The South of France, the French Riviera, the Côte d’Azur… whatever you call it, it is still an iconic year-round holiday destination. White sandy beaches, the glamour of the Cannes Film Festival or an evening at the Casino in Monaco, all of this and more still mean that this beautiful region is one of the most visited in Europe. Here are our top 5 reasons to visit in 2013.
1. The weather
With over 300 days of sunshine each year even if you come out of the key summer months then you are virtually guaranteed azure blue skies (it’s not called the Côte d’Azur for nothing) and sunshine. Enjoy lunch on the beach in December or a wine tasting on the terrace in March, it’s the weather that makes this region.
Where do we start? French food and eating is at the heart of their culture and in the south of the country Mediterranean cuisine is king. Restaurants are everywhere and some of the best actually look like a transport café from the outside. Try and go a little off the tourist track at around 11.30 and you’ll quickly see where the locals favour to eat their midday meal. How? Easy, it will be full by 11.45.
Of course, this is France. From the regions ‘house wine’ Côte de Provence to the more exclusive Bandol rosé wines then this region has it all. Spend lazy days wandering from vineyard to vineyard tasting the local vintage.
The South of France is accessible from across the globe. Nice International Airport has daily direct flights throughout Europe including Russia, to the USA and the Middle East. If you prefer a more leisurely form of travel the TGV train services arrive in the region from across France and Europe. Cannes Mandelieu has the more exclusive airport for the more privileged guests arriving by private jet.
The South of France has long been the choice of the rich and celebrated and nothing has changed for 2013. The beaches, the restaurants, designer shopping and the luxurious hotels and private villas will continue to welcome 1000’s of guests. The more astute guests this year will be renting private villas or apartments. Why? Because it represents excellent value for money, the concierge services are the same as you’ll find in any luxury hotel and the element of peace and privacy is ideal for those living a hectic international lifestyle.
Maria McLean is Director of Communications at Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty.