The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

7 months ago


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  • Good life france
  • Loire valley
  • French food
  • Brittany
  • Normandy
  • Paris
  • Provence
  • France
  • Wines
  • Alsace
  • Vineyards
Brimming with fabulous features combined with stunning photographs – inspiring, entertaining and informative destination features - Provence, Loire Valley, Normandy, Lyon, Brittany, Alsace and more. Delicious recipes, culture and history, what's new, the best tours and much, much more...

carries onto the deck.

carries onto the deck. Oysters cling to the walls and seabirds float on the calm surface waiting for fish to pop up. Relaxing on deck with a book, watching the wildlife, listening to the gentle lapping of the water in between stopping at some of the most beautiful and fascinating places in southern France – well it doesn’t get much better. Brutal but brilliant At Palavas-les-Flots we joined holiday makers and locals for a dip in the Med. It’s an unusual town, established as a customs fort and a fishing village late in the 18th century. Its fortunes changed in the 1950s when President Charles de Gaulle decreed holidays should be available for all people in France and had several purpose-built resorts created along the south coast – including here. Arles Roman Arena Stes Maries “Brutalism” is what they call the architectural style of the concrete apartment blocks that were rather hurriedly slung up. But no one cares, you don’t come here to sit indoors, the silk soft sandy beaches are endless, and the water is warm. A woman walked along the beach selling sticky, sweet donuts like something out of a 1960s French film and I half expected Brigitte Bardot to come trotting along. Sunbathers were stretched out in rows, and one of the Norwegian ladies from the barge whispered to me “I’m an undertaker and looking at all these bodies lying on the beach makes me want to tie a label to their toes” which made all of us laugh out loud. Old folk were sat sensibly under colourful parasols, the sea was full of people swimming and splashing, seagulls hovered overhead ready to swoop on anything that looked like it might taste good, little kids made sandcastles, it was easy to see why this place is popular despite the brutalist blocks. The Camargue Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is the capital of the Camargue. It’s the highest point in the area Palavas les Flots at just 3m above sea level. 80% of the land is less than 1m above sea level and so lots of dikes and dams have been built to prevent flooding and the salt water of the Rhône flows into the canals that cross the land. It’s a fertile area, rice is grown in the marshy lands which helps to combat the salinity in the soil which in turn helps the vineyards to flourish. Everywhere there are vast fields of sunflowers, grain and vegetables. Arles The town of Saintes-Maries is all about the yellow-stone church in the centre in which resides a famous statue. Legend has it that some disciples of Jesus, including Mary Jacobi and Mary Salome and a servant called Sarah, fled Palestine in a boat and landed on the beach here. They are said to have been buried in the crypt and the town has become a place of pilgrimage for gypsies whose patron saint is Sarah. The statue of her Arles in the crypt is covered in sparkly cloaks placed there by worshippers. It’s a festive and very colourful place. We stopped off at a ranch nearby to meet some of the famous black bulls and white horses of the Camargue and the guardians, like French cowboys and cowgirls, who herd them. Read more about the Camargue here. We stopped off at a ranch nearby to 18 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 19