If your idea of a dream break involves relaxing in decadent accommodation and exploring beautiful attractions, I think it’s definitely worth heading to France. Of course, the country is well known for its gourmet cuisine and rich culture, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to indulge in these – and much more besides – if you visit to the south of the country. So, where exactly should you go?
As its name suggests, Cote d’Azur is a naturally-beautiful region that features crystal-blue waters and golden beaches, so it’s ideal for those wanting to laze around in the sunshine. However, it has more than its fair share of manmade attractions that you should visit too.
Book a luxury villa in the Cote d’Azur and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Sanctuaire de Notre Dame de Laghet. Built in 1656, this is considered a prime example of Italian baroque architecture and its roof is crowned by a gold leaf covered statue of the Virgin Mary. Head to the onsite museum, meanwhile, and you’ll find ex-votos, offerings that are given to saints after someone’s prayers have been answered.
Given the fact it’s titled the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporian, it should be no real surprise that this Nice cultural establishment is dedicated to contemporary art, with works by the likes of Andy Warhol and Martial Raysse among those on display. Each May, meanwhile, Cannes hosts a world-famous film festival so, if you time your holiday to coincide with the event, you might get the chance to rub shoulders with some celebrities.
Although the Cote d’Azur certainly delivers if you want a luxury holiday in the south of France, it’s definitely not your only option. In fact, I think you can have just as good a time in Provence – a region that’s perhaps most famous for its wine, but is also steeped in culture and history. At the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle (that’s the Museum of Natural History to you and I) you’ll find a whole host of exhibits dedicated to flora and fauna, including insects and dinosaur eggs. Come here and I think you’ll find that it doesn’t just make for a fascinating day out but also an educational one.
If you’re more interested in manmade history, you should head to Entremont. This ancient settlement is thought to have been established some 2,200 years ago and, since the site was first excavated in the 1940s, a wide range of objects – including pottery and pieces of ramparts have been unearthed. As you wander around, you’ll also get to soak up great views of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, which stands 1,011 m above sea level.
Choose your accommodation with care
Regardless of whether you want to stay in Provence or Cote d’Azur, if you’re going to have a truly luxurious holiday I think it’s important that you also give some thought to the type of accommodation that you stay in. With a wide selection of properties to choose from, including city centre apartments and countryside mansions, you shouldn’t have to worry that you won’t find something suitable for you.
It is, of course, vital to check what particular amenities the villa you are considering staying in has before booking, as some have their own gymnasium and swimming pool. Others, meanwhile, feature the likes of hot tubs and games rooms. With so many luxury facilities on offer, it can be tempting to stay inside your accommodation for the entire duration of your break. To do so, however, would mean that you won’t get the full experience of what this stunning region has to offer.
Are you’re planning a break to southern France for the first time or have you already been on holiday to the region before? Leave a comment and share your experiences of this enthralling destination.