The South of France, often referred to as the "French Riviera" or the "Côte d'Azur," is a region that exudes timeless elegance, natural beauty, and an irresistible charm. This enchanting stretch of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea has captivated visitors for generations with its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Here, azure waters meet sun-soaked beaches, rolling vineyards, and picturesque villages, creating a tapestry of experiences that are nothing short of captivating.
The quaint towns and villages of the region are surrounded by countryside full of rustic charm. Sip on local wines in the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Provence, known for its rosés. In the summertime, lavender fields burst into fragrant bloom, creating a stunning visual and olfactory feast. The landscapes invite you to savor the joie de vivre in a way that only the South of France can offer.
Provençal cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh herbs, olive oil, and seasonal ingredients, is a celebration of Mediterranean flavors. Savor bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew, in Marseille, or enjoy ratatouille in Nimes. And, of course, no visit is complete without indulging in pastries like pain aux amandes or tarte tropezienne, which have become beloved classics.
Further inland, regional cuisine in destinations like Périgord abounds in local specialties, from the exquisite Lucques olives of Languedoc to local cheeses such as bleu d’Auvergne and Roquefort. Market stalls abound with local figs and ripe peaches, nuts and foie gras, and, of course, truffles!
Take a look at some of our favourite experiences in the South of France:
Set off for Périgueux, the fascinating capital of the Périgord that has been settled since Celtic and Roman times. Relive the life of the Romans in Gaul at the Vesunna Museum before immersing yourself in the beauty of the restored old town. Stop in one of the charming bistros for the plat du jour while you admire the domed basilica that dominates the skyline.
Spend some time with Guillaume, a collector and environmentalist who will share his knowledge about the traditional herbal, pharmaceutical, and perfume culture of Montpellier. Gain insight into market spices and medicinal plants in Languedoc as Guillaume describes to you how he processes his finds organically.
Spend the morning shopping at the farmers market in Avignon, with guidance from chef Jonathan Chiri on how to select the best ingredients. Then, Jonathan will teach you techniques to help bring out the Provençal flavours from the local herbs and spices, in dishes such as monkfish and duck breast marinated with lavender.
Enjoy a guided tour through colourful gardens of La Chassagnette, a Michelin-starred restaurant. The chef prepares interesting combinations and presentations directly from the garden, and you’ll have a chance to try the impressive menu for yourself—the perfect culmination to a week in Provence.