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The South of France is renowned the world over
as a sophisticated holiday area, France's top vacation destination. It's warm
climate and the Mediterranean coast has long made it the place to go - and of
course inevitably it is not the cheapest place either. One glance at the luxury
yachts lining up in their hundreds along the quays of the marinas and you know
that deep pockets are in abundance!
The Côte d'Azur is shared
between two departments, the Alpes-Maritimes and the
Var, not forgetting the independent but very much
French Principality of Monaco.
the Côte d'Azur lies Provence, a warm - even hot - and dry area of
red-tiled villages and towns, well explored by the tourist, particulary since
it was popularised by the book "A Year in Provence".
Through this area
runs the great river Rhone, and the Mistral
wind which sweeps down the Rhone Valley dominates the weather, particularly
in November to April. The Mistral is often blamed for outbreaks of temper and
Our South of France guide also includes the area
of Languedoc - Rousillon, and the amazing Carcasonne, one of the most complete walled cities
in the world. Languedoc reminds us that this region spoke the "Langue d'Oc" for
centuries, a romantic language that exists in many forms across the southern
stretches of France. Indeed it would still be the main language today if De
Gaulle had not decreed that the language of France would be French - and forbid
its use in schools. Today its vestiges still remain, spoken by an older
generation and introduced in schools to young children learning about the
history of their land.
And history it has - oozing from every town and
village. The area's close proximity to Italy means that the Roman influence is
very strong - evidence of their civilisation abounds - and the turbulent Middle
Ages left their mark everywhere too.
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and you are welcome to contribute to it via the
|Menu of areas covered by this
|On-line magazine covering the
South of France
|Presenting our full list of
towns and villages in the south of France
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