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The Rough Guide To Provence & The Cote D'azur - Softcover

9781858288925: The Rough Guide To Provence & The Cote D'azur
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"The Rough Guide to Provence and the Cote D'Azur" gives detailed coverage of France's most famous region, from the glamour spots of the coast to the unspoilt inland villages and countryside. There is a 24 page full colour introduction with photographs of the region's highlights, followed by topical accounts of every town and region, from Marseilles and Nice to lesser known towns and villages. There are also critical reviews of the best places to stay, eat and drink - to suit budgets stretching from camping to casinos.

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When to go

Beware the coast at the height of summer. The heat and humidity can be overpowering and the crowds, the exhaust fumes and the costs overwhelming. For swimming the best months are from June to mid-October, with May a little on the cool side, but only by summer standards. As for sunbathing, that can be done from February through to October. February is one of the best months for the Cote d'Azur - museums, hotels and restaurants are mostly open, the mimosa is in blossom, and the contrast with northern Europe's climate at its most delicious. The worst month is November when almost everything is shut and the weather turns cold and wet.

The same applies to inland Provence. Remember that the lower Alps are usually under snow from late November to early April (though recent winters have had snow in Nice followed by no falls on the lower ski-resorts). October can erupt in storms that quickly clear and in May, too, weather can be erratic. In summer, vegetation is at its most barren save for high up in the mountains. Wild bilberries and raspberries, purple gentians and leaves turning red to gold are the rewards of autumn walks. Springtime brings such a profusion of wild flowers you hardly dare to walk. In March a thousand almond orchards blossom.

The only drawback with the off-seasons is the Mistral wind. This is a violent, cold, northern airstream that is sucked down the valley of the Rhone whenever there's a depression over the sea. It can last for days, wrecking every fantasy of carefree Mediterranean climes. Winter is its worst season but it rarely blows east of Toulon, so be prepared to move that way.

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  • PublisherRough Guides
  • Publication date2003
  • ISBN 10 1858288924
  • ISBN 13 9781858288925
  • BindingPaperback
  • Edition number5
  • Number of pages512
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Rough Guides
Published by Rough Guides (2003)
ISBN 10: 1858288924 ISBN 13: 9781858288925
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