Welcome to the

South France Villas Blog

Saturday 30 July 2011

GRASSE - The International Capital of Perfume

Travellers have long been attracted to the pleasures of Grasse. Queen Victoria herself returned for several winters to sojourn in a luxury vacation home in this medieval town. While there are many things to do and see in the area, it is the clean crisp air scented with flowers that seduces those who visit. The altitude and the looming hills behind the town create the freshness in the atmosphere - a contrast to the beach towns of Provence, which often swelter in the Summer.


Grasse began making Perfume way back in the 16th century as almost an afterthought. Making perfume was simply a side-project to a solid industry in manufacturing gloves - when perfumed gloves were briefly in fashion, Grasse decided to manufacture their own perfume. Yet today the gloves have been all but discarded, with the Perfume industry having been gradually built up to become a dominating figure in the Perfume World. Today, Grasse produces around two-thirds of France's perfumes. Part of the reason that Grasse has been so successful is because the particular climate of the region is perfect for nurturing delicate flowers which struggle in other regions.

There are three historic perfume manufacturers in Grasse which provide free guided tours. You will learn about perfume and how it is made and later will have the opportunity (without obligation) to browse and buy their products.

  • Galimard 73 rte Cannes tel: 04 93 09 20 00
  • Fragonard 20 bd Fragonard tel:04 93 36 44 65 fax: 04 93 36 03 50
  • Molinard 60 bd Victor Hugo tel: 04 93 36 01 62
Interesting Perfume Facts:
Other Recommended Attractions
Olive Oil is also produced in Grasse:
41 Chemin des Paroirs,Tel: 0493 701 674, or 0618 188 415


- A perfume contains between 10 to more than 250 ingredients.

- A scent that smells good on one person will not necessarily smell good on another. This is because the interaction between the fragrance and the body may produce a different scent perception in different people due to their body hormonal balance.
- Diets, way of life and medication will affect or influence your sense of smell
- The sense of smell is sharper in the afternoons
- Fragrance lasts longer on oily skin than on dry skin
- Some researches have shown that people without a sense of smell lead a less happy life than people who can smell. There are different types of fragrances that trigger emotions and affect the mood of people who smell it.

Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence - Located in an 18th-century mansion, this museum features archeology and ethnology as well as Provencal painting, pottery and history.

Notre Dame du Puy cathedral - Dating from the 11th Century, (rebuilt in the 17th c.) this cathedral boasts a huge 18th century clock tower and an art collection featuring Rubens.

Festivals - The Fête du Jasmin or La Jasminade has been celebrated every year at the beginning of August since 1946. These days, it is a big event; decorated floats drive through the town, with young women throwing flowers onto the crowds which line the streets -- everyone gets soaked by the natural perfume of the flowers. There are also fireworks, free parties, folk music groups and street performers. Also popular is the annual 5-day international exhibition of roses ("Expo Rose"), which occurs in May.

Royrie Domaine - Domaine de la Royrie Royrie88 Chemin des Haute Ribes,Tel: 0609 866 327
Sainte-Anne Oil Mill - Moulin à Huile Sainte Anne
138 Route de Draguignan,Tel: 0493 702 142

For those feeling adventurous, this is a fantastic area for caving. If you are a member of a 'spelunking' organisation, there are many caves available to explore. However even those who are inexperienced in caving can get involved. Cavers can descend into the Trou du Curé (60 metres underground) or explore the cave at the Saint Sauveur waterfall. For those who don't fancy journeying underground, there are also many hiking trails in the area.

As you can see, a holiday in a beautiful villa in the Grasse region allows you to experience a large variety of acitivites, a unique culture and history - all within a picturesque setting.

Nearby Villas

We have a selection of gorgeous luxury villas nearby to Grasse. We are expanding our villa rental program in this region all the time, always looking out with a sharp eye for the best quality villas in Cote d'Azur.

We have two luxurious holiday villas in this region which we recommend in particular:

AM003A Villa Ferrage
AM019 Tourettes-sur-Loup

Thanks for reading, and we hope that you have learnt something about this wonderful region in France - whether solely for interest or whether you are researching a holiday in the South of France. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Contributions by Katarina Byrne

Tuesday 28 June 2011

SETE- The Venice of Southern France

This romantic port town has been named the Venice of Southern France for its numerous canals and quaint streets. It is also admired for its beautiful beaches, scenic views and the rusty ochre tones in which the buildings are painted.

