People and Lifestyle: The region provides ample romance this Valentine’s Day
A lover’s delights
In the mood for love? Well now's the time to indulge your romantic urges with the celebration of Saint Valentine on Sunday. And if the traditional exchange of love notes won’t satisfy your swooning then why not consider opting for a more thoughtful declaration.
Lovers in this part of the world will not struggle to be swept away by romance. this Saint Valentin. The landscape could not be more beautiful and the culture lends itself to candle lit dinners, hand-holding strolls on the beach and nights spent in stunning hilltop hotels.
One place going all out for the big L is Antibes. As of today, the town will be celebrating the famous fête, with Raymond Peynet's Les Amoureux taking centre stage.
These celebrity cartoon lovers are honoured in the town all year round at the illustrator's museum. And this month there is a special focus, with Les Amoureux integrated into special packages named after precious stones.
As one would expect, Diamond is as good as it gets, offering two nights in a palatial four-star hotel, a guided tour, a romantic dinner and a cruise along the Riviera by yacht. All the packages include accommodation, a Peyant-themed keepsake and, assuming you haven't broken up, a Lover's Diploma at the end of your stay.
The packages are available from now until the 28th of February, prices go from 260 euros for Emerald to 1350 euros for Diamond, and can be booked at the tourist office.
If the mountains are more your thing, then Auron with its village atmosphere is simply darling and its quaint restaurants make it a perfect romantic getaway. And who said love has to be a quiet affair, hitting the slopes is an adrenaline-filled date with lots of opportunities to roll around in the snow.
If you're working with a slightly more moderate budget then make the most of the natural surroundings. This month you can enjoy the mimosa, which is in full bloom across the region. The small yellow petals are said to evoke the secret of love and for writer Katherine Mansfield there was little as sensuous as the flower's strong scent. You could go mimosa mad on the 14th in Mandelieu-La Napoule for the Mimosa Festival parade and the battle of flowers.
Few nationalities are as renowned for their amorous ways as the Italians and a day wandering around a pretty village like Apricale offers the chance to soak up some of that famous Latin passion. Find a trattoria and suck the same piece of spaghetti until your lips touch.
An excuse to kiss on Valentines shouldn't be necessary but just in case you don’t get enough lip action with your love then consider paying Roquemaure a visit.
This village in the Côte du Rhône is the final resting-place of Saint Valentine and in 1988 a local priest launched the Fête du Baiser or Kissing Festival. Now 800 people parade through the streets carrying the relics of the 14th Century saint. It’s common for couples to lock lips in front of the Patron Saint of Love, though such an act is not to be taken lightly - many swear that it sends lovers hurtling down the aisle.
With all this talk of wedding bells, it's easy to forget that there are many still waiting to be hit by Cupid's arrow. However, singletons should banish the urge to hide away with a take away and a dvd this Sunday and should instead head to Ma Nolans in Nice old town for a Valentines speed dating extravaganza. Who knows, if Lady Luck is on your side, in the space of just a few seconds you may have found yourself THE ONE...