Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

Nice — Grass — Gurdon — Castellan — Verdon Gorge

Distance: 151 km

Travel time without stops – 3 hours one way. With full stops – 6 hours.

On the route there will be a toll highway A8 – 2.9 euros for the trip Nice-Cannes. You can follow the free roads along the coast (+40 minutes journey).

When you can go.In any season. The cool mountains of upper Provence always contrast perfectly with the warm Cote d’Azur. In June and July, lavender fields bloom, but in winter there are almost no tourists and prices for housing and food are much lower, while the fabulous nature and cozy villages and towns are no less beautiful. Temperatures in December-February are from 0 to +10. Until late autumn, nature here pleases the eye with yellow-red colors, and in the spring poppies bloom. In any case, at any time of the year, traveling along this route will require warm, windproof clothing: the region is famous for its cold winds – mistrals.

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Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

Most of this route passes through the Préalpes d’Azur (Azure Pre-Alps) nature reserve. The road will always delight you with beautiful views. In June and July, lavender fields can be observed blooming along the entire route. Lavender in Provence is also used in cooking. Look for and try local dishes with its addition. For example, a very tasty dessert – creme brulee with lavender flowers.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

The first stop on the way from Nice will be the city of Grasse, a famous perfume center . This industry has long been the basis of the city’s economy. It was in Grasse that the famous book “Perfumer” took place. By the way, Ivan Bunin lived here for almost ten years.

In Grasse we recommend visiting:

1. One of the perfume factories (for example, Fragonard).
2. Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Puy,

built in the 12th century, which will interest all history buffs.
3. International Museum of Perfume (Musée International de la Parfumerie),

where a variety of perfume samples, including ancient ones, await you. In addition to the main exhibition, temporary exhibitions are periodically held. The entrance ticket costs 4 euros. The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:30.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

It is unlikely that you will find such a huge selection of local perfume products anywhere else. Therefore, from Grasse it is worth bringing yourself perfume, eau de toilette, aromatic oils, aromatic soaps, creams, sachets, candles, and much more. In addition to perfumes, lavender honey and olive oil will be excellent souvenirs.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

Photo: angystearoom

The next destination is the small village of Gourdon, located on the top of the mountain, at an altitude of 758 meters. It is included in the list of the most beautiful villages in France, so it definitely deserves attention. The population of Gourdon is only about 400 people, and this place immediately captivates with its peace and tranquility. Be sure to admire the panorama of the surrounding area from the observation deck. The main attraction of the village is the small medieval castle, which is open to visitors, but in fact it is quite enough to admire it from the outside if you are limited in time. In addition to the castle, in Gourdonthere are several art galleries, a restaurant with a great view and good souvenir shops.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

The next point on the route is a small medieval town Castellan, located on a rocky plateau. It is quite possible to walk around it length and breadth in less than one hour. Be sure to go up to the Notre Dame du Roc chapel,

located on a sheer cliff and take a photo on the charming arched Pont du Roc bridge at the foot of this cliff.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

North of Castellana, 5 km from the city, there is Lake Castillon (Lac de Castillon) with clear turquoise water. There is a good access to the water with parking and rental of catamarans at the Le Sirocco recreational center (Base de loisir nautique Sirocco, GPS coordinates: 43.875096, 6.516996). But if time permits, take an hour-long ride along the eastern shore of the lake. There is a road there (D955),

with beautiful views. You can take it to the fishing village Saint-Julien-du-Verdon (Saint-Julien-du-Verdon),

there is a very beautiful sandy beach and a great opportunity to wet your feet in the cold water of a mountain lake.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

30 km southwest of Castellana lies Verdon Gorge. This is a giant gorge in limestone rocks, 700 meters deep (one of the deepest in Europe). An excellent panorama of the area is visible from the observation deck at the arched bridge Artyubi (Pont de l’Artuby). Artubiis an arched bridge 182 meters high, which is beautiful in itself. You can bungee jump from this bridge for about 100 euros (the cost depends on the number of people in the group). If you decide to take on this adventure, be sure to reserve your place in advance here. Jumps take place from April to November on weekends, in July and August – also on Fridays. After the jump you will be given a certificate stating that you completed it.

Why you should travel to the south of France by car right now

Breathtaking views of the mountainous River Verdon running through the gorge can be seen from the parking lot of the Balcons de la Mescla (GPS coordinates: 43.739704, 6.381789).

You can finish your road trip by staying overnight in one of the hotels in the vicinity of Castellana, and the next day continue with route #2 (Verdon Gorge 8212; Lake Sainte-Croix du Verdon — Moutiers-Sainte-Marie — Silence Falls). Another option is to go down the coast to the A8 highway and go to Marseille (about 3 hours) or back to Nice (about 2 hours).

Search for a hotel, book a room conveniently on the website or in the OneTwoTrip application.

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