For many spectators, the Tour de France route is an opportunity to discover the riches of the regions it passes through. The tourist guide, published in electronic format this year, lists the outstanding sites of cultural or architectural heritage for each stage.
Download the tourist guide of the stage(.pdf, 12 pages)
The Region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, situated in the extreme south-east corner of France, encompasses six counties including the former counties of Provence, Nice and part of the Dauphiné. Bounded by the Mediterranean, flanked by the Italian border and by mountains in the East, PACA boasts outstanding assets as a tourist destination, enjoys exceptional amounts of sunshine and lays claim to an assorted and delicious selection of local produce (wines, oils, fruit, and seafood). This is why it is the leading tourist destination for French holidaymakers and the second most popular tourist destination for overseas visitors, after Paris. The region plays host to an estimated 35 million tourists each year. Its pleasant surroundings and vibrant character have also always been immensely popular with painters and artists.
A very urban area - counting four cities with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants: Marseilles, Nice, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence (Avignon is not far behind) - it is also the fourth most populated region in France with 4,5 million inhabitants.
In addition to tourism, ultra-modern industrial activities and cutting edge technologies - Sophia-Antipolis and Cadrache - are gradually replacing more traditional industries, notably shipbuilding - Marseilles, la Ciotat, Toulon - and the region’s agricultural sector continues to expand and improve in quality.
The Bay of Angels is renowned as one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. In this exceptional setting, France’s fifth largest city looks out over the Mediterranean Sea, but its horizon is also dominated by the peaks of the Southern Alps.
Grasse’s exceptional microclimate facilitated the growth of the flower farming industry. It is thanks to this prospering industry that the town earned its reputation as the perfume capital of the world.
The town’s longstanding reputation as a military centre formerly earned it status as the county Prefecture. It is now a major tourist attraction as a historical heritage site.
Population: 1,2 million
Sub-prefectures: Brignoles, Draguignan
Benjamin Caternet, Director of the Barbaroux Golf Club, one of Europe's most prestigious golf courses, situated in the commune of Brignoles.
“In Brignoles, I’m lucky to live in a more preserved environment in comparison to the Alpes-Maritimes and Bouches-du-Rhône regions. There’s only one major city in the county of Var, Toulon, and wilder, untamed landscapes. In Haut-Var, I particularly like going to Correns, France’s first completely organic village, famous for its white wine. I stop off here to have a drink. There are many monuments, like Fort Gibron. A few kilometres away, the Sourn Valley is a magnificent spot, with its craggy cliffs, crisscrossed by the river Argens. It is home to a very rich and varied flora and fauna. Caramy Square in Brignoles, shaded by its many plane trees, and totally renovated two years ago, is a focal part of the town with its bars and its restaurants. Brignoles is also a medieval city that has conserved a large part of its ramparts and exceptionally beautiful churches.
On a day to day basis I reside at the Barbaroux golf club, which was voted the finest course on the French Tour by the players in 2007. The surrounding area is home to a superb variety of flora and fauna with pine trees, white oaks and Holm oaks. I regularly go mountain biking as the area is ideal for it. Indeed, many of our guests are cyclists. During the 2007 Paris-Nice, we even received two cycling teams, the Caisse d’Epargne and the Française des jeux. Staging the Tour de France, which will pass right in front of the golf course, will focus considerable publicity on the Var centre; it’s usually the coast that is in the spotlight: Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Tropez.”