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Best Of

Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

2014

EDITION


BEsT Of PrOvENcE-AlPs-cOTE D’Azur

Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur is a region blessed by the gods, packed with a wealth of natural riches and heritage attractions that visitors can enjoy discovering around every corner! The Mediterranean Sea, synonymous with sunshine, sweet fragrances and time-old culture is omnipresent in the region and comes in every shape, form and mood: wild in camargue, authentic in the “calanques” fjords, untouched on the islands of Lérins, Port Cros and Porquerolles, trendy in the côte d’Azur’s coastal resorts, or a hub of port activity in the main towns! even the inland countryside bathes in this Mediterranean culture that makes our destination so special and seduces every visitor. this top ten is our selection of “must do” sights to help you experience our region to the full! We are happy to share them with you, so you can go on to create your own story in Provence- Alps-cote d’Azur. We look forward to meeting you! What better way to start your trip than with a tour of our emblematic towns, each with its own, totally unique personality... Marseille France’s oldest town - is a lively, cosmopolitan and typically Mediterranean city. From the old Port to the heart of the city, and the ancient Panier quarter to the magnificent corniche coast road, Marseille offers all the right ingredients for a colourful travel experience! neighbouring Aix-en-Provence, lined with charming, renaissance mansion houses, is completely different. this is a great place for casual strolling in the footsteps of cezanne, who was born in the town and gleaned his inspiration from it. The Roman city of Arles has a fiery spirit all of its own, largely inspired by nearby camargue! Its roman heritage is absolutely remarkable. Formerly referred to as “little rome”, Arles has inspired such illustrious artists as van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin! today, its international photo festival welcomes the world’s top photographers.

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


BEsT Of PrOvENcE-AlPs-cOTE D’Azur

Avignon, the city of the Popes, is instilled with the genteel lifestyle of Provence. Its Popes’ Palace is the venue for the famous Avignon theatre Festival held every year! A meeting place for the international jet set in summer, Saint-Tropez bathes in the quiet atmosphere of a little fishing port outside peak season, offering delightful little shaded squares, typical boules games, lively café terraces and picturesque sandy beaches! Just a few kilometres away from the hustle and bustle of saint-tropez luscious vineyards are cultivated producing the wines of Provence and - of course – our famous rosé wines, perfect served chilled in the shade of a pretty bower! A little further north towards vaucluse you will come to the Côtes du Rhône (red and white wines) and Chateauneuf du Pape wine growing areas. You can best discover these wonderful wines by touring the local vineyards and cooperative wine cellars at the heart of a magical landscape! It is an unforgettable experience to see the blue lavender stretching as far as the eye can see. It flowers from June to August in the haute-Provence and in the Southern Alps. The ochre quarries of Roussillon, magnificent village of Gordes and Mont Ventoux are just some of the unforgettable sights you will find here. Peter Mayle brought this area of Provence to fame with his best-selling books! The Luberon Regional Nature Reserve is committed to preserving the gifts of nature, so that everyone can continue to enjoy them to the full. The Verdon is a protected area too, home to the world-famed verdon Grand canyon. this geological phenomenon, characterized by its turquoise waters and surprisingly deep cliffs is not to be missed. You can best experience the canyon by exploring it on foot or in a kayak! so it is our pleasure to invite you to experience the magical encounters, history, culinary pleasures, sporting challenges and many other wonders the Provence-Alps-cote d’Azur region has to offer!

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Best Of Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Contents Marseille, the pulsating heart of the Med

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Aix-en-Provence in the footsteps of Cezanne

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Arles between Camargue and the Alpilles

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Avignon, the city of the Popes

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Sizzling Saint-Tropez

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The Wines of Provence

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Along the Lavander Route

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From Mont-Ventoux to the Luberon... Pure Provence!

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The Verdon Grand Canyon... Simply stunning!

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur press contacts Susanne Zürn-Seiller : s.zurn-seiller@crt-paca.fr -

+33 (0)4 91 56 47 13

Melody Raynaud : m.raynaud@crt-paca.fr -

+33 (0)4 91 56 47 38

Rabiha Benaïssa : r.benaissa@crt-paca.fr -

+33 (0)4 91 56 47 32

Copy-rights : C.Duranti, P.Leroux, CRT PACA.

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Marseille, the pulsating heart of the Med

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Marseille, the pulsating heart of the Med

“The deafening Canebière, the blue harbour, the white boats, the lacy ropes and rigging...” wrote the famous author Colette about Marseille. This cosmopolitan Mediterranean metropolis cultivates contrast; from the hyperactive city centre to the old-fashioned charm of the old quarters, the cheers rising from the Vélodrome stadium to the soft, warm beaches, from the futuristic Euromed site to the countrified Pastré area, and much, much more, it is a city that never ceases to astonish travellers! France’s oldest city is famed for its Old Port (Vieux Port), set right in the heart of Marseille. Fishermen still gather here every morning to peddle their day’s catch to the locals against a backdrop of colourful boats and sunshine! The port is also a favourite meeting place for lovers of Pastis - the not-to-be-missed local aniseed drink - and punters jostle for shoulder room at the “Bar de la Marine” where Pagnol’s wonderful trilogy was shot. The little Ferryboat that runs from this part of the port takes you over the way to the Town Hall and Panier quarter. With its narrow lanes, washing strung between buildings and colourful little squares, this ancient quarter is still filled with the popular atmosphere of the 19th century. Stop off at the Vieille Charité museum while you’re here - a masterpiece of Baroque architecture topped with a curious dome... You can relive the city’s history just by looking at its architecture while you stroll: the Greco-Roman port, medieval Saint- Victor’s Abbey, Town Hall built by Pierre Puget, Rue de la République with its typically elegant Hausmannian style, the “Radiant City” created by Le Corbusier (locally nicknamed “the madman’s city”!), the CMA CGM tower designed by architect Zaha Hadid, and now the MUCEM (National Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations), the new landmark by Rudy Ricciotti...

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No traveller can leave Marseille without visiting its guardian angel - the “Vierge de la Garde” basilica – which stands over the city at a height of 160 m. The magnificent 360° view from the terrace is definitely one of the best ways to admire the city, the Frioul islands, and distant Garlaban hills. This Romano-Byzantine construction is topped with a magnificent golden statue of the Virgin Mary, locally known as “La Bonne Mère” or “Good Mother”. The interior harbours numerous ex-votos and a beautiful mosaic. One meets people from all walks of life and all religions, come to ask for the Saint’s protection - even for the Olympique de Marseille football team! You will love touring the Corniche coast road, running from the city centre to the Prado beaches, Pointe-Rouge and wild fjords with their turquoise waters, located a few kilometres further on. You can also take a boat to visit the Chateau d’If: the fortress built under the reign of François I, brought to fame by Alexandre Dumas and his romantic Count of Monte Cristo. The landscape of Marseille is now dotted with new architectural creations and refurbished buildings, celebrating the 2013 European Capital of Culture Year: -The revamped Vieux Port (Old Port) and its sunshade by Norman Forster - The MUCEM (National Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations), designed by Rudy Ricciotti and Roland Carta. www.mucem.org - The ‘Villa Méditerranée’, Stefano Boeri’s work. www.villa-mediterranee.org - The Foundation Regards de Provence, (dedicated to the artistic and cultural heritage of Marseille and Provence), in the ancient 19th century maritime sewage treatment plant designed by Fernand Pouillon, now a listed building. www.museeregardsdeprovence.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- A new building for the FRAC PACA (Regional Collection of Contemporary Art for ProvenceAlps-Cote d’Azur) by the architectural practice, Kengo Kuma & Associates. www.fracpaca.org - Located in the Bourse quarter, the fullyrefurbished Musée d’Histoire de Marseille (Natural History Museum) is now one of Europe’s largest history museums, unveiling over 2,600 years of history. - The renovated Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Marseille’s oldest museum, set inside the magnificent Palais Longchamp. - The new Ex-Voto Museum at Notre-Damede-la-Garde basilica. Alternatively, you can hop on a motor boat or typical old “Pointu” fishing boat to visit the fjords and islands, or do some snorkelling… www.visite-des-calanques.com and www.croisieres-marseille-calanques.com http://active-road.com And to finish on a gastronomic note, Marseille’s famous “Bouillabaisse” - a local speciality with Mediterranean rock fish cooked in saffron, served with a spicy fish soup - is a definite must!

Shopping time!

- The famous Savon de Marseille soap, made with olive oil, is natural and gentle on the skin. You can visit the “Saint- Victor Savonnerie” to discover traditional soapmaking methods step by step! www.les-savons-saintvictor.com - Santons are clay characters traditionally used to decorate nativity scenes in Provence. The “Marcel Carbonel” studio and museum introduces visitors to Santon- making techniques and exhibits a delightful collection of characters dating from the 18th century to current day. www.santonsmarcelcarbonel.com


MArsEIllE, ThE PulsATING hEArT Of ThE MED - Navettes are dry biscuits scented with orange flower water. they are traditionally purchased to celebrate candlemas from the “Four des navettes” - the city’s oldest bakery – perched for the last two centuries on the heights of saint victor. www.fourdesnavettes.com - After your visit to Marseille, no aperitif will be complete without a Pastis! the “Maison du Pastis” on the port sells many different makes of this aniseed-scented drink. You can also enjoy tasting on site to master the art of the local “apéro”, to be enjoyed outside in the sunshine or on a shaded terrace as the mood takes you... www.lamaisondupastis.com NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY Exhibition Visage: Picasso, Magritte, Warhol... at the Vieille-Charité. A landmark exhibition featuring 90 renowned artists, running from February 21st to June 22nd, 2014.

