Living the Riviera Dream: How to Make the Most of Provence’s Coastline

The area of Provence has long since been associated with luxury, laid-back living and of course, beautiful beaches. The Romans flocked to Provence centuries ago to enjoy the scenic coastlines, rolling hills and greenery; and since then, the steady influx of people visiting the area has never really ceased. Indeed, Provence remains firmly in the top three locations in France for people looking to invest in an additional property overseas, with many choosing to reside within the French Riviera area and enjoy the advantages of living beside some of Provence’s superb coastal areas. From the upmarket glamour of Cannes to the cultural, peaceful atmosphere of Nice, Provence’s coastal cities offer no less of a pleasing experience, with fine dining, excellent night life and many attractions for visitors to enjoy. The question on many a visitor’s lips, when faced with the myriad of appealing locations that make up Provence and the Riviera is, quite simply, where should I begin? Where are the best spots that best suit me? Thankfully, Provence’s coastal areas are plentiful and diverse, ensuring that, whatever your taste, there is bound to be the perfect beach-side spot for you.

 

Living the High Life in the Côte d’Azur

For many, the real appeal of the French Riviera is the sense of opulence and sophistication that comes with many of the resorts. Perhaps it is the thrill of rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, not to mention with the throngs of celebrities that regularly visit the region (especially during Cannes Festival); or perhaps its just the glamorous, luxurious atmosphere. Whatever the reason, it is undeniable that many of the more exclusive coastal towns and cities are a highly appealing prospect for visitors to the area. Of course, a great way to explore all of the main celebrity haunts is by boat; and many cruises will take you directly to the sun-soaked shores of Nice, Saint Tropez and Marseille to bask in the upmarket ambiance. As PlanetCruise.co.uk point out, “a fly-cruise in the Mediterranean allows you to experience many fantastic ports”; which is a convenient factor for individuals looking to experience the highlights of the area in one trip. If looking for a location to stay for a holiday break onshore, Saint Tropez remains one of the most fiercely elegant spots to base yourself, with a wide variety of excellent restaurants, boutique shops and sandy beaches to relax on. In recent years, Saint Tropez has also adopted a more child-friendly attitude, which as a result, has meant that it has seen a significant increase in families holidaying there.

 

Escaping the Crowds and Enjoying a Tranquil Break


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Jeanne Menj

If the excesses of the luxury lifestyle don’t hold much appeal, then be reassured with the knowledge that the French Riviera still holds plenty of surprises. There are still several coastal towns that remain relatively low-key, maintaining a real sense of their past and keeping a truly French sense of joie de vivre in their lifestyle. One such spot is Cassis, located a mere half an hour’s drive from bustling Marseille and its airport, yet with an ambiance that is completely removed from the energetic, sumptuous atmosphere of its other coastal counterparts. Cruise passengers will find Cassis easy enough to reach, as the town is only a short drive away, as will anyone looking to explore the region by road. Here, fisherman still fish using traditional boats, and the quaint restaurants and idyllic beaches remain wonderfully uncrowded.

 

Alternatively, for those eager to enjoy some of the excellent bird watching and wildlife spotting that is available within Provence’s coastal areas, head to Eze; a rocky spot 430m above the sea below, which is just perfect for relaxing with a pair of binoculars in hand; or for those with a more adventurous spirit, leaping off the rocks with a parachute to attempt a spot of parascending!

 

Variety in the French Riviera

One of the best aspects about Provence’s coastline is the sheer variety that visitors can expect to enjoy there. From picturesque fishing villages that seem to have changed little in two hundred years, to progressive, exciting towns that teem with activities, bars and restaurants, there is a huge diversity amongst the locations. The area remains one of the most popular in France, remaining a firm favourite of cruise liners and other holiday makers, and for good reason. Small wonder that so many people who visit the area then go on to invest in a property, with so many spectacular spots to enjoy.

Securing Your Holiday Home!

House of Père Lacroix by Paul CézanneAt last you have purchased your holiday home in the Provence. You are looking forward to long holidays, new adventures and family fun.

 

Unfortunately, misadventures take place in your home, and with the home being vacant for long periods of time your property can be subject to vandalism or worse a burglary. Of course, you may never be affected but it is wise to take some precautions. Naturally you will have a comprehensive insurance policy for your house and contents – have you remembered?

 

But what else should you consider?

1) Are you Safe and Secure? Quality locks on doors, windows and patio doors fitted! Perhaps you should consider a personal safe to lock away those small but expensive items. It might be worth investing in a burglar alarm, security lights, shutters and or grills.

2) Keys – you may have a caretaker or local friend who can keep a spare set of keys. Hopefully, they can keep on an eye on your property too. If not, perhaps a key safe would be wise investment. Check with your insurer that this is acceptable. But do not put keys under doormats, plant pots, etc.!
3) Garden: are all your garden items: furniture, pool equipment, bicycles, lawn-movers secure? If not, lock them away.

