The South of France, which is locally known as le Midi, is the geographical region consisting of the areas of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Gironde, Spain, Italy, Switzerland south of the Jura Mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea.
While Paris with its Eiffel Tour is undoubtedly the most ubiquitous symbol of France, le Midi has an identity all it own. It is famous for its charming villas and luxurious sea side resorts. While visitors find the busy city of Paris to be entirely romantic and charming, the South of France is certainly not without its own unique charm. It is an excellent place to visit for a relaxing vacation.
One of the most beautiful cities is that of Nice (pronounced neece). Nice is unique in that it presents a mix of an urban atmosphere with a relaxed seaside pace. It is a wonderful place to stroll through open-air markets, such as the famous Flower Market, and enjoy the brisk ocean air. One of the most popular places in Nice is the Promenade des Anglais, where you can walk or rollerblade, or simply lounge at a local café and enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t forget to visit the Russian Cathedral, which provides a rare photographic opportunity with its traditional Russian onion towers in the background, and tropical palm trees swaying in the foreground.
If you wish to bring home some authentic Provencal fabrics, or handcrafted fine jewelry, then the village of St. Paul de Vence is a place you must include on your tour of the South of France. St. Paul de Vence is a fortified hilltop village in Provence. The whole village is overwhelmingly charming and picturesque, and brimming with art galleries, sidewalk cafes, and gift boutiques. While walking through the narrow little medieval streets, you’ll have a spectacular view of both the mountains and the sea, as well as the town’s lovely fountains and statues. The wall around the village is embedded with artwork, religious symbols, and other adornments. You’ll even find yourself snapping photos of the ground beneath you, since the streets are made of cobblestones that have been laid out in a pretty floral pattern.
You’ve probably heard of the towns of Avignon and Montpellier before, as they attract a good number of tourists each year and are quite famous for their beauty. But how about the town of Rodez- have you heard of it before? It is lesser known, though equally worthy of acclaim. Rodez is hidden away in the rural mountainous region of Averyron, and surrounded by hills and country sides. One of the most breathtaking attractions here is the architecture, including a famous gothic cathedral. Rodez is an interesting mix of city attractions in a country atmosphere. Upon visiting, you’ll feel somewhat like you are on a city island in the middle of nowhere. Appropriately, the town’s slogan is, “City pleasures in the heart of the countryside.”
The cities of the South of France are truly dripping with charm. A tour of the area here promises to be relaxing and restorative, while providing ample opportunities for sightseeing, fine dining, and shopping. Le Mil is a region that is brimming with unique sites, such as the medieval fortified village of Carcassonne, and the bustling Place du Capitole in Toulouse. A trip to the South of France promises to be not just worthwhile, but entirely wonderful and restorative.