Although not quite as sunny as Spain or Italy, the south of France is a wonderful European holiday destination. There are some incredible beaches, a lot of fascinating, rustic architecture, and some of the best food anywhere in Europe. If you’re curious about this region, then start your planning as soon as possible! Here are a few good ideas for Southern French holiday destinations.
If you want a regular bit of sea and sand, then consider Sete for your holiday. This is a fairly large port town built on a particularly beautiful part of the south coast. Those who want a South of France holiday that’s slow and tranquil should really look into this gem. You can easily spend a day lounging around the harbour and beaches. Still, make sure to walk through the streets and soak in the wonderful combination of old and new architecture. The old quarter of this fascinating town straddles the Canal Royal. This is the site of the nation-famous, though slightly unusual, Sete water jousting tournament. The port also hosts the lovely Fiesta de Sete, which is held during the early summer. Wherever you roam in Sete, you’re bound to find something interesting!
We all like pleasant weather, but what if you want a little more substance to your travels? Avignon is definitely the place to go for anyone with an interest in history. This first became a prominent city in the fourteenth century. The Vatican, threatened by the chaotic unrest in Rome, moved their establishment here in 1303. Avignon was only the centre of Catholicism for seventy years, but the resounding impact of this period can still be seen everywhere. The Pope’s Palace is certainly one historical spot you should see. In its day, it served as the home for the Sovereign Pontiffs, and is full of incredible ceremonial rooms and halls. Another intriguing place to visit is the Pont du Avignon, which stands on the river Rhone. You can probably find enough intrigue simply wandering Avignon’s ancient, winding streets!
Arles is another beautiful city you could visit. Whether it’s history or great shopping you’re after, you’ll be able to find it here! Wherever you walk around Arles, you can’t get away from the early Italian heritage. It even has its own Roman amphitheatre and forum you can visit! Those with a taste for art would also take a keen interest in Arles. This is where Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin lived during their ill-fated partnership. Van Gogh painted some of his most famous pieces in this city, and various iconic scenes can be found walking around the shops and restaurants. Arles is a fairly popular tourist spot though, so you should probably avoid the very peak of summer.
With all the rich culture and curiosities in southern France, you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit this amazing region! There are all kinds of other spots to suit different travellers. Whether you choose one of its cities or a remote villa, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit to the south of France.
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