With dramatic alpine peaks, wide swathes of sandy beaches, and some of Western Europe’s deepest history, the southeastern regions of France merit an extended tour. Provence enchants with iconic landscapes draped in endless fields of lavender, sunflowers, and olive and cypress trees that inspired the brush strokes of Van Gogh. The region’s history can be felt while walking the cobbled streets of charming Medieval villages or hiking through hillsides braced with Roman aqueducts, and each local market brings the senses alive with fresh fruit, handmade soaps, bespoke perfumes, and local spices.
The region offers prime access to the southern French Alps and its idyllic hammocks of gentle green meadows, perfect for summer hiking and a tasting tour of excellent local wines grown on the slopes. Heading towards the coast, the famed Côte d’Azur splashes out into the Mediterranean with sinewy seaside roads that offer glimpses of distant Corsica. Though the island was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, its long and winding history is just one facet of its colorful character—lush mountains, stylish coastal towns, and a deep native culture tied to Italian customs make this destination one of a kind.
The French Riviera, long the haunt of the haut monde, beckons with crystalline waters, golden shores, and lavish ports. In the spirit of Brigitte Bardot, let down your hair and mingle with the elite in Cannes, sip a poolside cocktail in Saint-Tropez, face the sea winds at the helm of a luxury cruiser, or tuck into a pile of fresh mussels with a glass of crisp white wine at your elbow and your toes in the sand. C’est la vie!