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22 Greatest Locations to Go to within the South of France


On the lookout for one of the best locations to go to within the South of France? You’ve come to the best place. It had been fairly a while since we’d traveled the South of France, however this summer time we had the nice fortune of spending practically a month revisiting this stunning area. Whereas taking a Canal du Midi cruise on our luxurious houseboat with Le Boat, we had the possibility to discover a number of the lesser-known locations in Southern France.

Throughout this journey down the historic waterway, we had been reminded of all the attractive locations within the South of France that we’ve taken through the years. France actually has all of it. So, in case you are trying to department out from the unusual, take a look at one of the best locations to go to within the South of France to create a vacation that may ignite all of the senses.

Prime Locations to go to within the South of France

places to visit in the south of france city at sunset

Historic cities, the French Riviera, and exquisite seashores; the South of France oozes with power and pleasure. However what are one of the best locations to go to within the South of France? Are you on the lookout for a metropolis stuffed with elegant structure and cultural points of interest? Or maybe one of many stunning medieval villages, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by olive groves? Be it sandy seashores, artwork galleries, or conventional French delicacies, Southern France is a timeless vacation vacation spot, and it’s simple to see why.

This information will cowl every little thing from the beautiful pure points of interest within the South of France to nationwide parks and one of the best cities. Are you able to get began? Let’s have a look.

Greatest cities and cities to go to within the South of France

places to visit in the south of france cities

When on the lookout for one of the best locations to go to within the South of France, an amazing place to start out is with the area’s city areas. South France has some unimaginable cities and cities. Let’s dive straight in.

1. Toulouse

places in southern france toulouse

Toulouse was an surprising metropolis within the South of France, situated inland alongside the Spanish border. The town has the nickname ‘La Ville Rose’, which means the pink metropolis as a result of pink bricks used to construct most of its buildings. Toulouse is France’s fourth largest metropolis after Paris, Marseilles, and Lyon and but it’s simple to discover on foot. When visiting Toulouse, you’ll really feel as in case you are visiting the genuine France with locals eating in out of doors cafes and college students stress-free by the river’s edge. It’s what we think about Paris was like 50 years in the past.

A bustling college metropolis, Toulouse could also be small, however it’s stuffed with power. There are many points of interest to see in Toulouse like the principle sq. of La Capitole, Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse, and the Musee Aeroscopia. Toulouse is the middle of the aeronautics and area trade in France and this museum showcases its historical past and growth.

things to do in Toulouse Pass

Should you go, be sure to select up a Toulouse Move to actually discover the town. The Toulouse Move presents 1, 2, or 3-day passes that embody public transport and free entrance into many of the metropolis’s hottest vacationer points of interest.

There’s an outdated city to wander, loads of museums, and a reasonably cutting-edge style scene. It’s also the start line of the Canal du Midi which winds its manner down 240 km to the French Riviera. Toulouse is a unbelievable place to go to in South France, and will certainly hold you entertained. Learn extra: Greatest Issues to do in Toulouse France

2. Marseille

cities in the south of france marseille

Marseille is the oldest metropolis in Southern France. Actually, it’s the oldest metropolis in all of France and it’s second in dimension solely to Paris. Positioned on the Gulf de Lyon, which is a part of the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is the right mix of African and French tradition. A buying and selling hotspot and port hub since 600 BC, Marseille is among the greatest locations to go to within the South of France if you’d like a style of historical past and historic tradition.

A very powerful a part of Marseille is its Vieux Port. It’s right here that fisherman as soon as bought their catch, and a whole bunch of years later, many nonetheless do. You must also go to the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, the Musee des Beaux-Arts, and Palais Longchamp.

Fun things to do in Marseille France Vieux Port

We advise spending a minimal of three days in Marseille so that you simply expertise the seafood scene, and its greatest points of interest together with a day journey out to Chateau d’If made well-known by Alexander Dumas in The Rely of Monte Cristo written by Alexander Dumas.

When visiting Marseille, we recommend getting a Marseille Metropolis Move – The town go is legitimate for 1-3 days and allows you to hop on hop off to see all the highest vacationer points of interest. With limitless entry to public transportation plus a tour on the Vacationer practice to Notre-Dame de la Garde or by the Previous Marseille. You’ll have entry to MUCEM, and Regards de Provence Museum, plus crossing Frioul Island, or If Island with entrance to Chateau D’If. There are many reductions, entry to municipal museums, and a guided metropolis tour. See particulars right here.

