Enjoying a lovely croissant, overlooking the city from the Eiffel Tower,
watching a purple sea of lavender, and spending leisurely time of the Côte d’Azur,
your most romantic travel dreams can be realized in France
As time goes by, there has always been the romance of France. Paris, the capital, attracts people with its many famous sights and profound humanistic atmosphere; the multifaceted charm of Southern France satisfies every traveler’s initial dream — wandering in a purple sea of lavender, driving through endless vineyards, exploring the mysterious castles in distant regions, taking a break in the leisurely time of the Côte d’Azur, before enjoying a wellness journey in pure nature.
Paris is known as the “city of love” in the hearts of great poets, writers and musicians, and their inspirational muse.
Wake up early in the morning, find a cafe near your place and start your French life with a lovely croissant and a cup of latte. Take the metro and make your first stop at Charles de Gaulle – Etoile, where you will find Arc de Triomphe, located at the western end of the Champs-Elysées.
Completed in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was built by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. The walls are emblazoned with magnificent reliefs, and the interior features an elevator that leads up to the 50-meter-high arch, or, if you prefer, climb up the spiral stone staircase of almost 300 steps. Above, a small museum tells the history of the Arc de Triomphe. The large terrace at the top of the museum offers an uninterrupted view of Paris.
Walk east along the Champs-Élysées, all the way to the Seine, and you will pass by Laduree, the famous chain of macaron stores in Paris. The Seine divides the city into two, with the left bank being a representative of Romantic culture and art, and the right bank encompassing modern business and entertainment. Where there is a river, there is always a story about a bridge. The Alexander III Bridge is famous for its central location and architectural value. At each end and on each side of the bridge, there is a huge stone pillar carved with a group of bronze plated knights and flying horses with their wings raised. The bridge is lined with elaborate metal streetlights that shine at night, with the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais of Paris visible ahead.
A stroll along the river or a boating trip will give you the chance to appreciate Paris from a different perspective. The boating trips feature different themes. Some focus on history, while others attract visitors with food and wine.
Across the bridge and down an art-filled boulevard is the Musée d’Orsay, a converted railway station that is known as “the most beautiful museum in Europe” which houses a large collection of artworks. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and admission is 16 euros.
Next stop, the Eiffel Tower. Pack some food, meet some friends and have a picnic on the great lawn under the Tower. Wander around the tower and enjoy it from different angles. The steps in front of the Jardins du Trocadero often yield some great angle shots of the tower.
You may want to climb the tower to experience it. The first floor is 57 meters high. The second floor is 115 meters high with Michelin restaurants, stores, macaron stores, etc. Enjoy the dining experience at high altitude. The top floor is 276 meters high. So when you are there, only the tip of the tower and the sky is left above your head.
The Louvre, one of the four largest museums in the world, has an extremely rich collection of classical paintings and sculptures. Many people may not be interested in art, but they will still be excited to stroll around the square outside the museum and find a good angle to take an interesting photo of the glass entrance of pyramids style. Not far away, Tuileries Park stretches all the way to the Place de la Concorde. There are fountains, benches, lawns, art sculptures and a scaled-down version of the Arc de Triomphe in the park.
Recommended restaurants in Paris: Mastino (Italian restaurant), Scandle (eco-friendly concept cafe), Holybelly 5 (brunch), La Cantine de Sam (delicious vegetarian food), Zia (brunch), Pink Mamma (Italian restaurant).
Valensole is one of the many beautiful towns located in the home of lavender. Known as the city of daylight, and with more than 300 sunny days throughout the year, Valensole is perched on a hillside surrounded by lavender valleys. In July and August every year, the lavender field turns into a romantic purple ocean.
Many of the town’s residents make their living by growing lavender and refining lavender oil. Les Grandes Marges, a family-run lavender farm for four generations, welcomes guests to walk through the flower fields and sells a variety of organic products – organic almonds, olive oil, and lavender oil. At Lavendes Angelvin, you can experience the entire process of extracting the oil from the flowers and see how various lavender products are made – lavender soap, essential oils, fragrance bags, perfumes.
Even if you don’t come during the flowering season, you don’t have to be disappointed at all. It’s good to avoid the crowds and enjoy the original Provençal life and culture.