Although the area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, it was sparsely populated until the 1600's, when work on the creation of the port of Sète began. The construction of the port and city took 15 years, and the work included the building of dozens of dykes, basins, bridges and aquaducts. Today, Sète's pretty port is not only a drawcard for travellers, but still functionally important, acting as a major centre for fishing in France.

The town is divided into two parts - the Port and Mount St Clair.

The Port:

Sète is great for water sport enthusiasts: sailing, swimming, scuba diving, water jousting tournaments -- Sète has almost every water sport you could imagine! The closest beaches to the town are Lazaret Beach and Corniche Beach, which are lovely. You can also see some of the fastest sailboats in the world, as Sète is where the French do their training for the America's Cup.

Jousting tournament
-- Every summer, the "Joutes Nautiques" is celebrated in Sète on the canals. It is similar to the traditional medieval jousting on horseback, except that the 'horses' are special canal boats, manned by ten oarsmen, and the knight gets a swim in the canal if he is 'de-horsed'! The winner of the tournament gets their name engraved on a shield, which can be seen on display in the Musee Valery.

Gastronomy -
Sète has many good restaurants and a number of delicious local specialties:
Bourride - monkfish in garlic mayonnaise or "aioli"
Bouillabaisse - A hearty stew combining fish and shellfish
Le Tielle - A fish and tomato tort
La Rouille de Seiche - A mix of fish, tomato sauce and aioli.

Daily markets
- The daily open-air market offers an array of fresh produce. On Sundays, there is a great flea market.

Canal du Midi - The historic Canal du Midi ends in Sète, 240km from where it begins in Toulouse. The Canal was originally constructed as a short-cut, saving a whole month of sailing, and avoiding hostile parts of Spain and Barbary pirates. The Canal du Midi was opened officially as the 'Canal Royal de Languedoc' on May 15, 1681. The Canal is quite complex, consisting of intricate locks, bridges, aqueducts, dams and a tunnel. It was still used commercially until 1989, but now the Canal has become more of a tourist attraction and place for leisure activities - such as rowing, canoeing, fishing and cruising on luxury hotel barges.

Mount Clair:
The climb up from the port to Mount St Clair is well worth the effort. There are great views of the village and port below, and also of the Pyrennees. The main cultural attractions are also to be found up here too.

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Salette
- This church has been many things - first, it served as a fort for the Duke of Montmorency, but when it was dismantled in 1632, is became home to hermits. The hermits spent their time charitably, praying for the souls of fisherman and lighting fires to warn of approaching pirates. In 1897, the structure was converted into its present form - the church, decorated with scenes of life in Sète.

The Sailors Cemetary (Le Cimetiere Marin) - This cemetary was constructed in 1843 as a resting place for sailors. It was built using old rock that had been used in the building of the port itself. The cemetary was immortalised by the poet Paul Valéry, in his poem "Cemetery be the Sea". Valéry was born in Sète and is buried here.

Musée Valéry - Nearby to his resting place in the Cemetary is a museum dedicated to Valéry. Here you can find not only mementos and works of the poet, but also exhibits relating to the history of the town. There is also a room devoted to another famous inhabitant of Sète - the singer Georges Brassens.

Sète is also a good base for exploring the South of France - it is nearby to many other attractive towns and cities, such as Montpellier, Agde and Beziers.


We have two stunning modern villas in this area that we recommend in particular.

HE063A Villa Setoise
HE065A Villas St Clair

Chic, spacious, and overlooking the beach, a holiday in either of these beautiful holiday homes would make for an unforgettable experience.

Luxury greets you from arrival, with a champagne reception awaiting you. The lovely soft furnishings ensure that you'll immediately feel comfortable and at home. Both villas contain many conveniences, such as an espresso machine, home cinema, sauna, children's games room, board games, wifi and secure on-site car-parking - as well as much more.

There is even a 4 half days complimentary water sports package, organised and provided by our in-resort water-sports manager and instructor. Enjoy water skiing, a kayaking trip, and paddle boarding. There is also a good range of bicycles for adults and children and our in-resort staff can also arrange additional activities and excursions as part of the service

But wait, there's more! Fresh bread, pastries and papers will be delivered on a daily basis, and the bathrooms are stocked with gorgeous l'Occitane products.

A holiday in one of these villas is truly a luxury experience!

For more information or to make a booking, please visit our website. If you have any questions, please contact us - we would be more than happy to respond to any queries you might have.