4) Maintenance checks: simple checking can save a large bill later! Are the gutters clear, roof tiles missing, appliances safe, smoke/carbon monoxide alarms  working correctly?

 

Just a few simple checks, wise precautions and checking your cover will allow you to rest easily when away from your holiday home!

Top 5 restaurants in Provence that You cannot miss to afford?

restaurants in ProvenceAre you a complete food buff? If yes, then you certainly hit on the right place. Provence, a district in the southern part of France located close to the Cote d’Azur on the Mediterranean Sea boasts of some of the best restaurants and cuisine in the world that offers the best range of French delicacies. Here is a list of five Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur restaurants that you should consider visiting during your tour around this region with spectacular scenic beauty.

Restaurants in Provence

The Auberge de la Loube
If you are touring around Buoux, then you simply cannot miss the opportunity to dine in The Auberge de la Loube. Here you would get the opportunity to taste authentic French delicacies that are prepared in the tradition style. Though all the set of choices that are offered by this restaurant are truly scrumptious and are definitely worth trying out, but main delicacy that forces avid food lovers to come back to this place time and again is the roasted lamb leg. Moreover, a wide variety of traditional French starters garnish the menus list. Try as many as them as possible as they are really yummy. Do not miss to visit it, if you are in Bonnieux.

Alexandre
Alexandre is one of the best restaurants in the Provence region. The kitchen of this restaurant is run in accordance with the whims of its expert Chef Michel Kayser. The best part of this delicacies offered by this restaurant is that it depends on the season. Therefore, the master chef and ideas of creative genius Chef Michel Kayser is ever ready to surprise you. If you are in mood to indulge in some of the best local dishes then there is no better place than Alexandre. The range of truffles and steaks served with specially prepared potatoes are the main delicacy of this restaurant.

Chef Fonfon
If you are food buff, then you must have heard this name. The kitchen of this restaurant was once run by the illustrious Chef Fonfon from where it has got its name. It boasts of its excellent variety of perfectly prepared sea food which will simply melt in your mouth and force you to come back to this place time and again. The ambiance of the restaurant is simple and serene making the ideal hang out with your closest ones.

Chef Bruno
This is certainly one of the best truffle eatery in not only Provence region but the whole of France as well. The master Chef Bruno is going to offer you innovative variation of truffles that you are going to simply fall in love with. The specialty of this restaurant lies in the fact that all the dishes offered by it come along with some kind of truffles.

Christian Etienne
Not only the ambiance but the food offered by this restaurant is simply mesmerizing as well. Christian Etienne will offer all avid eaters with a range of creative delicacies that you would enjoy indulging in. Well, if you not in the mood to experiment then you can also try out the flavorsome roasted veal or lobster prepared in a unique way.

Restaurants in Provence Summary

So it is not only Paris that has Michelin starred restaurants!These recommendations are only some of the many good restaurants in Provence from Avignon to Nice that the region features. Bon Appétit!!

About the author:
RP, an entrepreneur from www.innova-solutions.co.uk who loves indulging in quality food only. She is of the opinion that the restaurants of the Provence region are some of the best in the whole of France.

Where to Holiday in Provence?

Saint Tropez

Why Stay in Provence?

Books like the ones written by Peter Mayle have made many people dream about going on a holiday in Provence, France or even moving there. But what makes that particular place so charming? For many it is simply the sun, the lavender fields, the old stone houses and the great people living in the area. For others it is the delicious food, the freshly baked bread, the wine and the opportunity to visit Nice or Saint Tropez. If you take into account all these attractions, it is no wonder that so many tourists, thousands of them, come to Provence starting from April until late October.

Attractions of Provence

The lavender, the white stone farm houses, the vineyards, the sea – these are all beautiful, different nature colors that will convince everyone that life in Provence is, to begin with, full of vivid contrasts. Provence is also well known for the numerous smaller and larger restaurants; the smaller ones are usually hidden on the sunny streets of the smaller villages, being places where you will enjoy food made out with what the land produces. The big restaurants, boasting with Michelin stars, charm their clients with exquisite dishes and exquisite wines. Under these circumstances, it is not a surprise that the vineyards in Provence produce more than 50% of the France’s rose wines.

Provence is situated in the South of France, including a higher area, the Alpes of Haute Provence, as well as the sunny beaches of the Cote d’Azur – try http://thecotedazur.net. No matter where you decide to spend your holiday, or maybe much more than that, you will be fascinated by the old villages, which have managed to keep their authenticity. The food is almost 100% provencal, and so are the weekly fairs where the farmers in the region get together to sell their numerous, tasty cheese varieties, meat, bread or any other food related product that their farms produce.

