Gorges du Verdon
Arriving at the spectacular-setting of the Hotel des Gorges du Verdon is a relief after a series of nerve-jangling hairpin bends on the D952. All is sparkling, modern, eco-friendly and full of the greens, gingers and lavender tones of the Gorges region. It’s a short walk to the start of the route des Crêtes (for serious walkers), but it’s just as good to watch them leave from the terrace and stay for a dip in the hotel pool.
• +33 4 92 77 38 26, hotel-des-gorges-du-verdon.fr, doubles from €161.50 B&B, or €1,050 a week
Where to eat
Auberge du Point Sublime for its name alone.
• Rougon, +33 4 92 83 69 15, auberge-pointsublime, dish of the day €17
The turquoise waters of the Lac de Sainte Croix are great for swimming and boating, otherwise it’s hiking, rafting, canoeing and canyoning in the gorges.
Composer Charles Gounod wrote his opera Mireille here and gave his name to the town’s oldest hotel. Hotel Gounod stands on the corner of the main market square in St-Rémy-de-Provence and the madcap interior is full of musical memorabilia, as well as a collection of religious statuettes and curiosities. The hotel also has a tea room and is near the restaurants, chocolate shops and boutiques of one of France’s oldest and prettiest towns. The Roman village of Glanum and the sanatorium where Vincent van Gogh “stayed” are just up the road.
• +33 4 90 92 06 14, hotel-gounod.com, doubles from €99