5 Places Not to Miss When in Cote d’Azur and Provence

5. Cassis

A small Mediterranean fishing port located between Marseille and Toulon, Cassis is the perfect mix of French Riviera class and attractiveness minus the big crowds you might see in St. Tropez and Nice. Les Calanques are Cassis’ most alluring attraction, which are hidden turquoise bays accessible by several hiking routes. La Plage du Bestouan is the most popular beach in Cassis for locals. There is plenty of parking up the road a short distance from the beach.

img_3019

img_3030

fullsizerender-2
Turquoise waters in Calanques

 

img_3035
La Plage du Bestouan

img_3015

img_2990
Calanques are accessible by boat and foot

4. Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

This gorgeous peninsula is forested between Nice and Monaco. If you are looking for old school glamour and charm of the old Hollywood French Riviera, make sure you reserve a few hours to walk around the stunning coastline and soak in this unspoiled paradise.

img_3196

fullsizerender-7

img_3173

fullsizerender-9

fullsizerender-7

img_3160

There are plenty of private beaches you can stop at along the paved path that continues around the peninsula. The walkway is not entirely the easiest to spot, but once you find street parking between Beaulieu and Saint Jean, you will see signs for the promenade, and thank God for Google Maps! 😉

img_3168

fullsizerender-9

3. Gordes

About 40 kilometers east of Avignon in the Provence region lies picturesque Gordes.  It is well known as a vacation destination among France’s elite, and seemingly gaining more attention by international tourists. Its exceptional views of the village perched on top of the plateau make it worth the stop. You may stroll around the tiny streets and also admire a different angle from above the fortified castle facing out into the hill.

ce3e135d-bd3e-45a8-8eff-ebfe64e69238

fff07b81-cedc-42e9-bcf6-02e459f080f3

4824abf1-dfdc-4a5e-9763-98960c7a1993
Village of Gordes castle

 

16b39b41-868f-4bd3-ad88-74494529954d
Many gorgeous bed and breakfasts along the route to Gordes

a30555ef-38bd-4070-ab07-6df83002d857

2. Goult

Goult is nothing short of a Beauty and the Beast fairytale. When we first stumbled upon the magical Lumieres in Goult, we were surprised by its quiet coziness and chic presentation. Right across the street from one another is an old convent transformed into the inviting Hotel Notre-Dame de Lumieres (http://www.notredamedelumieres.com/en/) and the cutest place for tapas & cocktails  “garage turned restaurant” literally called “the garage”- Le Garage a Lumieres (http://www.legaragealumieres.fr/). If there’s one thing this place will do, is it will dazzle you with its unexpected beauty and quite possibly make you feel like you are living in a storybook, if even for a short while.

img_3455

img_3248

img_3269

img_3262

img_3260

img_3238

img_3229
The pool at Hotel Notre-Dame de Lumiere a Goult

 

ccdfdf98-2060-48c6-9ef4-dabfddaf3aba

1. Senanque Abbey

Senanque Abbey (http://www.senanque.fr/) is a Cistercian monastery near the village of Gordes. As you drive down the winding roads, you will be suddenly surprised by 50 shades of purple in the valley below. In July you can expect fields of dark purple during the lavender harvesting season in France. No matter the season, however, this place is always truly stunning in its own regard. There are unguided and guided tours in French of the monastery offered throughout the day. Silence is emphasized as it is still an active monastery. Religious bus groups do tend to frequent the site in the early afternoon, so get there early!

d78d6118-52f8-4890-899a-03bbac438f75

a4772204-5c10-4af0-900c-d9202e1bc4fd

c34665e4-02ec-44af-8145-1aa7331a81e8

627a4a03-c9f9-4529-8d45-02e37c2385fa

de8fee65-1e95-4fa5-9a77-b46c1456a4bb

Advertisements