Contributions by Katarina Byrne

Tuesday 31 May 2011

The Appeal of the Camargue - Wildlife, the Knight's Templar & the Wild West

At first the Camargue doesn't sound so appealing. Originally a marshy wasteland, good for nothing except the extraction of salt - it is now a productive agricultural region, hosting an abundance of amazing wildlife and attracting one million travellers each year.

 Ever since the Knights Templar established themselves here, a subtle human influence upon this unruly land has allowed it to blossom into one of the loveliest natural settings in France. Yet despite the years of taming by the human hand, there is still the feeling that things are wild and uncontrolled here. From the mysterious shifting colours of some of its signature wildlife* to ancient legends and relics, the Camargue captivates those who venture here

This French version of the Wild West is relatively young, despite that the cowboys and bullfighting seem to be such a concrete part of the local culture. Less than one hundred years ago, the region re-invented itself. Farmers transformed themselves into Camargue cowboys, reviving the local economy and creating a new cultural lifestyle for the region. 

 The bulls themselves have roamed the area since the time of the Romans but have become especially popular since bullfighting was cultivated in the region. Those who wish to turn their passion for the bulls into a profession can study the art of bullfighting in the region. Arles is home to a bullfighting school where about thirty young students learn the basics of bullfighting each year.


One of the main attractions on the area is the protected wetland and marine area, called the 'Parc naturel régional de Carmague' (the Regional Nature Park of the Camargue). 

 More than 400 species of birds make this area their home, including flamingos. About 10,000 flamingo pairs live in the lagoons of the delta. There is a pink pigment in the plankton which they eat - it is this delicious snack which gives the birds their striking pink colour.

Most of the park is closed to traffic, so the best ways to get around are by bicycles or horseback tours. We particularly recommend the horseback option - because you won't be riding just any horse! The Camargue is home to the Camargue horse - they are a species unique to the area and the the only known descendents of prehistoric horses that roamed Europe during the Palaeolithic period. Horses are available for the day from stables along highway D570 between Arles to les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Speaking of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer - we definitely recommend that you pay this town a visit during your stay in the area. It's like Mediterranean seaside resorts were 70 years ago; quiet and gentle with unspoilt and uncrowded beaches. It will be interesting particularly those interested in History or Christianity. 

 According to legend, this is the cradle of Christianity in Western Europe. It is said that three Marys - Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacobé, Mary Salomé - and Sarah, their servant, sailed to this town after the crucifixion of Jesus and settled here, bringing the story of Jesus with them.

 Relics of the Saints can be found in the church. The town has become a major destination for pilgrims and each year there is a big festival in celebration and memory of the women. 

 For those who are of a secular inclination, it is still a charming town to visit. In the early twentieth century it became a literary and artistic centre, with visits from creative people such as the writer Ernest Hemingway and the painter Picasso. The film industry took advantage of its natural beauty, using it as the setting for various films.

Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer -- Van Gogh

The best times to visit are in Autumn and Spring, as you will avoid the worst of the tourists and mosquitoes. Autumn is an especially good time because the bird population swells as birds fly south to Africa for the impending winter.

You can experience the region's beautiful scenery via film - these movies were both set in The Camargue:
'Crin Blanc' ('White Mane') - a 1953 children's film which won the Cannes Film Festival's Grand Prize
'Friends' - Filmed in 1971, with a soundtrack featuring Elton John

* Shifting Colours? Some of the wildlife here changes colour! The Flamingoes lose their pink hue and fade to white if they don't eat enough plankton and the famous White Camargue horses are brown or black when born, gradually becoming white after a few years.

Where to stay?

We have several fantastic luxury holiday villas nearby. Please visit our website and browse our holiday villas in Provence. If you would like any assistance in choosing a charming villa for your holiday, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Contributions by Katarina Byrne

Saturday 30 April 2011


Corsica has been occupied by the Greeks, the Romans, the Vandals, the Visigoths, the Saracens, the Lombards and the Genoese. For a brief period it managed to declare itself an independent republic, and it created a constitution for itself (written in Italian). And since 1764, Corsica has (mostly) been a region of France, after the French purchased it from the Republic of Genoa.

Corsicans, however, are quite resilient - they have managed to maintain a local identity throughout all the upheavals. Despite that pretty much everyone knows French, which is the language of commerce and media, the majority of the population speak a language native to Corsica. The island also has some autonomy from the French government and is exempt from paying certain national taxes. So a trip to Corsica is an interesting experience - you’re still technically in France, but it is a very different holiday from a sejourn on the mainland. If you’ve already been the Southern France, then a holiday house in Corsica could be the perfect place for your next French holiday!
One thing which Corsica can laud over other parts of the Mediterranean is that it is relatively unspoilt, having had less development. Nature lovers (and also those who prefer to admire the scenery from afar!) will fall in love with the magnificent mountains, abundant wildlife and the one thousand metres of coastline.

