100 Beautiful Must See Places In The South Of France Visit

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit – We always try to travel far away from home, so just take some inspiration from these 30 most beautiful places to visit in France to escape to!

Among these unmissable places on the French territory, at least one of them is going to be your next most favorable destination! If you do not know what to do this weekend or on your next vacation, put on your backpack and go explore one of these beautiful sites.

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Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Between natural sites, lakes, caves and gorges, we offer you a list of the 30 most beautiful places to visit in France.

1. The Gorges du Verdon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

south of france best places to visit

Famous for forming the most beautiful canyon in Europe, these exceptional canyons and the turquoise river of the Verdon can definitely top our list for the best places to visit in the South of France! One of the most famous corners of the Gorges du Verdon is certainly the Lac de Sainte Croix.

2. Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

south of france best places to visit

Located in the department of Manche in Normandy, the Mont-Saint-Michel which becomes again an island in case of strong tides is one of the must-see places to go in France. It has its famous abbey, restaurants and a magnificent view of the bay.

3. The Valensole Plateau, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

With an area of ​​800 km², this plateau has a wide variety of Mediterranean and mountain trees and plants. The big plus? This is the place to go to observe the magnificent fields of lavender as far as the eye can see!

4. The Champagne Vineyard, Grand-Est

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

East of the Paris region, along the rivers of the Marne, Vesle, and Aisne, the Champagne Vineyard is the ideal destination for lovers of the famous gleaming French wine.

5. Gorges du Tarn, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

Popular for hiking, climbing, and kayaking, the Gorges du Tarn is a canyon located in the department of Lozère and caused by the erosion of the river Tarn. The gorges stretch over 50 km long.

6. Lake Salagou, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

Lake Salagou is an artificial lake easily accessible from the largest cities Hérault (Montpellier, Béziers, and Sète). Surrounded by red and black hills, this lake offers the chance to explore water sports in an almost lunar landscape.

7. The Garden of Versailles, Île-de-France

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

Located in the area of ​​the Palace of Versailles, an exceptional monument having been the residence of the Kings of France, the Garden of Versailles is considered to be the model of the regular garden “à la Française” with its 386 works of art including 221 statues.

8. The Camargue, South of France

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

The Camargue, located in the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Gard is an ideal place for a horseback riding and to admire not less than 2000 species of fauna and flora.

9. The creeks of Cassis, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

Located between Cassis and Marseille, this large chain of cliffs offers kilometers of hiking trails with magnificent views of clear blue waters.

10. The Mont Aiguille, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Go & Visit

Mont Aiguille is the perfect place for mountaineers located south of the department of Isère. This is one of the seven wonders of Dauphiné!

11. The Medieval City of Carcassonne, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

The City of Carcassonne located in the department of Aude is a medieval architectural ensemble whose roots date back to the Gallo-Roman period. This city includes the Château Comtal and the Saint-Nazaire Basilica.

12. The Mont Blanc, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

The highest peak in the Alps at an altitude of 4809 meters, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe. It is located on the Franco-Italian border.

13. The Rustrel Ocher, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Also known as “Colorado Provençal”, this semi-natural site in the Vaucluse department covers more than 30 hectares and offers unusual landscapes with orange-red hues reminiscent of Colorado.

14. The Gorges de l’Ardèche, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

True canyon of about thirty kilometers, this site has been classified “national nature reserve”. It is possible to discover the beautiful views that the Gorges de l’Ardèche offer by canoe, hiking or by road by car.

15. Val d’Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

This small mountain village in the department of Savoie is one of the best places to visit in south of France in winter for its many available winter sports. This town is known to be one of the world’s ski capitals! The village has the particularity of not being very crowded in winter which gives it an extra advantage.

16. The Cave of Lascaux, New Aquitaine

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the cave of Lascaux includes several prehistoric works including paintings and engravings dating back more than 17,000 years.

17. Lake Allos, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Formed by snowmelt, this 60-hectare natural lake perched at 2,230 meters is the largest mountain lake in Europe.

18. The Dune of Pilat, New Aquitaine

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Located at the edge of the forest of Landes de Gascogne and at the southern entrance of the Arcachon basin, the Dune du Pilat is the highest hill in Europe with a height of 110 meters.

19. The Loire Castles, Center-Val de Loire

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

The Loire Valley has long inspired many artists. Its rivers, forests, vineyards and especially its famous castles will not fail to charm you!

20. The Cirque de Gavarnie, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

This glacial nature circus, part of the Pyrenees National Park, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a natural and cultural site. At its heart is an impressive waterfall of about 423 m high.

21. The Beaches of Cannes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Often known for its festival, Cannes is a very beautiful city to explore especially for its beaches that always rests under wonderfully sunny weather!

22. The Midi Canal, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996, the Canal de Midi is one of the oldest canals in Europe still in service. This canal connects the city of Toulouse to Sète, to stream into the Mediterranean Sea.

23. Corsica

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

French island located in the Mediterranean Sea, Corsica is the ideal place to relax in delightful beaches. Discover this island of beauty thanks to our list of the most beautiful places in south of France.

24. The Organs of Ille-sur-Têt, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Also called “fairy paths”, Ille-sur-Têt Organs are ocher ridges dating back more than 2 million years resulting from the weathering of sedimentary rocks. This site offers a landscape out of the ordinary in the Pyrenees.

25. The Cliffs of Étretat, Normandy

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

The Cliffs of Etretat, source of inspiration for many painters, is one of the best places to go in south of France. These spectacular white chalk cliffs and pebble beaches nearby make this place a hit.