A few ideas for sleeping and eating NEW Perched on the hill of le Panier, Marseille’s oldest quarter, the InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu 5* (opened April 2013) is set inside a majestic 18th-century building (a former hospital) set overlooking the city and offering stunning views over the old Port and emblematic notre-dame-de-la-Garde basilica. A fitting location for this unique construction, now a listed monument, featuring 194 rooms including 22 suites and a gastronomic restaurant fronted by chef lionel levy www.intercontinental.com/marseille - the Sofitel Vieux-Port 5* offers stunning views over the port and features a spa and gastronomic restaurant. www.accordhotel.com - the New Hotel of Marseille 4*. this chic and stylish establishment offers fuss-free, contemporary rooms overlooking the Pharo gardens, Bay of Marseille and old Port. locals rush here on sundays for brunch! www.sofitel.com/marseille

- the Pullman Marseille Palm Beach 4* is a smart, contemporary four-star hotel with a private beach offering breathtaking views over the Med. It is reputed for its cocktails, served out on the terrace. www.accorhotels.com - The Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille 4*, one of Marseille’s oldest hotels, this prestigious establishment benefits from an exceptional location right in the city centre. Its interior design and authentic louis Philippe and napoleon III furniture pay tribute to the history of this hotel, which has welcomed such illustrious figures as Alphonse de lamartine on his way to the orient in 1832, Prosper Mérimée setting sail for corsica in 1839 and even Jean cocteau from 1920 onwards. www.mgallery.com/Marseille - La Résidence du Vieux Port 4*, refurbished in 2008-2010 under the impetus of architect Franz Potisek, this hotel has taken on a whole new look. le corbusier and the elegance of the Fifties, pay tribute to the hotel’s construction in 1954. unbeatable views over notre dame de la Garde. www.hotel-residence-marseille.com - New Hotel Saint Charles 3*, with 60 rooms recently refurbished and a hidden interior garden, is situated near the station in the town centre. www.new-hotel.com - Le Mama Shelter. the second “Mama shelter” hotel, designed by Philippe stark, opened in April 2012 in the Phoenician area, a stone’s throw from the cours Julien. the 127 rooms, restaurant and trendy dJ-bar capture the essence of the Mediterranean. With tones reflecting the sun and azur sky, pastis bar, giant baby foot and Marseille patio, it’s just like being at home! www.mamashelter.com/fr/marseille - You can also enjoy an insight into the secrets of Bouillabaisse-making! Hosted every 3rd thursday of the month by the famous Miramar restaurant, this delightful experience includes a visit to the fish market on the old Port and cookery class, all in the company of the chef. www.bouillabaisse.com

- offering the combined pleasures of a bookshop, art gallery, tea room and shop, Les Arcenaulx is also a restaurant, serving a delicate range of Provencal specialities such as stuffed vegetables, violet artichoke barigoule and tripe & trotters. the wine menu is paired with the culinary treats on offer. www.les-arcenaulx.com - La Boîte à Sardines is fishmonger-comeseafood restaurant with just a few tables, where you can savour a different “dish of the day” every day. the cuisine is original, and the fish and shellfish are fresh out of the sea. the delicatessen counters sells “poutargue” (dried mullet roe), “melet” (puréed fish conserve), fish soup and vintage tinned sardines. www.laboiteasardine.com - the terrace of the Grand Bar des Goudes offers pretty views over the little Port des Goudes. the cuisine is traditional southern-style, and topped with the friendly atmosphere of this little fishing harbour, at the gateway to the “calanques” fjords. www.grandbardesgoudes.com - Le Malthazar is run by Michel Portos, chef of the year by the Gault & Millau - a real pleasure for Marseille gourmets. www.malthazar.fr - Poised on the Med and offering spectacular views over the blue waters and city horizon, Le Péron is a genuine institution in Marseille. the decor, redolent of a 1940’s liner, offers the perfect backdrop for savouring its beautifully-cooked fish. www.restaurant-peron.com - the restaurant of the Rowing Club regales guests with its unique terraces overlooking the port and clever blend of gastronomic and bistro cuisine orchestrated by Marseille-born chef christian ernst. www.rowing-clubrestaurant.com

Our selection of Oriental restaurants

- Tien Tsin Côtier 3 place Jules verne - 13002 Marseille +33 (0)4 91 90 47 96 - Restaurant le Mandarin 5, cours Jean Ballard - 13001 Marseille +33 (0)4 91 33 13 54 www.le-mandarin-marseille.fr

Find out more at

www.prestigetourismepaca.fr www.tourismepaca.fr www.marseille-tourisme.com

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Aix-en-Provence, in the footsteps of Cezanne

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


AIx-EN-PrOvENcE, IN ThE fOOTsTEPs Of cEzANNE

“Ensembles are more important than isolated masterpieces, because they play a part in people’s daily lives. Aix is an ensemble.” Fernand Pouillon The historic capital of Provence, Aix-enProvence was nicknamed Little Versailles in the 18th century in recognition of its majestic architecture. Today’s town has lost none of its former glory and invites modern-day travellers on a genuine voyage back in time. Around every corner and on every square, you will still find traces of the Roman era, Good King René or the Count of Mirabeau! starting out from Place de la rotonde and its magnificent fountain, head up the cours Mirabeau main thoroughfare, lined with beautiful 17th and 18th-century mansion houses. the walk is interspersed with three fountains, including the famous mossy fountain whose water reaches temperatures of up to 34°c! Here, raise your eyes to admire the balcony of the “Hotel d’espagnet”, held up by the giant “Atlantes” figures sculpted by Pierre Puget. take time off to enjoy a drink and watch the world go by on the terrace of “les deux Garçons” café, before walking up to the top of the road, where the Good King rené proudly awaits visitors perched on his fountain, a bunch of grapes in hand! the little Passage Agard leads to the Palais de Justice (tribunal), bordered by renaissance houses. You can enjoy a spot of window shopping in the little lanes around the tribunal before coming to the Hotel de ville (town hall): a monumental Baroque construction topped with a magnificent clock tower, now one of the town’s landmarks.

Just a few steps away lies saint sauveur cathedral, built from the 5th century onwards. the cathedral stands opposite the former law school where Paul cezanne studied! If you fancy a spot of rest and relaxation, the Thermes Sextius roman baths, now converted into a spa complex, are situated just next door. www.thermes-sextius.com Before heading up to the heights of Aix to visit the cezanne studio, don’t miss a stop-off in the Mazarin quarter, home to the magnificent “Musée Granet” and its cezanne room, exhibiting 10 paintings by the artist. this museum regularly hosts major exhibitions. cezanne lovers will be delighted to discover the districts and places he lived in by following the copper rivets stamped with a “C” marking out the In Cezanne’s Footsteps walking itinerary! www.cezanne-en-provence.com near Puyricard, to the north of Aix, the Chateau La Coste vineyard, already famous for the delicacy of its wine, has decided to combine art and nature. numerous works of art by contemporary artists are scattered among the vines and olive groves for visitors to enjoy. do not miss the contemporary art center by tadao Ando and its café/ restaurant. www.chateau-la-coste.com NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY NEW - Festival de Pâques, liturgical music (Easter Festival, March/April) - Rencontres du 9e art (Comic Strip Festival, March/April) - Festival d’Aix (Opera Festival, July) - Festival international de piano de la Roque d’Anthéron (Piano Festival, July/August) - Festival multimedia Seconde Nature (November/December)

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

Shopping time! - Calissons: these delicious almond paste candies wrapped in rice paper are one of Aix’s top specialities and were formerly distributed to the faithful during major religious celebrations. www.leonard-parli.com - Chocolats de Puyricard, fine chocolates reputed for their original taste, great variety and high-quality ingredients, thanks to the traditional methods used in their production. You can visit the workshops from Monday to thursday or even take a course with the master chocolate maker on Fridays and saturdays. (check availability on-line). www.puyricard.fr - Olive oil. Aix has been the “olive capital” since the 18th century and its olive oil has now been awarded an Aoc label. www.huile-olive-aix-en-provence.com - Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AOC wines. these excellent wines, combining several grape varieties, may be tangy and suitable for drinking young, or full-bodied and ideal for long ageing. the fruity rosés are best enjoyed chilled! www.vinsdeprovence.com - Not-to-be-missed: the Aix markets. selling flowers, vegetables, clothes, or bric à brac. You can enjoy strolling the town’s markets every day of the week, but the largest take place on tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays!


