Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Brigitte Bardot first popularised the bikini on the beaches of the Cote d'Azur, and close by, but a world away, Van Gogh and Cézanne drew inspiration from the landscapes of Provence inland. The French Riviera remains the most fashionable stretch of coast in the Mediterranean for luxury holidays. Take a boat trip to explore Cap Ferrat or Cap d'Antibes, enjoying beaches, watersports and long lunches in the port-side restaurants of former fishing villages such as St. Tropez. Other attractions range from the flower market in Nice to the shops and casinos of Cannes and Monte Carlo. Inland, the attractions of Provence are very different, but no less appealing. Wander round any number of picturesque villages, tasting local produce at farmers' markets or sipping pastis beneath the plane trees of an outdoor café.

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Harriet, Kate L, Lucy G and Molly are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Helicopter transfers on the Riviera are efficient, surprisingly reasonable, and the best way to avoid the stationary summer traffic.

Provence & the Cote D'Azur: the Detail

Explore the region's impressive Roman heritage in places like Arles, Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine, or go walking through fields of lavender and sunflowers.

For yet another aspect of Provence, head for the unspoilt wilds of the nearby Camargue, in the Rhône delta. Here you can enjoy excellent horse riding and see everything from flamingos to the famous long-horn Camargue bulls.

For those keen to minimise their carbon footprint, Provence can be easily reached by train using France's superb TGV network, and Eurostar trains now run direct to Avignon on certain dates throughout the summer so you can be in Provence just five and three quarter hours after leaving central London. The wonders of modern technology, eh?


Top picks for Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Chateau de Valmer

Chateau de Valmer

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Chateau de Valmer is a magnificent family run old bourgeois manor house surrounded by a six- hectare vineyard and beautiful orchard and conveniently situated near the beach in La Croix- Valmer.

Where to stay

Chateau de La Chevre d’Or

Chateau de La Chevre d’Or

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Since it first opened in 1953 the hotel has grown gradually and now has 37 rooms and suites, each different, scattered throughout the hotel’s extensive gardens and the attractive medieval village.

Where to stay

Le Pigonnet

Le Pigonnet

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Housed in an 18th Century manor house, Hotel Le Pigonnet is a classic Provençal hotel just minutes from the centre of Bastide town Aix-en-Provence.

Where to stay

Domaine Des Andeols

Domaine Des Andeols

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

The rooms are distributed among nine houses, each of which has its own distinct character, from the minimalist lines of the Maison Blanche to the ethnic interiors of the Maison du Voyageur.

Where to stay

Mas de Peint

Mas de Peint

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Mas de Peint is a beautifully restored 17th-century ‘mas’ (farmstead), situated on a 550-hectare estate right in the heart of the Camargue.

Where to stay

Villa Marie

Villa Marie

Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Set in a lovely pine grove on a hillside overlooking the Baie de Pampelonne, Villa Marie is an oasis of calm in the village of Ramatuelle, yet with the beaches and St. Tropez in close proximity.

Where to stay

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