The whole future of art is to be found in the south of France - Van Gogh
It took me nine summers and international pandemic state to spend my summer holidays in France. Although i always spend at least a prolonged weekend in Marseille during summer (read my carnet d’adresse here) I would normally spend the rest of my holidays in Italy, Greece or Portugal.
Frankly, i love it and it makes me want to explore more of France this year !
We divide our time between côte d’azur, Luberon and French Riviera. The region has many different landscapes and amazing to explore. From cultural ( castles, winery, architecture, museums) to wonder of natures (cascades, canyon, creek, beaches, saline), the options are endless.
In total we spent our nights in five different cities accross our 18 days holidays (including the weekend) : Marseille (we always come every summer to visit its calanques and beaches in the nearby cities), Montagnac (a small city where we were base to explore the famous Gorges du Verdon), Oppede (known for the Lavender route), Hyères (for the reputed Porquerolles island) and Nice.
We usually allow at least 3 nights of stay in each city. Our mornings usually spent somewhere by the beach, afternoons by the pool and evenings by a restaurant in a small, lovely Mediterranean town.
Highlights of Our Trip
LES GORGES DU VERDON
Les gorges du Verdon is one of the French natural wonders, located in the central of Provence. The color of the lakes are turquoise pristine and the decor of the rocks are so beautiful, its an absolute delight to visit.
We spent two days of at least 5 hours each day to canoeing, stand up paddling, swimming and picnicking in different sides of the Gorges.
Head to the famous Galetas Pont to observe people enjoying watersport here. During our visit, this part is quite busy so i imagine in the normal time, there can be a lot of traffic if you plan to swim / paddle down there.
Another part that we enjoy without hustle is Montmeyan beach. We arrived before 11 am and got our paddle and canoe right away without reservation.
Hyères is a lovely Mediterranean city with a lot of palms and pastel buildings. We visited the city during easter last year and loved it! ( read our weekend in Hyères here ) This time, we explored the coasts and beaches around Hyères with our friends, who happens to have a boat driving permit (Yeay!)
As a tropical island girl, my mind was blown. Pristine water, little fishes, Merou and we even spotted a shark! The last one was incredible, our friend suddenly made a sharp turn as we see a fin flapping up and down, then we saw this big creature swimming near our small boat!!
MOUSTIERS SAINT MARIE VILLAGE
This village is named as one of the most beautiful villages in France and i don’t doubt it for a second!
As if the cascade that flow in the heart of the city is not enough, They have accessible clean water points everywhere around the city.
SAINT CROIX BEACH
There are tons of magnificent beach around and near Marseille. Often, a lot of them require a hike if not a descent amount of walk. But not this one. After the beautiful Calanque de la vesse, the beach of Saint Croix is definitely “The Beach” for us.
Golden sand, spots with shades, the exotic sound of cigales, the priceless view from above, this beach is an amour. Don’t forget to book the one and the only restaurant on top, Les Ombrelles.
When visiting south of France around June / July, a short trip to Lavender field is quite mandatory. I love the purple hues as much as i love a clear turquoise color in a beach. The famous one is of course, Valensole and Manosque.
However this year, we found this gorgeous field purely by hasard, not far from our air bnb !
MY LITTLE CARNET D’ADRESSE
Sleep at La Mas des Lones, Oppède
For their unbeatable hospitality but mostly for their swimming pool with a view.
Grab your coffee frappé at Coogee, Marseille
For an excellent cold brew serve in an tastefully decorated café.
Swim at La Calanque de Figuerolles, La Ciotat
For the scenic view
Eat artisanal lavender ice cream at L’étoile Givrée, Moustiers-Ste Marie
Because it’s the only artisanal and without colorant ice cream
Buy artisanal lavender honey at the side road of Montpezat
For a delicious souvenir to bring home
Drink a glass of rosé at Chateau La Coste, Ste-Puy de Reparade
Because their Rosé nominated as the best Rosé and it’s Bio. Plus the domaine combined art and architecture.
Eat grilled fish and Gambas without reservation at Les Terasses du St Croix du Verdon
Because they have a lovely view, nice team, delicious dishes and all that without reservatio. you just have to show up.