AIx-EN-PrOvENcE, IN ThE fOOTsTEPs Of cEzANNE

A few ideas for sleeping and eating NEW - the Marriott Renaissance 5* (opening January 2014) 133 rooms, 1 spa and 2 restaurants are about to see the light of day in the new district of the town around the “Grand théâtre de Provence”. www.marriott.com - Hotel le Pigonnet 5* is a ravishing little five-star hotel, situated just a stone’s throw from the town centre. this elegant bastide combines 18 th-century refinement with delicate contemporary Provencal style. www.hotelpigonnet.com NEW - Les Lodges de la Sainte-Victoire near Aixen-Provence stands in 2.5-acre private grounds between vines and olive trees at the foot of the famous sainte-victoire mountain. opened in July 2013, the establishment features 35 rooms and suites set inside an 18th-century building formerly nicknamed “the chateau”. Amenities include a spa and gastronomic restaurant, together with 4 luxury lodges, each with a private, heated pool. the restaurant serves premier gastronomic fare and is pending rating in the 2014 guides. www.leslodgessaintevictoire.com - Le Chateau de la Pioline 4*, is a 16 century chateau (now a listed monument), entirely refurbished in 2012, and located just a few minutes from the centre of Aix. www.chateaudelapioline.com th

- The Hotel Cezanne 4* is a deluxe, casual, urban-style boutique hotel located in Aix’s historic and cultural quarter. www.cezanne.hotelaix.com

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- Hotel Royal Mirabeau 4*, is set at the edge of an 18-hole golf course, facing sainte victoire mountain. www.hotelroyalmirabeau.com - Hotel de Gantès is located on the famous cours Mirabeau above the mythical “les deux Garçons” café. this charming hotel, featuring 11 rooms offers a seductive decor combining modernity and history. suites with terrace are available on the top floor. www.hoteldegantes.com - Le 28 à Aix is a prestigious, 17 century mansion house, featuring a tea roomcome-boutique, art gallery and interior design studio. www.28-a-aix.com th

- La Maison d’Aix, located in the chic and history-packed Mazarin quarter, features temptingly-named rooms such as the love suite and secret spa! www.lamaisondaix.com - Les 2 Frères: After a resounding success in their town centre restaurant, they have moved and expanded to take advantage of a superb terrace and car park - rare in Aix - just a few minutes on foot from the rotonde. www.les2freres.com NEW! - La Fromagerie du Passage tucked away in a corner of Passage Agard, this cheese shop has now opened a restaurant area situated on two levels. the first level is fitted out with trestle tables and a bar. the second features a flat roof with large parasols and heaters for winter. Most of the dishes are concocted with dairy products from the ground floor. An absolute must for cheese fans! www.lafromageriedupassage.fr

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- Le Jardin Mazarin is an intimate little eatery in the heart of Aix’s chic, residential quarter of the same name. set on the ground floor of a mansion house, it welcomes guests with a range of delicate culinary dishes served lunchtimes and evenings. this is an excellent address for French-style afternoon tea and cakes too! www.jardinmazarin.com

Our selection of Oriental restaurants: - Cay Tam 29 rue de la verrerie +33 (0)4 42 27 28 11

- O zen le passage 10 rue villars +33 (0)4 42 37 09 00 www.ozenaixenprovence.fr - Long Yuan 4 rue emeric david +33 (0)4 42 38 77 53

Find out more at

www.prestigetourismepaca.fr www.tourismepaca.fr www.aixenprovencetourism.com


Arles between Camargue and the Alpilles

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Arles between Camargue and the Alpilles

Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo telling him he would like to see artists meet up in Arles, and decided to set up a studio there. That very special quality of light that inspired him is still just as stunning today! it casts a spell on visitors... and on the impressive architectural remains left here by successive generations of Celts, Romans and modernday men. The city referred to by the Romans as “Little Rome” offers travellers a voyage back in time. More than just a city, its astonishing blend of cultures lend it a spirit all of its own! To get the best out of your visit, take a walk on Boulevard des Lices, lined with veteran plane trees and café terraces. Then head up to the summer garden (jardin d’été) and Porte de Laure gate into the Roman quarter. Here, you will come to the majestic Roman amphitheatre, locally called the Arena, where bullfights are held at Easter and in early September. Just next door lies the Roman theatre built in 1 BC, where you can still admire the two magnificent columns comprising the remains of the stage wall. This history-packed venue is also the stage for numerous shows in summer! Just a short walk away, down the lanes lined with mansion houses, you will come to the Place du Forum, where labourers gathered to hire out their services every morning in Roman times. Van Gogh brought this site to fame in his painting Café Terrace at Night. The Van Gogh itinerary marks the locations where the great artist set up his easel with panels showing reproductions of his works. The legendary “Hotel Nord Pinus”, adorned with two Corinthian columns from a temple that formed part of the ancient Roman Forum, has welcomed a plethora of celebrities in its time, including Picasso. This is a great place to stop off for a drink and lap up the atmosphere. Just next door is the city hall. Go through the foyer to admire the virtually-flat vault built by the craftsmen and artisans of the “Compagnons du Tour de France” guild. The carved door of Saint-Trophime church opens to reveal a sober Romanesque nave, offering a striking contrast to the Gothic choir stall mouldings and Paleo-Christian sarcophagi. This is also the departure point for the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route.

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The next stop-off is the Alyscamps or Champs Elysée, reputedly one of the western world’s most prestigious mausoleums up to medieval times. The long line of sarcophagi, some of Greek style, leads up to Saint-Honorat church, which stands guard over the mausoleum. Stop off at the Grande Halle to admire the modern architecture of these ancient workshops, now a cultural centre and soon to develop into a genuine multimedia hub (important: access is possible only during the International Photo Festival). To get a better insight into Arles in Roman times, head off to the Musée Arles Antique, now exhibiting the famous bust of Caesar unearthed in the Rhône river. The Réattu art museum, housed inside the former Commandery of the Order of Malta, features a beautiful art collection, including an entire room dedicated to Picasso, who fell in love with the museum and donated many drawings to it. The colours and dressstyle of Arles have also much inspired the famous fashion designer Christian Lacroix, who was born here. Each era has its emblem. Arles has lost none of its fervour for building and is eagerly awaiting the construction of the building designed by the Californian architect, Frank Gehry for the Luma Foundation. To the south of Arles, lie the wild lands of the Carmargue, with their bulls, horses and the largest migration of pink flamingos in Europe. To the north, the town is sheltered by the Alpilles mountain chain and valley, with large olive groves and typical villages like Maussane, Fontvieille and Mouriès. A mediaeval pause is essential at les Bauxde-Provence, recognized as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”.

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

A few kilometres away, one finds SaintRemy- de-Provence. It inspired some of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous works (Irises and l’Asile Saint-Paul) and conceals several Roman architectural gems. Today, it has become a breeding ground for designers and artists.

Shopping time! - If you want to adopt the stylish “Gardian” cowboy look, you can buy up typical boots, hats, trousers and velvet jackets at various shops in Arles such as: Les Indiennes de Nîmes 14 Place de la République www.indiennesdenimes.fr - Good-quality Provencal fabrics from Souleiado, the factory is located nearby in the Tarascon district. www.souleiado.com and Les olivades www.lesolivades.fr - Books from the famous Arles publishing house “Actes Sud”, which has published Nina Berberova, Paul Auster and Stieg Larson in France www.actes-sud.fr - Camargue rice, fleur de sel or Arles saucisson from Villa Natura, from the beautiful food market (one of the region’s largest) held every Saturday morning, and the specialist shops located throughout the main streets and squares of Arles.


ArlEs BETWEEN cAMArGuE AND ThE AlPIllEs

NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY - Easter Feria, running from April 18th-21st - Fête des Gardians and election of the queen of Arles (heritage fair) May 1st, 2014 - Les Fêtes d’Arles (heritage fair) July 4th-6th - Les Rencontres d’Arles, photo festival in July and August (the equivalent of the cannes film festival for photography!), July 7th-14th and exhibitions from July 7th-September 21st - The Musée Réattu will be exhibiting its photo collections, with a special tribute to the founder of the rencontres d’Arles photo festival lucien clergue, in celebration of his 80th birthday. - Les Suds à Arles world music festival, July 12th-14th. - Feria du Riz et Camargue Gourmande (rice and food fair), September 12th-14th - Salon International des Santonniers (santon figurine fair), mid-November to mid-January ARLES GETS A FACELIFT IN 2014! - Opening of the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation, - Extension of the Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique, with the presentation of a 31-metre Roman galley, the best-preserved in the world.

A few ideas for sleeping and eating Arles, a town with three Michelin stars - Awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide and 5 chef’s hats in the Gault & Millau for his restaurant L’Atelier, Jean-Luc Rabanel is also Michelin’s first star-rated organic chef. offering a whole new angle on the world of vegetables and plants, rabanel’s organic creations are simply food for fantasy. If you fancy a light meal, opt for his “A côté” bistro just next door, awarded 2 “chef’s hats” in the Gault & Millau.

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NEW! - Les Appartés is a friendly guesthouse set in a 200 sq. metre architectural building and courtyard, also hosting cookery classes. www.rabanel.com - Le Boatel is an ancient barge now converted into a charming hotel-restaurant. It is moored on a peaceful canal next to the famous van Gogh bridge. www.leboatel.com - La Chassagnette, run by top Chef Armand Arnal, serves organic cuisine concocted using fresh produce from the kitchen garden (one Michelin star) www.chassagnette.fr - Jules César 4*, a carmelite convent in the 17th century, is now a character-packed hotel. reopening at easter: entirely restyled by Arles-born fashion designer christian lacroix. www.hotel-julescesar.fr - The Hotel Nord Pinus 4* plays a part in the memory of all Arlesians... For me, as a child, it was a temple of holiday making, society life and, above all else, bullfighting. like an initiatory journey...” christian lacroix. www.nord-pinus.com - Le Calendal 3* is ideally located in the historic quarter of Arles, between the roman theatre and Amphitheatre. the hotel offers 38 cosy, colourful rooms and a spa open to guests. www.lecalendal.com - The Hotel de l’Amphithéâtre 2* is a delightful 17th-century house located in the heart of the city’s historic quarter, near the Arena and roman theatre. www.hotelamphitheatre.fr - Le Cloître is a contemporary and intimate hotel with 20 rooms located in the historic quarter of Arles, just 500 metres from the van Gogh Foundation, featuring a bar on its flat roof. www.hotel-cloitre.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

CAMARGUE

The Rhône Delta, which has carved out the Camargue area, lies at the gateway to Arles and is one of Europe’s most beautiful natural sites. Its flora and fauna, protected by the Camargue Regional Nature Reserve, are exceptionally rich.

