It is difficult to imagine a tour around the South of France without a visit to Nîmes with its motto, "La ville avec un accent" – literally, the town with an accent. Nîmes is a charming town of around 150,000 inhabitants, located on the western edge of Provence above the Camargue. A town steeped in history with a rich Roman heritage and where denim was born (literally, "de Nîmes" - visit the denim exhibition at the Musee de Nîmes, opposite the apartment), it takes much of its influences from Provence, the Camargue, the Cévennes and Spain.
Over two thousand years old, Nîmes offers an abundance and a unique blend of history, architecture, classical and contemporary art. Its architectural heritage spans the Roman era to contemporary designs by Lord Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and Philippe Starck (who was Nîmes' "designer in residence" early in his career and whose work here includes a famous bus stop and the redesign of Nîmes' crocodile logo - seen on the brass pavement studs throughout the town.
Nîmes offers visitors over 300 days of sunshine each year to enjoy its fine walks, wide avenues, pavement cafes, 17th century charm and Roman monuments, which are amongst the finest and best preserved in the world. Some of the Mediterranean's finest beaches are just a short drive away, while the neighbouring countryside offers a wealth of stunning scenery, hilltop villages and heritage sites.
Winter in Nîmes is cold and crisp, with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. While the better-known ski slopes of the Pyrenees and Alps are three to four hours away, the Lozere area of the neighbouring Cévennes mountain range features the resorts of Prat Peyrot Mont Aigoual (just over an hour's drive from Nîmes) and Le Bleymard Mont Lozere (two hours away), offering beginner- and intermediate-level skiing (both downhill and cross-country), toboganning and dog sledding activities, with cross-country trails, snow-shoeing and snowboarding at Mas de la Barque.
Nîmes is a paradise for gourmets, with two Michelin-starred restaurants plus a host of other excellent dining establishments and eateries around town. For those who love to cook, the Les Halles food market across the street from the apartment is a daily treasure trove of the freshest seasonal produce and Provencale gastronomic delights, while the apartment's fully equipped kitchen is ideal for culinary creations, to be savoured al fresco on the terrace or inside at the dining table.
With its location close to the Spanish and Italian frontiers, Nîmes is also an ideal hub for visiting the glamorous fashion and lifestyle centres of Barcelona (around three hours away), Milan (just five hours' drive) or two to three hours to the elegance and style of the Cote d'Azur, including Cannes, Nice, Monaco and the Italian border.