The rustic countryside and the spectacular beaches makes the South of France as one of the most favourite destination of travelers not only from within Europe, but other parts of the world as well. You can find villas in the south of France and many things to see and do. France as a whole is a beautiful country, calm and cosmopolitan on one hand and extremely contemplative on the other.
If adrenaline pumping outdoor sports, historical masterpieces, sublime beaches and exquisite dining is your forte, then the South of France is guaranteed to be uniquely charming and quintessentially French. This travel guide provides complete information, without skipping the important details, unlike any other you may across online – travel bloggers would agree that below are the most important things you need to know about France travel. It will allow you to come to grips with the latest in French etiquette in South of France, its differences with the other regions, and much more.
All the main cities in the South of France have airports offering direct connections. Air France and Delta have flights directly connecting New York with Nice. Train services ply regularly from Paris and Lille, while the motorway or trunk road links all the Channel ports with the South of France.
Travel tip: If you are coming by road, it is recommended to avoid Paris and travel via Orleans or Reims instead.
Best time to go
Though the South of France is an year round holiday gateway, it is better to keep the weather in mind when planning a trip there. While showers can be expected in the springtime, the months between May and October are perfect, both for a tan topping vacation and extended hours due to the long days.
Public transport in France is extremely efficient and punctual. There are fast train services connecting this region to all major French cities. If you are looking for an alternative option to public transport, hiring a car can be an excellent and hassle free way to explore this side of the country. There are plenty of reputed self drive car agencies like Avis and Hertz available for car hire. For those who prefer to be driven around, the luxurious Platinum Limousine Service offers extra personal care.
France also has an extremely bike – friendly culture, with excellent dedicated cycling routes all over the South. This allows for easy access to the hidden places at an affordable price than driving.
Main regions- Côte d’Azur
The French Riviera, also referred to as “ la Cote d’Azur” is a rather small, but very popular coastal strip. The area covers the Cassis region, from the east of Marseille in the west, right up to the border with Italy in the north.The coastline is crowded at most times of the year, especially during summers, when accommodation prices in places like St. Tropez, Cannes and Nice could sky rocket.
The mountainous hinterland consisting of the Northern Alps, on the other hand, is much more attractive. It is dotted with quaint villages and towns perched on the forested hillsides with freshwater streams flowing through them. The southern Alps are drier and less crowded. The must visit spots here include Briancon, the capital, and Gorges du Verdon, the deepest gorge in Europe.
The reputation of Aquitaine as a travel destination genuinely lives up to it. This beautiful region of south west France is a real feast for the eyes, complete with mountains and vineyards spread throughout the château dotted countryside. Typical places to visit here are Lourdes, one of the most holy sites for the Christians, and the St. Emilion Monolithic Church housing an underground cathedral, carved out of a single large rock.
The area of Mid – Pyrenees has been developed only recently around the Toulouse region in 1970, as a tourist hot spot. This is one area you can experience the true character of France and its history and tradition. The place occupies a large area of southern France and has first class attractions befitting the vast size. Some of the must visit sites include, Roquefort, Pic du Midi, Musée Goya, Moissac and Pont Valentre.
If you are a history or culture buff, head to Dordogne and also enjoying tasty cuisine amongst breathtaking landscapes. The natural beauty of the place comes as a blessing for the harried city traveler. From wandering on the elegant grounds of the fortified Chateau de Hautefort to kayaking along the Dordogne river and finally sampling the choicest of local wines, a holiday is equivalent to attaining true nirvana.
This region of Provence is extremely popular with film stars and celebrities alike, mainly because of the glamorous towns overlooking the clear blue seas. Cities like Aries and Avignon offer action filled holidays as they simply overflow with rich culture and history, not to forget the mouth watering cuisine and excellent wine. Make sure to visit Pont du Gard, Notre Dame Basilica,La Croisette, Cassis and the museums of Antibes.
The tourist industry in the south of France was set in motion way back in the 1920’s after the development of the Cote d’Azur region.Today the whole place is a heady combination of busy beaches, exceptional restaurants, Roman remains and plenty of tourist traps. There is no doubt that by taking out a couple of weeks, you can enjoy all the above, but by no means it is the end of the story. With changing times, South of France is busy trying to reinvent itself for the future in the same way the wine scene here is attempting to swing from reds to organic.