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South of France Travel Tips

Image of tomatoes and herbs Fresh, local produce is used in many of the vegetarian restaurants you see down below!

Being a vegetarian may be tough, but being a vegetarian in the South of France is even more of a challenge. The vegetarian lifestyle has made its way to Paris, but isn’t quite as popular in the South of France yet. That’s why we’ve searched high and low to find the best vegetarian shopping and eating in the South of France for you! Keep reading to find out more!

Nice

The Nice Life International Café is everything you need rolled up into one peaceful café. If you’re looking for a place to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee, meet some people, or possibly grab a bite to eat, then this is the café for you! The café focuses on serving fresh, local products, in addition to their own creations. Upstairs you’ll find the living room, which is perfect for sitting back, catching up on a good book, or studying for your exams. Located at 15 bl Lech Walesa, 06300 Nice, this café’s opening hours differ daily so be sure to check their website before you go! If you’re only in Nice for a short time, then check out our guide on how to spend 48 hours in & around Nice! And if you need a place to stay, we’ve got you covered! Click here to see some of our Nice vacation rentals. Read the entire story here…»

 

Image of Soaps Beautiful handmade perfumes and soaps at a street market in Grasse, France.

While many ancient societies commonly used perfumes, it was the French that made it a luxury item. Known as the perfume capital of the world, the town of Grasse in the South of France has the ideal climate to grow essential flowers, including jasmine and lavender. These ingredients are used to create the absolute best perfumes the modern world has come to know and love. Discover the top five perfumeries in the South of France where you can get a firsthand look at how these marvelous scents are created.

1. Galimard

Image of Grasse The lush greenery and flora on the hillsides in Grasse are used to make perfumes.

The Galimard Perfumery was originally founded by Jean de Galimard in 1747 and is the third oldest perfumery in the world. Yes, you read that right; this well respected perfumery is 268 years old! Since its founding, Galimard Perfumeries have maintained the original recipes that were used for King Louis XV, who reigned until his death in 1774. Its blend of jasmine, rose, lavender, orange flower and tuberose creates a scent that is loved by all. Did you know that you can take a tour of the factory and museum, which are located in Grasse? Offered 365 days a year, this guided tour will show you the laboratory where the perfumes are created from the extraction of locally grown fresh flowers. You can watch the bottling process and if you’re lucky, may even be told some of the company’s secrets to these time-honored scents! Stay in one of our vacation rentals in Nice, which have easy access to the town of Grasse and its perfumeries! Explore more about the city of Nice, France. Read the entire story here…»

 

of a lavender field in Provence, France A sunny lavender field in Provence

What makes something “French?” Simply originating from France isn’t quite enough. For most people, there’s an indescribable attitude to the idea, a certain quality of je-ne-sais-quoi suggesting perfection of the art of living. Many pilgrims in search of this quality find themselves on the doorstep of Paris. They’re dazzled by the art and glamour of the City of Lights. But when Parisians think of warmth and simple comforts – of living the “French” experience – they think of Provence

Provence is a province of southeastern France, bordered by the Rhone River, the Mediterranean Sea and Italy. It was the first Roman province beyond the Alps (hence the name) and formed the seat of the Languedoc region. For centuries it was self-governed by the Counts of Provence from their capitol in Aix-en-Provence before finally merging with the rest of France in 1481. As such, it has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity that makes it a popular destination for both national and international tourists. Not sure where to start? Check out the Top 10 Villages in Provence.

Sadly, every trip must end. But you can bring a little bit of Provence with you when you go, a few key items to inspire those quiet memories of the sun, air, and the sense that somewhere life’s secrets have been figured out.

Calissons & Other Sweets

Calissons are a traditional Provencal candy. They’re candied fruits and almonds, rather like melon-flavored marzipan. About two inches in length, they’re usually almond-shaped and topped with a thin layer of royal icing. Calissons are historically associated with the town of Aix-en-Provence, and as such that is where some of the best in the world can be found. While they can be stored at room temperature and preserve well, they are best served cold. Just driving through? See what else you can do in Aix-en-Provence in under 48 hours. Read the entire story here…»

 

Provence boasts some of the most picturesque villages in France, if not all of Europe. From cozy stone houses with terracotta rooftops to astounding castle ruins atop rocky outcrops, the South of France has it all. Often outshone by the famous cities in the area, these lesser-known villages make amazing holiday destinations for every visitor. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil village among fields of lavender for a relaxing holiday, or a seaside village with beautiful beaches and amazing seafood restaurants, you’ll find them in Provence!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite villages in the area that all have something special to offer. Without further ado, here are our top 10 villages to visit in Provence:

1. Roussillon

Picture of the ochre landscape in Provence’s Roussillon The striking ochre deposits near Roussillon in Provence

To start off with a quintessential Provence town, try Roussillon, a community which epitomizes of provincial life. The town is located east of Avignon on a hilltop, providing the most beautiful views of the surrounding National Park du Luberon. The town only has about 1,300 inhabitants, but it is very popular among tourists for the ochre deposits, or ‘sentier des ocres’ that surround the village. Though the ochre is no longer mined, it is possible to visit a former mine and walk through the ochre-infused landscape. It’s easy to see why the area is referred to as the ‘French Colorado’! The town itself is basically one big homage to the ochre that surrounds it, as the houses all have hues ranging from yellow to orange to red. The best time of day to visit this picturesque village is right before sunset, as you’ll get to see the houses change between the most brilliant of colors in the last sunlight of the day. Read the entire story here…»

 

Picture of a harbor and beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer in the South of France The Villefranche-sur-Mer beaches near Nice in the South of France

With the summer just around the corner, we thought it was about time to start writing about beaches! And it just so happens that the Mediterranean coast contains some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Since we offer apartments for rent all around the South of France, we’ve  come to know the area well. That’s why we chose to create a list of our 10 favorite beaches in the South of France, categorized by different areas: the French Riviera, Provence, the Montpellier region and even the Southern Alps.

