Nice: A Warm Heart in France

Each time you visit a place it sets down new, deeper layers in your soul. My most recent trip to Nice, France, my third, was like this for me. The first two times I’d zipped through like so many tourists do, in a day or an afternoon. This last time I had the opportunity in a long weekend to soak it in, to wander the maze of Italian-flavored streets, their candy-colored buildings towering overhead. Nice is France’s fifth largest city.…

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La Camargue…Unique Nature

There’s a place in France that can only be called unique. It might not appeal to the average traveler, but rather one who seeks the unusual experience in the midst of nature. That place is La Camargue, at the bottom end of Provence, a regional park and natural reserve just south of Arles. On either side are two branches of the Rhone River. It is an international wetland, 360 square miles broad, of which one third is water or marsh.…

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Coastal Secrets #4: Juan-les-Pins and Antibes

Maybe you’ve heard of Juan-les-Pins…or not…but it has the charm and energy of Nice, its nearby neighbor. It even has a curved beach which hosts many hotels, quite a few of them high-rises on the waterfront. This popular beach town sits just west of Antibes, on the Cap d’Antibes, a rounded peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean, somewhere between Cannes and Nice. The towns of Juan-les-Pins and Antibes are often grouped together on brochures and websites, as if they are one…

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Coastal Secrets #3: Cavalaire-sur-Mer

Like many small beach towns on France’s southern coast, Cavalaire-sur-Mer began as a fishing village. It didn’t achieve tourist status until the 50s, but even today it’s a lesser-known treasure on the Cote d’Azur. This is a place I really liked and would love to go back. Since my first visit I have learned a lot more about things to do there! It’s not far from St. Tropez but the resemblance stops there. Cavalaire-sur-Mer is a delightfully different and down-to-earth…

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Coastal Secrets #2: Sanary-sur-Mer

Nestled between the larger towns of Toulon and Marseille you’ll find another seaside treasure, Sanary-sur-Mer. If you’re making a trip to Marseille, it’s not very far to visit Sanary, La Ciotat, and Cassis. Don’t you just love these small French beach towns?! Sanary was established as a fishing village in the 16th century but really became a tourist destination around the 1980s. it’s a place to enjoy the beach life on a village scale. There are small beaches, with an…

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Coastal Secrets: #1 La Ciotat

Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the Riviera without the price and snob-appeal? To taste the South of France coastline without the packed beaches, the secret is to aim smaller. The next few posts will feature French coastal towns you might not have ever heard of. You can discover many of them tucked in between renowned destinations like Nice and St. Tropez. They are hidden treasures along the French Riviera, worth a serious look if you want a slower pace…

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