Hi everyone! After spending a few days in Barcelona, my euro work trip continued on to Southern France. I must admit that before this, most of my knowledge of France came from my three previous trips to Paris. This was the first time I was able to explore some of Provence & the Southern coast!
There were three small places I visited on my way to the infamous Riviera that I wanted to take time to share with you all. Each of these places feel like you’d stepped back in time to the medieval ages.
To truly feel like you’re in a fairy tale, Carcassonne is a village inside a fortified wall. Although most of the city’s revenue comes from tourism, back in the day this was a strategic hub for trade because of its proximity to the mountains & Spain.
It only takes a few hours to stroll the small streets, pop in & out of local shops & drink a glass of cold rosé. You may even recognize Carcassonne from some scenes in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It is now considered a UN World Heritage Site.
While continuing on to the coast, another worthy stop along the way is Pont du Gard. This is one of the most well preserved Roman aqueducts that can be seen today. It still brings water to the French city of Nimes. (You can also find another in-use Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain too!)
It costs 8.50 euros for an adult ticket, which grants you access to this bridge & the museum. Inside the museum, they have a movie playing on repeat where you can learn a bit more about the aqueduct and it’s historical significance. For practical information on tickets & entrance times, click here.
After spending some time visiting Pont du Gard, I recommend making the journey to St. Paul de Vence for a traditional Provencal meal & some shopping!
When I first arrived here, I stopped at Maison Bremond, one of the oldest markets in St. Paul de Vence. It’s been in business since 1830 & worth poking around in.
One of the best thing about going inside are the samples! You can actually ask to sample just about anything in the store and the workers are very eager to help and make recommendations. To view some of their delectable products, check out their website here.
St. Paul de Vence is the perfect place for a picturesque stroll. There are many art galleries you can visit as well, and some small artisan shops for soaps, sweets & souvenirs.
It felt like around every corner you turn is even prettier than the next! Some of my pictures look like they could be postcards.
Overall, Southern France has a lot more to offer than just the Riviera. There is history, art & fairy-tale villages to be explored. If you’re spending time in this area, I recommend planning a day or two to get away from the hustle of the beach towns and visit the medieval sights in the countryside.
Stay tuned for our next post about the French Riviera!
Au Revoir, Amanda