Encompassing beautiful Provence and the Côte dʼAzur in the southeast, to the glamorous resort of Biarritz in the southwest, Southern France is blessed with a wonderful climate, crystal-clear waters and glorious sun-soaked beaches.
Marvel at Provenceʼs spectacular landscapes, enjoy the glitz of the Côte dʼAzur, visit the luscious vineyards of Languedoc Roussillon and explore the rugged coastline of the Atlantic Coast – this stunning region has endless appeal.
The South of France has an eclectic mix of eateries, from expensive restaurants offering gourmet cuisine to pavement cafes and traditional bars serving delicious home-cooked food. As you would expect seafood is something of a speciality here, and the regional oysters and bourride (fish stew) are always popular.
Try cassoulet, a delicious stew of white beans, Toulouse sausage and duck confit, or regional specialities such as chestnut truffle soup and wild pigeon with a maize galette. Half of the wine produced in France comes from the Languedoc Roussillon region, including the excellent full-bodied Côte de Roussillon and the highly-regarded Saint Chinian, along with the lively white wines of Minervois.
From chic, designer boutiques and large department stores to small, local souvenir shops nestling in quiet cobbled streets, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Provençal wonderful mementos to take back home, as do ceramics, paintings and tapestries found on the small local markets. Seek out some of the extravagant art and antique shops selling some absolute treasures, in particular in the famous artist village of Saint Paul de Vence, and if travelling to the Midi Pyrenees look out for religious items such as ‘holy water’ from the grotto.
Among the streets of Montpellier you’ll find the pedestrianised zone ‘Medieval Centre Historique’ perfect for souvenirs, a true shopper’s paradise. Also famous for its markets, real gems can be found in small villages such as the markets in Isle sur la Sorgue on a Sunday.