Provence, France

Captured on canvas by Van Gogh and Cézanne, Provence is a picture of bold primary colours and bucolic landscapes. Travel the area and you'll pass scented lavender fields, chestnut forests and silvery olive groves as you make for beautiful medieval cities and hilltop villages. But it's not all rural chic and perfect panoramas. On the southern coast, Marseille, the region's tough, compelling capital exudes a gruff, edgy charm. One of the Mediterranean's great ports, this is the ideal place to try bouillabaisse, Provence's legendary fish dish.