3. Cannes

cities in southern france cannes

Who hasn’t heard of Cannes? If you’re visiting Southern France and craving a metropolis expertise, you have to go to Cannes. The town is maybe essentially the most well-known spot on the French Riviera due to the glitz and glamour it exudes on an annual foundation. It’s liked by celebrities, and adored for its annual movie competition, The Cannes Worldwide Movie Pageant. It has many beloved seashores and cultural points of interest as effectively.

A lot of Cannes and its points of interest will be skilled by strolling (or driving) alongside the Boulevard de la Croisette. The boulevard spans the Cannes shoreline, with beautiful views over the Bay of Cannes on the Mediterranean Sea. The Boulevard de la Croisette is lined by luxurious lodges, boutiques, and eating places and caters completely to an upscale crowd.

Cannes is greatest for many who need luxurious, resort-style environment. Once we visited Cannes, we couldn’t afford the posh lodges and as a substitute stayed at a campsite simply out of city. However we nonetheless had the possibility to brush shoulders with the wealthy and well-known as we visited the seashores to work on our tans and luxuriate in a style of that five-star hospitality.

4. Good

cities in south france nice

Good is the largest metropolis on the French Riviera which makes it one of many prime locations to go to within the South of France. It has essentially the most city really feel out of all of the locations on our checklist and is good if you wish to really feel in the midst of all of the motion. A good selection for a lodge is Resort Good Riviera. This 4-star lodge is one block from the seashore with affordable costs.

Like Cannes, Good has a scenic stretch of street alongside its shoreline. Promenade des Anglais stretches 7 km and is the place you’ll discover nearly all of points of interest and one of the best ocean views. It’s on the Promenade des Anglais that you simply’ll discover the Good Carnival, which takes place each February or March. You need to stroll the promenade, Previous City, and make time to go to the Fortress Hill of Good – an outdated medieval fortress overlooking the town.

Apparently, Good can be surrounded by various stunning cities and villages – a lot of which date again to the Center Ages. You possibly can spend days stress-free within the metropolis and on its stunning seashores, taking the odd day journey to a medieval city for one of the best of each worlds. Learn extra: 24 Hours in Good – Typically You Solely have a Day to See it All

5. Aix en Provence

cities in south france aix en provence

The area of Provence is among the most magical areas in France, and Aix en Provence is every little thing you’d count on of a metropolis in southern France. It has class, class, and historical past by the bucket masses. The previous capital of Provence is ideal for vacationers who worth tradition when selecting a vacation vacation spot. Aix en Provence has various nicknames, together with “The town of a Thousand Fountains” and “The Metropolis of Counts”. It’s full of issues to do and see, and it has a noble environment to match.

Aix en Provence is an artsy college city simply 20 minutes north of Marseille.  It was additionally the birthplace and residential of the good painter Paul Cezanne. The town is happy with this historic reality and traces of Cezanne will be discovered in every single place within the metropolis. The Cezanne stroll is your greatest solution to see every little thing Cezanne.  It is a enjoyable and attention-grabbing self-guided tour that Dave and I did on a sunny afternoon throughout our go to. Our strolling tour took us across the Previous City, visiting Cezanne’s Studio, and Camp De Milles.

A number of the greatest issues to do in Aix en Provence is to discover its artwork galleries, museums, and different historic points of interest. Anticipate a energetic nightlife scene and loads of momentary exhibitions and occasions.

6. Saint Tropez

southern french cities saint tropez

Craving to be steps away from the ocean? Saint Tropez is the perfect candidate. Saint Tropez is ideal if you’d like glamour and sweetness, but a quieter really feel than large cities like Good. The small city sits on the French Riviera and was as soon as a bit of fishing village.

The fishing village shot to recognition after getting used as a filming location for And God Created Girl starring Brigitte Bardot in 1955. Because the Sixties vacationers have been flocking to probably the most standard locations to go to within the South of France, however Saint Tropez has nonetheless retained a few of its most charming village qualities. You possibly can nonetheless spot some little fishing boats within the Previous Port, and La Ponche Quarter continues to be filled with slender streets with cobblestones.

One of the best seashores in Saint Tropez are Plage de Pampelonne, Plage St. Tropez and Bouillabaisse Seashore. Nonetheless, when you’ve spent a day on the seashore be sure to expertise the city’s hospitality scene, and don’t miss trying out the central sq. on the market at Place des Lices. It has a repute for scrumptious meals and unbelievable domestically owned eating places; positively attempt the recent seafood and domestically grown olives.

7. Saint Paul de Vence

places in south france saint paul de vence

Saint Paul de Vence is among the oldest medieval villages on the French Riviera. Image a walled city with cobblestone streets and historic, overhanging buildings. All the things is constructed from conventional stone and Saint Paul de Vence is the form of place the place each inch of rock feels prefer it has a narrative to inform.