What to do?
The most popular activities in Corsica are centred around the beaches - such as swimming, snorkeling, wind-surfing and scuba diving. Not to mention basking in the sun on the sand! However there’s more to Corsica than just intoxicating yourself with the sun and surf -- there are also some fantastic walks on the island. There are some stunning routes - both on the coast and in the mountains. There is something for everyone, from easy strolls through beautiful scenery to much more intense and challenging hikes. (The ‘GR20’, which winds its way from the southern part of the island, up to its north-western corner, takes most people about 2 weeks to complete!) Corsica values the land and environment and has set up National Parks to protect its natural treasures. The Natural Regional Park of Corsica was primarily created for the protection of rare animal habitats, but it also just plain stunning. The Scandola Nature Reserve is incredibly beautiful, and it is a bit of an adventure to get there, as the only route into the reserve is by boat -- the effort is generously rewarded by the sights which greet you.


The Island is also popular with those with a penchant for History, as Corsica was the birthplace of Napoleon. Napoleon's birthplace in Ajaccio, a large and simple residence, is now a museum devoted to the Bonaparte family in Corsica. The museum evokes the life on Corsica in the 18th century, and introduces the Bonaparte family through a number of exhibits through the rooms of the house. Corsica’s history is much richer than Napoleon, however. You can also visit the ruined battlements of Castello, and learn of medieval adultery, family feuds, revenge killings, betrayal and treachery. There are also a number of interesting museums, displaying artifacts and traditional Corsican tools, clothes and other items. The oldest human skeleton ever found on Corsica (called the ‘Dame de Bonifacio) is on display in a museum near Bonifacio - the skeleton is thought to be an ancient 8,500 years old!

When to visit?

Corsica is typically Mediterranean with its hot, dry summers and mild winters. Up in the mountains it can get a little cool - so keep this in mind if you plan to do a bit of hiking through the mountains. Also, unless you are spending most of your time at the beach,the heat of the summer days can be a little oppressive if you aren’t used to hot weather. The wet season comes around during the winter months. So probably the most pleasant times of year are the Spring and Autumn.

Where to stay?
We have several beautiful villas available in Corsica. http://www.southfrancevillas.com/holiday-villas-in-corsica  One of these is the CR001A Marina di Fiori, located in Porto-Vecchio with stunning views of the Porto-Vecchio gulf. Porto Vecchio is a very popular town in Corsica - and with good reason. The beaches here are among the best on the island and there are so many flawlessly beautiful beaches and coves in the vicinity that you could spend each day of your holiday exploring a different beach. The beaches are mostly child friendly, with their shallow, warm water -- although only the most popular beaches have lifeguards. A villa in Porto Vecchio also makes a great base to explore other parts of Corsica, such as the nearby mountains and prehistoric sites inland from the town including those at Tappa and Sotta.

The Villa itself is very comfortable, with fantastic views and filled with sunlight. With five bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen (plus two kitchenettes), living and dining room and a private pool, this spacious villa is perfect for a large family or two families vacationing together -- with plenty of space for everybody! There is also a two-car garage, which is very convenient -- hiring a car whilst in Corsica is a very good idea, as public transport can be patchy and taxis are quite expensive.


If you have any questions or would like to discuss your Corsican holiday in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We would be very happy to help.

Contributions by Katarina Byrne

Tuesday 15 March 2011


Marseilles is busy, crowded, dirty and rough around the edges. But Marseilles is also one of the most progressive and forward-thinking cities in the country. People tend to either love it or hate it. Maybe it’s not the ideal location to spend your entire holiday, but this historic, lively, colourful city deserves at least a day of exploration.

Marseilles was France’s first city. Beginning its life as a Greek port, it has continued to be an important trading place, which has resulted in a bubbling melting-pot of a city. People from Africa, Italy, Spain, the Middle east, Indo-china and many other places have ended up settling here. This is one of the things which makes Marseilles such an interesting, diverse and thrilling city. It has remained an important city in France since it was first settled - it is second largest city in the country, after Paris.

As a city which relies heavily on trade for it’s livelihood, the ports are a important part of the city. Today, the new port has taken over as the major commercial centre of the town. 100 million tonnes of freight pass through this port annually, making it the third largest port in Europe. However the old port still has an important place for the fishing industry. The old port (“Vieux-port”) puts on quite a show when the fisherman gather to auction of their catch. It is definitely a highlight and throws you back a couple of centuries.