26. Lake Annecy, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

Lake Annecy, also sometimes called the “blue lake”, is a lake formed about 18,000 years ago when the great alpine glaciers melt. This natural site attracts many tourists every year and offers activities such as paddle, canoeing, and paragliding.

27. The Arcachon Basin, New Aquitaine

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

This triangular-shaped lagoon is located in the heart of the Landes Gascogne in Gironde and opens wide on the Atlantic Ocean.

28. The Queyras Valley, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

The Queyras Valley is also a regional natural park located in the Hautes-Alpes department. Crossed by the Guil, torrential river of the South-East of France, this destination is very appreciated for the excursions which it offers.

29. The chain of Puys, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

This group of 80 volcanoes of various origins and ages stretches more than 45 km north of the Massif Central. This place is ideal for outdoor activities such as mountaineering biking, skiing, and hiking.

30. Paris, Ile-de-France

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

We obviously do not forget one of the most visited cities in the world: Paris! Unmissable place in France with monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Cathedral Notre-Dame or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Discover the beautiful French capital!

31. The Pont du Gard, Occitanie

Beautiful 30 Must See South Of France Places To Visit

The Pont du Gard is one of the most beautiful Roman masterpieces still standing! The incredible bridge located in the Gard near Remoulins ensured the continuity of the Roman aqueduct that led water from Uzès to Nîmes.

Where To Stay & Where To Go In The South Of France

Where To Stay & Where To Go In The South Of France – Go get the sun where it shines: in the south of France! Côte d’Azur, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon,… The great regions of the South are full of lively cities full of history, welcoming seaside resorts, and breathtaking natural scenes.
The south of France really has something to amaze. Landscapes of dreams, sun, and joy of living, outdoor activities, etc. Wondering Where To Stay & Where To Go In The South Of France? Here are the key destinations not to be missed for an unforgettable holiday.

Where To Stay & Where To Go In The South Of France

1- The French Riviera

Let yourself be seduced by the limpid waters of the French Riviera, its paradisiac islands, and its cities with their Latin charm.

  • Cities To Visit In The French Riviera:

It’s impossible to stay on the French Riviera without visiting its fascinating cities. Nice is famous for its beaches, its palaces and its old town with narrow streets.

Further east, Monaco is a must-see destination on the road to Italy.

Menton, a city well known for its lemons, is the last city before the Italian border.

To the west of Nice, Cannes is a must for holidays in the south of France.

  • The Seaside Resorts To Stay In The French Riviera:

Saint-Tropez, an emblematic village, is the holiday resort of a large number of tourists each year.

Frejus also overwhelms any visitor with its Roman remains.

Six-Fours-Les-Plages is famous for the quality of its beaches and its maritime activities.

Many other seaside resorts in the region are also worth a visit, such as Cap-d’Ail, Saint-Raphaël, Sainte-Maxime or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

  • Natural Sightseeing In The French Riviera:

On vacation to the French Riviera, go on a cruise to the islands of Hyères, including the island of Porquerolles, offering an enchanting ambiance. The area is also a paradise for hikers.

Explore the Verdon Regional Nature Park, famous for its vertiginous gorges. The Mercantour National Park, populated by chamois, deer, ibex, and wolves, offers a wilder landscape.

READ  Vienne France, Accommodation, Property For Sale & All Tourist Information

 

2- Provence

Provence is an ideal tourist destination when you want to mix culture, hiking, and solitude.

  • Cities To Visit In Provence:

Marseille, a fascinating metropolis founded by the Phoenicians, is full of mythical places such as the Old Port, Canebière and the Panier district.

Go back inland to explore Aix-en-Provence, its Cours Mirabeau and Saint-Sauveur Cathedral.

Continue west to reach the ancient city of Arles, at the gateway to the Camargue.

Then go north to visit Avignon, an impressive city of the Popes and many other architectural jewels.

  • The Seaside Resorts To Stay In Provence:

Carry-le-Rouet is a place conducive to relax with its magnificent beaches renowned throughout the district.

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer allows you to discover the Camargue and its unique culture.

Cassis, located 20 km from Marseille, is one of the gems of the Bouches-du-Rhone, with its coves, its cliffs, and its busy port.

  • Natural Sightseeing In Provence:

The creeks, located in the territories of Cassis and Marseille, are real natural treasures.

At the end of a cruise or a hike, immerse yourself in their crystalline waters.

The Camargue, a mysterious region full of natural ponds, marshes, and rice fields, offers a unique landscape in Europe.

Going up towards the north-east, you will reach the regional natural park of Luberon, classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco.

 

3- Languedoc-Roussillon

Languedoc-Roussillon enjoys a privileged location on the shores of the Mediterranean, a mild climate, and exceptional natural expanses.

  • The Cities To Visit In Languedoc-Roussillon:

Montpellier, a major city of the south of France, worth the detour.

Further north-east, Nîmes is famous for its fun atmosphere and Roman arena.

At the gates of Spain lies Perpignan, a city with many historical monuments, including the Castillet.

To the northwest, do not miss Carcassonne, city surrounded by ramparts, sheltering multiple structures of the Middle Ages.

  • The Seaside Resorts To Stay In Languedoc-Roussillon:

Enjoy the sea in Languedoc-Roussillon by staying in a clubhouse or hotel in a city like Alénya. It offers ideal access to Spain and the beaches of Canet-en-Roussillon and Saint-Cyprien.