At the foot of Valensole lies the Place des Thiers, where you can take a photo in front of the fountain, buy a signature croissant from the bakery, wander among the colorful traditional houses, and chat with the locals to immerse in the Southern French atmosphere. Head up the hill to Frederic Mistral Street, filled with stores selling lavender products and, in the summer, pure lavender ice cream.
Wandering through the town, you will come across an old washhouse dating back to 1681. The two gardens, Clos de Villeneuve and Château du Grand Jardin, are pleasant with plants, good places to visit especially when you are tired of walking. Of course, you can also choose a restaurant’s terrace to relax while enjoying a delicious meal.
One of the deepest canyons in the world, the Grand Canyon of Verdon, known as the Grand Canyon of Europe, is about an hour’s drive from Valensole. The enchanting green river flows between the cliffs where you can enjoy a canoe, swim in the cool water, find a secluded beach, stand on a bridge and admire the view of the canyon, or go hiking in the canyon forest and immerse yourself in nature. On the way back, you will pass by the cliffside town of Moustiers Sainte Marie, so stop and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.
Food and wine are an integral part of life in Provence, and the locals take great pride in their local produce. Each town will have its own special market, wineries and farms, as well as delicious restaurants. Recommended restaurants in Provence: La Bastide de Pierres (Gordes), Le Petit Café (Oppede), La Grappe de Raisin (Roussillon), Le Petit Provençal (Manosque), La Table Toscane ( Riez), Comptoir de Valérie (Valensole).
Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa is perched on a hill in the Luberon, east of Avignon, offering a wonderful view of Mont Ventoux and the vineyards. The senses are awakened in every corner of the resort, breathing in the lavender, tasting ultra-fresh food and, above all, indulging in a moment of relaxation at the magnificent spa. Accompanied by a naturopath, you will be able to enjoy wellness programs that are totally tailored to your needs.
With its splendid spa, the hotel offers a rejuvenating break in the heart of the Luberon Regional Natural Park. No less than 2,000 m² are dedicated to well-being, relaxation and sports. The Fitness Center is fully equipped with Technogym machines and a Kinesis wall facing a beautiful Provencal landscape. A yoga studio is also located in the sports area, facing the lavender fields. There is something for all levels and tastes, as group classes are organized regularly. Tailor-made sports sessions can also be organized with a sports coach.
On the relaxation side, there is plenty of choice. To begin with, you will find a sauna for a moment of warmth and the steam bath to observe the olive trees in complete privacy. Afterwards, you can get a massage from the jets in the outdoor Jacuzzi and take a dip in one of the beautiful pools, either indoor or outdoor. The spa also has Kneipp pools, an ice fountain and sensory showers.
The hotel also offers various cures and retreats, which you can compose yourself. It advocates inner beauty and aims to help you discover it. For this, several stays are suggested such as yoga retreats, an ayurvedic cure, a detox stay, and even a world tour of massages.
The hotel also invites its guests to discover its beautiful region through various outdoor activities. It is the starting point for many hikes and bike rides. The most motivated will climb the Mont Ventoux by bike and the most curious will choose a hike on the path of one of the most authentic ghost villages of France.
With its glistening sea, stretches of beach, red and white parasols, and colorful towns, the Côte d’Azur in the south of France is like something out of a vintage movie, with classic elegance that never goes out of style. Spend two weeks here, get lost in the old towns, smell the lemons, feel the shade of the palms, and watch the sailboats sail across the sea – it fulfills the wildest vacation dreams.
Once a small fishing village, now a popular tourist destination, St. Tropez boasts many beautiful beaches with blue-green waters that make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean island. A castle sits on top of the town’s hill, and a visit here at sunrise and sunset will capture the most stunning views.
Lily of the Valley is a luxurious wellness sanctuary located 15 minutes from Saint Tropez. From its hilltop position surrounded by a protected nature reserve, guests can walk to the beautiful sandy beach of Gigaro. For this unusual luxury hotel, renowned designer Philippe Starck was inspired by Provençal abbeys and the hanging gardens of Babylon. The architecture of Lily of The Valley adapts to nature by blending with the lush vegetation.
