With its capital in the populous city of Marseilles, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur is one of the few regions of France that faces the Mediterranean Sea at its southern edge. Around five million people inhabit the region which includes six different departments. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Vaucluse are all in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur covering a total of about 12,000 square miles. The region is one of the hottest, on average, of anywhere in the country with the famous Mistral wind providing some respite from the summer sun. The region includes the famous Provence region and its lavender fields and the trendy French Riviera. Discover the peaceful beauty that inspired the greatest painters and writers, the valleys of the mountain hinterland, the extraordinary flora and fauna ... Our hoteliers and their travel guide will reveal you the unique attractions and entertaining things to do, traditions and customs of the lively Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Transports in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur
The A7 autoroute is known as the motorway of the sun because it attracts lots of traffic in summer as tourists and locals use it. The A8 runs close to the coastal cities of Nice and Marseilles and is one of the major east-west roads. Many of the major population centres, such as Toulon, Avignon, Nice and Aix-en-Provence, are connected via a rail system which passes through Marseilles. Coach services as well as local buses can be caught from a station next to Marseilles' main railway station, too.
WHEN TO GO TO PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE-D'AZUR ?
The southern coast of the Côte d'Azur is extremely busy with French and British tourists in the school summer holidays. It is better to visit this area in May or September when it is less crowded but when the temperatures are still good. The Hautes-Alpes department has some good skiing opportunities in the winter months with popular resorts such as Serre Chevalier and La Grave. Aix-en-Provence stages a popular International Short Film Festival in December. In addition, the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival takes place each May.
There is so much to offer holidaymakers in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, whether they prefer the countryside, smart coastal resorts or mountainous regions. The region offers so many wonders that it is difficult to admire them all. Our hoteliers are the ideal connoisseurs to recommend you the chic and popular things to do.
THE OLD FISHING PORT OF SAINT-TROPEZ
May be overcrowded with fashionable boutiques and oversized yachts, but the beaches that lie just beyond it are some of the best on the Mediterranean Sea and remain delightfully under-developed. Head here for the perfect day on the beach.
THE MERCANTOUR NATIONAL PARK
Is a network of seven valleys all of which have handy hiking trails set out and places where you can hire mountain bikes, too, if wanted.
PARAGLIDING AND PARASAILING
Are increasingly popular across Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and there is no better place to do it than in a town like Gap, high in the Hautes-Alpes where thermals build up on sunny days.
Situated in the Vaucluse Department in the west of the region, is Gourmandises de l'Arausio – L'Arausio, one of Orange's best local eateries. The filet de bœuf here is exceptional as is the locally seasoned ratatouille. There's a children's menu, too.