The little town of Mazan in the Vauclause region of south east France, just 12 miles from Marseilles, is as much known for its alluring countryside as it is for its town and luxury chateau. Protected by a circled wall of 14th-century buildings, inside is a maze of narrow streets lined with ancient houses, churches and the rather grand Chateaux de Mazan, once owned by the Sade family. It was here that the French cultural icon, the Marquis de Sade, was born. It is now a luxurious 5-star hotel and restaurant. The gates in the old building walls reveal its medieval past, as does the church of Pareloup, and there’s a lovely museum in the town. Be sure to visit the market on a Monday morning, selling aromatic herbs, and stroll past the lovely town hall where Keira Knightly recently got married. Out in the countryside, walk through splendid vineyards, pine forests and enjoy a delicious picnic French-style.