The Perfect South of France long-weekend

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Published On

May 13, 2024

The August community has the art of travel perfected to a tee - sharing their recommendations via our platform Valeria, no-one is short of things to do!

It's no surprise that we live and breathe the South of France; whether it's the year-round weather, the range of amazing restaurants or how Chic the french are, we can't get enough! With our homeowners advice, we are whisking you off for a long weekend in Valbonne - relax and unwind, it's time to chill and eat the most delicious food.

Thursday Arrival

Craving a quick getaway, with Valeria you could book a trip on Saturday and be ready to go the following Thursday - we love this flexibility to fly off peak and whenever best suits our homeowners.

Touch down at Nice international airport

Nice international airport is very well connected with international flights from all around the world, attracting nearly 12.1m passengers in 2022 alone. Despite being the third busiest airport in France, after Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget, it is surprisingly small and easy to navigate. Grab your bags, pick up the rental car and let's get going to enjoy this weekend.

Welcome home!

After a short drive through the picturesque fields and hills of Provence, you will arrive at your beautiful Provence style August home, ready and waiting for your arrival. The beds will be made, fresh towels laid out, and who knows there might even be a bottle of rosé waiting for you so that you can start your holiday in styling. All you have to do is choose your room and crack that bottle open. You are home!

First dinner in Valbonne

Whether it's an early dinner or late supper, for your first meal, why not indulge and sample the gastronomic delights that the region of Provence has to offer? There are almost 80 Michelin Star restaurants with 100s more Michelin Recommend restaurants so you can't go wrong and plus it would be rude not to!

A short drive away is the colourful village of Valbonne where you can enjoy a dinner in one of the many restaurants this charming village has to offer. Spend your first evening wandering through the Place des Arcades and picturesque old village centre to dust off your French with your ordering skills. What are you in the mood for?

A cosy atmosphere and refined french cuisine?

An absolute must-try is the Michelin recommended restaurant 'La Table by Richard Mebkhout'. In the heart of this charming village, this pocket handkerchief-sized restaurant is in the hands of an experienced chef, who’s worked with the best. He signs a succulent, market-fresh 'Retour du marché' set menu that changes every week. It is just 'délicieux!'.

A typically French restaurant inspired by Provencal seasonings and flavours?

Head to 'Le Bistrot du Sommelier', also situated in the heart of Valbonne, this restaurant offers simple traditional food, using only fresh local products. And, as the name of the restaurant suggests, let yourself be tempted by their great wine recommendations!

An ambient atmosphere and spices?

We definitely recommend you visit the family-run restaurant 'Le Pigeot'. Situated near the top end of the village, La Pigeot is beautifully decorated and the air is filled with delicious spicy aromas. Specialising in Moroccan cuisine, all dishes are served in a traditional manner, where diners can seat themselves on a carpet and tagines are served in cone-shaped cooking pots.

Friday

Valbonne Friday food market

Make sure you also stop by:

  • 365 Fromages : The local cheese shop owned by a friendly passionate man in the old part of town. All the French cheese you can think of!
  • Vallis Gastronomie : A French grocery that is well stocked with Mediterranean regional specialities located in the town centre.

Lunch at home

Now you've grabbed some delicious items from the food market, come home and unwind - you may not even need to leave the house for the rest of the weekend. Take a leisurely lunch, prep some delicious salad, a charcuterie board and some fresh orange juice, or a cheeky glass of wine to see yourself into the weekend.

Afternoon by the pool

Afternoon activities

Just in case the weather isn't at its best, or for those who prefer other activities, your August home is ideally located so that you can enjoy a few swings or see the nearby sights by pedal power:

For the golf addicts

Golf courses aren't what is missing on the French Riviera! The Golf Grande Bastide and the Victoria Golf Club are both under 10 minute drive from your home.

For the cycling enthusiasts

You can rent bikes and get them delivered to your door with France bike rentals.  

The most stunning natural feature of the entire Côte d’Azur is the Massif de l’Esterel, a coastal mountain range of red-ochre rock which forms the backdrop to some of the classic images of the South of France. Therefore, doing l'Esterel is an essential part of any course. Start from Mandelieu and go to St Rapheal and then come back.