Marseilles hosts many cultural events and festivals. In fact, it was recently designated as the European Capital of Culture for 2013, so there has never been a better time to see Marseille. Over the next few years, as it gears up for the responsiblity of culturally representing Europe, Marseille's artistic and cultural scene will only become stronger and more vibrant. Truly a city of contrasts: well-known not only for it's Opera houses, theatres and art galleries but also as a centre for French hip-hop and rap. Marseille was recently dubbed by a blogger as the 'San Francisco' of Europe - a thriving port city with a large immigrant community and a keen artistic edge.
One of the highlights of the city is the Noailles market. The streets in this area are lined with Arabic and Indo-chinese shops - you feel as if you have stepped into a hybrid arabic-asian bazaar. You can find this area near the Noailles subway stop.

For natural beauty, visit the Calanques. This is a stunning area featuring fjords and limestone cliffs to the south of Marseille. Also, 'La Corniche' makes for a great afternoon stroll with it’s spectacular views of the sea and the Chateau d’If (the prison where ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was set.) However, if you are looking for beaches, Marseilles is far from the jackpot. They can often be polluted and dirty. Concentrate on the other things which the city has to offer, and go elsewhere for swimming and sunbathing!

The public transport system can be a little chaotic -- the locals are vocal in their disapproval of the irregular buses - however the subway and tramway are not too bad and are a quick option for crossing the city. They are certainly a better option than driving your car -- the fearlessness of the inhabitants can be intimidating, especially on the bewildering,narrow streets in the tangled heart of the city.

The best cuisine in Marseilles is predictably seafood based. The ‘moules-frites’ (mussels and fries) are simple and inexpensive, but definitely a highlight! For around 10 euros, you can pick up a feast from one of the outdoor stalls. Eat them sitting on the harbour, overlooking the French Mediterranean. Also not to be missed is the ‘Pastis’ - a popular alcoholic drink in the region, which is made from aniseed and spices.

Where to stay

For a holiday we would probably not recommend Marseilles as the most tranquil destination! Rather, we suggest it as a day-trip from a home base somewhere close by. For example, you could stay at VU025A Maison Kad, which is located in the hills of the Luberon, in a lovely town called Goult. It is about an hour and a half drive from Marseilles - but a whole world away in temperament!

Only 200m from the village of Goult, Maison Kad is a charming Provençal style house. With its own private garden and pool with Roman steps. It has been beautifully restored and tastefully decorated with a lovely blend of traditional charm and modern comforts. Features include a stone fire place and terracotta tiles, a Moroccan shower room, a south-east facing covered solarium, balcony and shady terrace.

Contributions by Katarina Byrne

Tuesday 15 February 2011

PERPIGNAN The French Catalan Capital

Nestled right down in the bottom corner of the country, Perpignan is something a a hybrid. Though it is now officially part of France, this area has been bandied around between powers for centuries - sometimes finding itself a French city, and at other times part of Spanish domains. It also acted as a place of refuge for Spanish refugees fleeing the Civil War in the 1930's, which has strengthened the town's links with Spanish culture even further. It is not a surprise that when visiting this town today, both Spanish and French cultures are strongly represented.

Today, Catalonia is a region in north-eastern Spain which borders France, of which the capital is the vibrant city of Barcelona. It is an autonomous community within Spain, with its own government - a result of the independence of the Catalonian people. For 40 years during the mid 20th century, Catalan culture was suppressed. But it has enjoyed a gradual renaissance since the 1980's. This sense of pride in the Catalan culture can also be seen in Perpignan, where the street signs are written both in French and Catalan. And in 2008, Perpignan became the Capital of Catalan Culture in France.


Perpignan is also known as the "City of Festivals". It is famous for its full calendar of events and festivals - with Summer being especially busy.

Le Festival d'Ete de Perpignan aka "Estivales" is held during July. It was created in 1987 to showcase Mediterranean culture and features an eclectic program of dance, music, street theatre and film.

Another popular festival is a free 3 day festival called Guitares au Palais which occurs every August. The festival has a broad main stream focus with pop related music as well as traditional acoustic guitar music and alternative music

Then for two weeks in late august / early September, the international festival of photo journalism festival "visa pour l'image" takes place. It features the greatest photo-journalistic work from around the world in exhibitions across the city, as well as film screenings, symposiums and conferences. It's a wonderful experience for those who have a passion for photography. For more details, see: http://www.visapourlimage.com/index.do

And during the summer, make sure you experience "Les Jeudis de Perpignan". Every Thursday the whole city centre is animated with free music in cafes and squares throughout the old town. It's great for all ages!

