Images of Montpellier, France

The fountain of Trois Graces in Montpellier’s Place de la Comedie

One of my greatest joys in life? Discovering a new place with a dear friend.

And should said new place be where said friend makes their home? Double joy, what with the personalized tour guide-ness of it all.

For example, there was that time I was on a road trip with my pal Christine and we stopped off to explore the place she’s lived as an American expat for the last umpteen years: 

Montpellier, the delightful capital city of the Languedoc-Rousillon region of southern France.

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Nice, Cote d’Azur — Real Nice

nice-france-umbrellas-cote-d-azur

At the end of my two-week journey through France, my one and only regret about Nice is that I didn’t have more time there.

Arguably the most famous seaside city along France’s Côte d’Azur, this is the kind of place to hang out for at least three days. You need to let it wash over you, like the Mediterranean washes the rocky shore. 

Or like a tired traveler leaning all the way back in a café chair, sipping a cocktail and staring off at the horizon. 

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Up in the Mountains of the Cote d’Azur

The ancient fortress town of Gourdon, in the mountains of France’s Cote d’Azur

It was late spring on my first journey to the French Riviera, and adventure beckoned. 

Fortunately, adventure also brought along a mini-van. 

Climbing aboard and taking a private, small-group spin around the romantic mountain towns and glittering coastline of France’s Côte d’Azur with Kensington Tours proved to be just the experience I’d hoped for:

Simply magnifique. [Read more…]

The Simple Charms of L’Isle sur la Sorgue

The Provençal town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue

Before I stayed in the world’s most idyllic country farmhouse/villa, Le Petit Hôpital, I’d never even heard of the Provençal town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue. But since the house was a mere five minutes down the road from the center of town, it wasn’t long before I discovered this small, watery city’s many delights.

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Swanning Around a Villa in Provence

Le Petit Hôpital, a countryside villa in Provence

Ever stayed in an 8-bedroom, 9-bath Provençal villa set along a quiet village backroad, beside an apple orchard in the South of France?

No, neither had I…until this past May.

Now I get why a villa stay is a truly wonderful vacation idea. And not just for the bragging rights, either.

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