So you’ve been working hard in the office and finally, that long-planned and well-earned break is coming up. Nobody (least of all us!) is going to argue that your holidays aren’t important, but what’s more important is making them memorable and getting the best experience possible – and maybe even treat yourself to something a little out of the ordinary.
With the majesty of the French Riviera and some amazing places to eat, drink and be merry, the South of France is the perfect place to treat yourself to something a little bit special. Our gorgeous selection of villas in the South of France are certainly a treat (not to mention the wide range of activities we can sort out).
But why stop there? There’s a ton of other things to do if you really want to push the boat out, and as you’ll discover by reading on, we don’t necessarily mean that as a figure of speech…
1. Take to the skies with France Montgolfieres
A hot air balloon is a great way to see the South of France’s glorious countryside stretching away beneath you, and what’s more (like a good few other suggestions on this list, as it happens) it’s almost unbearably romantic. Whether you’re tempted to try a flight for the adrenaline or more as an aphrodisiac is up to you, but either way it’s an experience you’re not likely to forget. France Montgolfiere Balloons has a great selection of flights across France, with the Pyrenees and Provence represented in the south.
2. Sample some of the world’s best caviar from Sturia Caviar
Is there anything more synonymous with luxury than caviar? Whether munched down on a canapé or sampled with some top-class vodka, there really is nothing better to make you feel like you’re revelling in luxury. Thanks to its association with culinary excellence, the South of France is no stranger to caviar, and Sturia Caviar specialises in some of the best – check out their website and indulge your inner gourmand!
3. Go truffle-hunting in Provence!
You can’t mention extravagant eating without mentioning the truffle. The elusive fungus has got a long and storied history in the South of France, with the prized black truffle even being named after the historic region of Périgord. As well as enjoying them in a variety of stunning dishes, why not take the experience to the next level and go truffle hunting yourself? Our friends at Winerist offer an amazing truffle hunting experience in Provence where you’ll learn all the secrets of truffle hunting, sample some yourself and even try your hand at hunting down some nuggets of ‘black gold’ yourself.
4. Enjoy the best meal of your life courtesy of Anne-Sophie Pic
We’ve mentioned before – and doubtless will again – France’s exemplary cuisine, so if you really want to treat yourself and your special someone to a real luxury treat, why not try one of the most expensive restaurants in the South of France? Anne-Sophie Pic is France’s only female chef with three Michelin stars to her name, and her restaurant doesn’t pull out any stops when it comes to providing diners with a once-in-a-lifetime foodie experience. Her signature dish makes the very best of the region’s offerings – Sea Bass with caviar, which was created by her father in the 70s.
5. Accompany your meal with a wine tasting
Or at least to accompany your new-found love of incredibly expensive food! If you’re taking your new role as a gourmand seriously, you’ll need to brush up on your knowledge of wine too. Luckily, the South of France is home to some of the world’s best vintages and literally hundreds of quality vineyards to choose from, and Bernard Magrez’s Luxury Wine Tours has several tasting experiences available at their Bordeaux winery, with the most expensive tailored especially to those who are looking for a few rare bottles for the cellar.
6. Live it up on a yacht with Aqua Cruise
An endearing symbol of conspicuous wealth, you too can join in the fun and games of the jet set and hire yourself a luxury yacht so you can party like a rock star. With boats that can accommodate anywhere from 20 to 200 people, you can enjoy a cocktail tour of the Côte d’Azur heading down to St Tropez from Cannes. Aqua Cruise offers a great range of options, and you can even organize a quayside charter if you’re worried about seasickness ruining your fun.
7. And if you prefer four wheels go with AAA Rental Cars
Speaking of transport, travelling around in style isn’t solely for the seafaring sort. Rental agencies such as AAA Rental Cars mean that you can belt around the beautiful countryside of Nice and Montpellier in an Aston Martin, a Lamborghini, a Maserati or a Rolls Royce. It’ll certainly turn driving to the beach into a classy excursion, and who’s going to say no to your ride turning a few heads in the sunshine?
8. Or go flightseeing in a helicopter over the Riviera
If your lifestyle is so envy-inducingly luxurious as it is,sports cars and yachts might be a bit passé. The next step, obviously, is to move onto helicopters! While a private whirlybird to spirit you to the helipad on top of the nearest club’s roof might be a bit of a stretch, a flight to take in the sights is much easier on the pocket. This great experience from Viator will show you the whole of the Côte d’Azur from the air, so make sure you’ve got your camera to snap some the glorious views.
9. Try your luck in Monte Carlo
In spite of everything else that’s going on around the Côte d’Azur, the ritzy, glitzy lifestyle of the region wouldn’t be the same without the high class (and high stakes!) haunts that you’ll find in the town and on the beachfronts. If you’re a bit of a risk-taker and have the appropriate attire for the roulette table (not everywhere enforces a dress code, of course, but a tux or the classic LBD will make you look and feel awesome) why not try out one of Monte Carlo’s famous casinos? The eponymous Casino de Monte Carlo is the most famous (and prestigious) of the lot, and who knows? By indulging a little, you might get lucky and be financing your luxury cravings for a good few years to come!
10. Or go for the ultimate package at the Monaco Grand Prix Lounge!
The Monaco Grand Prix is arguably one of the world’s most exclusive events – a multi-billion dollar sport hosted by one of the richest independent principalities in the world (remember, Monaco isn’t in France!) means a double whammy of decadence. You can take full advantage of everything luxurious on offer with one of the Grand Prix packages by Amber Lounge. You can watch the qualifications and races from a yacht, enjoy top-notch dining and clubbing and even meet some of the drivers themselves. As far as luxury experiences in the South of France go, you can’t get much more extravagant than that.
Let’s be fair, if you just want to indulge in the luxurious lifestyle of the South of France you might want to explore each place bit by bit. To help you choose where to go next and what to put on your list of ‘must dos’ check our regional travel guides to Dordogne, Aquitaine, Cote d’Azur, Midi-Pyrenees and Provence.
Looking for a full list of villas to rent this year? Check out our villa holidays page here.