Southeastern France is a varied and enticing holiday destination, a place where luxury indulgences can be enjoyed with the jet set in Cannes and Nice, but where an another, more authentic version of France is never far away. It can be tasted in the hearty food of Lyon, smelt in the lavender fields of Provence and sensed in the edgy port city of Marseille - France's oldest city and also one of it's most intoxicating.
The Mediterranean Sea and the Alps are strong presences, the former providing a deep blue backdrop to coastal escapades along the Côte d'Azur and a salty breeze that carries cross the sea to the rugged green hills and chalky cliffs of Corsica. The Alps, meanwhile, draws visitors from France and overseas year round, for skiing and other winter sports during the snowy months that blanket Chamonix and other alpine ski resorts in a deep, crisp layer of white; and for adventure sports in the mountains in summer.
There are film festivals and super yachts, casinos and designer boutiques. But there are also delightful local food markets, sun-dappled public squares and pretty boulevards, cafes frequented by artists and intellectuals and some of Europe's most challenging and rewarding walking trails. These are just a few of the many regional highlights, however, and this is precisely what makes Southeastern France such an interesting area to discover, or to return to again and again.