A few ideas for sleeping and eating - Le Mas de Peint 5* is establishment set on a vast, natural estate, in the heart of wild and secret camargue. this elegant, 17th century family property offers a subtle compromise between the cosy atmosphere of a guest house and the pleasures of a deluxe “hotel de charme”, plus excellent, authentic cuisine. www.masdepeint.com

Some excursion ideas - Camargue Regional Nature Reserve • Musée de la Camargue www.parc-camargue.fr • Marais du Vigueirat Mas Thibert www.marais-vigueirat.reserves-naturelles.fr • Domaine de la Palissade www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr - the Jalabert family has been breeding thoroughbred horses and combat bulls at Mas de la Chassagne for four generations. In this 865-acre property at the heart of the camargue nature reserve, visitors can enjoy traditional camargue bull games in the private bullring, observing the livestock in its natural habitat and touring fields dedicated to organic farmland www.manade-jalabert.camargue.fr - Personalized excursions in a chauffeurdriven car or minibus: Alpilles, camargue, luberon, côte Bleue www.arles-taxis-services.com


ArlEs BETWEEN cAMArGuE AND ThE AlPIllEs

- 4x4 guided Safari Tours in Camargue, led by experienced and impassioned guides. departure from saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer or Arles. www.camargue.com - Cruise on the Rhône River on Le Phénicien, a luxurious, spacious barge hotel welcoming up to 18 passengers. the “Provence camargue” cruise is a must. www.rhone-croisiere.com

THE ALPILLES

To the North of Arles lies the Vallée des Baux and Alpilles area, where olive trees and vines reign… The Alpilles mountain chain and its white, chalky rocks lend this place a very special power that entrances visitors. Les Baux-de-Provence and SaintRémy-de-Provence are among its best-known villages. Saint-Rémy is also famed as a former place of stay of Vincent Van Gogh.

A few ideas for sleeping and eating - Le Chateau des Alpilles 5* is set in magnificent wooded grounds near saintrémy-de-Provence. this vast, 19th-century mansion house has welcomed such illustrious guests as chateaubriand and lamartine. www.chateaudesalpilles.com - Le Vallon de Valrugues 5* is a charming and prestigious five-star hotel-spa boasting a Michelin Guide star-rated restaurant. It is located just a stone’s throw from the longdistance footpaths and van Gogh itinerary, spanning the sites painted by the artist during his stay in saint-rémy-de-Provence. www.vallondevalrugues.com

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NEW - The Domaine de Manville 5* is situated in the plain of les Baux de Provence, at the heart of the Alpilles and at the foot of the medieval village of les Baux, in remarkable 250-acre grounds harbouring a five-star hotel-spa with 30 rooms, 2 restaurants, a private cinema, 9 houses with hotel services sized 220 sq. metres and a totally-innovative 18-hole eco-certified golf course, designed to respect the site’s natural environment. www.domainedemanville.fr - The Cabro d’Or & Spa 5* benefits from an exceptional location in the Alpilles, at the foot of the village of les Baux. treats include a spa and Michelin one-star gastronomic restaurant, complete with organic kitchen garden. www.lacabrodor.com - The Chateau de Roussan 4* is a large castle built in the 17th century, first owned by Michel de nostre-dame, better known as “nostradamus “. It features 20 Provencalstyle rooms set in 15-acre grounds. Perfect for a full immersion in authentic Provence. www.chateauderoussan.com - The Hameau des Baux 4* is a four-star “village hotel” with 20 rooms and suites, welcoming guests in true early 20th century Provencal spirit. the establishment offers a gastronomic restaurant and bistro. A pretty fountain set between two plane trees adorns the village square. www.hameaudesbaux.com - The Bastide d’Eygalieres 3* is a charming hotel set in luxuriant gardens, striking a sharp contrast with the surrounding arid garrigue. this solid bastide, featuring 14 rooms, serves Provencal cuisine including many organic specialities. www.hotellabastide.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- The Mas de l’Oulivie 3* is set at the foot of the rocky hills of les Baux-de-Provence. Awarded the “Hotels au naturel” and “Accueil du Parc” quality labels, the hotel is actively committed to the Alpilles nature reserve and its environmental policy. www.masdeloulivie.com

Some excursion ideas - Van Gogh stayed in Saint-Rémy-deProvence and the town still echoes to the memory of the great artist. A special van Gogh itinerary now follows in his footsteps and marks out the locations he painted, with delightful reproductions of his works on large panels. You can enjoy visiting the reconstruction of the room he occupied during his stay at the saint-Paul-de-Mausole psychiatric hospital. www.saintpauldemausole.fr - The village of Le Baux-de-Provence bears the “one of France’s Most Beautiful villages” label and is home to a stunning medieval castle! www.lesbauxdeprovence.com - Carrières de Lumières at Baux-de- Provence the quarries were dug out over the years to extract the white limestone used in the construction of the chateau and town of Baux. thanks to the visionary genius of Jean cocteau, who filmed “le testament d’orphée” there in 1959, they now have an artistic mission. today, they represent the largest permanent multimedia installation in France and project “son et lumière” shows that completely captivate the visitor. Next theme: “Klimt and the viennese Artists, a century of gold and colour” from March 15th, 2014 to January 6th, 2015 www.carrieres-lumieres.com

Find out more at

www.prestigetourismepaca.fr www.tourismepaca.fr www.arlestourisme.com www.lesbauxdeprovence.com www.saintremy-de-provence.com


Avignon, the City of the Popes

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


AvIGNON, ThE cITy Of ThE POPEs

“Arriving in Avignon in a fine autumn sunset is an admirable thing. Autumn, sunset and Avignon form three harmonies.” These are the words used by Victor Hugo to describe the city to his wife. Avignon is famed throughout the globe for its Pont Bénezet bridge, which inspired the nursery rhyme we all sang as children! But also for its impressive Popes’ Palace, spanning no less than 37 acres. start your tour at the Palace, built in two parts: the “Palais vieux” built by Pope Benedict XII in 1334 and the “Palais neuf” built by Pope clement vI in 1342. on entering the building, you will come to the Honour courtyard - the prestigious stage for the Avignon theatre festival. the tour unveils the Pope’s chamber, Great Audience hall and Great chapel. Before leaving the Palace, take time out to visit the Bottle room, where you can enjoy purchasing some excellent chateauneufdu-Pape and côtes du rhône wines. next, you can take the Popes’ stone promenade leading to Place de la Mirande; this is a great way to appreciate the Palace’s monumental size. next stop is the “rocher de doms”: a delightful garden planted with various Mediterranean plants offering views over the rhône river, Bénezet bridge and villeneuve-lez-Avignon. on your way back down to the Palace square and Place de l’Horloge square, you will cross the beautiful 17th-century facade of the “Hotel des Monnaies”.

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every summer, during the festival, Place de l’Horloge is transformed into a genuine street theatre, packed with troupes from the world over! surprises await you around every corner of the old quarter, such as the “Hotel de sade”, “couvent des célestins”, “rue des teinturiers”, Grey Penitents’ chapel and house of Good King rené. Head on to “les Halles” covered market, where you can pick up some great local produce! then exit from the old quarter and walk along the 14th-century ramparts to the famous “Pont d’Avignon”, or “Pont Bénézet”, built, as legend tells, by a young shepherd of the same name. don’t forget to sing the nursery rhyme while you’re here! Avignon is a Provencal town where contemporary culture and an outstanding heritage go hand in hand in perfect agreement. the recent donation by Yvon lambert to Avignon, which brings together the works of major contemporary artists cy twombly, sol lewitt, niele toroni, Basquiat and nan Goldin, testifies to this quality… and favours the presentation of major exhibitions on an international scale.