The city sits on a hill overlooking the French Riviera. It’s comparatively simple to go to as a at this time journey from Good however, for those who can, it’s best to attempt to keep within the city itself. Saint Paul de Vence appears like someplace out of a fairy story. Simply strolling by its cobbled streets and Previous City (bear in mind a digital camera) is sufficient to hold you entertained for a full day.

It was as soon as the house of well-known painter Marc Chagall and while you go to certainly one of its prime points of interest, the Cimetière de Saint-Paul-de-Vence, you will note his grave.

You must also dine at La Colombe d’Or, the place the Roux household as soon as let artists resembling Picasso, Braque, Calder, and Matisse dine in change for now well-known work. Consuming scrumptious meals is even higher if you end up surrounded by artistic endeavors whilst you eat.

8. Les Baux de Provence

places in france south les baux provence

Okay, we could also be concentrating on cities and cities however the village of Les Baux de Provence was too stunning to not embody. This hilltop village continues to be protected by medieval partitions and makes an exquisite, memorable getaway. Actually, it’s so stunning that the town is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Website.

The highest points of interest within the village are, The ruins of Castillo de Los Baux, a Twelfth-century fort, and Carrieres de Lumieres. Carrieres de Lumieres (the quarry of lights) is a novel attraction with art work projected onto the disused quarry’s limestone partitions. Artwork fanatics will love the novelty of a digital exhibition, and the art work displayed adjustments incessantly which retains the quarry thrilling to go to.

Certain, Les Baux de Provence is quiet and distanced from the Mediterranean Sea, nevertheless, the village has a movie set really feel and is bursting with historical past and attraction. If you would like a quaint, lesser skilled impression of Southern France, Les Baux de Provence is a unbelievable place to go to. You might also like Enchanting Medieval Villages in France – The French Riviera

9. Saint Rémy de Provence

places in france south saint remy de provence

Saint Remy de Provence is one other attractive, rural city situated on the outskirts of the Alpilles Pure Regional Park. Not solely does Saint Remy de Provence have stunning structure and quiet city surroundings, however its pure magnificence was additionally the muse of a very fashionable artist.

Vincent Van Gogh lived in Saint Remy for a yr, the place he checked himself right into a psychological hospital and commenced certainly one of his most prolific working intervals. It was in Saint Remy that he painted The Starry Night time. Whether or not you’re a Van Gogh fan, artwork fanatic, or simply intrigued, Saint Remy is a superb place to be taught extra about artwork historical past.

Musee Estrine Presence Van Gogh is one of the best attraction for studying extra concerning the artist. Glanum is one of the best attraction for historical past and is an outdated Roman city and intensive archeological web site. It’s also possible to go to the Monastery Saint Paul de Mausole – the psychiatric asylum the place Van Gogh was admitted. Saint Remy de Provence has tons to maintain you entertained.

10. Vers Pont Du Gard

southern france places to visit Pont du Gard

Vers Pont Du Gard is one other small city and, like Saint Remy, has a number of surrounding Roman heritage. Probably the most well-known Roman attraction is the Pont du Gard bridge and aqueduct, which have been protected and maintained to nonetheless stand at this time. I bear in mind taking our street journey within the South of France and making a detour for the only real function of seeing this bridge. Vers Pont Du Gard is stuffed with spectacular structure, and for those who like visiting locations with character, you’ll actually be in for a deal with.

When you’ve visited the city’s bridge, the Pont du Gard Museum and Chapel Notre Dame de Laval are one of the best points of interest to get pleasure from. It’s also possible to swim and fish within the River Gardon. Regardless of being inland, being situated subsequent to a river makes Vers Pont Du Gard an pleasurable vacation spot even within the top of summer time. You aren’t sacrificing a lot by skipping seashore days for river days, and taking a dip is refreshing on a sizzling day.

11. Arles

south of france amphitheatre arles

Arles is our closing suggestion and simply top-of-the-line locations to go to within the South of France. Within the historic Roman interval, Arles was as soon as a provincial capital. At the moment, most of the structure and historic websites stay – together with Arles Amphitheater.

We advocate catching a efficiency on the Arles Amphitheater, taking a Van Gogh strolling tour to see the areas which impressed well-known works, and visiting the cloisters at St. Trophime. Arles has a number of spiritual and inventive historical past, so permit a number of time for sightseeing.

The town itself sits on the banks of the Rhone River. It’s flanked by the Camargue Nature Reserve and, whereas situated inland, is lower than an hour’s drive from a number of the greatest seashores on the Riviera. If you’re trying to rent a automotive and discover a number of France, Arles is a superb base.