Visit also the seaside resorts of Collioure, Argelès-Sur-Mer, or Valras-Plage, places offering a wide choice of marine activities.

  • Natural Sightseeing In Languedoc-Roussillon:

In the Languedoc-Roussillon, nature lovers will find many fantasy sites to revive their energy. The Cévennes National Park, north of Montpellier, contains exceptional sites such as the famous Gorges du Tarn, Mount Aigoual and impressive caves.

Between Perpignan and Narbonne lies the regional natural park of Narbonnaise in the Mediterranean wild territory of lagoons, dunes, garrigue, beaches, and pine forests.

 

Where To Stay In The South Of France

  • The Côte d’Azur: for a sunny stay in the South

The French Riviera or The Côte d’Azur is a must for all holidaymakers and tourists who wish to put their bags in the south of France. For sunbathers, the island of Porquerolles in the town of Hyères is ideal with its paradisiacal beaches. For a jet ski holiday, stay in Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Monte-Carlo.

Maybe you will come face to face with a celebrity. So, always keep your camera near. A yacht or sailboat tour will certainly spice up your stay in the South of France.

Another city not to be missed, Biot. You will find plenty of traditional crafts. Among others, pottery and inflated glass. At night the cities of the Côte d’Azur are transformed into places of celebration. Dancefloor until dawn! If you do not like to dance, a walk in the streets of the city will warm up your heart and keep you coming for more

  • Also, Enjoy an extraordinary holiday in the Alps

Lake Annecy in the south of France in the Alps is where you can breathe in the freshest air of the mountain.

In summer, hiking or cycling is a must. You can also indulge in water sports like hydrospeed and canyoning.

In winter, head to the ski resorts that promise unforgettable experiences full of emotions.

The towns not to be missed: Grenoble for its museum and Annecy for its medieval streets.

Ideas for South Of France Family Holidays inspired by our own vacation

South Of France Family Holidays – Here are our best picks for the top 5 ideas for the South Of France Family Holidays. We have tested them all and strongly recommend them to anyone!

Clearly, the south of France is not ideal to escape the crowd but there is always a way to clear a path and if you can, the best is to avoid the busy period starting from 15th of July to the 15th of August or to stay away from the seaside as the hills, mountains, and other gorgeous landscapes are just as impressive.

south of france family holidays

1 – Aix-Marseille

My grandfather lives on the side of Aix and my mother is Marseillaise so surely my heart swings between the two beautiful cities even if they are not alike at all!

In any case, as they are only 30 km away you can, without any trouble, discover the two destinations and especially their surroundings. These are some of our favorites in the area of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille:

  • Walk on the Sainte-Victoire.
  • The MUCEM (for its architecture, not its collection …).
  • Our walk-in Aix-en-Provence and the list of the must-see in Aix from the Michelin Green Guide.
  • The Creeks of Cassis.
  • Other ideas for visiting the Aix-Marseille region can be found in the Green Guide Provence.
  • Also, don’t miss visiting The Old Port – Marseille

2 – Nice-Antibes

Again we have family and friends so we manage to enjoy the area even though it is very touristy. Some of our favorites on Nice-Antibes are:

  • The Perfumeries of Grasse (25km from Antibes)
  • The village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence: much too touristy but really beautiful (15 km from the Antilles)
  • Walks on the Cap d’Antibes
  • The friendly city center.

3 – Avignon and its surroundings

I went regularly to Avignon for my work and we tested for the first time with our family last year with particular holidays picks:

  • The village of Les Baux-de-Provence: one of France’s most fascinating village overshadowed by the ruins of its formidable castle!
  • Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: for its very Provencal atmosphere.
  • Walk to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to see its emerald-colored sea.
  • Colorado Provençal (the trail of ochres).

4 – The Hautes-Alpes: Destination⇒ the festival Potes des MarmoT!

Last year we went to the Potes des MarmoT’s festival in Guillestre in the Hautes-Alpes and Titpuce and we are still talking about it!

Street shows, workshops, and plays are mostly targeted to our younger audiences and most of them are also perfect for parents.

In addition, on the side of the mountains, you will have fewer tourists than on the coast and accommodation are available at very affordable prices.

5 – Corsica in all its beauty!

I’ve already told you many times but Corsica, I’m totally a fan! We always enjoy going back. Even more than elsewhere, it is better to arrive at the beginning of the summer or the end of the holiday times as to really indulge in such an Island of Beauty!

We went twice in love to travel the GR20 and we went back to Corsica with my family, with my parents-in-Calvi 2 years ago, to discover the Balagne. Without children, I also visited the outside region of Bastia.

I hope that these few ideas of the South Of France Family Holidays will have given you some motives to have your own adventures in the sun! If you have visited the south of France with your family ever before, do not hesitate to tell us about your favorites in the comments!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit – The south of France is a wonderful region of Europe characterized by its sandy expanses, sparkling Mediterranean coastline, and countless colorful villages. Inhabited since antiquity, you can not go wrong by exploring at least several French destinations on any adventure through the region. Here are 18 sunniest places in The South Of France Cities To Visit.

 cities in south of france map

Montpellier

Often called “Paris of the South”, Montpellier is full of Haussmann architecture and many historical museums and art exhibitions. One of the largest cities in France, it also houses many cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Other highlights of the city include the impressive Gothic cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe of Montpellier in the form of the Porte du Peyrou and Chateau de Flagergues, a breathtaking beauty on the outskirts of the city.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Arles

The Roman ruins of Arles are often considered as one of the best archaeological sites in the south of France or even the whole country. Featuring a two-story amphitheater founded in AD 90, the city has inspired countless writers and artists over the years, including the world-renowned painter Van Gogh.