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY The Avignon Theatre Festival and the oFF Festival are the places to be from July 4th-27th, 2014. 40 shows are on the programme of the 3-week IN Festival, directed this year by Olivier Py. www.festival-avignon.com The OFF showcases over 900 troupes and 1000 performances a day from all the disciplines of the living theatre. www.avignonleoff.com Les Luminescences d’Avignon Season 2. Every evening from mid-August to early October, 2014. The ‘Cour d’Honneur’ at the Popes’ Palace is bathed in light, putting the spectator in the centre of high- resolution images and 3D sequences. COMING SOON Toulouse Lautrec et l’Art du Spectacle, March 21st-June 15th, 2014 At Musée Angladon. www.angladon.com


AvIGNON, ThE cITy Of ThE POPEs

Shopping time! - sun-drenched fruit and vegetables, truffles, olive oil and the very best of Provencal gastronomic fare at the Halles d’Avignon. www.avignon-leshalles.com - Wine, but not just any old wine: côtes du rhône and chateauneuf du Pape at producer prices at the Popes Palace Bottle Room. www.avignon-bouteillerie.com - chocolate workshops and tasting every saturday afternoon at Aline Gehant Chocolatier. http://agchocolatier.e-monsite.com - tapenade, aubergine caviar and tons of other local goodies at délice du Luberon. 20 place du change - Avignon

A few ideas for sleeping and eating - Hotel La Mirande 5* is boasting an inimitable lifestyle and history. dating back 700 years, and set at the foot of the world’s largest Gothic construction, this hotel is a genuine living monument. the 17th-century frontage unveils magnificent rooms with painted woodwork and ancient parquet flooring, plus a prestigious gastronomic restaurant. the hotel hosts cookery classes and concerts throughout the year. the cuisine by chef Jean claude Aubertin is gastronomic and you can also opt for the novel “table d’hôtes” meals concept led by chefs, with meals cooked over a 19th-century wood stove and serve in the medieval kitchen! www.la-mirande.fr - The Hotel d’Europe 5*, located in the city centre, was built in 1580 by the Marquis of Graveson. victor Hugo and charles dickens stayed here in the 19th century. It was ranked among the world’s 100 most beautiful hotels by “travel & leisure” magazine in 2007. www.heurope.com

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- Hotel le Prieuré 5* Relais & Chateaux country hotel built in the 14th century, located in the village of villeneuve-lès-Avignon, near the centre of Avignon. the decor offers a blend of contemporary furniture and original stone. Gastronomic restaurant. www.leprieure.com - Mercure Pont d’Avignon 4* was entirely revamped in 2013. It is ideally situated at the foot of the Popes’ Palace, just a stone’s throw from the famous “Pont d’Avignon”, “Place de l’Horloge” square and, of course, the buzzing historic quarter with its theatre and cafés. www.mercure.com - The Novotel Avignon Centre 4* is establishment set opposite the ramparts. this new-generation hotel features 130 rooms including 9 suites, a leading edge 700 sq. metre conference room, bar, restaurant, pool and terrace on a Mediterranean patio and 360 sq. metre spa. www.novotel.com - Autour du Petit Paradis is a 17th-century character-filled house offering a peaceful atmosphere and luxuriant greenery right in the city centre. the 11 apartments are regularly refurbished and tastefully furnished in a style blending old-fashioned elegance with modern comfort and ecological solutions. www.autourdupetitparadis.com - The Restaurant Christian Etienne is situated just next door to the Popes’ Palace. this French Master cook, awarded one star in the Michelin Guide, breathes new life into traditional local dishes. www.christian-etienne.fr - The Restaurant le Diapason is run by chef erwan Houssin who opened the establishment in 2009 at his country home on the outskirts of Avignon along with his wife, a pastry cook from carcassonne. He won his first star in 2011. www.lediapason-restaurant.com - Concept Chef are cookery classes for adults and children held at “les Halles” and the “Bistro du cabestan”. www.conceptchef.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

Our selection of Oriental restaurants

- Xuan (Chinese and Vietnamese food) 6 rue Galante +33 (0)4 90 86 03 75 www.restaurant-xuan-avignon.com

A few excursion ideas - Boat trips on the rhône river to admire the exceptional city views. Bateaux Promenades d’Avignon runs a variety of excursions, from mini-cruises to dinner- shows and dinnerdances. www.mireo.net - L’Epicurium is a living fruit and vegetable museum featuring a fun and informative interactive space. this museum - the only one of its kind in europe - includes a fruit and vegetable discovery itinerary, including an orchard, greenhouse, kitchen garden, exhibits and various seasonal events including culinary and gardening workshops. www.epicurium.fr - Excursions throughout Provence in a chauffeur-driven car or minibus departing from Avignon, on themes such as lavender, camargue, the luberon, wine and gastronomy. Just take your pick! www.provencetours-avignon.com www.provence-reservation.com

Find out more at

www.prestigetourismepaca.fr www.tourismepaca.fr www.provenceguide.com www.avignon-tourisme.com


Sizzling Saint-Tropez

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Sizzling Saint-Tropez

“Saint-Tropez, situated at the entrance to the lovely gulf, formerly called Gulf of Grimaud, is the capital of this little Saracen kingdom, of which nearly every village, built on the summit of a peak in order to secure it from attack, is still full of Moorish houses with arcades, narrow windows, wherein tall palm trees have grown up and are now higher than the roofs.” G. Maupassant This was how G. Maupassant described, way back in 1887, this little fishing village hoisted to fame by Signac, Matisse and Colette. Picasso, inspired by the magic of the site, painted “L’odalisque” here and Françoise Sagan and Brigitte Bardot turned it into the meeting place of the stars! Not forgetting the actor Louis de Funès and his Gendarme de Saint-Tropez - the film that won worldwide acclaim! But Saint-Tropez has so much more to offer than the usual clichés: an incredible quality of light, a unique bay and a charming village brimming with treasures just longing to be discovered! At sunrise, when the waters in the bay are still and quiet, the harbour offers a delightful show of colourful frontages and pretty café terraces. This is the perfect time for savouring a coffee at Sénéquier in the footsteps of Errol Flynn and Eluard, while admiring the little boats and large yachts moored at the quayside. As you stroll around the old town, guided by the bell tower standing proudly over the rooftops, you will come to Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church. This Italian Baroquestyle church harbours the bust of Saint Tropez! These charming, winding lanes will lead you on to Place des Lices, where you can sit down at the “Café des Arts” to enjoy one of the memorable boules games forming part of everyday life in the village. And not only the locals play - celebrities love joining in too!

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Don’t miss a visit to the Musée de l’Annonciade museum to understand how Saint-Tropez rose to fame from the 19th century onwards. It was actually Signac - the leader of the Pointillist movement who fell in love with the site, attracting the era’s most talented artists in his wake. The museum is also home to works by Matisse, Braque and Maillol.

Shopping time! - The genuine sandales tropéziennes strappy leather sandals made on the harbour from the 1920’s onwards. You can even have them made to measure at www.rondini.fr or chez KJacques : www.kjacques.fr

If you want to enjoy the very best views over the bay, you’ll need to take a little exercise and climb all the way up to the early 17thcentury Citadel overlooking the town and sea! At the foot of the Citadel lies a moving naval cemetery, caressed by the waves...

- Fantaisie d’Exception: don’t miss a visit to this internationally-acclaimed GAS jeweller, who opened his first boutique in SaintTropez in 1971. www.gasbijoux.com

Saint-Tropez’s natural beauties can best be explored by walking down from “Tour du Portalet”, then heading along the sea front to the mythical Pampelonne beach, via Canebiers bay and Brigitte Bardot’s famous Madrague.

- During the summer season, many shops are open 7/7, including luxury brands (Dior and Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci, Dolce Gabana and Armani, Prada and Loro Piana, Jimmy Choo and Cavalli…), the Provencal market (Tuesday and Saturday mornings, ‘Place des Lices’) and the fish market (every day).

Saint-Tropez is of course world-renowned for its exceptional night life. - Les Caves du Roy www.lescavesduroy.com - Le VIP Room www.viproom.fr - Le Quai www.lequai-saint-tropez.com - Chez Maggy www.facebook.com/chezmaggy - Le Bar du Port www.barduport.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- The tarte tropézienne: a light sponge cake perfumed with orange flower water and filled with confectioner’s custard - simply delicious! www.tarte-tropezienne.com


sIzzlING sAINT-TrOPEz

NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY - Voiles Latines (regatta) and Bravades (heritage event), May - Giraglia Rolex Club, 3-day regatta in June - Summer exhibition at the Musée de l’Annonciade (July to October), - International Polo Cup, July - Festival des Nuits du Chateau de la Moutte (July-August), - Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: over 300 sailboats will be getting together in saint-tropez for this festive sporting event. 1st week of October - Braderie (street market). Last weekend of October www.ot-saint-tropez.com/decouvreznous/4192,agenda-des-evenements.html

A few ideas for sleeping and eating - Chateau de la Messardière 5* is a Palace-rated establishment and saint- tropez’s largest hotel, with amenities including a spa, art gallery, 25-acre grounds and Michelin one-star restaurant, for an out-of-this-world travel experience! www.messardiere.com - Résidence de la Pinède 5* hotel and member of the “leading Hotels of the World” network. Its restaurant, La Vague d’Or, boasts 2 Michelin stars. www.residencepinede.com

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- The Hotel de Paris 5* or the rebirth of a legend in the heart of saint-tropez... After a complete make-over, this mythical hotel reopened its doors in spring 2012. the interior design by sybille de Margerie is warm and inviting, and the 90 rooms and suites unveil very colourful worlds inspired by the sixties and seventies. www.hoteldeparis-sainttropez.com - The Villa Belrose 5* is set between blue sea and skies on the hills of Gassin. Bordered by 2-acre grounds, it offers panoramic views over the Bay of st-tropez, plus a Michelin one-star restaurant. www.villabelrose.com

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- The Hotel Byblos 5* offers all the charm of a little Mediterranean village in the heart of saint-tropez. www.byblos.com - The Hotel Benkiraï - Saint-Tropez 4* is a member of charm & More, the new prestige hotel signature. Its authentic Provencal architecture offers a fitting setting for the contemporary interior design by Patrick Jouin: a harmonious blend of modernity and Provencal tradition. www.charmandmore.com

