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Southeastern France

Southeastern France is the primary tourist region of the country outside Paris and Ile-de-France, with a warm climate and azure sea, contrasting with the mountainous French Alps.

Southeastern France consists of the following regions: Rhône-AlpesLanguedoc-RoussillonProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region is one of the most popular holiday regions of France. It covers all of the Provence area east of the River Rhône, together with the French Riviera all the way to the border with Italy and Monaco. It also stretches up into the southern part of the French Alps. 

The best known cities in the area are: Nice,Cannes and Aix-en-Provence, but by far the biggest city in the region is Marseille with its big harbor. The low lying parts of this region is known for its pleasant weather, generally dry and warm for most of the year, but the higher parts, stretching up into the Alps, are dry and quite cool. The southern part of the Alps is the sunniest part of the range.

The Rhône-Alpes
region has a huge diversity of landscapes due to climactic and topographic variations. The region consists of two areas of high elevation divided by the Rhône Valley, which runs north-south.

The western mountains are part of the Massif Central, also known as the department of Ardèche, named after the Ardèche River that flows through the area. The greatest tourist attraction, and one of nature's biggest wonders in France, is the famous Pont d’Arc, it is a natural cliff bridge over the Ardèche river, more than 30 meters high. Here, in the southern part of the department you will also find the canyons, the Gorges de l’Ardèche. The little village of Vallon Pont d’Arc is a good starting point for exploring the impressive canyons either by boat or by car, driving along the fantastic road which overlooks the canyons. This area offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as canoing and kayaking, horseback riding, climbing, angling, cycling and mountain biking, swimming, walking and hiking and cave exploring.

The eastern mountains are part of the French Alps and much higher. This region is world famous for its alpine ski resorts.

The Rhône Valley itself is primarily known for its wine production, the Rhône wines are considered to be among the best in the world, but its cuisine is also world famous and especially in and around Lyon, you can find many of the best restaurants in France. Lyon dates back from Roman times, it is France's second city and the most important city in the Rhône-Alpes region with a population of over 1 mill.

Languedoc-Rousillon is a large region with a long Mediterranean coastline. It stretches from Provence all the way southwest to the Pyrenees, and occupies the easternmost part of the French border with Spain. The region curves around 240 km (150 mi) of spectacular coastline with some of the finest beaches in France. It also offers a variety of sights and sites including Roman ruins, hilltop castles, medieval cities and seaside towns. It is the largest wine producing region in the world, and consists of more than a third of France's entire vineyard acreage. Most of the wine is of robust varieties with cheap pricetags.

The region is home to many charming and interesting cities, among the major ones are: Nimes, with its Roman arena, Montpellier, Narbone, Carcassonne and Perpignan, but also Collioure, Banuyls, Sete and hundreds of small villages along the road are worth a visit. Since the region is relatively undiscovered by tourists, the prices are generally low.

Most people come to the island of Corsica because of its beaches, mountains and beautiful scenery. Corsica has excellent beaches, and almost every beach offers opportunities to snorkel. Some of the more popular beaches will rent windsurf boards and kite-surfing boards. Scuba diving is also available, particularly at popular beaches near islands and in major towns. There are many walking trails in the mountains, and also small villages you can visit and where you can have a local meal. Most visitors come to Corsica in the summer months, and particularly in August, when the number of tourists double or triple from the already large population in July. If you only can go to Corsica in August, planning and booking ahead is essential.


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