Avignon & Around
For stays in July, reserve by January (if not earlier); expect minimum-stay requirements and premium rates. Ask if there's parking – it's usually extra. Most hotels close for several weeks in winter. Orange and Carpentras, both 30 minutes away, are dull by comparison, but make less-expensive bases.
Cannes & Around
Cannes is an important conference centre and hotels fill up with every event, so try to plan ahead if you want to stay in the city. Search and book accommodation online with Cannes Hôtel Booking, run by the tourist office; and check out Riviera Pebbles for apartments in Cannes and Antibes.
Presqu'île de St-Tropez
Jutting out into the sea, between the Golfe de St-Tropez and the Baie de Cavalaire, is the St-Tropez peninsula. From swanky St-Tropez on the northern coast, fine-sand beaches of buttercream yellow and gold – easily the loveliest on the Côte d’Azur – ring the peninsula. Inland, the flower-dressed hilltop villages of Gassin and Ramatuelle charm the socks off millions.
Ringed by incredibly preserved 800-year-old stone ramparts, graceful Avignon's turn as the seat of papal power bestowed the city with a treasury of magnificent art and architecture, none grander than the massive medieval fortress and papal palace, Palais des Papes. In romantic counterpoint, Pont d'Avignon – of nursery-rhyme fame – spans halfway across the Rhône.
Walking among the couture shops and palaces of La Croisette, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the global downturn was all media hype. There is as much wealth and glamour as ever, and admiring Ferraris and Porsches and celebrity spotting on the liner-sized yachts are still favourite Cannes pastimes.