Greatest pure locations to go to within the South of France

Natural Places to Visit in the South of France

Now we’ve lined one of the best cities and cities let’s take a look at one of the best pure locations to go to within the South of France.

Southern France is stuffed with superb pure locations to go to, whether or not you wish to use them as a day journey or simply organize to remain close by. You greatest have a Google Maps account since you’ll want offline maps to go to those spots. These locations are the creme de la creme.

12. Verdon Pure Regional Park

natural wonders in the south of france verdon nature park

Verdon Pure Regional Park is among the greatest locations to discover pure points of interest, not simply mountain climbing trails and exquisite views. Positioned in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the 180,000-hectare park is most identified for the Gorges du Verdon and Lake Croix.

The Gorges du Verdon is a 25 km (15.5 miles) lengthy river canyon with a superb milky blue river. Anticipate white water rapids and steep cliffs reaching as much as 700 meters (0.4 mi) on both facet of the river. This pure surprise is the deepest gorge in France. You possibly can hike to quite a few viewpoints, and even e book a rafting expertise for a bit of additional exhilaration. The Gorges du Verdon is an enormous deal and is named France’s reply to the Grand Canyon.

After exiting the Verdon Gorge, the river runs straight out into the Lake of Sainte-Croix. There are three villages alongside its shores and you’ll take your decide to seize a chew to eat and go for a swim.

13. Calanques Nationwide Park

southern france attractions Parc National des Calanques

Calanques Nationwide Park covers each ocean and land, and the 128,000-acre reserve is located on the shoreline an hour’s drive from Marseilles en path to Cassis. In case your concept of heaven is coastal hikes with hidden coves and dramatic cliff faces, then Calanques is an ideal spot. It’s the solely nationwide park in Europe that’s situated close to city areas and is each on land and sea.

The phrase ‘Calanques’ describes a dolomite or limestone inlet – mainly dramatic pale gray or white sea cliffs. The park is stuffed with these stunning areas and it’s best to positively put money into a great high quality digital camera so that you’ve photos to cherish after your vacation.

Maintain your eyes peeled whereas mountain climbing as effectively, because the marine reserves are standard spots for pods of dolphins. The park has over 140 species of protected animals and vegetation, which is a nature lover’s dream.

14. Pure Reserve of the Courant d’Huchet

things to do in the south of france

In comparison with the opposite spots on this checklist, the Pure Reserve of the Courant d’Huchet is tiny. Nonetheless, it has a number of the most putting landscapes and is well top-of-the-line pure locations to go to within the South of France. It’s situated an hour’s drive north of Biarritz and makes for a unbelievable day journey.

The reserve is primarily marshland however has a seashore within the midst of the park. The seashore comprises excessive hills of sand dunes that fantastically distinction the surrounded marshes and forest. Guests can head to the seashore to swim and climb the sand dunes.

It’s also possible to hike the community of trails, recognizing native animals and flora as you stroll. If you would like one thing actually totally different although, we advocate a ship tour. You possibly can rent a ship to discover independently or take a tour for a extra informative expertise – whichever takes your fancy.

15. Baronnies Provencales Regional Pure Park

lavender fields south france travel

Have you ever ever seen these artsy lavender area images plastered throughout Instagram? Nicely, Baronnies Provencales Regional Pure Park is the place you’ll be able to take your very personal. Other than its distant villages and low-lying mountains, Baronnies Provencales is stuffed with lavender fields. Should you go to the South of France between June and September, it’s best to positively make your solution to the park to see them.

Baronnies Provencales Regional Pure Park is about an hour and a half drive from Avignon. You would go to on a day journey or discover lodging in one of many park’s villages. Other than the lavender fields, you’ll discover 1000’s of mountain climbing trails and different out of doors actions.

16. Regional Park of Camargue

places in france carmargue

Camargue Park is legendary for a lot of issues, together with the as soon as wild herds of Camargue horses. The Camargue horses are extremely prized in France and are thought of to be probably the most historic horse breeds on the planet. Whereas breeding is strictly regulated now, you may nonetheless be fortunate sufficient to identify a semi-feral herd.

Other than the horses, Camargue Pure Regional Park options wetlands, tough grazing areas, and a marine reserve. It’s also situated alongside the shoreline, simply outdoors of Marseilles and close to the town of Arles.

One of the best issues to do in Camargue are animal associated. You possibly can spot flamingoes at Ornithological Park of Pont de Gau and go to a ranch to take a horseback journey out to identify the semi-feral horses from afar.

