Today I wanted to post a blog entry about my summer trip to France, which I count as one of the best holidays that I made so far. The colours, smells, lifestyle and food in the Provence and the Cote d’Azur are simply magical. It seems, that in France, time has really stopped and people take every day as it comes. I wonder, if the beauty of the countryside over there also comes from the relaxed ambiance. In this blogpost I want to take on a short journey through our holiday with the nicest impressions.
We started off our trip with the beautiful Elsass area in France, which is famous for the German/ French influences at play. We went to the city of Colmar, which is also called the “wine capital”, as there are wine hills everywhere. The city center small is very small and has the typical Elsass type houses, which are German style “Fachwerk” houses, but with many different colors. When walking around, it feels like you go back to the medieval times. We took a slow walk through the city and enjoyed the calm by the river. Of course, we also had a typical Elsass area “Flammkuchen” for dinner, which had a beautiful view.
The next day we went towards the direction of Vizille, which is a small town at the French-Swiss border near Grenoble. We chose the city of Vizille and its beautiful castle as our 2 hour lunch break location, where we could have a delicious and relaxing picnic in the castle gardens. The “Chateau de Vizille” castle gardens are free of charge and a beautiful lunch location for when you want to take a break on our roadtrip to the South of France.
Provence: Lac de Sainte Croix- Gorges du Verdon- Bauduen- Moustiers de Sainte Marie- Plateau de Valensole
After having had lunch, we directly went on to the provence, which was quite a long drive. In the provence, there are many beautiful places. However one special place is the “Gorges du Verdon” Canyon in the Provence, which is a unique site in Europe. There were so many beautiful sites around this Canyon. We visited different beautiful bays of the Lake “Lac de Sainte Croix” and ate icecream in one of the small villages by the lake. SECRET TIP: visit the little village Bauduen at the lake. It is not discovered yet by tourists but pure provence flair is guaranteed.
We also visited the beautiful and famous mountain village called “Moustiers de Sainte Marie”, with the famous metal star shining down on the village. We walked the small alleys up and down sipping on our peach shakes and enjoying the beautiful soft lights of the Provence evening sun. We got the yummy shakes at the Café. We saved the special event for last, which was the majestic boat ride through the “Gorges du Verdon” Canyon. It was simply amazing!, We took a paddle boat and sailed through the Canyon with occasional dips in the cool water. It was so hot, so we were glad about every bit of refreshment. I also brought fruit to keep us hydrated. At night, we had an amazing. Provence style Pizza at the Camping place with eggplant, olives and provence style herbs. On our leaving day in the Provence, we dropped by the lavender fields to smell the beautiful lavender aroma in the air and hear the bees buzzing.
Sillans- la- Cascade Waterfall
On our way to the Cote d’Azur we decided to visit a beautiful waterfall in the Provence. Sadly we could not swim in the water at the waterfall, though I researched that it was possible. However, the view of this huge blue lagoon style waterfall was still worth the visit.
Cote d’Azur: St. Paul de Vence- Cannes- Nice- Antibes- Monaco- Cap d’Ail- Plage Paloma- Èze village, Sentier du Littoral- St- Tropez
After a 2 hour drive, we finally arrived at the Cote d’Azur at a friendly camping place in the city of St. Paul de Vence. We located our accommodation here to be able to visit the different sites at the Cote d’Azur by car. There are so many beautiful things we saw, so I am trying to keep this part short. We visited the small medieval village of St. Paul de Vence, with its small stone houses and alleys. It was simply magical to discover every little corner of that village. Of course, I had to try lavender and fig icecream, which taste so fresh and creamy. I loved getting lost in those little streets there.
On one day we went to Cannes to see the city center, port and beach. The city is quite modern and there is a more central shopping street. I loved walking along the port and beach promenades. I ate really tasty macarons there and my first flower icecream ever! The beach was very full but doable for a cool down in the afternoon. Cannes also has many small cafes and restaurants to offer.
We visited Nice as well and started off with walking along the famous beach promenade called “Promenade des Anglais”. This promenade was very beautiful with the constant view on the sea on one side and the view on the beautiful historic buildings of Nice on the other side. We also walked up to the castle of Nice and got lost in the many little streets of the old city center of Nice- a must see! If possible, you should definitely visit the food and flower market in the old city of Nice and have dinner in one of the hundreds of cute restaurants there. The ambiance there is absolutely magical.
We visited Monaco as well to see what the fuzz is about that city and the people that holiday there. Well, it was exactly what we expected: lots of luxury.
Of course we also visited little beaches and bays and 2 of them, that I can really recommend are the Cap d’Ail beach and the Plage Paloma beach on the Cap Ferrat. Cap d’Ail is a small bay next to a huge mountain wall, which is very intimate and small and which catches the colors of the sea, the sun and the brown/reddish mountain concrete. Beautiful and the walk there was even more beautiful. If you walk away from the beach towards the left, there are more nice places to be discovered. Paloma Beach on the Cap Ferrat is also a small bay, which looks different though. The beach is also surrounded by stones but smaller ones and it has this beautiful blue color, which gives the “Cote d’Azur” its rightful name. I lovedlovedlooooved snorkeling there. And I loved the yummy pasta salad lunch that we had there. Definitely a must see and visit and swim as it is small and intimate and has a great view.
We also visited the small medieval famous village of Èze. For me, this village and its tropical garden was one of the highlights of the trip. The village once again had small stone alleys and shops and restaurants built into the rocks. The tropical garden on top of the village gives a majestic view over the coast. We also visited the perfume museum called “Fragonard”, which is located next to Èze village. They give FREE museum visits, so make sure to drop by and learn how perfume is made!
On one of the windy days, we decided to go to Antibes and walk the famous “Sentier du Littoral” promenade by the side of the rocky coastal line near Antibes. I loved it, because there are many little corners where you can walk down a ladder to take a dip in the sea. The city of Antibes was absolutely amazing and cute. With buzzing restaurants and creperies, and little cute streets with houses full of flowers. A must see is the Provence market in Antibes, which turns into a place for restaurants at night.
On one day, we also visited the famous Tiki Beach in St. Tropez, which is a tropical looking Hawaii style beach on the coasteal line of St. Tropez. Definitely a must visit, if you want to feel white Caribean style sand under your feet. We sadly did not see St. Tropez city center due to a lack of time, but it is something on our bucket list.
These were the most amazing sites that we have visited during our France holiday. The Cote d’Azur and especially the Provence are beautiful places to visit, because of their unique ambiance of warm Southern European flair and unique spots to visit where time stands still.
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Hope you enjoyed this blog post.
CARPE DELI 🙂