In southern France, the region of Provence reigns supreme for its coastlines and variety of attractions. Provence comprises several cities that are rich in history, as well as time-worthy destinations. There is a multitude of museums with presentations on subjects ranging from perfume to warfare, and the proximity of several historic cities to one another makes visiting multiple attractions easy. Cannes, Grasse, Avignon and Antibes are just four of these cities packed full of Provencal attractions.
This Riviera city in Provence is most notable for the world-famous film festival that bears its name. The Cannes Film Festival, which is held every May, is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious. This resort town is flooded by celebrities and travelers from around the world. When the festival ends and the buzz dies down, the city still has several intimate attractions to choose from. The Cannes Park located at the east end of Plage de la Croisette makes for a peaceful afternoon stroll. Travelers seeking to spend a little cash can continue their stroll on the Rue d'Antibes, which is a famous shopping area in the city.
Grasse is the perfume capital of the world and the center of the French perfume industry. The air is literally filled with the aromas of flowers harvested to create these heady scents. Tourists can visit the Musee International de la Parfumerie to witness the entire cycle of perfume production, and see 3,000 years of artifacts of the perfume-making process.
A onetime seat of the Catholic Papacy, the historically enriched city of Avignon, Provence, is filled with timeless attractions. A trail of popes and church activities resulted in still-standing structures like the 12th century Notre Dame Des Dom Cathedral, a genuine tourist draw. The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) allows travelers to study the place where the Pope resided from 1309 to 1377, and part of a split Papacy for decades to follow. The city is also home to the Calvet Museum, which houses a library of over 140,000 volumes.
Antibes is tucked safely between Nice and Cannes in Provence, and is rich in activities, museums and outdoor wonders. For over 40 years the Jazz a' Juan jazz festival has hosted prominent musicians from Miles Davis to John Coltrane, and it continues that tradition to this day. Antibes has museums that range in everything from the art of Picasso, to the relics of French revolutionary Napoleon. The city is also home to the Sophia Antipolis Technology Park, which is the largest tech park in Europe.