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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: The South of France

[Hello Girlfriends! Enjoy our belated Christmas present to you: this "aaahrticle" about a girlfriend getaway to warm and sunny southern France! Our contributor Casey Wohl bring us another great girlfriend travel destination, and sent along some glam pics of her journey. Happy reading!] by Casey Wohl From Orlando to London, then London to Marseilles, my girlfriends and I finally arrived in the South of France for an amazing vacation!  We stayed in an ocean-view villa managed by the Best Western Hotel Provencal. Although the majority of the trip involved some much-needed R&R, we did take some fun side trips during our time there.
One day we went to a nearby farmers market to browse the French goods. They had some amazing items, including fresh bread, fresh cheese, fruit and textiles. We later drove to St. Maxime, which is a small town located in the Gulf of St. Tropez and surrounded by the Maures Mountains. A popular attraction is the La Tour Carree (the town square) and the harbor, but we had fun just relaxing and enjoying the view.
By the third day, we were up for an adventure, which entailed a 20-minute ferry ride to the island of Porquerolles, which is a mostly un-inhabited island of Mediterranean forests, rocky coastline, nature reserves, beaches, boating and one little village.  We rented bikes and explored the island’s beauty, including its farm fields of figs and olives, lighthouse, gorge and beaches.  It was a fabulous day, but I’ll admit that my bottom was sore from the bumpy bike riding.

Biking on Poquerolles
Biking on Poquerolles

Our last big side trip was the one I was most excited about.  As we drove to St. Tropez, I could already imagine all of the amazing shops and beautiful yachts lined up for us to see in this French Riviera town.  I was right!  I have never seen so many amazing boats as I did here. Each one was more fabulous than the next!  And the shopping was equally as great and includes name brands like Pucci and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as boutiques like Martini Lucile, Keklikian, Cecile and Rondini.

Shopping Pucci
Shopping Pucci
The food did not disappoint either.  We had a fabulous lunch at St. Tropez Brasserie, which included the beef carpaccio and tomato and mozzarella salad…yum! We all decided that a trip to the South of France will not disappoint, and we cannot wait to go back!

Planning tips for recessionistas: We stayed in the smaller town of Giens (vs. staying in St. Tropez, Cannes or one of the more popular cities). We were in a great location and still had an amazing view of the ocean in a quaint town. Plus, we had a kitchen in our villa and ate several meals there instead of dining out. The flight to Marseilles from Orlando was about $1,400, but using travel points enabled me to cut my fare in half. Mild winters and hot summers are usual along the Mediterranean sea (French Riviera) and in the south west of France. Provence is typically ideal to visit year round. The very best time to go is mid-June when the weather is perfect, the big tourist season has not yet begun and the prices are still reasonable. If you go, let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl™, is the author of the Girls Getaway Guide travel book series. Her third book, the Girls Getaway Guide to Nashville: Leave Your Baggage at Home™ will be published in Summer 2009.  For more information, visit

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