Find out more at

www.prestigetourismepaca.fr www.tourismepaca.fr www.ot-saint-tropez.com


The Wines of Provence

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


ThE WINEs Of PrOvENcE

As the Provencal proverb says “A day without wine is a day without sunshine!” Provence has been a wine-growing land from time immemorial. it was the Greeks that first planted vines in southern Gaul in the 5th century BC. Today, the generous soil of the South produces red, white and rosé wines. the vaucluse area is the homeland of the côtes du rhône wines and their prestigious, vigorous and full-bodied reds such as Gigondas, vacqueyras and rasteau. this is also the growing ground for the chateauneuf-du-Pape wines, elected best wines of the world, with their powerful and firm reds and supple, ample whites! the sweet côtes du rhône wines, such as Beaumes-de-venise, are the perfect accompaniment to foie gras and biscuits. take time to explore the exceptional Côtes du Rhône wine growing area! From Gigondas, topped with ancient ruins, you can reach the superb “dentelles de Montmirail” cliffs with their lacy silhouette. don’t miss a stop-off in Séguret, one of France’s most beautiful villages perched on a hillside, and Vacqueyras standing on a rocky outcrop. next stop is Orange to visit its roman theatre and Arc de triomphe, unesco World Heritage sites. the roman theatre in orange is the best preserved in europe. It chiefly owes its fame to its magnificent stage wall, in surprisingly good condition and unique in the western world. It was a major centre for shows in roman times and still attracts huge numbers of music lovers from all over the world. You next go to Rasteau and Cairanne. climb up to the top of the village to contemplate the vines stretching as far as the eye can see... Vaison-la-Romaine, with its roman ruins and numerous talented young producers is another must. on your way, you will come across a number of cooperative wine cellars and chateaux offering a warm welcome and of course - wine tasting!! But Provence is especially famed for its côtes de Provence wines and, in particular, its rosé wines, best drunk chilled in summer under a pretty bower... Ideal for sharing with friends, these friendly and fuss-free wines also accompany gastronomic, casual and world cuisine to perfection.

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Provence’s rosé wines are synonymous with simplicity and sincere, spontaneous pleasure. they represent a new and more casual approach to appreciating wine. You will get the opportunity to taste a host of different rosés during your travels in the Bouches-du-rhône and var areas this itinerary is simply bursting with great surprises! From the foot of Sainte-Victoire mountain so dear to cezanne, you can head on to Rousset through the landscapes portrayed by the artist. From the little port of Cassis, surrounded by cliffs, climb up to the vineyards overlooking the coastal fjords known as the “calanques”. Another port awaits you a few kilometres further on: Bandol, with its lively atmosphere and world-acclaimed rosé wines. set on a rocky spur, the charming village of La Cadière d’Azur just down the road offers stunning panoramic views over the vines. next, you will carry on to the mythical port of Saint-Tropez via the vine-filled area we call Provence verte. If you have time, stop off at the all-organic village of Correns to sample the local organic wines! last but not least, if you want to get a different angle of the region, numerous service providers offer fun and novel wine discovery tours, ranging from electric bike itineraries to guided walks. You can also opt for a “pairing food and wine” class, or simply enjoy staying at a chateau – there are plenty of ways to get to know France’s oldest vineyards!

NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY - every year, Bandol and its winegrowers celebrate the vintage on the first Sunday in December. - Les Chorégies d’Orange, from July 9th to August 4th. 2014 nabucco and othello on the programme. www.choregies.fr

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

A few ideas for wine-related activities - The Balma Vénitia wine cellar in Beaumesde-Venise hosts fun introductions to food and wine pairing led by a top chef. tucked away between the dentelles de Montmirail cliffs and Mont ventoux, the caveau Balma vénitia is set in gorgeous, countrified surroundings at the entrance to the village of Beaume-de-venise. www.dolium-restaurant.com - Vineyard tours at Terra Ventoux. terra ventoux in villes-sur-Auzon has come up with a whole new way of discovering the Aoc ventoux terroir! their new-generation, electrically-assisted bicycles allow you to wing your way uphill and down dale between cherry orchards and vineyards with ease - with a luring glass of wine and snack on the horizon! You can also opt for a horse and carriage ride in the heart of these ochre landscapes, followed by goat’s cheese and wine tasting. or you may prefer the Aper’Truffes: featuring black winter truffles or white summer truffles, this friendly “truffle Aperitif” is hosted by a local truffle grower keen to share his growing secrets and introduce visitors to the delights of truffle and wine tasting... www.terraventoux.com - Les Vignerons de Caractère is an alliance of 80 families of expert and impassioned vallée du rhône wine growers. their cooperative at the foot of the “dentelles de Montmirail” welcomes wine buffs for tasting sessions. www.vigneronsdecaractere.com - The Bouteillerie du Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace Bottle room) sells an excellent choice of smooth côtes-du-rhône wines at producer prices. the Bottle room is housed in an ancient artillery room at the rear of the Popes’ Palace in Avignon - the capital of the côtes du rhône wine-growing area. www.avignon-bouteillerie.com


ThE WINEs Of PrOvENcE

- Chateau La Nerthe, a large property, full of history, was established in the 12th century at the period when the Popes resided in Avignon and began to grow grapes in this district. today, it is still a benchmark for the chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyards. www.chateaulanerthe.fr - Art, Architecture and Wine at Chateau La Coste near Aix-en-Provence. chateau la coste is truly in a class of its own. Flying the flag of the chateau’s new look, the two wine-making buildings – half cylinders built in glass and steel - were designed by the star of French architecture, Jean Nouvel. chateau la coste has also launched a new Wine tourism concept, with the opening of an on-site Art centre: a magnificent exhibition space dedicated to modern art set amid woods, hills, vines and olive trees, with works and installations by artists and architects such as tadao Ando, louise Bourgeois, Alexander calder, Frank o. Gehry, liam Giillick, Andy Goldsworthy, tunga and Franz West. www.chateau-la-coste.com - the beautiful, new-look Chateau Beaulieu... the Beaulieu vineyards have been thriving for the last 2,000 years, hidden away in the crater of Provence’s only volcano. this is one of the biggest coteaux d’Aix-enProvence vineyards. All rooms and suites offer exceptional views over the property transformed by the architect lafourcade. treats include walks in the exceptional 54-acre ancient grounds, discovery tours of the vineyard, surrounding Mediterranean vegetation and, naturally, the volcano. And of course, you can also enjoy classes on chateau wine appreciation. www.chateaubeaulieu.fr - The Michelin star-rated restaurant Villa Madie is tucked away in the little seaside resort of cassis, acclaimed worldwide for its vin Blanc de cassis Aoc wines. spanning the Mediterranean, the gastronomic cuisine is shouldered by a vast wine list featuring 650 references! www.lavillamadie.com

- Provencal cookery and wine-tasting classes at the Hostellerie Bérard & Spa in la cadière d’Azur. the Hostellerie Bérard has been a traditional stop-off for visitors to the Bandol area for many years. today, people come here from all over the world to take part in their wine appreciation classes and the inimitable cookery classes led by starrated chef rené Bérard, before enjoying a spot of relaxation at the spa... www.hotel-berard.com - The Hotel du Castellet 5*, situated near the medieval village of the same name, offers stunning views over the Bandol Aoc vineyards. Its “Monte cristo” restaurant boasts 2 Michelin stars. the mythical Paul ricard Formula 1 race track is immediately adjacent to the hotel. www.hotelducastellet.com - The Dolce Fregate 4* in saint- cyr-sur-Mer is a resort combining all the charms of a Bandol vineyard and one of europe’s finest 18-hole golf courses, offering stunning views over the vines and Mediterranean sea. www.dolce-fregate-hotel.fr - L’ile des Arts on Bendor island, facing the seaside resort of Bandol, belongs to the family of the visionary entrepreneur and art-lover Paul ricard (famed for his pastis!). the island is home to his “Musée des Vins et des Spiritueux” wine and spirits museum, exhibiting bottles, labels and restaurant menus from throughout the world. You can enjoy staying at the “Hotel delos”, designed by the master of the island! www.bendor.com - Tailored wine tourism itineraries by Provence Wine Tours, including cellar tours, walks in the vines, meeting with wine growers and fine wine tasting in the Aix, cassis and Bandol areas. You can also enjoy tasting local specialities such as liqueurs, “calisson” candies, olive oil and tapenade. www.provencewinetours.com - Bandol has been producing fine wines forever... so it is no coincidence if this was one of France’s very first Appellations, created in 1941. It is also one of the only terroirs to have its own exclusive grape variety - Mourvèdre.

