“The French air clears up the brain and does good, a world of good” said Vincent Van Gogh, and few would disagree. France routinely tops the list of popular travel destinations with good reason. Art, history, food and wine, the country has copious amounts of it all. Take a trip to the South of France to step away from the tried and tested and discover a treasure trove of hidden wonders. Here are four reasons why a holiday in the South of France is just what you need.
Lyon is known as the culinary capital of the world and when you visit the city, you will know why. Lyon has more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in France. From over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants to traditional bouchons, Lyon has it all. Drop into a bouchon to enjoy a serving of the classic Coq au vin, Lyonnaise potatoes, deep-fried bugnes lyonnaises, and praline. While you’re there, make time to visit one of the many outdoor food markets to enjoy a wonderful al fresco meal.
With an imposing façade that looks like an enormous sand castle, Palais des Papes served as the papal residence from 1309 to 1377. During this time, seven successive popes resided within the palace and today it is possible to walk the ancient corridors of this gothic structure and admire its spectacular fresco painted by the Italian painter, Matteo Giovanetti. A stroll around the magnificent World Heritage listed historic centre of Avignon is highly recommended along with a visit to the famed Pont d’Avignon, a photographer’s dream.
Without a doubt, France produces some of the best wines in the world. In fact, some of the finest, most expensive wines come from the Burgundy region. Visit Burgundy to stroll through one of its many acclaimed wine estates such as Château Meursault and savour wine from its vintage vineyards. Then, explore Beaune followed by a visit to Les Hospices de Beaune. The former hospital is a prime example of traditional 15th century Burgundian architecture and now houses a fascinating museum.
The rivers of France are lined with remnants of its proud past. Roman ruins, earthy truffle farms, quaint vineyards, medieval castles, and relics of the French revolution, you never know what you’ll find around the next bend. And the best way to explore these wonders is on a relaxing river cruise. Scenic’s 5-star luxury river cruise itineraries help unravel the tastes, sights and smells of southern France as you cruise the magical Saône and Rhône Rivers.
Scenic Space-Ships feature 5-star all-inclusive luxury that include everything you could possibly need, while its team of Journey Designers have handcrafted exclusive experiences that are the perfect blend of must-see wonders and hidden jewels. Exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences take you behind the scenes to enjoy moments inaccessible to the ordinary traveller. For instance, in the South of France, you have the chance enjoy an exclusive gala dinner with a classical concert in one of the grandiose rooms of Avignon’s Palais des Papes, after the doors have closed to the general public.
Scenic’s exclusive Culinary Cruises give you the chance to discover the elegant art of French cooking. These incredible itineraries focus on the best culinary highlights the region has to offer, from the finest wines of Beaujolais to the food capital of Lyon.