Post Last Modified – May 25, 2020
Enjoy Premier Golf Holidays In Southern France
Golf was always a passion of mine for many years until a stubborn neck injury forced me to downsize to mini-golf! I traveled to many parts of the world, always with golf clubs in hand. This guest post features not just golf, but the beauty of Southern France.
Our family visited this part of France a few years ago on a Mediterranean Cruise Holiday and the coastal area is beautiful. I hope you enjoy part one of Golf Vacations in Southern France.
But Why The South of France You Ask?
South of France – Part I
Whilst France remains the most popular global destination for tourists, the shining jewel in its tiara must be the South of France.
Condensing thousands of years of history, art and culture with the glamour of Hollywood and the allure of fabulous golf courses is a daunting task. Having lived here for the past ten years and unashamedly fallen in love with the area, I will give it a shot.
Well, many before me have also fallen in love with the area.
From Brigitte Bardot to Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly to F Scott Fitzgerald. Not to forget Jacqueline Kennedy/Onassis, Angelina & Brad, Johnny Depp and many many more. Add in the likes of Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso and you get the picture (excuse the pun).
In this article, the focus is on the area from the Italian border, westwards to the mighty Rhone River. This region is called PACA for short and stands for Provence and Cote d’Azur. It has been a magnet for the rich and famous, even the infamous, and Victorian Brits and wealthy Russian aristocracy, helped bring the area to prominence.
Having said that, a certain Hollywood icon called Grace Kelly, later Princess Grace, certainly helped propel Monaco into one of the most famous destinations in the world. The local football team bus has the phrase “like nowhere else” and I certainly won’t argue.
With a penthouse costing in the region of $500 million and a bottle of champagne available at nearly $400,000 is it any wonder? With there being more billionaire residents than anywhere else in the world and 1 in 3 residents are millionaires, is it any coincidence that life expectancy, just short of 90 years old, is the highest on earth?
Regions History Dating Back Thousands Of Years
Chateau Miraval France
However, for thousands of years visitors have found the South of France simply irresistible. Greeks and Phoenicians and even Roman legions, some led by a certain Julius Caesar, have arrived and left indelible impressions.
Vines can be traced back thousands of years and some of the Roman architecture is the best found anywhere outside of Rome. Indeed by a strange coincidence, the Catholic Church moved its headquarters from the Vatican in Rome to Avignon for a number of years.
The Palais des Papes in the walled City of Avignon is a remarkable legacy of this period and their hunting lodge Chateauneuf du Pape, gives its name to the area nearby that produces some of the best wine in France.
Talking of wine, did you know that Chateau Miraval, owned by Angelia Jolie & Brad Pitt, produces a stunning rosé wine?
Famous Artists From The South Of France
Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh, along with many other famous artists, found the light inspiring which led to the creation of many famous masterpieces.
Did you know that Picasso is buried in the grounds of his chateau near Aix en Provence? Indeed not far from the final resting place of Cezanne and also not too far from Arles where there are amazing Roman monuments and also, where Vincent Van Gogh painted some of his stunning works.
You can sit and have a coffee in the famous ‘Cafe with Yellow Awning’ or follow in Vincent’s footsteps and see some of the sights he immortalized.
You can also visit nearby St Remy de Provence where Nostradamus was born and where the daughter of Princess Grace, Princess Caroline sought comfort in the family home after the death of her husband Stefan Casiraghi.
Something For Everyone In Southern France
Casino Monte Carlo
From little fishing villages to the second largest city (and port) in France, Marseille, the coast has many alluring spots. One little fishing village that changed its identify somewhat was a certain St Tropez.
Today, many of the little fishing boats have been replaced on the quayside by super yachts. The tiny little streets are a memory of how it must have been and it is certainly the favourite spot to see global icons from every walk of life.
Beach restaurants like Club 55 always have ‘Star’ clientele!
Eze French Riviera
However away from the azure waters, there are simply beautiful little hilltop villages under the cobalt skies. Like Eze, St Paul de Vence, Les Baux and many more.
But don’t take my word for it, these places have been officially voted among the nicest in France.
Chateau la Coste in Provence
There are numerous hidden gems that will take your breath away. Like the Chateau la Coste in Provence, the realized dream of an Irishman who has kept a centuries old vineyard, but allowed modern famous artists and architects to create unique and probably priceless works of art.
The owners friends like Bono arrive by helicopter and once there you can truly understand why.
There Are Numerous Southern France Golf Courses
Terre Blanche Golf Course France
I haven’t even mentioned the Fifty plus golf courses. As golf has been played here for over 100 years, it is no surprise really to find the names …
➡ Csar Alexander III;
➡ Gary Player;
➡ Robert Trent Jones;
➡ and Pete Dye to name but a few.
I would suggest that probably the most exclusive golf club in the world, it doesn’t have a website or GPS coordinates, lies somewhere in Provence. The stunning Terre Blanche, once owned by Sean Connery, is also truly a top course, well actually two courses.
Domaine de Manville Golf Course
As well as the old we have the new. The family owned Domaine de Manville in Provence is not yet a year old and the 5 star hotel and course will no doubt turn into a classic. Talking of classic, Seve Ballesteros designed his only course in France in the heart of Provence, Pont Royal.
I hope you have enjoyed this unconventional, whistle stop tour of PACA; however I would need to be a Pablo or Vincent to paint a picture of such a stunning and authentic part of the world!
I’ve also listed an Official France Tourism link below to their website for your convenience. It’s filled with excellent information on everything this beautiful Country has to offer.
John Wiggins Founded Chardon Luxury Golf Breaks after moving from Scotland, the home of golf, to the beautiful Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France in 2005.
Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂
I am happy to present this collaborative post in the hopes of offering some helpful travel inspiration and information to you.
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