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The Best Spots for a Siesta in Provence‑Alpes‑Côte d’Azur?

Here in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, we say that the sun rises twice: once in the morning and once after the siesta! Here’s our top pick of dream spots off the beaten track for perfecting this resolutely southern French art…

How about a little siesta in Marseille?

The Siest’in, a tried-and-tested siesta bar

Siest’in is an ode to life’s simpler needs: eating, drinking and sleeping. Marseille‘s first siesta bar puts it in a nutshell, “a 20-minute nap reduces traffic and work-related injuries, improves the memory, increases creativity, releases stress, balances the nervous system and promotes good digestion”. So go for it! Head to La Siest’in to savour a delicious lunch concocted with fresh produce and once you’ve eaten your fill, treat yourself to a siesta in one of the four cocoon-like cabins or plush armchairs adorning the tea room. What better way to set off again with a spring in your step?

La Baie des Singes, sun loungers and chilling…

How about a break at the water’s edge, cradled by the gentle sound of Mediterranean waves, in a little corner of paradise resembling an exotic island getaway? No, you’re not dreaming, welcome to Marseille! Nestling in Calanques National Park, the restaurant La Baie des Singes serves freshly-caught fish specialities, shellfish (including slipper lobsters), plus, of course, the famous local Bouillabaisse. After lunch with your feet in the water, settle down on a sun lounger on the restaurant’s private beach for a well-earned nap…

Sainte-Baume forest

A siesta in the shade at the foot of a tree

If the sun gets a little too hot to handle around midday, take refuge at the foot of the beautiful beech trees of Sainte-Baume forest. Typically found in cool, wet areas, hence very rare in Mediterranean regions, these trees have graced the Sainte-Baume hill range with a unique microclimate, making it the perfect place to laze in the shade. What’s more, the forest floor is as soft as a mattress, so you’re bound to awaken refreshed, revigorated and ready to climb in the footsteps of Saint Mary Magdalene – she too has been sleeping in a grotto in the hills for the last 2,000 years…

 

A pine wood on Giens peninsula

A siesta under the umbrella pines

Hyères Tourist Office even did a survey on it. Result: the best place for a restful siesta under the pines is Parc des Chevaliers, at the far end of Giens peninsula. If you want a little foretaste of what awaits you, check out this video to get in the mood – a magnificent, shaded glade complete with sea views, grass and chirping cicadas and birds… Not bad eh?!

Garlaban hills

A Pagnol-style siesta

Like any self-respecting Provencal local, Marcel Pagnol – the star author and film-maker of the Pays d’Aubagne area – never missed an opportunity to have a nap. His film shootings in the La Treille quarter of Marseille and nearby Garlaban hills were regularly interrupted by this ritual, not to mention interminable lunches and games of boules… Be like Pagnol and treat yourself to a break in a cosy corner of the herb-scented garrigue. It’s sure to inspire your inner artist!

 

Eze exotic gardens

Tropical plants and stunning views

This enchanting green corner of paradise located just a stone’s throw from Nice is the perfect pick for some well-earned rest and relaxation. Perched on the heights of the town, overlooking the sea, the Jardin Exotique d’Eze harbours a multitude of Mediterranean and desert plant species, together with around fifteen statues. And right in the middle of this unique garden you’ll find a zen space complete with benches, a misting system and waterfall for the guarantee of a serene siesta!

Terre Ugo

A countrified siesta near Aix-en-Provence

A kingdom of lavender, Terre Ugo, a family-owned country house surrounded by fields laden with Provence’s blue gold, is a combined arts centre, boutique selling iconic Provencal products (lavender pouches, soaps, honeys, etc.) and friendly venue for enjoying an aperitif – or savouring a little siesta out in the country. Terre Ugo invites visitors to simply “come and chill in the lavender”. Quite a programme! See you there from June 1st to August 31st.

La Paillotte du Lac

A nap by Serre-Ponçon lake

A secret cove, a beach and a sun lounger gazing over the crystal-clear waters of Serre-Ponçon lake… No, you’re not dreaming. Welcome to La Paillotte du Lac, a truly fantastic address for a moment of total relaxation in the gorgeous Hautes-Alpes. And after your siesta, why not let off some steam with a game of beach volleyball, badminton or ping-pong? Or an easy-going games of boules if you’re in slow mode… You can also climb aboard a canoe or pedalo to explore the beautiful sights of Serre-Ponçon lake, before settling down again for an ice cream or cocktail – and maybe another nap!

 

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