From Paris to Provence: A guide to making the most of this summer's Olympics


If you're one of the lucky few who managed to get tickets to the 2024 Olympics in France, you might be busy planning your itinerary for this highly anticipated event. The sporting extravaganza, which starts on July 26th, will bring thousands of athletes, celebrities, and spectators to the city of Paris. Of course, the Olympics themselves are the main attraction, but there's plenty to do and see during your trip, including newly opened restaurants and trendy shopping spots.

Alongside Paris, where the 2024 Olympic Games will be held in various stadiums, Provence is also an important region to add to your itinerary this summer. This beautiful destination has deep ties to sporting events, and last month the Olympic torch passed through the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence on its way to the Opening Ceremony. And once the hustle and bustle of the Games has passed, Provence is the perfect place for a few relaxing post-Olympic break. Ariana Chatzidakis of H Fashion offers these recommendations for planning your trip…

Visit:

Paris: Culture, art, food, history, Paris has it all. With countless restaurants, tours and things to do, Paris is one of my favourite places to visit. This year, the metropolis is even more exciting as it hosts the Summer Olympics. If you're based in London, the easiest way to get to Paris is by Eurostar, with 17 trains a day from London St. Pancras International. The journey takes just under two and a half hours.

Provence: Provence is an easy 3-hour train ride from Paris, making it the perfect stop to break up your Olympic trip, with a day spent relaxing in the beautiful Provencal countryside at the end of your trip. This beautiful French region is home to breathtaking hilltop and mountain villages, winding narrow roads, rolling lavender fields and secluded valleys.

Hôtel Crillon Le Brave is a 5-star hotel located in Provence, France.

Paris' newly opened Le Grand Mazarin is an interior designer's dream

Where to stay:

Paris: Located in the heart of Paris' Marais district, Le Grand Mazarin is a charming five-star hotel worth visiting. Decorator Martin Brudnicki and art curator Amélie du Chalard have combined different styles, eras and designs to create a totally unique hotel. Each of the 50 rooms and 11 suites is magically decorated, and you'll have a hard time leaving your room – I really did. There's also a quirky bar, restaurant, sleek gym and mosaic indoor pool – a rare luxury in Paris that will be much appreciated during the busy Olympic period.

Provence: Located in the heart of Vaucluse, Hotel Crillon Le Brave prides itself on its laid-back, intimate atmosphere. Its 34 rooms and suites are connected by small courtyards and cobbled alleyways, and are designed to blend into an authentic, unspoiled Provencal setting: think charming natural fabrics and old-world French furniture, much of which has been hand-sourced from local antique markets.

what will you do:

Paris:Besides the Olympics,While there are still tickets available for some matches, there is plenty to explore in Paris, from new art exhibitions to cultural events. Try a sunset cruise on the Seine or a stroll through the Musée Carnavalet, the oldest museum in Paris and one of my favorite places to visit.

Provence:We spent our days in Provence very carefree, working on our tan in the pool at Hotel Crillon Le Brave, overlooking the beautiful valley, and rejuvenating our bodies and minds with full-body massages and luxurious Tata Harper facials at the hotel's spa. More active travelers can rent electric bikes from the hotel and explore the quaint nearby villages, or spend the afternoon at Chateau Pesquier to experience the local wineries.

The Grand Mazarin swimming pool is perfect for a morning dip

Aix-en-Provence Market, Provence

Shopping locations:

Paris:Paris is a shopper's paradise, home to some of the world's best high street and luxury brands, but if you're looking for something a little different, head to Merci, a unique concept store spread over three floors, stocked with stylish everything from fashion to homewares – I'm a huge fan.

Provence:No trip to Provence is complete without a visit to an outdoor market where you can buy fresh produce, local honey, wine, oils, handmade gifts, antiques and more. We especially recommend a stroll through the markets in Aix-en-Provence, soaking up the sights and aromas.

Where to Eat:

Paris:Last time I was in Paris, I dined at Bouvares in Le Grand Mazarin, a restaurant with a vibrant atmosphere and hearty food. The restaurant's menu describes itself as a “mix of Eastern European flavors and the rich spices of the Middle East,” and dishes like the petite risotto and mamaliga highlight this.

Provence:Not to be missed is Hôtel Crillon Le Brave's picturesque panoramic terrace, La Table du Ventoux, where you can watch the sunset while sipping summer cocktails and fresh, locally sourced dishes, with views of the valley below. A real paradise.

Cuisine served at La Table du Ventoux at the Hôtel Crillon Le Brave



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