The alluring Brigitte Bardot made Saint-Tropez such a legendary destination a Lebanese business tycoon built Le Byblos hotel in an extravagant attempt to woo her. French singer Johnny Hallyday also has a mythical reputation in the village (he’s the subject of an exhibit at the Musée de la Gendarmerie et du Cinema through June 2020). So does resident artist Paul Signac, who lured his avant-garde friends to paint in the village, and who is the subject of a show at the Musée de l’Annonciade.
Lagos offers the best of the Algarve’s two worlds. At the western end of Portugal’s fabled beach-lined coast, Lagos combines a mellow, relaxed charm with excellent tourist facilities: good hotels, plenty of restaurants and a variety of water sports and things to do. It’s a great base for exploring this quieter end of the Algarve, which includes a bit of history kids can relate to.
Cordoba, in southern Spain’s Andalucía region, is one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Flowers are everywhere, narrow lanes wind labyrinth-like through the old town, echoes of its Moorish past lend an exotic feel, and buildings are designed with patios that keep the air moving in a languid stir even on the hottest summer afternoons. Sensuous strains of flamenco waft through the evening air.