The position of Arles at the edge of the Rhone also allows easy access to the Camargue region of France synonymous with grassy meadows, flamingos, and wild horses.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Béziers

UNESCO World Heritage Site Les Écluses de Fonserannes, a series of nine stepped locks that link the Canal du Midi to other French waterways, Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France. In fact, it is only twenty years younger than the Provencal city of Marseille.

Today, the attractions of Béziers include walking in the many cobbled streets of the city, visiting the old walled city, and exploring a side of France that many tourists never have the opportunity to discover.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Albi

Birthplace of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi is the kind of city that we see on a vintage postcard. And the kind of place you could believe no longer exists.

Located in Occitania, this city was founded thousands of years ago and today houses a population of about seventy thousand inhabitants. Albi’s highlights include the 13th-century Gothic cathedral of Albi and the French gardens of the Berbie Museum.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Narbonne

Formerly a Roman port city, the silt, and sand have grown so much over the years that the pretty town of Narbonne is today about fifteen kilometers from the sea.

Today, instead of a sandy beach You will find many paved alleyways, museums and the birthplace of the iconic French singer Charles Trenet if you choose to visit this beautiful city in the south of France. If you still want to enjoy the sea, sun, and sand, then take a day trip from Narbonne by bus to Narbonne-Sur-Plage.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Biarritz

For adventures in the sunny seaside, you simply have to go to Biarritz, a seaside town on the French Basque coast. Located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Biarritz is best known for its historic lighthouse and surf.

In fact, it is often called the “Surf Capital” for all of France. The beaches of the city are sandy and the cloud cover is minimal throughout the spring, summer and fall, making it an ideal destination for sun lovers.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Marseilles

One of the oldest cities in France is without a doubt Marseille, a city founded in 600 BC in antiquity. First known by the ancient Greeks as Μασσαλία (Massalía), Marseille is today the second-largest city in France after Paris.

The historic fishing town still functions as a working port and the highlights of the southern France destination include the Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard, as well as the ultramodern Museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations of the city.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Avignon

Made famous in the south of France by the nursery rhyme ‘On the Pont d’Avignon’, this city in the south of France is characterized by its imposing Gothic “Palais des Papes”, as well as by the remains of the Pont Saint-Bénézet, 12th-century bridge.

The city’s iconic bridge bears the name of a 12-year-old shepherd who lived in the Middle Ages. One day, Benezet would have heard a divine voice asking him to venture to Avignon so that he could build a bridge. The story says that’s exactly what he did and so the bridge is still standing today!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Cassis

The word ‘cassis’ in French is not only the name for ‘cassis’ in the language but also the name of a pretty port city which is right next to the sea. To see absolutely during any trip in Provence, the highlights of Cassis include candy-colored houses, a Carolingian hotel and easy access to the now classified heritage site, the Calanques of Cassis.

If you want to taste the ‘real’ France, just enjoy a local ice cream (lavender is a must!) And walk around the city. Do not forget your camera, almost every corner is perfect!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Carcassonne

The fortified walls and a whole series of impressive structures come together to form a hilltop town that is emblematic throughout the world. Carcassonne was first founded as a fortified settlement in the Gallo-Roman era, then other additions to the city’s defenses were added during the Middle Ages.

If the medieval fortress was in a bad state in the 19th century (the financial constraints, lack of defense, etc. contributed to the collapse of the walls), the fortifications were strongly restored by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.

Today, Carcassonne is probably one of the most visited places in Occitania. Although there are certainly richer places to visit when it comes to the south of France, Carcassonne is worth a visit.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Aix en Provence

Hot stones, a hundred paved alleyways, and many fountains are the trademarks of Aix-en-Provence, a fairly important city that lies at the foot of the Montagne Sainte Victoire.

Home of the artist and impressionist Paul Cézanne, you can today follow in the footsteps of this famous French and even take your picture with a life-size statue of Cézanne in front of the tourist office!

READ  Top 5 Things To Do In Rhone Alpes & Best Tourist Attractions

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Cannes

For a little sparkle and glamor, you do not have to look any further than Cannes, a breathtaking resort town along the glittering French Riviera.

Even if you are not really a beach person, you may have heard of this southern France destination thanks to its annual film festival, the Cannes Film Festival. And so, if you are a cinema enthusiast, then you simply have to head to this French destination!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Ciotat

Small and located by the sea, the charm of La Ciotat lies in its authentic French atmosphere and its well preserved old town. Although there are few attractions in this Provençal town (several seafood restaurants and an artificial beach), La Ciotat’s main claim is that it is considered the cradle of pétanque, a ball game. similar to that of petanque.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Antibes

To visit preferably just before or just after the high season to enjoy the city without the crowds but with the best time possible, Antibes is located between the famous resort towns of Cannes and Nice.

Fort Carré, home to a particularly impressive museum dedicated to Picasso, the Fort Carré, shaped like a star of the sixteenth century, is a must-see in city in the southern french.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Massif des Calanques

Stretching over 20 km of coast between Cassis and Marseille, the Massif des Calanques is a unique National Park in the world in that this terrain formed by rugged limestone that has been eroded by the sea, weather and salt breeze.

