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Holiday wellness products and activities in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region

Spending a holiday in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur also means treating yourself to some TLC! The South of France overflows with local products and outdoor activities that promise to pamper body and mind. Here are just some.

Lavender honey

The nectar of Provence

Everyone loves the fragrance, colour and benefits of lavender, a Provencal plant par excellence. Many beekeepers in Vaucluse and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence area produce lavender honey, in close collaboration with the bees that gather pollen from lavender’s sweet-scented blooms. Pale in colour, with a creamy texture and soothing aroma, lavender honey is both sweet and gentle. On the wellness front, it is the perfect ally for fighting against coughs, bronchitis, flu, tonsilitis and insomnia. We love to savour it spread on a baguette, melted in herbal tea, or mixed with yoghurt. It can even be applied directly to wounds, stings or burns to help them heal! And of course, we don’t mind helping ourselves to a spoonful or two straight from the jar from time to time…

The powers of garlic

The strength of the South

Southern cuisine loves garlic, but it isn’t just so we have tricky breath afterwards. Garlic is not only a local product, it is also endowed with a plethora of health benefits. From fairs to markets, garlic is found everywhere in Provence. Piolenc is the garlic capital, so it’s definitely worth a visit, but the markets of Saint-Maximin, Éguilles and Peyrolles are well worth your while too. In addition to its unmistakeable taste, garlic has been used as a cure for centuries. Homer, Aristotle and Hippocrates praised it as an essential remedy for various medical conditions and considered it a symbol of physical strength. Today, it is renowned for fighting germs and viruses, and preventing heart disease. So, if you like garlic, be sure to add it to your recipes: it’s particularly good married with our sun-kissed vegetables. Moreover, while you’re holidaying in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, don’t miss Provence’s must-do garlic-based specialities: aïoli, anchoïade and soupe au pistou! One thing is sure, there definitely aren’t any vampires here!

Herbes de Provence

Medicinal plants at your fingertips

As their name implies, Herbes de Provence are typically found in the South of France. In general, this blend of herbs is made with thyme, rosemary, basil, savory and marjoram, also known as wild oregano. But among these aromatic mixes you’ll also find chervil, tarragon, bay, fennel and sage. In addition to exalting dishes with the soft scents of the South, Herbes de Provence have interesting medicinal properties. For example, thyme is known to soothe coughs, facilitate digestion and fight against fatigue. Not bad! The other herbs have enviable powers too: rosemary stimulates the circulation and eases bloating, savory is a great tonic, used to fight against infections and fatigue, while oregano and marjoram provide digestive relief and unblock the airways… During your wanders in the fragrant Provencal garrigue, you’ll almost certainly come across some of them. You can even gather a few springs of thyme or rosemary, as long as you only take what you need. You can then use them to flavour your salads, vegetables or pizzas, or simply make herbal tea – perhaps with a teaspoon or two of lavender honey!

Sea and mountain air

Take a breather

A breath of fresh air is all you need to get back on top of the world – it’s even recommended. If you’re holidaying in the Calanques fjords, Verdon Canyon, Queyras area, Mercantour National Park or Estérel hills, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh air. Outdoor sports such as walking or mountain biking allow you to fill up on oxygen and escape from the constant sights and sounds of the city. As our body takes on positive energy, we become more relaxed and less stressed. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with nature too and put daily troubles aside. A breath of fresh air is a simple and great way to take care of yourself. And it’s free of charge! Enjoy a stroll on the beach, a mountain hike, climb a rock face or set sail for the horizon: we have something for everyone.

The southern sunshine

A great mood-booster

Getting a breath of fresh air is good, but if the weather is sunny, it’s even better! It’s delightful being out and about in the sunshine, but above all, it’s good for you. Our bodies produce endorphins when the sun shines, often referred to as feel-good hormones. Thanks to them, we feel less anxious and less stressed. The source of vitamin D, sunshine boosts our immune system and plays a major role in regulating our biological clock, hence helping us get a good night’s sleep. Of course, even if sunshine is good for your body it’s important to protect your skin from UV rays and wear your finest hat on hot days. But one thing is sure, if there’s anywhere you’ll find plenty of sunshine it’s in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Whether you’re chilling on the Côte d’Azur’s beautiful beaches, trekking through the saltmarshes of Camargue, sitting on a café terrace in a little Provencal village or perched on top of Mont Pelat, at an altitude of 3,051 metres, you’ll never be short of feel-good rays here!