Dinner at Le Clos St Pierre - Chemin de Saint-Pons, Le Rouret

Another day, another dinner. A short 10 minute drive from your home is one of our favourite places which we can't recommend enough. Nestled on the church square of a neighbour village, Le Rouret, the warm and welcoming Le Clos St Pierre is headed up by Daniel Ettlinger, Michelin Star awarded Chef. A taste of Provençale, loved by locals and guests from afar, expect nothing but a beautiful stone setting experience and the freshest market-sourced seasonal ingredients. Bon appétit!

For a slightly less formal feed, try “Le bistrot du clos” - it is literally next door. The beautiful restaurant is set around a central bar, with an accompanying large patio surrounded by stone walls and shaded by trees.

Saturday

Good morning...

In France, breakfast is not breakfast without the smell of fresh baguettes, croissants and pains au chocolat, especially on holiday.

Walking distance to your home is 'Les petits pains d'Emilie', a typical French bakery where you'll find enough freshly baked pastries and bread to feed the whole family. In fact, it is so close that you might be tempted to send the kids to get it for you!

In the mood for some fresh air?

The South of France has some of the most stunning scenery and finest places in the world for hiking, especially in Provence which hosts an immense amount of hiking trails. So, rather than being on packed beaches with 90% of the tourists when the sun is out, why not make your favourite outdoor activity exploring the hilltops of your French Riviera backyard.

No matter your fitness level, breathing in the fresh air, one step at a time in the wilderness, taking in the stunning scenery with your friends and family, or even just an audiobook - always a good idea.

One of our favourite hiking trails is the "Sentier de la Brague Walk", takes just about 3 hours to complete from Valbonne. Going along the Brague river valley, you also end up visiting the Medieval hilltop town of Biot, so what better way to explore the South of France.

This path is fairly flat and it's mostly in the shade of dense forest which makes it a great walk for a hot day. It follows the Brague river through a forest filled with alder, hazel and ash trees for those budding horticulturalists. Depending on the time of year, this hike is a forager’s dream - fig trees, blackberry bushes and wild mushrooms can all be found amongst the undergrowth but always double check before nibbling away! Along the way, you'll come across a sprinkling of waterfalls that it will honestly make you feel like you're wandering through an enchanted forest.

Lunch in Biot

Once in Biot, head to one of the many little 'cafés' for a well-deserved lunch - we recommend 'Gallerie des Arcades' that serves very traditional tasty Provençale food and where you'll be able to admire paintings from Fernand Leger and Picasso.

Visit La Verrerie de Biot

Famed for its glass production which started in 1956 when Eloi Monod created "La Verrerie de Biot", La Verrerie de Biot is stunning. There are now eight different glass studios in Biot - many of them can be visited free of charge. At La Verrerie there is also an international glass gallery with major artists' work on show, so while in Biot it is worth stopping by for a bit of culture.

Al fresco Dinner at home and cosy TV night

After a busy day of exploring, or a lazy day around the pool, grab some inspiration and the food you bought earlier and test your culinary prowess in the outdoor kitchen, followed by an evening of classic films.

Sunday

A day in Menton

Only a short distance away from your August home, this spritely town is the perfect alternative town for relaxed child-friendly beaches with plenty of aquatic sports to encourage a plunge into the Mediterranean.

Head to the beach...

Sablettes beach is quiet and sheltered and has a lovely view of the town of Menton and its beautifully painted houses. The shallow waters are perfect for youngsters, and the beach is large with packed-down sand. Wonder around the old town of Menton, and have lunch in one of the many small cafés.

Visit the gardens of Menton

The town of Menton is the last rail stop on the glamorous Côte d'Azur before you get to Italy. Its temperate Mediterranean climate is perfect for producing citrus which is why it is coined the Lemon city. It is also home to the most exquisite gardens.

Here are just a few of many you can choose from:

  • The Jardin Serre de la Madone
  • The Jardin botanique exotique de Menton ('Le Val Rahmeh')
  • The Maria Serena garden

Sample the taste of Italy before you leave

With Menton being very close to Italy, its influences can be felt throughout. Enjoy dinner by the waterfront at "Leone" for coastal dishes or "La Trattoria" for tasty family size pasta portions before you head back to your August home to pack and pause this holiday until next time.

With August, holidays don't have to end; no need for holiday blues, because the holidays can be endless! Fall in love with your home every time you visit - speak to an advisor today to learn more about our collections and the August way now.