Fancy escaping the humdrum of modern life for a few days? If you do, the south of France is one place you’ll definitely want to think about visiting. With pleasant weather, amazing attractions and beautiful scenery, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy a great getaway.
So, where exactly should you go? As southern France is a fairly large destination, it pays to spend a little time considering what you want from your holiday before making a booking. Whether you want to stay in the sun-soaked Cote d’Azur or stop off at a quaint Provence village, you should easily be able to find the place that’s right for you.
Hyeres les Palmiers
If you’re looking for a villa in the south of France that gives you the chance to sunbathe, Hyeres les Palmiers is certainly one spot worth visiting. Not only does the town receive some 300 days of sunshine a year, but it is also home to award-winning beaches. Find a quiet spot to lay down your towel and you can bask in the warm Mediterranean sunshine while taking in stunning sea views.
Don’t worry if you’d prefer to be a bit more active, as Hyeres les Palmiers is just as great a place for water sports as it is for sunbathing. Kitesurfing, scuba diving and yachting are just three of the pastimes you can try your hand at, while the fact a range of prestigious sporting events are held here – including the Sailing Tour of France – means you can be sure the conditions are of the highest quality.
Head back to on dry land to visit Le Parc Olbius Riquier and you’ll have the chance to connect with nature. The seven-hectare botanical garden contains an array of plants and flowers, including several rare species, while a trip to the on-site zoo enables you to spot exotic creatures. Other amenities here include a cafe and a children’s play area, so there are plenty of things to keep you occupied for the entire day.
Want to spend a short break in Cote d’Azur? Grimaud is certainly worth visiting. Dating back to Gallo-Roman times, this pretty village has a wealth of historic sites to explore, including the 11th-century Notre Dame de la Queste church and the 17th century St Roch’s windmill.
It’s also worth seeing the St Roch’s Chapel. Inside this pretty church, you’ll find a medieval basalt altar stone, as well as several paintings of the saint, who was invoked to protect against the plague during the Middle Ages.
A trip to the village’s Folk Museum is also a good way to get acquainted with the region’s history. This cultural institution exhibits an array of agricultural tools that were used by local workers, while you can also see a restored farmer’s apartment and 17th-century oil presses. Spending a morning strolling along the winding, twisty streets of Grimaud, where you’ll see houses with traditional cross-barred windows and serpentine doors, can equally give you an insight into regional life.
Alternatively, you might want to think about taking a short break in Cavalaire-sur-Mer. As it received the Famille Plus award in 2009 for its quality and range of services for families, you can be sure this is a suitable destination for a short family getaway. Here, you can see exhibitions of artefacts excavated from local archaeological sites, or visit a market to sample authentic Provencal cuisine.
The town is also a great place for sports enthusiasts, with facilities for basketball, tennis, handball and other pursuits all offered. If you’d rather take to the water, you can have a go at diving and yachting.
If you’re considering taking a short break to the south of France, please leave a comment and let us know where you’re thinking of going.