Small coves and impressive peaks make this promenade a must for hikers. If you choose to plan a visit, avoid the summer months because the park is often closed due to the risk of a forest fire!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Saint-Paul de Vence

Of all the beautiful towns and villages of Provence, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is probably the most picturesque of all.

Characterized by its winding alleys, floral displays, and cobbled streets, this Provencal town is like a return to a vintage postcard!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Sète

A fishing town that still functions today as a working port, Sète is located between the historic towns of Béziers and Montpellier. Easy to visit by day since Béziers, the region is well known for its dishes inspired by the sea, including mussels!

The South Of France Cities To Visit

The South Of France Cities To Visit

Nice

Nice, that’s satisfying … Nice is a breathtaking city along the Côte d’Azur. Especially known for its long boulevard along the sea named ‘Promenade des Anglais’, the city became a place for the rich and the wealthy when celebrities began flocking to the seaside resort during the 19th century.

Since then, it has appeared in countless paintings, films, and is well worth visiting if you are looking for a glittering getaway.

The South Of France Cities To Visit

25 Best Place To Visit In French Riviera

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera – Sun, Mediterranean, and the smell of olive trees: this is the picture that comes to mind when picturing your visit to the French Riviera. This destination is full of treasures to discover during a stay of at least two weeks.

Of course, you have to visit the iconic cities of Nice, Cannes, Antibes, and Saint-Tropez and its glamorous aura. Enjoy the seaside bathing in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, St. Raphael, Mandelieu-la-Napoule of Sainte-Maxime.

Do not settle for the coast: venturing into the land is just as exciting. Mougins, Le Lavandou, Grasse, and Vallauris are beautiful gateways to the Nice hinterland and the Var department. To take a little height, the perched villages of Eze, Vence, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Ramatuelle are unavoidable.

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Finally, you will enjoy the change of scenery that provides a trip to the islands of Lérins or Hyères … So, get ready to discover the French Riviera…

 

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera

1- Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera

An influential longing to get away from crowds? Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is still preserved from hordes of summer visitors and offers magnificent panoramas immersed in serenity.

In a one hour walk, you will make the complete tour of the peninsula and will discover all the beauty of the shaded littoral of pines and paving stones. Small creeks open intermittently, revealing pebble beaches where crystal clear water sparkles in the sun.

Then go up to the chapel Saint-Hospice overlooking the peninsula. This bronze Virgin, 1 meter 40 high, forces respect. Also, consider taking a look at the Museum of Seashells which includes a collection of more than 4000 collector’s items, sometimes colorful and sometimes in extraordinary shapes.

 

2- Cannes

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera

Cannes, a jet-setters destination? Although the city shines once a year on the occasion of the famous Cannes Film Festival and its parade of movie stars, it has many other assets to offer.

The boulevard de la Croisette along the seaside is a must for bringing in the atmosphere of Cannes. Then go for a walk in the district of Suquet, the oldest part of the city, which includes vestiges dating from the Middle Ages. Built on a hill to protect itself from the attacks of pirates, it deploys its crooked lanes to the Old Port below.

The Musée de la Castre exhibits a beautiful collection of antiques and a climb to the top of the Square Tower will ensure a magnificent panorama of the coast. Do not forget to go for a walk to the Forville market, known for the quality of products and the enthusiasm and good mood of traders.

You may as well leave the coast for a while and go for a refreshing swim at La Croix des Gardes. This forest nature park is located on a hill just one kilometer from the city. Its beautiful mimosa forest is worth a visit.

 

3- The islands of Hyères (Porquerolles, Port Cros, and the Levant) 

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

The so-called “golden islands” certainly deserve their enchanting reputation … The islands of Hyères are three in number and are located opposite the peninsula of Gien.

  • Porquerolles

Porquerolles is the largest and most visited of the three islands. It is reached by boat in just 10 minutes from the port of Hyères. This little paradise was ranked “Heart of National Park” in 2012 and is perfectly preserved.

As soon as you reach the village, venture into the heart of the town where the trees and plants maintained by the Botanical Conservatory spread a delightful scent.

The south coast offers a breathtaking view of the sea from the cliffs. Finally, the three white sand beaches would almost feel like an island on the other side of the world!

  • Port Cros

Port-Cros is the most primitive of the three islands, but also the most “natural”. No car or bike here: it can only be discovered on foot, thanks to three hiking trails that allow you to immerse yourself in the heart of nature.

Protected since 1963, the island has hardly been impacted by human activity and has a very exotic authenticity. Small creeks call for swimming and snorkeling.

  • The Levant

The island of Levant is probably the least popular for family vacations. This island is, however, a real pleasure for the walkers. Many paths run through the scrubland and the fauna and flora are well preserved.

Go for a walk to the village when arriving at the port: the twenty minutes course is quite steep but reserves a superb panorama.

Be careful to choose your island according to your desires. If Porquerolles is particularly suitable for families and all tourists in general, Port-Cros is more for athletes and Le Levant for those seeking privacy.

 

4- Nice

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Nissa la Bella! The largest and one of the Best Place To Visit In French Riviera. Nice is often the entry point for holidaymakers arriving at its airport (which is also considered the most beautiful view of France during the landing).  This beautiful city does not lack attractions to seduce the visitors throughout the year, and not only during the summer season…

The boulevard Jean Médecin, main commercial artery, and Place Masséna constitute the heart of Nice. This is where the famous carnival of Nice, whose huge tanks make fun of politicians every year in February, passes.

