Autumn is perfect for a holiday in the south of France. In the summer the glitterati flock to the sandy beaches and smart towns but as the leaves change colour and the grapes are harvested, the Cote d’Azur takes on a whole new identity.
Enjoy the relaxing peace and quiet of the beautiful countryside and bask in the pleasantly warm sunshine flooding the hills, pastures, lakes and beaches of southern parts of the country – the temperature often reaches mid-20s in autumn.
A luxury villa makes your south of France autumn holiday truly special, a chance for the whole family to unwind, indulge and relax in style. Return from a day’s activities to your own private retreat and choose whether to dine out or light the log fire and have a delicious meal with local food and wine in your own dining room or even outdoors – autumn is often mild enough for al fresco meals. Most of our villas have heated pools and several have indoor pools – perfect for family fun, whatever the weather!
City breaks in Saint Tropez and Cannes
Saint Tropez in autumn is balmy and beautiful. Sit in a café or bar by the port and watch the world go by (perhaps the stars too, as this town is a favourite with the likes of Kylie Kardashian and Kate Moss) when the superyachts moor and get settled for the winter. Kids love building sandcastles and going for a paddle and in early autumn it’s still warm enough for a full dip. Plage de Pampelonne and Plage des Salins near Saint-Tropez offer endless hours of bucket-and-spading!
Head further east to Cannes, hop on the regular passenger ferries out to the Lérins islands, where the children can hunt for shells in the rocky coves and discover the secrets of the legendary Man in the Iron Mask. There are plenty of diving and sailing schools still open in October along the coastline.
There’s plenty to do in the south of France and lots going on in autumn with the week-long Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez in October. One of the world’s favourite sailing events, you will find racing and sailing enthusiasts from around the globe racing and partying in the historic port town.
At the end of October you’ll enjoy fantastic shopping as the much anticipated Grande Braderie de Saint Tropez brings the sale signs and reduced price tags to the boutiques and shops in the city. This is your time to snap up some bargains and get yourself kitted out in the St Tropez look.
Autumn in Cote d’Azur
Enjoy the wonderful countryside, coastal towns and hilltop villages of the Cote d’Azur like Tourrettes sur Loup, Eze-sur-Mer, Cap d’Antibes and Grasse. In autumn the vineyards turn russet, flamingo pink and burnt orange, the garrigue, scrubland in the interior, is like a quilt of gold. Sunsets are deep coloured and memorable. The weather is just right for the kids to enjoy cycling routes, and its’s one of the best time for nature lovers to visit the south of France.
Nice is hard to beat. In fact Harry and Meghan have been spotted here on several occasions – they’re clearly fans of the Cote d’Azur. Nice in autumn is far less crowded and though some restaurants are closed, those that are open are the ones catering to locals so you know you’ll enjoy authentic dishes.
Stunning autumnal countryside tours
For hikers, ramblers, nature lovers and visitors who are just looking for peace and relaxation, late September to early November is one of the best times of year to visit rural France, particularly in the hillsides of the south
Activities and wine tours
France offers a great choice of outdoor activities and many people prefer the cooler conditions of autumn for fishing or golf. Also for taking to the impressive network of tracks and paths for cycling, horse riding, walking and trekking through leafy lanes, coastal routes or the spectacular and immensely varied scenery of national parks. The autumn hues provide colourful subject matter on which to practice – or even learn – the skills of painting and photography.
A wine tour is a great idea for autumn, with the chance to take in harvest celebrations. Smaller vineyards offer tastings and the opportunity to learn more about grapes, wine and that mysterious ‘terroir’ factor. You also have the satisfaction of selecting and buying splendid local wines that are simply not available at home.
With regular flights from a good range of airports in the UK – autumn’s the perfect time to take a family break