Provence & Côte d'Azur

WHY WE LOVE IT

  • The very essence of France, with added sunshine. Exquisite hotels, dramatic scenery, world-class restaurants
  • Follow Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and Brigitte Bardot along the Corniche roads to Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo, St. Tropez for beaches and glamour.
  • Explore romantic villages perchés; Roman, Romanesque, and medieval architecture, lavender fields.
  • Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Chagall, Cocteau, van Gogh, and Renoir were here.
  • Walk sur le Pont d'Avignon, sing the Marseillaise in hip Marseille; drink Châteauneuf-du-Pape in situ. Discover the Camargue and the Vaucluse.
  • Good buys: handmade santons (clay crib figurines), Provençal-print fabrics; wine, lavender honey, tapenade and anchoiade, first-pressed olive oil, perfumes from Grasse.

WHEN TO GO

July and August are crammed, hot, and expensive—but fashionable. June and September (with vendange wine) have great weather, fewer crowds. April and May (except in Cannes or Monte Carlo) and October are best-buy months. The warm, damp, moody off-season also has its fans!

 

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