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Blog / Enjoy a Slow and Relaxing Break in the South of France

Enjoy a Slow and Relaxing Break in the South of France

Beyond its vibrant cities, France is possibly the most relaxed and laid-back country in the world. The South of France around Provence is particularly somnolent in summer with lazy days filled with leisurely lunches, good food, fine wine, and the scent of lavender. Where better to head to relax, recharge and reflect? 


These are some of our favorite places in the south of France to take a break from stress and enjoy the simple things in life… 



Antibes, France

While the Cote d’Azur is known for its mega-yachts and flashy coastal towns, Antibes enjoys its own gentle pace of life. It’s within easy reach of Nice and Cannes for a day of boutique shopping and sightseeing. Antibes has long been favored by many well-heeled visitors in the past, including Elizabeth Taylor, Hemingway, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The wooded peninsula is dotted with luxury villas enjoying their own private piece of paradise. Explore the Old Town with its 16th-century ramparts and star-shaped Fort Carre or spend time at Musée Picasso in the Chateau Grimaldi. Book a meal or stay a night or two at the opulent Hotel du Cap Eden Roc and enjoy magnificent sea views, wonderful cuisine, and glamorous surroundings. In late May, the hotel is packed with celebrities and movie moguls attending the Cannes Film Festival.   



Large brown building with fountain statue
Bordeaux, França

Wine lovers will revel in the opportunity to visit the historic walled city of Bordeaux and tour the surrounding wine region. There are 6,000 wine-producing chateaux in the region providing the world with quality Bordeaux wines including full-bodied merlot, sauvignon blanc, and sparkling Crémant.

There are many unique places to stay including turreted chateaux that have their own upmarket B&B, winery, and renowned restaurants onsite. Saint Emilion is an enchanting old town lined with wine shops offering tastings of their world-famous appellation. Explore the 12th-century rock-carved Eglise Monolithe de Saint-Emilion (church) with its catacombs and artworks, take a guided tour around the medieval town, visit the quarry caves and tour some of the family-owned vineyards nearby. The Grand Cru St Emilion is the ultimate souvenir for any discerning wine connoisseur! 



Èze, France

One of the famous hilltop villages (village perché) that the French Riviera is known for, Eze is a captivating village with stunning views of the blue Mediterranean from its 400-meter elevation. Sitting aloft above the stunning Cap-Ferrat coastline, the village is known for its luxury chateaux accommodation and Michelin-star dining. Explore the cobblestone streets, pop into museums, and dine alfresco in the old town square. The streets are lined with perfume houses where visitors can enjoy the fragrant experience of shopping for their favorite brand of perfume or sample one of the authentic fragrances produced in the area for hundreds of years. Don’t miss the Jardin Exotique, a mountainside garden of succulents with stunning coastal views.  


St. Remy, Provence

Fresh Lavender

For an authentic taste of Provence, head to the enchanting town of St. Remy. It’s a truly relaxing place to wander and enjoy with a relaxed pace of life you’ll quickly find yourself adopting.

Art lovers may have a sense of déjà vu as it frequently appeared in paintings by Vincent van Gogh. The picturesque village was the inspiration for his famous artwork “Starry Night”. St Remy makes a wonderful base for enjoying a comfortable stay in a luxury spa hotel. After a leisurely petit déjeuner, enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside. In summer and early fall, the smiling golden heads of sunflowers and waving drills of lavender make a sensational sight. For a little adventure, visit the extraordinary Pont du Gard, a three-story 360-meter-long bridge built by the Romans in the first century AD. The broad Gardon River is an inviting place for a refreshing swim or a kayak trip.  



Delicious cheese

Immerse yourself in the timeless way of life enjoyed in southern France when you visit Aix-en-Provence. Explore the open-air markets, picking up tasty morsels of smoked meats, delectable French cheese, warm baked goods, and freshly caught seafood. Known as the “City of a Thousand Fountains’ these gushing Art Deco water features create a refreshing focal point in many public squares. Look out for the Fontaine de la Rotunde with its bronze carved lions and statue representing the Three Graces of mirth, elegance, and youth. Sit beneath the plane trees at a sidewalk cafe on the broad Cours Mirabeau and watch the world go by. Explore the Vieil Aix (Old Town) with its mellow architecture and aristocratic palaces and pop into the Garnet Museum, the former art studio of impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, the “Father of Modern Art”.  