Considered to be the “belle” of the entire Provence area, Avignon, the former papal seat, is a place that boasts with its one of a kind architecture and masterpieces of art. Avignon attracts thousands of tourists every year and they all marvel admiring the Palais des Papes, the very place where the Christian popes used to live for many centuries, a medieval construction which is most visited building in France. It all started in 1309, when a Gascon became pope; he did not want to live in Rome, as all the other popes did before him, so he moved to Avignon. This period is known in history as Avignon Papacy.
The work started back in 1335, being coordinated by Pope Benedict XII and it was continued by pope Clement VI. The best painters from all over Europe were hired to decorate the palace, and thus exquisite frescoes appeared on the huge walls. The good news is that all these paintings are intact nowadays and they can be admired in their full splendor by all the tourists.

After the popes left, the palace was used by Papal legates, Italian vice-legates, and in 1791 the territory was considered as belonging to France once again. Being one of the largest Gothic constructions in Europe, there is no wonder so many come to visit it while in Provence. In addition to this, starting with 1995, the palace has become an UNESCO Heritage Site. So book your holiday in Provence today!

 

Author Bio:
Irina Chirilov, the author of this article, works as a blogger for Thrifty Bucharest Romania, a travel and car rental agency in Eastern Europe.

Prettiest Villages of Provence?

Menerbes ViewWe regularly hear about the chic resorts on the Cote d’Azur coast but what about the lovely villages away from the coast.

 

Here are the top villages according to Les plus beaux villages de France.

Bargème / Var
Gordes / Vaucluse
La Roque-sur-Cèze / Gard
Les Baux-de-Provence / Bouches du Rhône
Lourmarin / Vaucluse
Ménerbes / Vaucluse
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie / Alpes de Haute Provence
Roussillon / Vaucluse
Seillans / Var
Tourtour / Var
Venasque / Vaucluse

 

Here is what they say about Ménerbes …..

 

From the top of a rocky spur overlooking the Luberon garrigue and vineyards, the fortified village of Ménerbes and its castle watch over the neighbouring Most Beautiful Villages of Gordes and Roussillon. Inside, the narrow streets reveal a wealth of heritage : old houses, the town hall square with its 17C belfry and bell tower. Like many villages in the Luberon, Ménerbes has attracted several famous artists such as Picasso who used to have a house there.

 

Take a Tour around Roussillon …..

 

What’s On Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Image: cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Toprural

Looking for events in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence? All the latest cultural events, exhibitions, concerts, festivals and fetes updated daily for your pleasure!

 

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The population is now centered around the larger towns, Manosque and Digne-les-Bains, and the mountainous regions are very sparsely populated.

What’s On

Manosque
Digne-les-Bains

Other Departments
Alpes-Maritimes
Bouches du Rhone
Var
Vaucluse

What’s On in Bouches-du-Rhone

whats on Bouches-du-RhôneWant to know what is happening in the Bouches-du-Rhone ? All the latest cultural events, exhibitions, concerts, festivals and fetes updated daily for your pleasure!

 

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Whats On

What is on in the major centres:

Marseille
Aix-en-Provence
Arles
Martigues

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Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Alpes-Maritimes
Var
Vaucluse

What’s on in Vaucluse

whats on in VaucluseWant to know what is happening in the Vaucluse department of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur? All the latest cultural events, gigs, festivals and fetes updated daily for your enjoyment!

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What’s On

In the major towns of Vaucluse:
Avignon
Orange
Carpentras
Cavaillon
Apt

Other Departments

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Alpes-Maritimes
Bouches-du-Rhone
Var

Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Airports

Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Airports Map


View PACA Airports in a larger map

Nice airportThe main commercial airports are at:
Marseille Airport (A)
Nice / Cote d’Azur Airport (B)

Nice Cote d’Azur Airport is the main airport in the region of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur. It is located on the Mediterranean coast and is well connected to the rest of the region. The airports in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur received 15 million passengers in 2007.

Easyjet and British Airways fly to this region.

 

More about Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Airports

Transport in Provence – Lonely Planet Travel Information
Provence has two major airports: Marseille-Provence and Nice-Côte d’Azur. Avignon-Caumont, Nîmes-Garons and Toulon-Hyères also serve some international …

Marseille Provence Airport – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marseille Provence Airport or Aéroport de Marseille Provence (IATA: MRS, ICAO: LFML) is an airport located 27 km (17 miles) northwest of Marseille, on the …

Aix-en-Provence Airports | Away.com – Away Elsewhere
Away.com’s Aix-en-Provence airports page provides travel information on airports in and around Aix-en-Provence. Research transportation options and find …

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur airports information at Skyscanner
Information about every airport in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur; live departure and arrival information, route maps, low-cost and traditional airlines, all prices in  …