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Sitting up high overlooking the town

Chapelle Notre-Dame de Beauvoir, Moustiers Sainte-Marie, France

You will see this 14th-century Romanesque and Gothic chapel from all points in Moustiers Sainte-Marie since it is perched on a rock 830 meters above the town. It sits on the site of an AD 470 temple. To visit, you must climb up the stone stairway, past 14 stations of the cross and a waterfall. […]

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View from the hilltop

Moustiers Sainte-Marie, France

Moustiers Sainte-Marie is located at the entrance of the Gorges du Verdon and is a good base from which to explore the area. With a few restaurants and hotels, it’s by far the most populated town in the region. The village is tucked between two limestone cliffs with an aqueduct at the base. Moustier is […]

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Gorges du Verdon, Haute Provence, France

We were so excited to see Gorge du Verdon, known as Europe’s Grand Canyon (I have not seen the U.S. canyon, but I was prepared to be impressed). As luck would have it, we hit this area during a rainy spell. We’d had big hiking plans, so we spent a day glancing hopefully at the […]

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Provençal Roadside

We were sad to leave the coast, but Provence’s interior roads offered a few treasures. I felt like I was in a science-fiction movie when I saw these fascinating rock formations lining the highway. While standing in one spot by the side of the road, I saw these two churches.

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A windy view

Antibes, France

Antibes is another seaside town that started off as a fishing and trading center, only to turn into a resort area in the 19th century when wealthy Europeans began building summer homes. 16th-century ramparts surround the town. We caught the Marché Provençal on place Masséna in the old town. Among the slew of artists and […]

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Along the Côte d’Azur, France

After we left Marseille, we drove south then traveled east along the coast. Since we visited Nice and Monaco last year, we only drove as far east as Antibes then cut up to the Gorge du Verdon. We knew the drive would be picturesque, but this route has back-to-back jaw-dropping views! The Côte d’Azur is […]

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There are abundant tight walkways

St Tropez, France

So this is what all the fuss is about! I expected to be underwhelmed with St. Tropez, but was instead seduced by the charming fishing village-turned-luxe resort town. Artists were the first outsiders to flock to sunny St Tropez. Signac, Matisse and Bonnard all cherished the unique light and churned out a number of masterpieces. […]

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Full harbor

Bandol, France

We like Bandol wines, so when we saw the sign by the side of the road, we had one of those “Really?! Really?!” moments. Alas, we did not have time to visit any wineries, but instead wandered through the very miniscule village, along the beaches and the harbor. The colorful seaside homes and crowded harbor […]

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Entering the old town

Hyères, France

This is the Côte d’Azur’s first resort town. The old town sits atop a hillside, about four km from the sea. The town is very compact with lots of narrow streets and old houses painted in typical Provençal pastels with contrasting doors and shutters. Famous residents included Robert Louis Stevenson, who lived at the Grand […]

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Fort St-Jean

Vieux Port, Marseille, France

This is Marseille’s birthplace, where Greek settlers landed in 600 BC. The Greeks set up a trading post in the hills on the north shore. The port remained the center of Marseille’s maritime life until the 19th century, when the port proved too shallow for steamboats. 13th-century Bas Fort St-Nicolas and Fort St-Jean used to […]

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