8 Days of Luxurious Adventures in the South of France
If you're looking for a place with a bit of culture, outdoor adventures, exquisite cuisine and days that end with a fine glass of wine, the South of France is perfect for you. Here are a few of my go-to things to experience when visiting the South of France!
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Hôtel Les Roches Blanches
Hôtel & Spa des Gorges du Verdon
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Day 1: Calanques National Park and Hidden Gems
Fly into Marseille and drive ~2.5-hours towards Calanques National Park. Wake up early and take a kayak tour followed by a hike along limestone cliffs to the many hidden coves and beaches. If you have to choose just one beach, we’d recommend Calanque d’En Vau.
Day 2: Activities at the Hotel les Roches Blanches
On day two, if you are lucky enough, snag a reservation at Hotel Les Roches Blanches to enjoy the gorgeous cliffside pool and the hotel's grounds for the day.
Day 3: Gorges du Verdon
Head towards Gorges du Verdon, the deepest canyon in Europe. The turquoise-colored river canyons are the perfect backdrop for any adventure enthusiast. Hike the Imbut Trail, choose one of over 1500 rock climbing routes, or, for the more adventurous travelers, try spelunking. Spend the night at Hotel & Spa Gorges du Verdon and cool off with a swim at the pool or relax with a massage at the spa.
Day 4: Chateau de Berne
As you head back to the coast, plan to spend at least one night at the lux Chateau de Berne. This Relais & Châteaux hotel in Provence is set on 2,471 acres of land with a hotel and villas, a beautiful outdoor pool, full-service spa and fitness center. If that's not enough, add a cellar tour, guided wine tasting session or an enology workshop. Don’t miss its Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Jardin.
A note from Elizabeth
If time allows, check out the most picturesque town in France, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie before making the drive back towards the coast.
Day 5: Hyères Islands
Head back to the coast to spend the day cruising around the Hyères Islands via Catamaran. The Îles d’Hyères, also known as Îles d’Or, is a group of four Mediterranean islands off Hyères in Southeastern France. We found a private rental and spent the day sipping rosé and experienced a small glimpse into the life of the rich and famous.
Day 6: St. Tropez
Hit the beach clubs in St. Tropez! You could easily spend a few days in this tropical paradise, but if you are only in town for one day, we recommend celeb spotting at Le Club 55 or La Réserve à la Plage. While the traffic to the beach of Pampelonne was nothing even us city slickers have seen, the parking was easy with valet for five euros/day. Retreat back to the city to Hotel de Paris near the marina, or check out the newer Kube hotel just 5-minutes by car to the center city.
Day 7: Cannes
The next stop is Cannes, known mostly for its star-studded film festival, but there is no shortage of things to see. La Croisette stretches approximately one mile along the Mediterranean coast and provides an excellent day for window shopping and people-watching before settling down for a sunset cocktail and appetizers at one of the promenade's fanciest hotels, BFire by Mauro Colagreco at Le Plage de Majestic Hotel Barriere. If you’d prefer something off the beaten path, try Tiara Miramar located ~25-minutes west of Cannes Bay. Soak up the sun on a poolside day bed with direct diving access into the Mediterranean.
Day 8: Nice
Your final destination will be Nice, although we weren’t entirely crazy about this gritty city. I’m sure we’d have been more satisfied if we splurged on staying at the historic Hotel Negresco, but we opted to save some money down the street at the Radisson Blu for the rooftop pool and access to its private beach club. The real draw here is the food, and with 28 Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, you won’t leave unsatisfied. Sights to see include Castle Hill, Vieux Nice, and the promenade de anglais. For an active adventure, you can hike the three Chemin de Nietzsche path in the hilltop town of Eze for fantastic views.
A note from Elizabeth
If time allows, take a day trip to Monaco to witness the lavish life of one of the wealthiest populations in the world. One-third of its population are millionaires – with the second highest GDP per capita in the world.
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