lifestyle. They have no greater pleasure after a hard days work than to enjoy a delicious and hardy meal shared with friends...This is the picturesque Provence of Pagnol, Raimu, and Fernandel.
Ski resorts are an hour from the sea. The Alpes d'Azur rise above Nice up to an altitude of 4,000m ... Clean air, large protected areas ...Yes it is possible to have it all. Still Provence, with the Alpes de Haute Provence and the Hautes Alpes. You can ski there in the winter with the sun on your face and in the summer you can go on an adventure; horseback, on foot or by bike.
Provence offers both picturesque villages in the hills and a busy metropolises with Nice and the Cote d' Azur. There are international airports (Nice and Marseille). Provence is of course olive groves and lavender; but there are also the famous vineyards of Cotes du Rhône, Cotes de Provence and Bandol everything is growing to the hum of the cicadas.
Provence's lavender fields are world famous. To admire the most beautiful fields of lavender in Provence, you can also visit Luberon or the areas surrounding Mont Ventoux, in Pays de Sault.
About an hour north of Aix-en-Provence, dozens of lavender fields unfurl down the hills of the Valensole Plateau. Drive along the Route de Manosque, which is lined with lavendar fields. The best time to see the plants in bloom is from the last week of June to the beginning of August depending on the rain.