Lily of the Valley specializes in weight loss, with an athletic approach. No question of lying around all day! Now called the Shape Club, the hotel’s 2,000 square meter wellness center offers exceptional wellness facilities. At its center you will find a superb semi-Olympic outdoor swimming pool, heated all year round, as well as other open-air areas specially designed for sports activities.
Sports play a central role at Lily of the Valley. Several passionate coaches offer individual and group classes to make sport fun. Sessions take place in the great outdoors, or in the fitness room equipped with Technogym machines.
The beautiful spa, located in the heart of the hotel, includes seven treatment rooms, two saunas and a steam room. Guests can stimulate their blood circulation and lymphatic system by entering the snow shower.
Through various wellness programs, the Shape Club assists clients wishing to lose weight. The wellness stays are based on the method of the nutritionist Dr. Jacques Fricker. He nicknamed it the “TGV method” because it allows you to “lose weight quickly and well” without prohibitions. His approach consists of three points: a rapid weight loss, the progressive attainment of the targeted weight and the creation of a daily diet. This method is balanced and sustainable by resting on four fundamental pillars, which are: health monitoring, nutrition, sport and care.
There are three programs, each lasting 4, 7, 14 or 21 days. The first program is called “Serenity” and focuses on the elimination of a few extra pounds. The “Intensive Weight Loss” program includes a strict dietary program and aims to lose weight quickly thanks to a global treatment of the body. Finally, in the “Sport” program, weight loss is facilitated by a more intensive physical training.
The hotel makes a point of choosing seasonal products from local producers. To be in harmony with the environment, the restaurant menu is designed according to the seasons.
Welcoming guests throughout the day, Le Vista is the main restaurant at Lily of the Valley. Its dishes with a strong Provençal flavour can be enjoyed on the terrace or in the beautiful indoor room. At the Club House, there are many healthy options to choose from. Whether it’s a protein smoothie between two workouts or a light meal after a spa treatment, every craving comes to life.
Sandwiched between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is one of the most famous cities in the Côte d’Azur. Here, sports enthusiasts can hike, ride and engage in a range of water sports. For a leisurely stroll, explore the mysterious bay, enjoy a slow lunch on the terrace of a beach bistrot, or pick up your favorite food at the market and take it to Castle Hill for a picnic. The lookout at the top of the hill offers a breathtaking view of Nice and the surrounding coastline, which will be even more stunning at sunset.
Place Massena, the main square of Nice, is located between the New Town and the Old Town, and is surrounded by shopping streets and a number of quality restaurants. The city of Nice was originally built by the Greeks and was once a colony of the Roman Empire, so the old town still features a mood of Italianate life, dotted with many baroque buildings in bright colors. The winding, narrow alleys undulate with the hills, and there are a number of small specialty stores, restaurants and bars along the roads, as well as a night market, selling a variety of crafts.
Plage Beau Rivage beach is the largest beach on the Côte d’Azur, nestled at the foot of the Old Town of Nice and equipped with five-star amenities. The restaurants set outdoor tables on the beach where you can enjoy a seafood dinner against the backdrop of a glorious sunset or order a cocktail at the premium bar and relax on a sunbed.
La Reserve beach is a local favorite, located in the east of Nice, near the port area. Although small in size, its relatively secluded location away from the main road makes it less crowded and offers a warm and pleasant atmosphere. This beach is famous for its diving.
Coco Beach is located next to La Reserve, a beautiful cove where many people come to lay their towels on the rocks and lie down to sunbathe. It’s very private and relatively quiet.
Opéra Plage is the oldest private beach in Nice, formerly the opera house pavilion. Here you can truly enjoy a beach holiday, whether it’s a spa massage on a beach lounger or buying the latest trendy swimsuit, and your needs will be met.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is not in Nice, but a town that needs to be reached by bus,15 minutes away, and the town shares its name with the beach. Here you will find the rarest and most precious element of the Côte d’Azur beaches – the sand. Take a dip in the water, watch sailboats sail by from the beach, and enjoy a meal in the restaurants and ice cream parlors. In addition, every Wednesday and Saturday, the town opens a fresh food market halfway up the hill.