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

HERE ARE OUR FAVOURITE VINEYARDS • Chateau Pibarnon and the Domaines Ott wines (the ott family possess 3 prestigious vineyards: “chateau de selle”, “clos Mireille” and “chateau romassan”). these wines are served at world’s finest restaurants. www.pibarnon.com www.domaines-ott.com • Chateau de Berne. set in 200 acres of dry garrigue, vineyards and olive groves, this relais & chateaux establishment in the var inland countryside hosts various wine tourism activities around its excellent côtes de Provence wines. www.chateauberne.com • Chateau Saint-Martin. run by the same family since 1740, this authentic vineyardcome-B&B is located in taradeau, 30 kilometres from the coast. www.chateaudesaintmartin.com • Chateau Sainte Roseline. this ancient abbey has now been ranked as an exceptional site in recognition of its remarkable chapel painted by Marc chagall, prestigious wines and delightful “chateau des demoiselles” guest house. spanning 740 acres of green grounds including over 500 acres of forests, the chateau is located in the var inland countryside, ½ hours from saint-tropez and cannes. www.sainte-roseline.com/demoiselles • The Maison des Vins des Côtes de Provence in les Arcs-sur-Argens. this wine institute, run by an association of wine growers, hosts wine tasting sessions led by professional sommeliers and also features a wine shop selling 800 côtes de Provence wines at producer prices, an oenology centre and excellent restaurant serving local cuisine. www.caveaucp.fr

Find out more at - From little family-run vineyards to prestigious Chateaux, character-filled B&Bs in the vines, ancient cooperative wine cellars and grape picking... You can find out more about the Côtes de Provence wine routes at routedesvinsdeprovence.com And for côtes du rhône wines, just check out the rhône valley website at vins-rhone-tourisme.com


Along the Lavender Route

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


AlONG ThE lAvENDEr rOuTE

“Lavender is the soul of Provence” is how author Jean Giono described this sweet-smelling flower, now the emblem of Provence. From June to September, the inland countryside of Provence offers up a patchwork of tender blues and purples. the main lavender-growing area stretches from the sault plateau to Buech, in the foothills of the Alps. the many and varied landscapes on this wonderful lavender route offer a genuine “tour de Provence”! lined with medieval houses and renaissance homes, the little village of sault in the heart of lower Provence is a mecca of lavender growing. the surrounding meadows offer up a carpet of blue stretching as far as the eye can see... don’t miss the colourful annual lavender fair held on August 14th and 15th! From sault, you can head down towards Apt at your own pace via roussillon and its famous ochre quarries. lavender is also one of the natural riches of the Apt area, where it thrives on the local chalky soil. take time to visit sainte Anne’s cathedral and the saturday morning food market – one of Provence’s largest and most typical. And of course, no visitor can leave without tasting the town’s mythical candied fruits!

As you leave the vaucluse region on the road to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, you will enter the homeland of author Jean Giono. the Forcalquier area, capital of the ancient county of Provence, offers a delightful show of dry stone villages and vast expanses of lavender. You can enjoy visiting the Ganagobie priory - a jewel of romanesque architecture - before touring the fortified town of Forcalquier, now home to the european university of Fragrances and Flavours! Just a few kilometres further on lies simiane-la-rotonde, ranked as a “city of character”, built around an ancient keep that continues to stand guard over the neighbouring lavender fields. this site was Provence’s lavender capital in the 19th century. next stop is valensole plateau, generously irrigated by the durance and verdon rivers. reputed for its lavender and almonds, the region also produces an excellent lavender honey! A visit to the world-famed ceramics makers in Moustiers-sainte-Marie is a definite must before continuing northwards to the digne area. digne-les-Bains, the capital of the Alpes-de Haute-Provence region, pays tribute to lavender every year on the first weekend of August at the “corso de la lavande” flower parade. digne has also been a highly-coveted spa town since roman times! last but not least, you can wind up your tour with the Alpine landscapes of the Buech area. Home to bubbling streams, luscious meadows and green mountain tops, this is a lavender paradise!

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

Shopping time - Beauty products made with lavender or other fragrant and beneficial plants from Provence by L’Occitane. l’occitane hosts free guided tours of its world-unique factory and museum in Manosque. www.loccitane.com - the best ever candied fruit can be purchased in Apt, known as the World Capital of Candied Fruit! NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY Lavender flowers from mid-June to mid-July so be ready! Prepare your itinerary and road book at www.routes-lavande.com (picking, traditional distilleries, essential oils, perfume makers, gardens, fragrance itineraries and museums).


AlONG ThE lAvENDEr rOuTE

A few ideas for sleeping and eating these wonderful Route de la Lavande (lavender route) establishments have been rigorously selected for their quality welcome, service and perfect knowledge of lavender and the region, to ensure visitors enjoy a delightful stay. www.routes-lavande.com - The Couvent des Minimes Hotel & Spa 5* by L’Occitane is a former convent set in a 12.5-acre aromatic garden. the l’occitane spa offers a fabulous range of treatments based on lavender and local natural fragrances. the herbs and vegetables grown in the convent gardens are served at “le cloître” gastronomic restaurant. www.couventdesminimes-hotelspa.com - Hostellerie du Val de Sault 4* is a friendly, ideal for romantic walks and long cycling escapades. www.valdesault.com - The Hotel Charembeau 3* is comfortably housed inside the impressive walls of an 18th-century farm, amid 17 acres of meadows and hills. www.charembeau.com - The Villa Borghese 4* is a charming hotelrestaurant located in the spa resort of Greoux-les-Bains, at the gateway to the luberon nature reserve and verdon nature reserve. www.villa-borghese.com

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- La Chambre d’hôte du domaine du petit Labouret is a discreet B&B tucked away in the heart of upper Provence, bordered by oak, pine and chestnut woods and, of course, lavender fields… www.petit-labouret.com - Le Moulin Brun is a warm, family-style establishment offering a choice of selfcatering or B&B accommodation with optional meals. www.lureluberon.com

A few sightseeing suggestions - La Distillerie des Agnels nestles at the heart of the luberon regional nature reserve, between Apt and the picturesque village of Buoux. You can enjoy a guided tour of the distillery, purchase some organic essential oils, or take advantage of the wellbeing area and its pool scented with lavender water… www.lesagnels.com - La distillerie du Vallon des Lavandes in sault en Provence hosts free guided tours of its traditional distillery. www.saultenprovence.com/en/region-andgastronomy/gaec-vallon-des-lavandes-distillery/? - set inside simiane-la-rotonde’s ancient castle, the Laboratoire Sainte-Victoire hosts introductions to aromatherapy, plus workshops on how to make natural cosmetics and organic essential oils. www.laboratoiresaintevictoire.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- The Salagon museum in Mane. From lavender picking to the distilling process: a fun and interactive itinerary way of discovering aromatic plants. www.musee-de-salagon.com - The Musée de la Lavande in coustellet exhibits an exceptional collection of distilling equipment and documents on lavender. www.museedelalavande.com - Les Lavandes Angelvin in valensole is a lavender producer – you can enjoy a guided tour of the distillery. lavandesangelvin.site.voila.fr - Les Chemins Bleus d’Argens in la MureArgens creates Aoc lavender essential oils. www.bleudargens.fr

Find out more at

www.routedelalavande.com

Photos

www.flickr.com/photos/photogta/ collections/72157624615772810/


From Mont Ventoux to the Luberon... Pure Provence!

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


From Mont Ventoux to the Luberon... Pure Provence!

“The mountain is a very steep and almost inaccessible mass of stony soil. But, as the poet well said, ‘Remorseless toil conquers all’.” Petrarch This is how Petrarch described his ascension of Mont Ventoux in 1336 - way before it was hoisted to today’s mythical status by the Tour de France! (the most popular bicycle race in the world) ! The giant of Provence rises to a height of 1909 metres and offers exceptional panoramic views over the whole area, from the Rhône Valley to Mont Blanc. Crowned with a rocky dome reminiscent of a lunar landscape, this mountain is simply unmissable! Its southern slopes are covered with Mediterranean vegetation, and are home to the Sault plateau lavender fields and magnificent Luberon valley. Much sought after for its tranquil atmosphere, the Luberon area attracts artists from the world over. Peter Mayle brought it to international fame with his book “A Year in Provence”. The valleys and cliffs of the Luberon offer a delicious palette of colours and moods: - Roussillon and its ochre quarries: this village, with its pretty houses painted every imaginable shade of ochre, is set against the backdrop of the ancient ochre quarries. On exiting the village, you will come to the Val des Fées (low-lying ochre mountains) and the extraordinary Colorado of Provence itinerary, offering a fascinating insight into every aspect of this typical Provencal pigment.

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- Gordes: officially ranked as one of France’s most beautiful villages, is set clinging to a sun-drenched rock. Linger awhile to admire its centuries-old houses, now tastefully restored, before heading on to the Renaissance castle, home to one of France’s largest sculpted fireplaces. After a drink at the “Cercle Républicain” club, you may like to visit the “Bories” village and its curious, conical dry stone huts dating back several hundred years BC! Then take the winding road to the “Abbaye de Sénanque”. This magnificent Cistercian abbey, nestling at the bottom of a valley, is truly breathtaking and instilled with sereneness. - Ménerbes: ranked among Provence’s most beautiful villages, this site was described by Nostradamus (who was born in Provence) as “a ship resting on a rocky outcrop”. Many artists and writers have taken their inspiration from this site, such as Peter Mayle who lived here and Picasso, who stayed here in 1945, in the house of his lover and muse dora Maar. Once you’ve had your fill of the atmosphere, it’s time for some wine and truffle tasting at the Maison de la Truffe et du Vin, set inside an ancient, 17th-century hospice home! www.vin-truffe-luberon.com The village is also home to a Corkscrew museum (“Musée du Tire-Bouchon”), situated at the Citadelle vineyard www.domaine-citadelle.com

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- Further on, towards the northern area of Provence, you will come across one of France’s most beautiful stop-offs in the shape of Vaison-la-Romaine - the largest archaeological site in France. You can visit the remains of a 2000-year-old Roman town and see how it was organized, with its theatre and, of course, museum. This is a priceless heritage, enriched by a visit to the ‘new’ town, which transports you back to the Middle Ages. The ‘Théâtre Antique’ comes to life every summer for the “Festival Vaison Danses” and culture lovers can enjoy events throughout the season. The Luberon Regional Nature Reserve harbours a wealth of plant and animal species, plus a unique archaeological and geological heritage that has earned it the title of “UNESCO biosphere reserve”. Located in the middle of the largest ochre deposits in the world, the Apt region is known for the variety and contrasts of its colours, which you can explore on foot on the many footpaths, by bike or car. In the museums, you can learn to use the natural pigments in the visual arts or as a coating. Cavaillon, capital of the melon fruit and France’s garden since the 19th Century, is today one of the largest centres of agricultural production. In Roman times, it was a stopping point on the Via Domitia and then it became a large mediaeval town at the time the Popes were in Avignon.


frOM MONT vENTOux TO ThE luBErON... PurE PrOvENcE!