Stay away from the city center and go up to explore the garden of the Cimiez Bullring, little known by tourists. Lawns dotted with olive trees are ideal for sunny picnics. The Matisse museum and archaeological ruins are an opportunity to learn a little more. In addition, many traditional events in Nice take place in spring: dances, meals, costume parties …

 

5- Mougins

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

The pretty medieval village of Mougins is located in the hinterland of the French Riviera. Its narrow streets with which a fountain, a church or an art gallery hides a certain charm.

Picasso, Christian Dior, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Cocteau, Winston Churchill, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf … Countless celebrities who chose Mougins as a vacation resort. Mougins is also known for being “City and Crafts for Gastronomy”. More than 40 restaurants serve refined food that will delight the taste buds of gourmets (however, it will break the bank  …).

Guilty little pleasures: go a little closer to the huge villas that can be seen behind the ornamented portals. Many politicians and personalities have a second home in Mougins.

6- Saint Paul de Vence

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

The most beautiful village in Provence? We would be tempted to believe it! The lovely hilltop village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence is located just 15 minutes from the sea, but the view from its summit is worth the detour. Always loved by artists, it still hosts many art galleries and artisans.

Strolling along its medieval lanes goes back to the old days when cars and modern civilization did not exist. Take the Rue Grande de la Porte Sud to the Porte Royale to admire the beautiful facades cut stone houses. At the turn of the network of alleys, you will cross the path of an old carved porch, a singing fountain or a group of villagers around a game of petanque …

Climb to the top of the ramparts to enjoy the panorama and do not forget to visit the Maeght Foundation. This museum of modern art exhibits sculptures, paintings, collages and ceramics in the heart of a beautiful park.

Come early in the morning to see the sunrise from the ramparts … and to avoid the heat and the crowd of tourists, a piece of especially valuable information in the time from July to August.

 

7- Vence

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Back in the past with a visit to the hilltop village of Vence. This village has always been governed by painters and sculptors (Matisse, Chagall, Dufy …). Even today, the “Cité des Arts” houses an impressive number of galleries of paintings and sculptures.

Ancient Roman city, Vence preserves many vestiges like ruins, a triumphal arch and partially destroyed castles. Many religious buildings are worth visiting, such as the cathedral which houses a sarcophagus of the fifth century. The Chapelle des Penitents Blancs and its Renaissance bell tower are also worth a visit.

Try to attend some workshops to see the craftsmen at work and discover arts such as silversmithing mosaic, wood carving, santonnerie …

8- Grasse

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

How to evoke Grasse without thinking of its famous perfumeries? The historic Fragonard plant, the Molinard perfumery, and the Galimard museum open their doors for a fascinating immersion in the world of odors. You can discover all the secrets of making perfumes and leave with a carefully selected fragrance.

Grasse is also a city signalized by history: the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Victoria or the actor Dirk Bogarde have stayed there and have left traces of their journey. The magnificent mansions of the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, which can be seen everywhere around the narrow streets, offer a spectacle full of nostalgia.

Place du Puy and its cathedral are the high point of this walk to the past. Do not leave without having sat at one of the many restaurants in Grasse to honor the local cuisine. The donuts with zucchini flowers, in particular, are the ones to taste!

 

9- Antibes / Juan Les Pins

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

  • Antibes

Antibes is one of the flagship cities of the French Rivera. Strolling into Old Antibes is a very fascinating experience, between the colorful facades of its houses and its pretty cobbled streets. Numerous shops offer for sale artisanal decorative objects and delicious local specialties.

Then head to Port-Vauban, the largest marina in Europe, to board a boat a few hours or experiment some water sports. You will be overwhelmed by the huge yachts anchoring in the summer season. Finally, the Cap d’Antibes is the walk to seek: the path along the coast will leave you applauding in front of the panorama, but also in front of the castles and villas of the rich Antibes.

Facing the sea, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is renowned for being one of the most beautiful in the world…

  • Juan Les Pins

Juan-les-Pins is the seaside resort of Antibes. We go there especially at night to enjoy its exciting nightlife. Beaches, bars, and restaurants line the entire coastline. To get away from all this hustle and bustle, go for a walk in the park of the pinewood where the greenery provides a very pleasant shade.

If you’re visiting in July, do not miss the Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival. It hosts the greatest artists of its kind since 1960 on the open stage “Pinède Goult”.

 

10- Saint Tropez

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

It is a true legend and surely it is the most famous village in France: Saint-Tropez does not fail to earn its reputation. Saint-Trop ‘, for the locals, has two very different sides:

  1. On the one hand, its very “jetset” side attracts all those who want to see and be seen in the bars and upscale restaurants along the seaside. The champagne flows there during social evenings and some of the most luxurious yachts that others line up at the port, posing to eyes and cameras.
  2. On the other hand, its enclosed streets have kept a certain charm, reinforced by the smell of flowers and the heat of the sun.
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After having drunk a glass of pastis and watched the locals play pétanque on the famous place des Lices, climb to the citadel of Saint-Tropez and go around the ruins while raving in front of the view. Very interesting, the modern museum of maritime history gives the opportunity to discover the life of mythical sailors.

Have fun too in front of the famous gendarmerie, immortalized by the movie “The Gendarme of Saint-Tropez” with Louis de Funès. With few tourists, La Maison des Papillons hides in a small alley in the heart of the village. More than 35,000 butterflies are on display, some exceptionally rare.

