From the French Riviera to the Pyrenees, the South of France has a lot to offer. It’s an excellent destination for a summer holiday.
In addition to its many sand beaches, the South of France is also brimming with charming French villages and stunning historical landmarks. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a frequent visitor, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to visit in this region.
Nice, a charming coastal city on the Mediterranean coast of France, is a perfect spot for exploring the South of France this Summer. Its beaches are picture-perfect, and the climate is ideal for outdoor activities like sunbathing, hiking and even scuba diving.
It is known as the ‘City of Light’, and for good reason – it has a spectacular climate, beautiful beaches and an amazing selection of attractions to see and experience during your stay. From a Roman amphitheatre to beautiful parks and gardens, there’s so much to see in this stunning city!
A cruise around the coastline is a great way to get an overview of this beautiful area. Departing from the Port of Nice, this hour-long ride takes in the bay, mountain villages and seaside villas. The boat also stops at various sights along the way for commentary about the history and natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Set in a grove of century-old olive trees, this garden is a lovely spot to relax on a sunny day. It is surrounded by a backdrop of gorgeous views and boasts a variety of relaxing areas, including a small lake and plenty of places to sit and enjoy a drink or a snack.
This monument is situated at the feet of Castle Hill and was designed as a memorial to the 4.000 people who died during WWI. It’s a nice place to visit for a picnic and to get some panoramic photos of the town.
Musée Matisse is the home to a huge collection of works by French artist Henri Matisse, who lived and worked in Nice for many years. It is a great place to learn more about the famous painter’s life and work.
The museum features art from the 1950s through to the present, and is worth a visit. Among the impressive pieces is a large installation by Henri Matisse called La Tour d’Aigues, which depicts an elegant and sensual woman.
Another great place to see art in Nice is at Musée Marc Chagall, which has one of the best collections of his work. It also includes works by artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman.
Avignon, a charming Provencal town on the banks of the Rhone River, is one of the South of France’s most enchanting and historic cities. It was a major papacy seat from 1309 to 1377 and remains a UNESCO World Heritage site today, with an impressive collection of magnificent medieval buildings.
With a reputation as a hub of cultural activity and a vibrant artistic scene, Avignon is well worth a visit. Explore the imposing Palais des Papes, once home to popes, or check out one of the city’s many churches and cathedrals. The Eglise Saint-Pierre is a quaint cathedral with an interesting history, while the Basilique de Notre Dame is a lovely Catholic church with intricate carved walnut doors and a gorgeous stained glass window.
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in Avignon, so you can easily spend a day here and leave with the memory of a magical experience. You can stroll through its hilltop park for breathtaking views, take a tour of the immense Palais des Papes and admire the awe-inspiring architecture, or simply find yourself a pretty spot to sit in a cafe and soak up the Provencal atmosphere.
If you’re in the mood to get out on the water, head over to the nearby Croisiere des Vignobles for a memorable cruise down the Rhone. You’ll get a great view of the city’s highlights and you can choose to sample some traditional French cuisine, or opt for a DJ cruise for a more modern twist on a classic fluvial experience.
Alternatively, you could take a trip to the Grottes de Thouzon, a grotto full of pencil-thin stalactites and cave pearls. This is an excellent way to get a feel for the region’s fascinating natural history, and you can even take the opportunity to learn about the local flora and fauna on a guided tour.
If you’re looking for a taste of the gastronomic culture in Avignon, you should make sure to check out Cafe Tulipe. This café serves up a selection of cakes, light savoury snacks and homemade French sweets. They also have a wide range of drinks, so you’re bound to find something that takes your fancy.
When you go to Europe, chances are that one of the first things on your list of things to do is see some of the world’s most famous landmarks. But if you’re looking for something less touristy and more magical, you can find it in the South of France this summer!
Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Aix-en-Provence is often called “The City of a Thousand Fountains,” as it was built upon the site of a thermal spring. There are plenty of things to do around this ancient city, from taking a walk along the Cours Mirabeau to visiting the birthplace of Paul Cezanne.
Aix’s main square, Place de la Mairie, is a great place to start, as it’s home to the Town Hall and plenty of local shops and souvenir stands. Then, head across Cours Mirabeau to the heart of Aix’s old town. You’ll find inviting pedestrian streets that hum with life.
Another popular attraction is the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses a large collection of paintings and sculptures by Cezanne and other Provencal artists. The gallery also houses temporary art exhibitions.
If you’re an art fan, there are a number of other attractions in Aix-en-Provence worth visiting. You can see the Lauves Studio, where Cezanne painted many of his masterpieces, or the Bastide du Jas de Bouffan, where he lived and worked during his last years.
You can even take a tour of the Bibemus Quarries, where Cezanne sourced many of his paints and used them for his paintings. You can also drive to the nearby Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which he used as a backdrop in many of his works.
Aix’s historic center is awash with cafes, restaurants, and bars. But it’s also home to a vibrant farmers market, where rustic vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables under the shade of graceful plane trees. Alternatively, try to catch a live performance at the Grand Theatre de Provence or grab a drink in a bar along Rue de la Verrerie. If you’re after a night of dancing, check out Le Scat Club, where DJs spin beats into the early hours.
This summer, take your pick of the finest beaches on the Riviera, from Cannes to Monaco, or head inland to Provence. It’s an area with it all: beautiful towns, stunning landscapes, warm hospitality and an endless range of activities.
Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur is a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 3 million visitors each year. It has many fine hotels, restaurants, and shops, as well as a wealth of culture and history.
It’s also home to some of the world’s most iconic attractions, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille and l’Orangerie in Aix-en-Provence. It’s also the region that inspired artists such as Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse.
The azure sea, lavender fields, and vineyards are some of the main attractions in this gorgeous region. However, if you’re planning on visiting the countryside, it’s important to be aware that it can be extremely hot in the summer.
For a cool escape, you can visit the Gorges du Verdon, a spectacular canyon that runs deep into the Alps. Alternatively, there are several great mountain bike routes.
You can also ski in Provence-Alpes-Cote -Azur, one of the biggest ski areas in France. The Serre Chevalier and Montgenevre ski resorts are both located here, along with the Via Lattea area in Italy.
To get around Provence-Alpes-Cote –Azur, you can use your own car or take a taxi, bus or train. The city of Marseille has a subway (2 lines) and tramway, while Avignon, Aubagne and Nice have a number of tramways.
There are also some great day trips available from Provence-Alpes-Cote —Azur. Those who want to take in a little more of France can easily catch a ferry from Nice, Toulon or Marseille to Corsica. This is known as the ‘Island of Beauty’, and offers a whole different world in terms of climate, scenery and culture.
Its famous coastline, including Cannes, Mandelieu-la-Napoule and St-Raphael, is also popular with celebrities. Whether you’re looking to party or simply enjoy the sunshine, Provence-Alpes-Cote Azur has something for everyone. The region has a fantastic range of places to stay, from luxury villas and castles to charming bed and breakfasts.