Bastille day is the anglophone name given to the national day of France, it happens every year on the 14th of July and is always a great party anywhere you are in the country. However, South of France is particularly key location if the idea you have in mind is to party on beach, in the heat, with cocktails and sunsets! South of France is known for it’s amazing quality of life, beautiful beaches, fresh food, great wine and in general for its landscape which is one of the only places in Europe where you can see both the sea and snowy mountains in the same picture. But it’s also known for being a little pricey.
Understandably, this comes with the high quality of life but also because it’s so easy to lose track of time – and the bill – when you’re sat in the sun, drinking your rosé after eating fresh greens and seafood. What could possibly go wrong? We don’t want you to get a bad surprise to ruin that will ruin your holiday, so here are some places you can go where you can celebrate Bastille day, genuinely lose track of time and not be scared of the consequences on your bank account.
View of Cannes from the Phare de la Garoupe, Antibes.
First of all, we recommend that you rent a car and stay in an Airbnb. Hotels can get very expensive and you will get a much nicer insight into life of a real ‘sudist’ (word which describes someone from south of France) if you have your own place. Also, people from the south are known to be the nicest and there is a great chance that your Airbnb host will be happy to show you local spots. Areas where you will find cheaper accommodation are called Valbonne, Mougins, Antibes and Cannes la Bocca but you’ll need a car to drive around from those places.
Public beach by the Square du 8 Mai, Cannes
Start off your stay by a walk on the Croisette, Cannes to watch the sunset, the city is famous for the Film Festival hosted in May every year but also has some of the nicest beaches of the entire cost. Although most of them are now privately owned, grab yourself a bottle of wine and go sit by the ‘Square du 8 Mai’ you will see a large piece of public beach which faces ‘ l’Esterel ‘ a chain of mountains just behind St.Tropez which offer a mesmerizing sunset scene above the water. Fireworks for Bastille day go off in the Cannes harbour and from the beach of the ‘Square du 8 Mai’ you will have a front row view to the show! If you’re staying in Mougins or Valbonne, you should head to old towns of both places in which there will also be a display of fireworks, however the bigger, more glamorous one will be in Cannes. In any case, ask your Airbnb host, hotel concierge or any local where the best place to see the fireworks is where you will be!
Saint Paul de Vence village
France in general is full of adorable villages but the ones you will find in the south will beat them all. On the day after Bastille day, head to the market in the old town of Nice, there you will be submerged in Southern French culture with only local products of the highest quality at the lowest prices. Whilst you are there you must try out a local dish called Socca (about 1.50EUR a slice), it looks like a pancake but is actually made of chickpeas and is a very lite breakfast/lunch which savoury lovers will become obsessed with instantly. Once you have gone around the market head to Saint Paul de Vence by far the cutest village around.
Saint Paul de Vence is one of the oldest village in the south, what to do there? Simply enjoy the view and explore, you’ll find many small art galleries amongst the tiny streets. If you are an architecture lover then you will fall in love when seeing the authentic homes covered in beautiful green. Whilst you’re at it, have a ice cream in one of the many ice creams shops in the village, all very yummy! Finally, head back to Cannes to enjoy a cheesy meal at ‘Le Jardin secret’ located in the old part of Cannes, which is basically just one small street, you will find a hidden garden which first only 10 tables completely decorated with vintage things and literally the definition of charming. A meal for two with wine will cost you about 50EUR (a little bit more expensive but believe us when we say it’s worth it!)
Moving along, head to lunch of the beach in Juan-les-Pins, the next town down from Cannes it is has a younger and chiller vibe and you can find many affordable private beaches. Helios beach serves great food (but you must try the fish, as most of it will be fresh from the morning), a meal for two will be around 40EUR including a glass of wine. If you wish to spend the day on the beach we recommend that you book about 2 weeks in advance and tanning beds will be 20EUR each. If you are not feeling like working on your tan, you should just walk about Juan-les-Pins, there are many small artisanal clothes and jewellery shops done by locals for a very cheap price.
Voila! (as we say in French) you are all set for your weekend in South of France! If you do decide to follow our recommendations we can guarantee that you will have the time of your life and enjoy the South of France to the fullest.