Inland, Provence offers beautiful scenery, superb views of both mountains and sea, fields of lavender, quiet perched villages, dramatic river gorges, olive groves and to the west the historic towns of Arles, Avignon and Aix en Provence. The Côte d’Azur with its glamorous resorts is well known for its beauty inspiring many artists, sun-soaked golden beaches, ports and marinas and entertainment including film and jazz festivals and casinos.
View of the sea – Key Sights/Places to Visit – Provence – Aix, Arles, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Avignon, Orange, St Rémy de Provence, Marseilles, Cassis, Toulon, Hyères and Le Lavandou. Côte d’Azur – Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cap d’Antibes, Eze, St Paul de Vence, Biot, Grasse, St Raphael, Fréjus, St Maxime, Port Grimaud and St Tropez.
Further Attractions – Touring – Gorges du Loup, Gorges du Verdon, Luberon Regional Park and Maures Massif. Monaco, summer festivals of the arts, vineyards and winetasting. Aqualand water park, Fréjus, OK Corral theme park, Bouches-du-Rhône, Marineland near Antibes.
Features – herbs, garlic, olive oil, fresh vegetables (peppers, aubergine, courgettes, onions, asparagus), olives, lamb, fish, seafood, fresh fruit (melon, figs, grapes).
Specialities – salade Niçoise, ratatouille, pissaladière (pizza), bouillabaisse (fish soup), rouille (mayonnaise with chilli and garlic), tapenade, daube de boeuf, pistou soup, tian de courgettes, boeuf Avignonnaise, papeton d’aubergines, porquerolles (sea bass with herb stuffing), ragout au artichauts, ravioli à la Niçoise, oeufs durs farcis à la tapanade, tarte au citron, fougasse bread.
Provence wines are characterised by the warm and sunny climate producing above-average alcoholic content. Predominantly warm earthy reds and spicy rosés.
Wine regions – Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, Côtes de Provence, Cassis, Bandol and Côtes de Provence, Coteaux Varois and Bellet.
Look for the cheapest car rental reservation before you arrive to ensure the best deal possible. When I visited Trieste last summer I used this website – http://www.carhiretriesteairport.org.uk/ and they seem to also have an option to find Nice on their booking engine.