Perpignan and the surrounding area is a great destination for food-lovers. (And who doesn't love food?!) Due to the rich alluvial soil, abundant sunshine and water, crops flourish in this area.

The city's main marketplace is on Place Cassanyes. This area was once home to the Jewish quarter, and now the population has shifted to Gypsy and North African families. It feels much more like Algiers than the streets of southern France. The Cassanyes market is open every day until about 1 pm. There isn't much you can't find here and it's especially good on the weekend. Specialties include local sausages, olives, spices, snails, cheese, bread and locally grown fruit and vegetables.

On the Rue Fabriques-Nadal, you can find a fantastic restaurant by the name of Cafe Sansa. Once the haunt of the artist Dali, it now drips in nostalgia with its bullfighting posters and maritime memorabilia. It's full of atmosphere and very popular with the locals.

Perpignan is a lovely city -- a meeting place of cultures different cultures with a vibrant atmosphere. The Catalan artist, Salvador Dali, one even went so far as to declare the city's railway station the centre of the universe, as he apparently got all his best ideas sitting there in the waiting room. This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we certainly think it is a charming city!

Where to stay?
AU016A Villa Peyriac-du-Mer

This lovely stone 200 year old 'Bergerie' is perched up on the hillside above the small picturesque town of Peyriac-de-Mer and has stunning views over the salt water lagoons and the Mediterranean sea, vineyards and hills. It is set in approximately 2 hectares of land with a well kept garden area around the pool with fig trees, olive trees, a few palms and plumbago. It stands by itself and has no immediate neighbours.

The house is only 3kms from Peyriac-de-Mer so it is possible to walk or cycle to town and get to the small beach, which is just out of town. It is within minutes drive of the salt water lagoons, where live flocks of pink flamingos, or any of the other beaches around Narbonne. The house has been beautifully restored retaining many of the original features like beams, a winding 'Provencal' staircase and an 'old style' ceiling in the living room. There is an independent 'Studio' with a separate entrance looking out on to the pool.

The pool has a covered summer kitchen with a bar, nice garden furniture, a large built-in BBQ, a pergola and a tiled terrace around the pool.

At 62 kilometres from Perpignan, it is an easy drive to visit the city for a day.

Contributions by Katarina Byrne

Sunday 16 January 2011

NARBONNE - c'est bon!

Narbonne first bloomed when the Romans made it the Capital of their first colony outside of Italy. It remained a vital port throughout the Middle Ages until the harbour silted up in the 14th century. Narbonne then fell out of prosperity until the 19th century, when the wine industry helped get the city back on its feet.

One of the main attractions in Narbonne is the cathedral, which looms over the city with its gargantuan size. When the town was first drawing up the plans for the cathedral, it was actually planned to be even bigger! However if it had been built according to plan, it would have meant destroying parts of the city walls, so it's probably a good thing they decided on building a more modest version. There are sweeping views from the cathedral of the surrounding vineyards from the towers - although at 194 feet tall it is a little bit of effort to haul yourself to the top..!
Narbonne is famous for its fantastic markets. There are markets for food, second-hand clothing, crafts, organic produce and flowers. The food markets on Thursday and Sunday morning are particularly popular: you will find more than 300 shops settled alongside both sides of the Robine Canal, on the Promenade des Barques and the Cours Mirabeau. Nearby, you will find the Baltard Pavillion, which celebrated its centenary in 2000. It houses the 'Halles Centrales' which is one of the best food halls in France. Food lovers will be ecstatic with the choice of incredibly fresh gourmet food from more than 70 shops.

If you love a glass of wine, Narbonne is great base for exploring the nearby Minervois wine region. Vine were first introduced here by Roman legionaries. The wines in this region are mostly reds. They are a full-bodied wine and are good even when quite young.

Narbonne also has a good beach. It is a large, spacious beach and very lively. In summer, it's large enough that you can escape the crowds and have your own space. There's also quite a lot for kids - with trampolines and swings and merry-go-rounds.

Villas near Narbonne
We have some delightful villas near Narbonne.

south france rental
south france villas

AU023A Maison Henri and it's sister property Nadine AU022A Maison Nadine

These properties are perfectly placed for exploring Narbonne and the surrounding area.

If you have any enquiries or would like to make a booking, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Contributions by Katarina Byrne