Spend winter in the sunny South of France

  • Corsica

    © Atout France/PHOVOIR

    Corsica

    © Atout France/PHOVOIR

  • French Riviera

    © Atout France/PHOVOIR

    French Riviera

    © Atout France/PHOVOIR

  • Midi-Pyrénées

    © Atout France/PHOVOIR

    Midi-Pyrénées

    © Atout France/PHOVOIR

Spend winter in the sunny South of France Corsica fr

Let’s face it: the longer winter drags on, the more the prospect of leaving it all behind for milder temperatures starts to sound appealing. 

If you have the opportunity and you’re tired of heading to Florida to soak up those much-needed rays, the South of France presents an irresistible alternative. Between the easy living in the Midi-Pyrénées, the distinct character of Corsica and the glamour of the French Riviera, rest assured Southern France will satisfy your need for warm temperatures, sunny skies and a change of pace.

Iconic landscapes

Midi-Pyrénées: land of history, culture and innovation

Midi-Pyrénées is a region of wide open space and vast horizons, like the gorges of Tarn and Aveyron and the Lot valley. In the South, the region rests on the Pyrénées mountains lying on the Spanish border, whose summits reach 3,000 meters in altitude.

With its charming villages, rivers, canals, cities and more, the Midi-Pyrénées region is rife with opportunities for exploration.

Also known for its colourful and inviting gastronomy, the region’s cultural heritage has inspired many artists with its mixture of Atlantic and Mediterranean elements.

With several UNESCO World Heritage sites, from the Canal du Midi and Cirque de Gavarnie to the episcopal city of Albi and Causse du Larzac, the patrimony of the Midi-Pyrénées is awe-inspiring.

Corsica

Corsica is known as "the island of beauty", and for good reason: located 200 km from the French Riviera, the area of this island in the Mediterranean is more than two-thirds mountains.

Corsica’s unique beauty and the diversity of its sites are best admired from its coastline, from coves, ports, and a lively marina to cliffs and vast sandy beaches.

Heading inland, a variety of outdoor activities can be found. With plenty of hiking trails, opportunities for water and mountain sports and small villages to be discovered, Corsica’s natural and cultural heritage will certainly keep you busy.

French Riviera

Imagine a place so blessed by nature that you could encounter chamois, marmots, dolphins and Mediterranean underwater life all in one day: the French Riviera is above all a land of contrasts, offering a wealth of adventures. 

Between the white sand beaches of the Iles de Lérins and the beach resorts of Mandelieu-la-Napoule in Menton, there are plenty of water activities and opportunities for relaxation.

The countryside also has its share of renowned sites, like the perfumeries in Grasse, Saint-Paul de Vence and the Napoleon Route, which connects Golfe-Juan to Grenoble in 300 km.

For nature lovers, the area also has more intimate and privileged sites like a beautiful beech forest at the foot of the Sainte-Baume cliff, the high-altitude lakes in Ubaye or in the Hautes-Alpes, and the scented scrubland of the Maures and Alpilles mountains. 

Activities

Midi-Pyrénées

Ever wondered what it would be like to explore Mars and the rest of the solar system or see a meteorite up close? This unique park will take you on a full-on adventure through space- a great destination for families.

  • Lombrives grotto in Tarascon-sur-Ariège 

Take a trip inside the mysterious and strange world of this prehistoric grotto, where you will get to know the history and legends surrounding its marble caves and the rare minerals found inside them.

Lombrives Grotto

Bigorre’s Pic du Midi, one of the Hautes-Pyrénées most majestic summits, reaches 877 meters in altitude. As an open site to the public, the Pic du Midi is renowned as much for its astronomical observatory as it is for its stunning landscape. 

Corsica

  • Corsica natural regional park 

Spanning 350,510 hectares, or 40% of the island of Corsica across two departments, this massive park is a true natural oasis. And to the delight of outdoors enthusiasts, the GR20 long distance trail offers beautiful mountain views.

  • Golf de Sperone in Bonifacio

The Golf de Sperone is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses, above all thanks to its sixteenth hole where golfers are met with breathtaking views of the turquoise-blue waters below.

  • International Marine Park of Bonifacio

In this natural reserve located at Corsica’s southernmost point, you can explore the Lavezzi islands and the shores of Sardinia and dive into the amazing underwater world of this untouched area. 

French Riviera

  • Paragliding in Grasse

In a stunning natural setting, you can fly over the French Riviera’s most beautiful sites and discover its beautiful landscapes through a tandem flight with the help of a 41 square meter sail.

Ascendance paragliding school

  • Saint-Laurent du Var bird sanctuary

This wetland area with small marshes is located at the mouth of the Var and is home to rich variety of aquatic wildlife, a preferred food for birds. You can admire a many different bird species, from Turkish doves and robins to blackcaps and kingfishers.

Saint-Laurent du Var bird sanctuary

  • Riviera Garden Route

From the Rothschild Villa in Cannes to the Auguste Renoir garden in Cagnes-sur-Mer and Nice’s Parc Chambrun, the Riviera Garden Route encompasses sixty natural and man-made exceptional gardens. 

Events

Midi-Pyrénées

  • The Armagnac Flame, November 2013- January 31, 2014 

The Armagnac Flame festival travels throughout the vineyards in Gers, offering chateau and winery visits, meals, concerts and outings for cyclists, hikers and horseback riders right in the heart of wine country.

French Riviera

Mandelieu, an indispensable part of the Mimosa Route, celebrates its flower symbol.

For three weeks, the Biovès Gardens in Menton are taken over by incredible floats and decorations made up entirely of over 140 tons of oranges and lemons in this unique festival. The theme for the 2014 edition is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

During three weeks of celebration in Nice, this festival unites giant, colourful parades that take place day and night, with entertainment provided by over 1,000 musicians and dancers from across the world. The theme for 2014 is “King of Gastronomy”. 

Accomodations

Midi-Pyrénées

  • Les Castels de Sorgue, 5 stars

This truly exceptional house overlooking the village of Fondamente and the Sorgue valley offers a 200 square-meter panoramic living space complete with a kitchen, a dining area with a terrace, a pool table, grand piano, chimney and bar. It is also fitted with a Jacuzzi and outdoor pool for well-being.

Les Castels de Sorgue

Corsica

  • Sofitel Thalassa Porticcio, 5 stars

Benefiting from its ideal location facing the Ajaccio bay and Sanguinaires archipelago, the Sofitel Golfe d'Ajaccio Thalassa Sea & Spa is your ultimate destination for peace and calm. The hotel also has a private beach, thalassotherapy center, heated pools, charmingly decorated rooms and gardens.

Sofitel Golfe d'Ajaccio Thalassa Sea & Spa

French Riviera

  • Royal Mougins, 4 stars

Just minutes away from Mougins and the beaches of Cannes right in the heart of a large private estate, the Royal Mougins is a haven of tranquility, conviviality and refinement. The hotel is made up of 29 suites with private terraces, most of which offer panoramic views of the golf course and countryside below.

Royal Mougins