Sandwiched between Italy, mainland France and North Africa, Provence and the Côte d’Azur is blessed with an interesting history, tempered by a mix of cultural influences. The Camargue’s pink flamingos give way to bustling Marseilles, France’s second city. The Luberon’s chestnut forests and lavender-fields undulate down to the seaside towns and sandy beaches of the Alpes-Maritimes. Europe’s hoi polloi have flocked to glamorous Nice, edging eastwards all the way to the Italian border, for several centuries. Smaller coastal towns have long been synonymous with art, exuberance and untouched beauty: visit Picasso’s museum and former home in Antibes, star-spot at the Cannes Film Festival or kayak the Caribbean-blue bays that surround the fishing village of Cassis. Alternatively, simply bask in the region’s microclimate, source of the sunny Mediterranean temperament for which the residents are so renowned.