Of course there are so many great beaches in these regions that it’s impossible to list all of them here, but we still hope this list can be of some use if you choose to visit the beautiful South of France! Read the entire story here…»

 

Please note that this article is giving an overview of the visas and other travel information to enter the United States of America and Europe, as of February 2013. New York Habitat advises you to contact your consulate or any other official government office before you travel outside of your country of citizenship in order to get the latest updated information.
UPDATE: As of July 2014, all passengers flying to the United States of America must have their electronic devices (mobile phones, cameras, computers…) charged. Electronic devices with flat batteries will not be allowed on flights as part of new safety restrictions.

Image of a passport you need to bring when travelling Remember to pack your passport when travelling to another country

When you’re planning a trip to another county, the first thing you should look into is the entry requirements of that particular country. Often when you’re travelling to a country near you, the entry requirements are fairly easy to comply with. For example, if you’re a EU citizen travelling to another country in Europe, you often don’t even need to bring along a passport, as a valid ID will do. However, when you want to visit a country on another continent, the rules may not be so simple.

Because we offer apartments in New York City, London and France here at New York Habitat, we often receive questions about entry requirements and visas for the United States and Europe. That’s why we decided to post this article about the documents you need to travel to New York City, London or France. We hope to clear things up for you so when you go on a holiday to another country in the future you’ll know exactly what papers to bring! Read the entire story here…»

 

Picture of winter in Provence Provence in Wintertime

The South of France is often associated with summer holidays. While a beach holiday in Southern France can of course be fantastic, areas such as Provence tend to be very crowded in the summer months.

In wintertime, Provence is visited by way less tourists and has an entirely different kind of charm. The climate in Provence stays mild in the winter, so you can still explore the South of France at your leisure. It also doesn’t hurt that the prices usually go down considerably offseason. In this article, we’ll give you an impression of a winter holiday in Provence, and provide you with some insider tips on the best time to go shopping, where to stay in the wintertime, what to eat in Provence, and more! Read the entire story here…»

 

On the one hand, Toulon will never be able to claim being one of the sexy cities in the South of France, but on the other hand, it would be totally unfair to write it off as just one humongous military harbor and major manufacturing center of various goods such as aeronautical, armament and electronic equipment as well as tobacco, shoes and paper.

Toulon, Panaroma Toulon, Panaroma

The adventurous visitors who dare to make it there typically end up being quickly won over by the charming Old Town, in which attractive fountains stand proudly in numerous small squares. After decaying for decades, this historic part of the city has rightfully been revived, and its new prettiness combined with its centuries-old daily Provençal market have become one of the main attractions of Toulon. Read the entire story here…»

 

Photo of Saint Tropez Harbor Photo of Saint Tropez Harbor

The name of Saint-Tropez never fails to conjure up images of the international jet-set soaking up the sun on luxurious yachts all day and shamelessly carousing in exclusive clubs all night. They notoriously take over the lovely little seaport on the French Riviera every summer and the rest of us cannot help but feel left out of the party.

But as fall approaches, relative peace and quiet return, and there’s nothing like reveling in the last days of golden sunshine in the town Brigitte Bardot famously put on the map back in the 1960s. You may not have a chance to bump into Beyoncé, Jay-Z or Bono anymore, but you will be able to discover why Saint-Trop, as it is familiarly called, is more than ever worth a stay.

Besides being a summer playground for the rich and famous, Saint-Tropez has for many decades been the home of a thriving artists’ community and played an instrumental role in the careers of illustrious visual creators such as Henry Matisse and Pablo Picasso, Bernard Buffet and David  Hockney. Read the entire story here…»

 

South of France Vacation Rental 4 Bedroom in Gigaro South of France Vacation Rental 4 Bedroom in Gigaro (PR 398)

The pristine beaches of St. Tropez, Nice and Cannes are rightly famous – but they can also be a bit intimidating to those of us who are not regularly featured in People magazine. However, the French Riviera has much more to offer than these playgrounds for the rich. Indeed, the French Riviera is bursting with attractions and events – and with miles of coastline and a little help from New York Habitat, you’re sure to find your own private oasis.

For example, try this two-bedroom rental (PR-92) in the small town of Cap d’Ail, a hidden gem on the French Riviera. This little village between sea and mountains has some of the prettiest beaches in the area! And if you miss the excitement of a vibrant city, Monaco is about a 10-minute drive away.

This 4-bedroom vacation rental in Gigaro – la Croix Valmer (PR-398) has a view of the sea and bougainvillea in full bloom for most of the year. Its white sand beaches are never overcrowded, and from the village experienced hikers can explore the miles of trails that go from the beach back to the rocky Col de Collebasse pass, almost 200 meters high. Read the entire story here…»