France Travel Planner: Part 2 (South of France)
All of the Provençal, Côte d'Azur (and Corsica!) addresses you've been waiting for.
In compiling our France Planner, we quickly realized that more than half of all readers’ questions seemed to cluster in the South of France—so we decided to break our lists into two. (If you missed last week’s France Travel Planner Part 1, which covers your questions about the rest of the country, here you go.) As always, we turned to our friends and experts on any questions we felt iffy on—as many times as I’ve driven through the region, there are so many places I have yet to visit!
We’re going to Provence for 6 days this summer. What are three don’t-miss villages?
“When most people picture Provence, they are thinking about the Luberon and the Vaucluse/Alpilles regions. For culture, Avignon, Arles and Aix-en-Provence are small cities with endless things to do: art galleries, music festivals, Roman ruins and more. For strolling through small villages, ideally on market day highlights in the northern Luberon, Gordes, Menerbes and in the Southern Luberon: Lourmarin, Cucuron, Les Alpilles, Les Baux de Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. These towns, normally on hilltops, have winding Medieval streets, chic boutiques and petanque courts. Sit on the square, sip local rose or a classic Pastis. Some of our favorite hotels include the chic Hotel de Tourrel in St Remy and the classic Provencal Bastide De Marie.” —Kathy Stewart, a France specialist at the active-travel company, Butterfield & Robinson
Tourtour! We came here with our friend Alexander Kraft, who lives in the area, and it was like we were in the set where the director’s direction was “quintessential French village.” —Y.E.
“I would say Lourmarin (two new hotels opened last summer, Le Galinier and Le Moulin de Lourmarin), Cucuron — there’s a reflection pool in the center with cafés and restaurants where you can sit and read under a canopy of platane trees; Ansouis — there’s an artisanal ice cream shop, L’Art Glacier, which has a garden with views over a valley; Bonnieux is beautiful, perched atop a hill; and Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon is like red rock canyon but in France.” —Anne-Cecile Blanchot, founder of France and NYC-based August Twenty Eight storytelling studio
We are two families staying in a villa for a week in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Any great shops or market recs, or must-sees off the beaten path within a 2-hour drive?
For this question, we wanted to ask Vanessa Boz, founder of BozAround, a French-born, London-based travel designer with a focus on family travel “with style and purpose.” She says: “Well done! Saint-Rémy could not be a better spot to explore Les