 

11- Ramatuelle

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

In the heart of vineyards and hills, Ramatuelle is one of the jewels of the region. At 130 meters altitude, it is a peaceful place far away from the jet-set of the French Riviera. Its originality consists in its “snail” shape: the main road climbs slowly up the village by winding itself.

Small restaurants and local craft shops are located in ancient cellars carved into the rock. Below the village of Ramatuelle, the famous Pampelonne beach stretches over 27 hectares of sand. It is at the origin of the “myth of Saint-Tropez” because many films were filmed there in the ’50s.

The beach of Pampelonne may be iconic, it is very visited by holidaymakers, especially in the summer. It is better to go to Cap Taillat, between Ramatuelle and La Croix-Valmer. Visit the beaches of Escalet and take the trail along the coast to reach the coves and enjoy a magnificent view of the sea.

 

12- St. Raphael

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Saint-Raphaël is both a city and a seaside resort very popular. The old town, called “village district”, houses the beautiful San Raféu church and its archaeological museum. The daily flower and vegetable market is an opportunity to stock up on smells and flavors typical of the southeast.

Once you have explored all the streets, leave the city and go swimming in the bay of Agay, overhung by the red rocks of the Esterel mountains, or Anthéor, under the pillars of its majestic viaduct. You must also take the time to enjoy the Île d’Or, visible from the beach of Dramont. This rock surmounted by a high tower on which we can not disappoint you by its beauty and its mystery.

If you do not have the time to walk the famous Corniche d’Or in its entirety, this 40 km road linking Saint-Raphaël to Mandelieu, go down at least the steps of the Calanque Saint-Barthélemy, an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling.

 

13- Sainte-Maxime

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

At the edge of the Mediterranean and at the foot of the Massif des Maures, the city of Sainte-Maxime is famous for its mild weather. It is a good starting point to explore the Var region and the Nice hinterland.

Its pretty streets are full of stalls, ice cream stores, restaurants and picturesque cafés that delight holidaymakers. Climb the steps of the Square Tower, in front of the church, to admire the view of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.

Stay away from the main street where most of the restaurants are and have lunch at “Côté Jardin”. This restaurant/tearoom offers fresh, seasonal cuisine and works of art.

 

14- Mandelieu-la-Napoule

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

A small town on the border of Cannes, Mandelieu-la-Napoule is not devoid of attractions. Its main point of interest is the castle of Napoule, built in the fourteenth century. The park that surrounds it is classified as “remarkable garden” and many contemporary art sculptures adorn its foothills.

If the magnificent panorama of the top of the Castle is not enough for you, a hike on the hill of San Peyre will make you breathe the untamed smells of the wild scrubland. Then go discover the seven beaches of Mandelieu-la-Napoule. Robinson, Sables d’Or, La Raguette … Their names promise well-deserved sites!

If you have a little more time, rent a bike and ride along the banks of the Siagne to the coast for a variation of the landscape.

 

15- Lerins Islands

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Just in front of the bay of Cannes and the Esterel mountains, the Lérins Islands are a real gem to visit imperatively if you are crossing the French Riviera. You will have to take a boat to the port of Cannes to reach the islands in just 15 minutes.

  • Sainte-Marguerite Island

Île Sainte-Marguerite is the largest, it stretches for 3 kilometers. We go there to enjoy the beach but also to walk around the pond Batéguier. An observatory allows you to admire the many migratory birds that nest nearby.

Former military prison, the Royal Fort houses a fascinating enigma, that of the Iron Mask. This mysterious detainee would have been imprisoned for years without anyone knowing his identity. Lover of the Queen, twin brother of King Louis XIV, Molière himself …? The secret remains till today.

  • Saint-Honorat Island

Île Saint-Honorat is smaller (only 1.5 kilometers in size) but just as exciting from a historical point of view. It has been home to the Lérins monks’ abbey for 16 centuries and attracts travelers in search of spirituality or simply calm.

Others can explore the many chapels of the tenth century that scatter on the island or taste wines being produced by the monks since the Middle Ages.

Watch out for the sometimes massive crowd during the summer. To enjoy serenely the Lérins Islands and have time to visit the two islands in one day, take the first boat at 7:30 or the second at 9 am.

 

16- Vallauris

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

A few steps from Antibes, Vallauris is a small town surrounded by hills. It is known to be the world capital of ceramics. Do not miss the Pottery Museum and the Magnelli Ceramics Museum, which have some very interesting collections. “City and Crafts”, Vallauris was popular with the greatest artists and craftsmen, like Picasso and Jean Marais.

It also has other assets such as the beautiful Château Robert, a luxurious residence with oriental aesthetics and its botanical park of 15 hectares.

  • Golfe-Juan

Golfe-Juan is the seaside resort of Vallauris. The large sandy beaches, those of the Sun and the Promenade du Midi, attract mostly families. They are ideally located opposite the Lérins Islands. Still quite preserved from mass tourism, the coastline is adorned with many mimosas, laurels and palm trees.

Visit the eight charming chapels in Vallauris for a different vision of the city.

 

17- Eze

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

The big excitement of heart for the splendid perched village of Eze. Come lose yourself in the steep streets of this medieval-looking hamlet. The ideal is to park at the parking of the place of General de Gaulle, in front of the tourist office, and continue on foot.

Numerous boutiques, perfumeries and art galleries adorn the main road, offering the opportunity to discover local crafts. Once at the top of the village, you can discover the exotic garden and its elegant women’s status. Take a detour to admire the 5-star restaurant-hotel La Chèvre d’Or: its park clinging to the cliff is sublimated by works of art.

