Tag: Cote d’Azur

La Grande-Provence?

Imagine an area where there is sunshine, warm seas, hills covered with vineyards, olive trees, the third largest city in the country (or is it the second?), the tallest mountains on the continent, sandy beaches, the only under water National Park in the country, the birthplace of real rosé wine, Roman theatres, world famous festivals… Courchevel, St Tropez, Cannes, the promenade des Anglais, the Count of Monte Cristo, the Mont Blanc:

Yep you’ve got it, that’s the South of France. Thing is though, which South? You see the region has so much to offer that they are now struggling to find a name for themselves.

Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur makes ‘PACA’ in French. Whilst most French people will know what PACA means by now, nobody else does and if it’s no good in English then it’s no good in business. And business in the Sud Est is tourism. What a quandary.

Problem is, the South West has already taken the ‘Sud de France’ name. Beaten at the post by the newcomers. It makes no grammatical sense in French but sure works for the English speaking clientele surfing the net. To my mind “Le Sud” is the South East. Probably because I come from there so I’m definitely biased… Possibly because historically that south was the holiday south, until they took the tourists for granted and started getting competition. I hate to admit.

So now the Beautiful and Bountiful South is fighting back. Finally. Why not Le Sud? Tout simplement… The domain name has been snapped up.

Mmm, why change at all? So taxpayers money can be spent on marketing a new name that will inevitably make a third of the region angry at the choice: Provençaux, Alpins or Azuréens? I’m a Varoise, so none of the above, therefore I don’t care. I’d love to design the new logo though, should be good fun!

I read they’re thinking of Grande-Provence. I’d love it now I live in Grande-Bretagne!

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bienvenue sur mon blog

Welcome to my blog where I share some thoughts and ideas on places I have visited in France -my original home- and Dorset -my new home and any other subject that comes to mind, if you’re interested. 

Since the reason I am Franglaise is because I married an Englishman, I thought I’d start with where we got married: Le Pradet. You’re unlikely to have heard of it except if you’ve been to Toulon or Hyeres in the Var. Even more so ‘Les Oursinières’, its beach front and harbour. It wouldn’t be the trendiest of resorts like St Tropez down the road but it’s got a small sandy beach on one side, rock pools on the middle, a pebble beach on the other and more rocks to dive from on either side. That’s not all though, a few bars and restaurants line the sea front and a small harbour is filled with fishing and pleasure boats. Ah, and the petanque corner of course, I almost forgot.  

It has changed a bit since I used to go there as a child thirty (I just typed twenty then calculated…) years ago. But not that much, that’s why I love it. Yes it gets crowded in August but unless you own a boat and find a ‘secluded’ cove or walk miles, where doesn’t? The harbour looks -thankfully- a bit more modern, the pebble beach is more easily accessible but the beaches are as sheltered as ever, the views over Toulon and the Mont Coudon are still wonderful. For a family holiday, it’s a good place to try. See you there this summer?

So where exactly is ‘Les Oursinieres’: France, Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur, Var, Le Pradet near Toulon.

Nearest airports: Hyeres/Toulon (20 minutes), Nice and Marseille (just over one hour).

Nearest train station: Toulon.