Grasse, France

Once surrounded by fields of jasmine, lavender, and roses, Grasse is the historic home of French perfume. Perched on the hillside above Cannes, the town has many fascinating attractions including the cathedral with its priceless Rubens artworks. The major perfumeries of Fragonard, Molinard, and Galimard all offer factory tours proving an insight into how the floral essence was originally collected on sheets of wax and made into French perfume. Visit the Musee International de la Perfumeries or book a place on a perfume-making course. Under the expert tutelage of a “nez” you can blend your favorite essences to create your own named perfume and receive a 100ml bottle to take home. Your unique perfume recipe will be cataloged for future orders! 

Old towns, fascinating museums, cultural experiences, wonderful food, and some of the best wines in the world will all be part of your relaxing break in the South of France. What’s not to like about that!

The Best Places to Visit during March/April in Europe

After the gloomy days of winter, it’s great to plan a trip and enjoy the longer daylight hours, Easter festivities, and fresh blooms of spring. Europe has an abundance of fabulous cities, parks, historical sites, and cultural festivals to enjoy before the heat of summer takes hold. Treat all your senses to a feast of color, fragrance, and beauty in one of these outstanding spring destinations!

Barcelona, Spain

Mosaic wall in Barcelona
Barcelona, Espagne

Temperatures are just about perfect for visiting Barcelona in March and April, ahead of the summer crowds and cruise passengers. Plan a themed trip, ticking off the seven UNESCO-listed projects of modernist architecture by Antonio Gaudi.

With a keen eye for color, the avant-garde architecture of this 20th century Catalan artist can be seen at Casa Battlo on Passeig de Gracia. This iconic mosaic-clad home has a “dragon’s back” roof and tortoiseshell skylights. Neighboring Casa Mila (aka La Pedrera) shows that even an apartment block can be a show-stopper! More Gaudi commissions feature in Parc Güell, but his crowning glory is the magnificent Sagrada Familia Church. The exterior is a breathtaking apparition of sculptures and symbolism while 18 bauble-topped spires are covered in Venetian mosaics. Ride to the top for panoramic city views.

Paris, France

Brown concrete building in France
Notre Dame, Paris, France

Paris is a very special city to visit at any time of year, but in spring it is decked with pale pink cherry blossom (cerisier in French) throughout the streets and parks. Wander through this city of romance admiring the white and pink blossom trees that shed their petals to lie like confetti on the grass and sidewalks. You’ll find fairytale blossoms near Notre Dame and Montmartre, and around the Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter.

Head to Parc Georges Brassens or Parc Monceau and stroll around photographing the laden boughs of blossom. Best of all, the Champ de Mars is packed with cherry blossom trees providing the perfect setting for admiring the iconic Eiffel Tower in the background.

Rome, Italy

Blue waters and tall buildings
Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy

For many tourists, a trip to the Eternal City of Rome is a pilgrimage of faith, and when better to visit than during the Holy Week of Easter? Gather with around 70,000 worshippers in St Peter’s Square for the Holy Mass and Urbi et Orbi blessing by Pope Francis on Easter Sunday. It’s a very moving experience.

Tickets are free, but you need to apply well ahead. Spend the rest of your time exploring the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and peaceful Villa Borghese Gardens. Don’t forget to toss coins over your shoulder and make a wish at the Trevi Fountain! Feasting on outstanding pizza, pasta and gelato go without saying.

Seville, Spain

Tall brown buildings and green flowing water
Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

Spain again, this time in the southern city of Seville where temperatures are balmy and skies are bright. The historic city streets are alive with orange blossom in this season. The white flowers may be inconspicuous, but the heady fragrance is unforgettable! Santa Semana (Holy Week or Easter) is celebrated with huge parades featuring religious statues, banners, golden monstrances, and priceless solid silver objects carried through the streets as part of the Passion of Christ.

The sombre mood gives way to merriment as part of the Feria de Abril (April Festival). Locals dress in colorful Andalusian costumes and there is dancing, live music, traditional flamenco performances, eating, and celebrating on the streets. The tasty seafood and aroma of giant paellas sold on the markets are well worth making the trip.

Keukenhof Tulip Fields, Netherlands

Rows of tulip fields
Tulip fields, Netherlands

The famous Keukenhof Flower Gardens in the Netherlands open from 24 March to mid-May, 2022. Where better to celebrate the tulip season than in one of the largest and showiest flower gardens in the world? Located in Lisse, the landscaped gardens offer a sensational display of over 7 million flowering bulbs, providing a rainbow of color.

Tulips, narcissus, daffodils, hyacinths, iris, and lilies deliver an unforgettable display of nature’s beauty along with a pervading scent of sweet blooms. Once the hunting grounds of Castle Keukenhof, the gardens are now one of the most visited attractions in the Netherlands – and you only have eight weeks to visit and enjoy them.

