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Provence & Cote d'Azur

The Provence & Cote d'Azur region of France

Provence is the beautiful region in Southern France that connects the great Alps to the Mediterranean. The gentle slopes and rolling hills of this countryside are home to some of the finest vineyards in France and have long been cultivated for the delicate sweet grapes they produce. It was this very country side that inspired some of the most famous paintings and painters in the world, such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Chagall and Giono.

Cities and towns worth visiting in the region include Aix-en-Provence which is an agricultural centre on the main route to the Alps and Italy. The city is known for its almonds, olives and wine. It was founded by the Romans in 123 BC and was the birthplace of Cezanne.

Avignon is another city worth visiting that is located along the course of the Rhone River. It is much more industrial in character producing wine, oil, flour and textiles. It has a number of fine tourist attractions such as the Palace of the Popes, built in the 14th century and the remnants of the Pont d’Avignon, a bridge made famous in the song ‘Sul le Pont d’Avignon.

Marseille is not far from these cities and is located at the mouth of the Rhone. It is France’s principal port and also its second largest city, after Paris. With its beautiful protected harbour, Marseilles has always been a popular place to visit and this has continued into the present with a wealth of cafes, restaraunts and bars, busy with life late into the night.

If you wish to see some beautiful beaches, warm seas and a little bit of the high life, then the Cote d’Azur or French Riveira is the perfect place for your holiday. Stretching from Menton at the Italian border through Monaco, Nice, Antibes and Cannes this region contains some of the most expensive and sophisticated resort areas anywhere on earth. No matter what you are looking for in the world of glamour and high living, this region is likely to contain it for you. This sense of prestige is only increased by the presence of Monaco in the heart of the region and also with the annual hosting by Cannes of the Palme d’or which brings many of the worlds most famous and sought after celebrities in the world to the region.

The French Riviera really became fashionable in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when wealthy British travellers began to spend time in the area. The records show that Winston Churchill was a regular visitor. It was initially a winter resort where people would come to escape the long cold winters of Northern Europe but gradually it became the summer resort it is known as today.