Summon your courage and take the path of Nietzsche! Admired by tourists because of its steep slope, it offers a magnificent panorama of the Mediterranean. Once down after 45 minutes of walking, you can enjoy a well-deserved swim … before going back up.

 

18- Le Lavandou

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

At the foot of the Massif des Maures, Le Lavandou mixes Provençal sweetness and charm of a seaside resort. The first fishing port of the Var created just a century ago, the “city of dolphins” has kept a certain intimacy.

A path follows all along the seaside and offers a magnificent view of the islands of Levant and Port-Cros. Its 12 kilometers of coastline reveal many beaches haunted by hikers as well as by families with children.

Try the Elephant beach, a small wild creek a little more difficult to reach (you can only reach it by walking on the rocks or on a boat through the sea). You will, however, be rewarded by the tranquility of the place, especially appreciated by quietness seekers…

 

19- Massive of the Moors

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

From Saint-Raphaël to Hyères, the Massif des Maures with its scrubland and forests of oaks, chestnuts or pines, you reserve superb views and you will discover beautiful hilltop villages with their narrow streets: Fayence, center of gliding , near Lake Saint-Cassien where you can swim and practice water sports, Collobrières in the middle of cork oak forests, Tourtour, artists’ village, Seillans, Bargeme at 1094 meters above sea level, the highest village of Var. These last three villages being classified among the most beautiful villages of France.

For those who like to walk, put on your walking shoes for the GR49 from Saint-Raphaël to Rougon, about 100 km, to discover the Massif des Maures but also the Verdon Regional Nature Park and the Massif de l Esterel with beautiful panoramas on the bay of Cannes and the Lérins Islands.

 

20- Monaco

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

This enclave of 2 km2 has authenticity and exceptional landscapes with its old city perched on its rock. Nestled in the cliff, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea 60 meters Monaco Palace stone is the headquarters of the oceanographic institute which has a splendid aquarium of 90 basins and a lagoon with sharks.

The exotic garden with its grotto and its immense cacti, blooming in winter, is exquisite; you can also visit the princely apartments. Of course, the port is home to sumptuous yachts, the seafront palaces as the Hermitage with the dome in the glass roof of his winter garden.

Every day at 11:55, you can attend to watch the changing of the guard of the Prince’s Palace.

 

21- Chin

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Between sea and mountain, Menton, city of art and history on the outskirts of Italy, is a city that is toured all year round thanks to the mildness of its climate. In February, discover the famous Lemon Festival and meet the local producers. Take the opportunity to stroll through the old streets of the city with colorful houses and do not miss the Basilica of St. Michael, one of the most beautiful Baroque monuments in the city.

In the spring, Menton is embellished with its most beautiful colors with its fabulous fragrant gardens all in bloom: the Val Rahmeh garden with its exotic plants, the Biovès gardens or the Fontana Rosa Belle Epoque style garden.

In summer, the city has a pleasant seaside and you can swim on a sandy and pebble beach where you will walk on many meters. Facing the sea, the Jean Cocteau museum, a beautiful architectural achievement created by Rudy Ricciotti, exhibits 2,000 works on 2700m².

Just outside Menton, do not miss two of the most beautiful villages in France: Ste Agnès, a vertiginously hung village on the side of a peak overlooking the sea, and Coaraze, a medieval village surrounded by cypress trees. of olive trees, with terraced gardens and a view of the summit of Rocca Sierra.

 

22- Mercantour National Park

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Only 50 km from the sea, the Mercantour National Park has magnificent fir forests and larch forests; we can see gentians, rhododendrons and blueberries. It hosts wolves, ibexes, eagles, marmots. The landscape around the Allos glacier lake at 2228 meters above sea level is beautiful both in summer and winter.

It covers the valley of Vésubie which offers many opportunities for activities including hiking or fishing in summer and winter, ski resorts where you can practice skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoes: Valberg (1430-2066), Isola 2000 (1810-2603), Greolieres the Snows (1400-1800), Auron, Colmiane…

To see the wolves in their environment, go to the Alpha Animal Park. You can even observe them very closely by becoming a trainer for a few hours. Unforgettable experience!

 

23- Cap d’Antibes

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

The Cap d’Antibes is a superb peninsula, with its pines and mimosas, its splendid beach of Salis, and its sumptuous villas. A superb stroll by the sea along the cape offers very beautiful landscapes.

Plan some good and comfy walking footwear for the walk because some places are not easy to access. And do not forget your camera!

 

24- Biot

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

The fortified perched village has a lot of charm with its arcades and paved streets. It is known mainly for its glassworks and the Fernand Léger museum with its mosaic and stained glass façade, which displays 400 works by the artist. Labeled as the “City of crafts”, Biot has about fifty producers in different trades.

To stretch your legs, the departmental park of Brague between Biot and Valbonne offers several walking rounds in which you will discover historical remains like old mills.

 

25- Gourdon

Best Place To Visit In French Riviera & Where To Stay

Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Gourdon is a perched village with beautiful medieval houses around a castle which has beautiful gardens designed by Le Nôtre. The view of the Mediterranean and the valley is breathtaking.

After your stroll, indulge yourself in a Mediterranean feast in one of the restaurants with panoramic views of the region.

On our side, we still have a lot of other places to visit in the south of France! The list is, of course, can just go on and on, so do not hesitate to comment on the number of places you visited and those that are missing (just under the article)!

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