The south of France has long been the playground for the rich and famous, but thanks to a still strong Aussie dollar the French Riviera is still very affordable. This makes it the perfect time to enjoy the pristine beaches, relaxed lifestyle and delicious gourmet cuisine. Your Personal Travel Manager can help arrange your holiday to this celebrated Mediterranean paradise.
Southern France benefits from a typically Mediterranean climate, however it does get cooler towards the west coast and the Atlantic. It’s therefore advised to pack a pair of jeans and a jumper, even though you may not need them.
Arles was the inspiration for Van Gogh’s greatest masterpieces and the scene of his partnership with Gauguin. The local tourism office has set up a Van Gogh trail, marked out by plaques where the Dutch painter composed masterpieces such as ‘Starry Night Over the Rhone’.
The city was an important Roman port and remnants of the ancient civilisation are still visible in the amphitheatre, aqueduct and watermill. They are considered some of the best-preserved examples in the world. The amphitheatre’s capacity stood at 20,000 and hosted Roman gladiatorial displays with criminals and wild animals.
The Canal du Midi is a 240km long 17th century canal that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is an excellent spot for a picnic. The most beautiful stretches of Europe’s oldest and largest manmade ways border Toulouse and are lined by trees on either side, providing a perfect canopy. The stunning beauty of the canal led UNESCO to declare the canal a “work of art” as well as “one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering”.
The glitzy resort of St Tropez boasts some of the best beaches in the world and is definitely a place to be seen. Bridget Bardot famously brought the paparazzi to the French Riviera and recently Rihanna and Jude Law have followed suit. In the height of summer the town’s population increases ten fold and affordable accommodation is virtually non-existent. Outside peak season the hamlet refuses to lose it’s charm and during winter months the central square is tastefully transformed with fairy lights and an ice rink.
Carcassonne is France’s most famous medieval citadel, originally transformed into a fortified town by the Romans the 3rd century. The incredible fortress that remains today dates from the 13th century. The double surrounding walls stretch for over 3km and include 52 towers. The stronghold was the main French defence along the frontier with the crown of Aragon, but lost its military significance in the 17th century at the end of the Franco-Spanish war. This fairy-tale medieval city has been largely preserved and acts as a living museum, complete with staff in period costumes racing along the narrowed cobbled streets.
Start planning your trip with your local, personal travel manager. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/