Southern France


Ahh…Southern France. The home of knee-high grapevines as far as the eye can see and stone-lined beaches backed by brightly colored mountain-side mansions.In 2004 we had an opportunity to see Provence and experience its brightest points. While we traveled to lots of small towns and cities during our 10 day romp (Avignon, L’Isle Sur la Sorgue, Vaison la Romaine, the Rhone River Valley, Arles, Aix en Provence, Villefranche, Antibes, Nice and other little towns that dot the region), I’ll focus on our favorites: Vaison la Romaine, Aix en Provence & Villefrance (and other towns along the French Riviera).

K (I) grew up in the mountains of Virginia and it’s difficult to compete with the view from my mom’s kitchen window. But in Vaison la Romaine, we found its true competitor. Grapes and terracotta roofs for as far as the eye can see. Add good local (but cheap) wine and you have a recipe for a favorite vacation destination. And then, the Rhone River Valley driving tour marked the first time we rented a car in a foreign country–that’s a story of its own.

And Aix en Provence is the type of place you see in the movies. cosmopolitan and chic, but understated. The type of place where you just enjoy “being”. Treelined streets by strings of boutiques and cafes. The perfect place to peoplewatch.

And Villefranche, (next door to Canne, Antibes, Cap Ferrat, Nice, and Monaco) was a respite to it all. Bay views of yachts–celebrities. Villefranche and the French Riviera–it’s where the trophy wives go.

For those looking to go to Southern France, you could recreate our itinerary with:

  • Avignon: 2 nights
  • Arles: 2 nights
  • Vaison la Romaine: 2 nights
  • Aix en Provence: 1 night
  • Villefranche: 3 nights

And be sure to get carafes of the house wine while in the region. The wine here is  a good value, and lovely.

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