South of France -
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Provence, including the Côte
in the south-east of France, Provence’s coastline stretches from Bandol to Menton,
on the Italian border. The region, covering an area of approximately 30,000 sq
km, contains five ‘departements’ [counties] – Bouches-du-Rhone, Vaucluse, Alpes
de Haute-Provence, Var and Alpes-Maritimes - and has a population of some 4,275,000
people. The region has some 300 days of sun per year.
purchasing a Property? Costs
involved in purchasing property include expenses due to the public notary [invoices
settled by the public notary on behalf of the purchaser], transfer tax [taxe de
mutation]equal to approx 5% of the selling price, property registration, stamp
duty, and VAT on a new construction. Costs amount to between 8% and 10% of the
selling price. In addition, an annual amount of property tax, called Taxe d’Habitation
, similar to ‘rates’ in the UK, is payable each year on January 1. There are exemptions
for people over 60 years
pools and safety measures. If you’re thinking about purchasing a property
that has a swimming pool, you should be aware of the new French law concerning
safety measures. Not only must all children be supervised by an adult when at
a [private] swimming pool, but every pool must either have fencing around it or
have an alarm system. In each case, the system must be approved by the appropriate
French authorities. The local Mairie [town hall] will have details.
up a business in the south of France? The Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of Nice has established a specific department, La Maison des Enterprises [Companies
Association] to help companies in setting-up an organisation on the Riviera.
British Chamber of Commerce Cote d'Azur is well worth contacting and their website
the exception of the superb red wines from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Provence has not
traditionally been noted for its great wines. only recently gained its status
for fine wines. Formerly it had carved itself a reputation for agreeable wines
and in particular for its rosé. But, more recently, an increasing number of wine
growers are making first-rate products to challenge those from Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Particularly good are the reds and rosés from the Bandol area, located between
Marseille and Toulon.
are many first-rate golf courses in the region. Here is a selection: The Monte
Carlo [33 (0)4 93415070] boasts some wonderful holes and has dazzling views;
Golfe de Sainte Maxime [33 (0) 4 944926], with magnificent views over the
bay towards St Tropez; Esterel [33 (0)4 94 825500] designed by Robert Trent
Jones; the challenging Saint Endreol [33 (0)4 94992299]; the longest established
golf course in the south of France, the Cannes Mandelieu Old Course [33(0)4
92973200]; The Riviera Golf Club [33 (0)4 92974949]close to Mandelieu,
accuracy is of the essence; the pricey and dramatic Royal Mougins [33 (0)4
92924969]; the pleasurable Saint Donat [33 (0)4 93097660], also designed
by Robert Trent Jones; Cannes
Mougins [33 (0)493757913] is an satisfying and fairly demanding course;
Close to Grasse at 600 metres is Claux-Amic [33 (0)4 93605544], which offers
fine views and excellent golf. The Gary Player designed Taulane [33 (0)4
93603130] is considered by some to be the greatest course in the south of France.
popular in Provence, boules is played throughout the year. Most villages throughout
the region boast at least one ‘piste de boules‘. Although many of the players
are in their 60s and 70s plus, the game is attracting an increasing number of
young players. Pastis, Marseille’s most famous drink, is synonymous with
the game as the après-match drink but chilled rosé is as popular.
and Galleries For
art lovers, Provence is also a delight. Those who have left some
of their treasures from their lives in this region include leading
lights of the Impressionist movement, Paul Cézanne and Pierre
Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, cubist Fermand Léger, Marc Chagall
and Pablo Picasso. The tourist office in each town supplies full
information on what’s on, where and when but here is a small selection
to consider: Musée Picasso in Antibes; Musée National Fernand Léger in Biot,
Musée Fragonard in Grasse, Musée Matisse in Nice, the Fondation
Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence and the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art
Contemporain also in Nice.
to the plethora of museums, many of which have constantly changing exhibitions,
there are a multitude of events throughout the year. For those with eclectic tastes,
time will be the only limiter to around the clock entertainment. January has The
Monte Carlo Rally, February the Mardi Gras Carnival in Nice, March the International
Flower Festival in Cagnes-sur-Mer, April the Féria Pascale in Arles to celebrate
the beginning of the bullfighting season, May the Cannes Film Festival, the Monte
Carlo Tennis Masters and the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, June the Son-et-Lumière in
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Juan les Pins and Nice devote much of July to their celebrated
Jazz Festivals, August the Fete du Jasmin in Grasse and sparkling firework displays
all over, September the Montgolfiades Internationales in Haute Provence for balloonists,
October the Foire international de Marseille with music, folklore, arts and crafts,
Monaco celebrates its National Day with spectacular firework displays in November,
and the Fete du Vin in Bandol in December. And those mentioned are but a fraction
of this feast of events throughout the year.
optimism for the French Riviera
there is now increasing competition from the resorts in Eastern Europe and the
growing influence of low cost airlines, the French Riviera is now struggling to
maintain market share in the tourism industry. The strong Euro had not helped
and Eastern Europe has more availability and is less expensive.
industry experts are a little more optimistic after the 2005 season. In Nice for
example there was a 4 per cent increase in hotel guests in July compared to the
same time in 2004 according to the Syndicat des hôteliers Nice Côte d'Azur. They
indicated that the hotel occupancy in Nice was at around 70/75 per cent in 4 star
and deluxe hotels and 80/85 per cent in other categories.
Click on image for self catering in the south of France
are several factors contributing to the upward trend. There are now low cost routes
into Nice from Bratislava and Budapest and the Euro is not quite as strong as
it had been. The region has been using the Internet more for promoting travel
packages with the annual events like jazz festivals and there has been a change
in which hotels have adapted to the needs of their customer base.
main visitors to the region are principally foreign tourists from Britain, Belgium
and Germany and more Americans are returning to France. Nice Côte d'Azur airport
has reported a 6 per cent increase in passenger traffic. There is also a booming
cruise liner market with Monaco and Cannes reporting a 55 percent cent rise in
passengers. They still have a long way to go before they regain their previous
dominance and the job now is to keep people interested.
directives reveal that the future of regional tourism is believed to be concentrated
on two main markets. Leisure - affiliated with events, special interest tours
and cultural highlights. events. The other is Business tourism - Conferences.
find your ideal French Holiday Home, enter our partner site jmlvillas.com
At a Glance Guide to Nice - Destination France - Spring 2010 More
Cannes Film Festival
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Historic Monaco Grand Prix - Grand Prix de Monaco Historique
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of Driving in Europe
is an excellent selection of Self catering holiday rentals for the the South Of