The South of France has the enviable combination of miles of coastline and fertile rural landscapes and has been the inspiration for artists, composers and writers as well as the new visitor.
The term ìSouth of Franceî is usually used to describe the southern stretch of the countryís coastline that runs between Spain and Italy, and the rural inland areas that include Provence and the LubÈron. With its warm climate, fertile landscape and developed coastline, it is one of the most regularly-visited parts of Europe.
Unsurprisingly, for somewhere as popular as the South of France, there is no shortage of hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and camp sites. For a true taste of the area though, stay in one of our recommended boutique hotels. Small and intimate, they are a home from home and turn a basic holiday into a luxury retreat. All of these hotels offer well-designed and contemporary rooms and the service is discreet and impeccable. Good food usually goes hand-in-hand with the cool rooms and public areas – by choosing one of these hotels youíll be treating yourself to a memorable stay in the South of France.
The South of France is too big an area to be fully explored in a single holiday, which is why many people return year after year. Some of Franceís most expensive resorts lie on the south coast, including St. Tropez and Cannes, and where better to watch the yachts and fashions of the rich and famous? The area is famous for its coastline, sailing and water sports and for the cities that lie near it: Nice, Marseilles and Montpelier for example. Inland, Provence is well-known for its rolling landscapes, stretches of vineyards and swathes of wild flowers. With no shortage of historic buildings, local markets and museums to explore, the South of France has something for everyone.
If youíre planning on exploring the South of France, you should hire a car. The French, like most European countries, drive on the right hand side of the road and the roads are largely well-maintained, although many are toll-controlled and you will have to pay at marked toll stations to use the main road network. If you are planning on staying mostly in one place and just visiting major cities or tourist areas, then opt for the train system, operated by SNCF.