The South of France
Our journey to the South of France was not short of beautiful and exciting scenery. We left beyond the glistening Lake and enormous snow capped mountains of Lake Geneva and headed south into the steep and winding roads of the Alps. It was like driving through a helter skelter surrounded by a rocky alpine landscape. We passed through numerous quaint villages and, rather unsurprisingly as we were in France, several boulangeries.
The winding road was accompanied by a lush turquoise river and an old railway track that ran alongside it. As we got deeper into the mountains, we stumbled across a walled town called Entreveaux. I had never preciously heard of it before but I am so thankful that it crossed my path. What persuaded me to stop were the medieval pastel coloured houses that were built into the steep mountain and the citadel that sat above this intriguing town.
We entered through a draw bridge which sat high above a flowing moat and wandered through the towns narrow streets. It was like walking through a cobbled maze. We found a quaint little square with a florist, a book shop and (of course) a boulangerie! Finally finding a cute cafe, we enjoyed a cafe au lait and took in the wonderful scenery.
As our journey continued south, the Alps gradually reduced in size and the Mediterranean Sea was in full view as we approached the city of Nice. To fully appreciate the beauty of the French Riviera, we headed to Fort du Mont Alban lookout and viewed the coastline from above. Nice is a bustling city with terracotta buildings, grey pebbled beaches and crystal blue water.
A friend recommended that I visit the town of Menton so we decided to drive to nearby glitzy Monaco and give our camper, Lottie, a bit of a rest. For some additional exercise this day, we walked the remaining 9kms along the coast. Menton is the last town in the Côte d’Azur region before the border of Italy and features stunning pastel-coloured buildings with Italian influence, a lovely old port and a picturesque beach lined with palm trees. After a long walk, Menton's chilled out vibe was perfect!
To end an incredible day, I couldn't resist popping into a local green grocers to check out the fresh fruit and vege this region had to offer and treated myself to some lush courgettes and artichokes to include in our next meal. Seeking out the local produce whilst travelling is definitely a pleasure of mine.
Our journey continued as we headed west and passed through stunning vineyards neatly dotted across the land. Next stop was the region of Grassee which offered a break from the crowded Riviera coastal towns and also provided a glimpse of the real Riviera, away from the tourist route. Grasse is known as the perfume capital of the world, with the flowers used for making the world-famous Chanel N°5 being grown and harvested there.
Upon arriving, we passed beautiful flower fields and the scent of perfume was wafting across the warm breeze. We visited "Parfumerie Fragonard" and learnt about the history of perfume making, followed by an opportunity to make our own custom perfume! I took this as an opportunity to purchase a gift for my mum by combining her favourite scents.
In summary, I can honestly say that the south of France has something for everyone. With its diverse landscapes, charming towns, delicious food, friendly people and sensational weather, it is a must-visit destination for your travel itinerary.
Next stop, Carcassonne!