Saalfield, Germany

Multi colour painted eggs
Painted eggs, Germany

In Germany, spring is synonymous with new birth and “Ostereierbaum”, which means “Easter Egg Tree”. Wherever you visit in Germany in spring, you will see trees hung with colorful painted eggs. This is a long-standing German tradition, bringing a branch indoors and decorating it with hand-painted eggs. However, this charming celebration has taken on new significance in the town of Saalfield, Thuringia. In 1965, the Kraft family began decorating an apple tree that stood in their garden.

More eggs were blown, hand-painted, and added to the tree until it was laden with over 10,000 pretty eggs! It became a national attraction in its own right after being featured on TV. In 2016, the giant project was taken over by the city of Saalfield and moved to a tree on Blankenburger Strasse outside the Alte Poste Restaurant. You can see more Ostereierbaum trees all over the town and in the castle park. However, the holder of the Guinness Book of Records entry is the Ostereierbaum at Rostock Zoo, with over 76,000 eggs covering a red oak!

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Orange walled buildings surrounded by blue waters and rocks
Dubrovnik, Croatia

The historic coastal city of Dubrovnik is a summer haven for swimming and sightseeing, but for foodies the best time to visit is March. This is the peak season for oyster harvesting and the city has many street fairs and festivals to celebrate in gastronomic style.

Head to the Old Town and nearby Ston and Mali Ston for the best places to find fresh seafood. Not a fan of oysters? Then visit this red-roofed city for the clear blue skies, wildflower meadows, Old Town architecture, and the chance to explore film locations featured in Game of Thrones without the usual crowds!


Make plans for a spring break and you’ll be surprised at how beautiful Europe can be in March and April.

Spooky Places in Europe to Set the Scene for Halloween!

It’s officially spooky season 🎃

As fall sets in, Halloween provides some fun events to liven up the dark evenings in late October. We’ve got some fantastic castles, historic houses, and uninhabited mansions that make a great tour experience by day….but would you sleep well in those dark and draughty chambers after dark?

From powerful Barons and headless women to prisoners and even animals, we feature some of Europe’s spookiest sightings to get you in the mood for Halloween….

Top 7 Fall Walking Routes in Europe

Fall is the perfect season for engaging in a trip with more physical activity. Days are bright but without the steamy energy-sapping heat of summer. As the shadows lengthen, fall color can be spectacular. Europe has so much to offer, from river valleys and famous wine routes to alpine meadows, dark lakes, and lofty mountains. Now’s the time to polish your hiking boots, pack your camera and join nature in a final fling outdoors before winter sets in.

Let’s take a look at the walking routes we’ve chosen…

Fun Ideas for Family Travel in Europe’s Capitals

Europe has some of the world’s most legendary, exciting, and historic capital cities. Just like families, they are a blend of generations. Why not plan a legendary family trip to Europe, perhaps to mark a milestone birthday or anniversary?

Here are some of the great cities in western Europe with some suggestions for more off-the-beaten-path places to include in your itinerary. 


Best street food in Europe: Deliciously local

Travel is all about new and different experiences, and nothing does it better than food. One of the best places in the world to find tasty local street food is Europe. It’s a great way to sample seasonal food and local delicacies, often unique to that region or town.

Join us on a smorgasbord of delights as we tour 10 hidden corners of well-known cities to add flavor and spice to your amazing European trip.

Monaco: An Aristocrats’ playground

This week we should be hearing the roar of the engines and the excitement building up to one of the last existing Formula 1 street circuits in the world – Monaco Grand Prix. Instead, the streets are silent and racing enthusiasts have to wait until May 20, 2021, for the next race day.

V-E day 75

Today we celebrate the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. Let us take some time to reflect on the enormous sacrifice of people from all walks of life and praise the courage of those American and Allied troops who gave so much to ensure we can all enjoy the freedom we share today.

Christmas Food Traditions: a flavorsome journey around Europe

A week until Christmas, so it’s time for some European Christmas delicacies! This is the period of carols and kind words, wonderful lights and decorations, presents and hugs from friends and delicious food, enjoyed with family. Each culture is unique and has plenty of Christmas customs with rich history, traditions that are proudly celebrated to this day. Now, get ready, as we will take you on a mouth-watering journey and show you the best Christmas food traditions in Europe.


Countries in spotlight: Portugal, France & Italy


Europe for Couples

Europe is home to some dreamy places. In fact, at Finest Journeys we think it is hard to find a European city that isn’t cute and quaint. But does it have places that are romantic enough for you to Honeymoon in Europe? Although, when we mention that, we aren’t talking about the well-trodden paths that lead most couples to Paris and Lisbon. If you are thinking of going off that path, then you may be in luck!

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