Shopping time - Ochre to give your walls that Provencal touch! www.okhra.com - Candied fruits, made in Apt, the “candied fruit” capital situated in the heart of the luberon. these hand-made delicacies are simply mouth-watering. - Luberon AOC wines. the tasty and generous local wines are mainly made with grape varieties from the rhône valley. www.vins-luberon.fr - Luberon black truffles. this sweet-smelling truffle will turn every culinary creation into a work of art... It is mainly found on the small, local food markets from december to February. - Musée de la Lustrerie Mathieu (chandelier Museum) at Gargas: an extravaganza of light, exploring the aesthetic development and technical innovations of this chandelier producer that notably worked on the ‘chateau de versailles’. www.mathieulustrerie.com

A few ideas for sleeping and eating - The Bastide de Gordes & Spa 5* is located in Gordes village centre, offering stunning views over the luberon. dating back to the 16th century, it offers the ideal setting for a charm-packed holiday. www.bastide-de-gordes.com

- The Hotel Crillon le Brave 5* is perched right at the top of a hill amid vineyards and olive groves. Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, it offers panoramic views over Mont ventoux. www.crillonlebrave.com - La Coquillade 5* is tucked away inside a unique “wine & tourism” estate (the only one of its kind in Provence). Michelin starrated chef christophe renaud concocts creative and generous cuisine instilled with the flavours of the Med. www.coquillade.fr - The Mas des Herbes Blanches 5* is a vast country house built in dry stone, topped with a typical old tiled roof. Its dynamic architecture offers many and varied views over the luberon. the hotel also features a gastronomic restaurant. www.herbesblanches.com - The Domaine des Andéols 5* rents out a choice of attractive houses, with top-of-therange hotel services. the domain is an ode to the charms of contemporary Provence. www.domaine-des-andeols.com - The Chateau de Mazan 4* is an elegant 18thcentury building and former home of the notorious Marquis de sade, nestling at the foot of Mont ventoux and enhanced by its stylish gastronomic restaurant, “l’Ingénue”, named in memory of the Marquis. www.chateaudemazan.com

- Le Phébus et Spa 5* is built in dry stone. each rooms opens onto the tranquil waters of its own private pool. the Michelin one-star rated chef specialises in refined and flavourful cuisine. www.lephebus.com

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

- Part inn, part guest house, Le Mas des Grès is a genuinely charming 3* establishment. the owners - fervent lovers of Provence - have tastefully restored this authentic Provencal house. they will be delighted to organize your dream stay for you, as a couple or family, with activities including cookery classes, cycling excursions, wine tasting, and golfing with the “Provence Golf Pass”. www.masdesgres.com - The Hotel Burrhus is a boutique hotel filled with Provencal charm in the centre of vaison-la-romaine, featuring a pretty terrace under the plane trees. www.burrhus.com

A few original excursion ideas Provence on foot, by bike, motorbike, or in a sports car or classic car… just pick your speed! Whatever your choice, you will enjoy stop-overs at the “charme” or deluxe establishments of your choice, wine tasting, great food and meeting with locals in the heart of Provence: - France on Wheels offers a choice of exceptional motorbike, sports car and classic car itineraries. www.france-on-wheels.com - The agency Walk Inn Provence specialises in walking and cycling itineraries, with accommodation in character-filled establishments throughout Provence. www.walkinnprovence.com Vélo Loisir Luberon is a quality-certified network of professional cycling associations offering delightful cycling itineraries in the luberon. www.veloloisirluberon.com

Find out more at

www.prestigetourismepaca.fr www.tourismepaca.fr www.provenceguide.com www.cavaillon-luberon.com www.vaison-la-romaine.com


The Verdon Grand Canyon... Simply stunning!

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr


ThE vErDON GrAND cANyON... sIMPly sTuNNING!

“Nothing more romantic than the contrast of rock and abyss, of green waters and crimson shade, than this sky which resembles the Homeric sea and this wind which speaks with the voice of gods long dead” is how author Jean Giono described this Provencal canyon set in a landscape worthy of Dante Forming a natural frontier between the Var and Southern Alps, this spectacular fault is considered as one of Europe’s foremost natural attractions, despite being seventeen times smaller than the Grand Canyon in Colorado.

the many natural attractions around the canyon include the verdon valley, Galetas cliff and sainte-croix lake situated to its extreme West. A little further on lies valensole plateau – one of Provence’s most famous lavender-growing sites.

this is the stuff myths are made of... the verdon canyon is a genuine natural jewel; an emerald set against the backdrop of the verdon regional nature reserve. And the landscapes bordering this exceptional site are just as beautiful too: the verdon is home to no less than 1,500 plant species and almost all of the species of birds of prey found in France!

the verdon’s succession of tranquil, turquoise lakes, stretching out between valensole plateau and the mountains, offer up a taste of pure happiness. Mother nature has definitely spoilt this region!

edouard Alfred Martel was the first explorer to travel the entire canyon in 1905 and reveal this spectacular site and its extraordinary flora and fauna to the general public for the first time. one of the verdon’s prettiest hiking trails is now named after him: the “sentier Martel”, starting out from the little village of la Palud. A transition zone between Provence and the first foothills of the Alps, the verdon is a genuine paradise for walkers and hikers. set clinging to the rock face, the region’s many ancient little hilltop villages, such as Moustiers sainte-Marie, have a host of stories to tell.

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A little further south lies Quinson and its prehistory museum, retracing the history of human presence in the region thanks to various digs performed in the last 50 years around its caves. Just nearby is esparronsur-verdon, the last lake along the canyon. to the south of the canyon, you will enter the landscapes of lower Provence, characterized by a gentle relief and drier Mediterranean vegetation instilled with the scents of wild herbs... The pleasures of Provence simply never end!

Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

Shopping time traditional, hand-made earthenware and ceramic tiles from the village of Moustierssainte-Marie. www.moustiers.eu

NOTE THIS DOWN IN YOUR DIARY The little villages of the Verdon all host typical Provencal markets in summer, selling regional produce, various specialities and colourful fabrics to brighten up your home!


The Verdon Grand Canyon... Simply stunning!

A few ideas for sleeping and eating The Verdon area is simply packed with gorgeous places to stay. Here is our selection to make sure your stay is truly unforgettable! - The former property of a master earthenware maker, dating back to the 17th century, “La Bastide de Moustiers” is a delightfully cosy establishment, now run by multiple star-rated Chef Alain Ducasse. A must for food fans! www.bastide-moustiers.com - The Ferme Rose 3* is a pretty hotel decorated with furniture from the 1930’s and 1950’s. A vintage address for a novel escapade… www.lafermerose.com

- Set in a 16th-century house in the centre of the little medieval village of Annot, the SaintVincent de Paul is a delightful B&B boasting a thousand years of history. www.annot-histoire.com - The Monastère de Segriès is a former Cistercian monastery converted into a comfortable guesthouse serving meals, located a few kilometres from MoustiersSainte-Marie. www.monastere-de-segries.com - The Chateau d’Esparron, a listed building, is an old Provencal house now renovated and offering Bed & Breakfast in the heart of the ‘Parc de Verdon’, set among lavender fields stretching as far as the eye can see and with the snow-capped peaks of the Alps on the horizon. www.chateau-esparron.com

- The Hotel du Grand Canyon du Verdon is perched on the Corniche Sublime, 300 metres above the Verdon Canyon. This exceptional site is simply not to be missed! www.hotel-canyon-verdon.com

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Regional Tourism Board Press Contact: presse@crt-paca.fr - Tel. : +33 (0)4 91 56 47 00 www.pressetourismepaca.fr

A few original excursion ideas You can explore the Verdon Canyon in a multitude of ways. Just pick your favourite - For thrills and spills lovers: canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, canyoning and potholing! http://cnev.online.fr/ - Guided walking tours www.guidesaventure.com - Or by car along the Route des Crêtes. This is the most beautiful, wildest and quietest of the roads running along the Canyon. It is lined with fantastic cliffs and stunning viewpoints. www.lapaludsurverdon.com Not forgetting the Maison des Gorges du Verdon: this museum also hosts discovery tours of the canyon. www.lapaludsurverdon.com - Not-to-be-missed: the Styx du Verdon, named after the Greek goddess of the underworld river, is a sort of mini canyon within the canyon, standing witness to millions of years of erosion. Here, the Verdon dives down into a quasi-subterranean fault, which you can swim over!

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