It's summer time! Time for vacation, exploring and enjoying the sunny weather. Southern France is a great spot to get your full dose of summer - including breathtaking scenery, amazing food and cultural history. I was able to explore a bit of the beautiful countryside last week on a trip from Germany through the Alsace further on along the Provence all the way down to the French Riviera and back. I'd love to share a quick summary of my favorite spots with you and get you inspired for your own Southern France trip :)
In the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, just a quick drive from Lyon, Pérouges was our first stop. The medieval town from the 12th century is a true fairy tale setting. Narrow cobble stone streets invite you to take a walk through the village and take you back in time. Leave your high heels at home, you might break your ankle!
This part of Southeast France is defined by the Verdon River, which formed a massive 700m deep canyon, the Gorges du Verdon. With its crystal clear turquoise water it's the perfect spot to cool down in the cold water by swimming, kayaking or canyoning. If you prefer to stay dry, endless hiking trails guarantee you a breathtaking view all the way to the French Alps over several hundred kilometers. A definite must see!
All the way South at the French Riviera, we stopped at Grimaud, another medieval town dating to the 11th century. Referred to as "Little Venice", Port Grimaud allows you to take a boat tour along the canals and enjoy a new perspective from the water. Just a few kilometers east you find Saint-Tropez, a more known coastal Mediterranean village where the high society stops by on their yachts to enjoy an overpriced meal on the overcrowded port. It's ridiculous. But since we were in the area, of course we had to see it :)
Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon
Next stop was intentionally to see the famous lavender fields of the Provence. That being said, don't wait until the end of July - we were almost too late! We stayed at the sleepy village of Murs, where we were able to watch a clear night sky as never seen before thanks to the remote setting. On our way to Sénanque Abbey, the famous lavender Abbey, we passed through Gordes, yet another charming town in a scenic setting overlooking the Luberon Valley.
Last stop on our way back to Germany was Annecy in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes area, just a few kilometers south of Geneva. The idyllic town is set in between moutnains, and a lake and the does a great job maintaining an abundance of flowers along the canals and the Thiou River lying through the old city which perfects the charming feel. Old town square is a paradise for entertaining with hundreds of restaurants, cafes and bars to enjoy warm summer nights - which we did at the Beer O' Clock, a pub where you can tap your own beer, which we thought was pretty cool ;-)