The South of France isn’t only for 80-foot yachts, film festivals and the glitterati of the world. It’s also for us, the average Joe’s and Joanne’s. Wherever you want to stay, whatever your interests, whatever your budget, there is a Yelloh! Village situated in the most fascinating regions of the South of France, from Canet-en-Rousillon to the Alpes-Maritimes.
The villages alone make fabulous holidays: heated swimming pools and water sports, spas to relax in and be pampered, activities and entertainment for all ages and staff whose priority is you. Add to that the adventures awaiting as you discover the authentic South of France and you have the holiday of a lifetime! There are more things to do and see than we could possibly tell you about here, but we have some “teasers” to whet your appetite.
You can journey into France’s illustrious past. In Montpellier, the narrow cobblestone paths lead you to magnificent architecture from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Then join today’s Montpellier and the camaraderie among the locals at the Marché des Arceaux (Arches Market) as you browse the stalls brimming with locally sourced foods, apparel and tchotchkes. Sip a sweet, licorice-flavored pastis, the area’s signature apertif, at one of the charming outdoor cafes.
Béziers is one of oldest towns in Europe, first settled 2,700 years. There are the Romanesque churches and arenas and remains of the Cathars, an early Christian culture whose mysterious past includes the legendary Holy Grail.
Briançon in the Haute Alpes department is the highest town in all of Europe. It also has more forts than any other area in France. You could spend the whole day exploring the forts and villages in the mountains, but you don’t want to miss the town for its architecture, the ancient sundials and the Place d’Armes square surrounded with colorful, pastel homes and buildings.
Sète is the “Little Venice” of France. The fishing village is intersected with canals lined with quaint houses and shops. Watch the fishermen bring in their catches and then enjoy fresh mussels and fish stew with the smell of the sea wafting the air. A hint: Walk a few blocks inland for the reasonably priced restaurants.
For millions of years, the sparkling turquoise-green Verdon River has carved deep valleys out of the limestone cliffs that rise above it up to 700 metres high. The Gorges du Verdon is nature at its most majestic. You can best experience it on the river itself, whether you choose a canoe, kayak or pedal boat.
Here’s a chance of a lifetime! In Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, you can create your own fragrance. Tour the old perfumeries with their methods that go back to the 18th century and see the farms and their acres of flowers.
For animal lovers, there are the white horses of Camargues, a splendid centuries-old breed that roams freely throughout the reserve. There is also the Réserve Africaine de Sigean with 3,800 animals on 300 hectares in one of the first nature parks in Europe.
Of course, you’re going to search out the countless wineries spread throughout the region. An unimaginably “best kept secret” is the Languedoc wine-producing region, where you can drive along dusty roads, stopping along the way to sample the fruits of the vine of independent vintners.
Think about the inimitable French food: the basket of freshly cut baguettes; salads with baked goat cheese, roasted duck, freshly grilled seafood, or foie gras; poached eggs and lardons; fondu-like aligot; and truffles.
It’s all there for you and so much more—a literally endless variety of things to see and do in the South of France. I don’t know about you, but I’ve talked myself into planning my next trip there!
Check out our guest post over on the Yelloh Village blog right now with some fantastic road trip advice for discovering the best of the art world along the French Riviera.