17. Alpilles Regional Nature Park

Top places to visit in the South of France Alpilles Regional Nature Park

Fancy getting lively? Alpilles Regional Nature Park has essentially the most to supply by way of biking, mountain climbing, and horseback using trails with loads of equestrian facilities. With all its limestone rock formations and cliffs, there may be loads of climbing alternatives as effectively.

Alpilles has an amazing mixture of actions. Whether or not you need historical past, tradition, a health problem, or a brand new profile image, Alpilles has sufficient variety to match your wants. It’s a walkers paradise with mountain climbing trails by pine forests, olive groves, and vineyards.

It’s also possible to simply go to the fort, and quarry artwork show in close by Les Baux de Provence which we already talked about above.

18. Sainte Baume Pure Regional Park

Natural Placers to Visit in the South of France Sainte Baume Natural Regional Park

Sainte Baume Pure Regional Park is the place the alpine meets the Mediterranean. The park is stuffed with dramatic limestone mountains, ridges, and pine tree forests.

Climbers will love Saint Baume, which is centered round a protracted mountain ridge. There’s an amazing vary of climbing routes to discover, ranging in problem and magnificence. Sainte Baume additionally holds a number of spiritual significance. Guests will discover a grotto the place Mary Magdalene allegedly lived. The positioning is standard amongst pilgrims and will be reached through a fairly forest path in round forty minutes.

19. Pyrenees Nationwide Park

pyrenees south of france

Pyrenees Nationwide Park is among the greatest locations to go to within the South of France. The park sits on the French-Spanish border and we had been shocked to search out them in South France. We had identified the Pyrenees from our time in Spain, however we all the time considered them as additional north. We had been shocked to see the mountains whereas cruising in 40-degree warmth to Carcassonne.

From alpine meadows and high-altitude lakes to towering, craggy mountains, the park is beautiful. If you would like an thrilling, stunning place to go to in Southern France, Pyrenees Nationwide Park is bucket checklist worthy.

Cirque de Gavarnie is among the most well-known points of interest within the Pyrenees of France. A cirque is a big cliff face that curves in form like an enormous, pure amphitheater. Cirque de Gavarnie is greatest identified for its many waterfalls, which cascade down the cliff partitions.

Other than the Cirque de Gavarnie, the park is stuffed with mountain climbing trails, countless out of doors actions, and climbing alternatives. Should you love mountaineering specifically, you’ll like it right here.

20. Landes de Gascogne Regional Pure Park

natural parks in the south of france

Landes de Gascogne Regional Pure Park is a nature reserve at the beginning, which we love. The park caters to tourism however in environmentally pleasant methods, and there are points of interest like an eco-museum and hen sanctuary to go to.

The park sits in southwest France, together with some coastal areas and a few inland. Guests can kayak down rivers, swim in pure lakes, or hike the quite a few trails. Landes de Gascogne is a serene, stunning park that’s bursting with nature. Guests can cherish being surrounded by a whole bunch of various species of natural world.

21. Narbonnaise en Mediterranee Pure Regional Park

Narbonnaise en Mediterranee is a various area. You’ll discover seashores, cliffs, forests, and even vineyards. The vineyards are significantly standard, and a few folks check with the park because the land of wine.

You possibly can go wine tasting, take a hike, or go for a tenting getaway. Narbonnaise en Mediterranee is about an hour and a half’s drive from Montpellier and Toulouse. It sits on the Mediterranean shoreline and is ideally mixed with a seashore vacation. If you would like someplace to wine style and discover, it’s a small, stunning, and straightforward pure place to go to in Southern France.

22. Mercantour Nationwide Park

southern france mercantour

A surprising 167,297-acre park, Mercantour is a mix of alpine lakes, irregular mountain ranges, and many scenic mountain climbing trails. Even higher? It’s simply an hour’s drive away from Good.

The park is numerous and comparatively unvisited in comparison with France’s different nationwide parks. For those who make the journey although, there are countless rewards. You’ll uncover tiny villages and mountain communities the place many individuals nonetheless dwell off of the land. You possibly can pattern decadent cheeses and luxurious honey and possibly even convey some residence as a memento.

After appreciating the cultural facet of Mercantour, you’ll be able to dive straight into its out of doors actions. Hike, bike, climb, swim, and journey till your coronary heart is content material.

It’s no secret that the South of France is mesmerizing. That is simply the tip of the iceberg of locations to go to within the South of France.

We hope that this helped offer you a way of what you’ll be able to see and do from strolling cobblestone streets in medieval cities or lazing on sandy seashores on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. All of those locations to go to within the South of France are value visiting. Glamorous, historic, and naturally stunning, the South of France is certain to ensure reminiscences for a lifetime.

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