Top 11 places to visit in the South of France

When visiting France, most people only think about Paris. Even though it is unmissable, the South of France is of equal beauty and a totally different scenery that you are sure to love.

south france

Here are my top 11 places to visit if you’re planning a trip to the south of France!

  1. Cassis
    Cassis is a fishing village located in the Provence-Alpes–Cotes d’Azur region. It is my number one because of the cliffs and inlets called “Calanques” which are something I’ll never forget. Make sure you go to the Massif des Calanques and spend the day walking or swimming. Cassis is also known for its white and rosé wines, ideal if you’re visiting the town in summer!
Cassis

2.  Nice
Founded by the Greeks, Nice has always been a source of inspiration for artists. Home to a lot of museums, the architecture is stunning inside and outside. 4 million tourists visit this town every year: the fact that the city is situated between the sea and the mountains makes it a unique place to visit. You must discover the world-famous walk ” Promenade des Anglais” and the old town!

Nice

3. Saint Raphaël
This town is special to me because it shares the same name as someone very close to me, my sister. I have a lot of fond memories of spending my summers here with my family. It is a famous holiday destination because of its seaside and beaches. Visit the old town, the town centre and walk in the Bonaparte garden! Agay area is a favourite. 

Agay, Saint-Raphaël

4. Toulouse
Nicknamed “The pink city”, Toulouse is situated on the banks of the Garonne river, in the Occitanie region. The nickname came from the pink terracotta bricks used in the construction of most of the town’s buildings. If you like museums, pretty gardens and old buildings, you’ll love it there! The most visited places are the Capitole, the Saint-Sernin Basilique and the Japanese Garden.

Toulouse

5. Cannes
Famous for its film festival, Cannes is also home to an old port, fancy hotels and a famous walk “La Croisette” along its main beach. Don’t miss the Lérins islands, just a few minutes by boat from Cannes. Walk along the trails and enjoy the serenity of these preserved islands.

Abbaye de Lérins, Cannes

6. Aix en Provence
Birth town of painter Paul Cezanne, Aix en Provence embodies perfectly the “provencal” way of living. Its architectural patrimony and authentic provencal houses attract millions of tourists every year. Stroll through the Cours Mirabeau and let yourself immerse in this colourful town.

Aix en Provence

7. Marseille
The third-largest city in France after Paris and Lyon. Famous for its sports and its huge port for commerce, the city was European Capital of Culture in 2013. The Muceum (modern civilisation museum) is not to be missed! Wander around Le Panier, the historical neighbourhood and have an ice-cream on the Old Port.

Marseille

8. Sète
Birth town of artists Paul Valery and George Brassens, Sète is nicknamed “The Venise of Languedoc” (the region) because of its canal and its ideal location on a promontory, near a white sand littoral. Its fishing port and diverse sporting events make this town really touristic, especially in summer. Go up to Mount St-Clair and enjoy the view! Also, check out the timeless and impressive Saint-Louis lighthouse.

Saint Louis Lighthouse, Sète

9. Pyrenees mountains
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in France, Spain and Andorra. Visit in summer for nice walks or in winter for skiing. These preserved landscaped include gorgeous landscapes, rarest wildlife and numerous walks. The “Pic du Midi” and “Cirque de Gavarnie” are to be on your “Visit before I die” list!.

Pyrenees National Park, France

10. Biarritz
Elegant seaside town, Biarritz has been a popular destination for European royalty and remains today a must-see. Known worldwide for its surf competition and vast beaches, his main sights include The Museum of the Sea, The Museum of Chocolate and two large casinos. The town’s emblem “The Rock of the Virgin Mary” is accessible via a nice stroll. You’ll enjoy a stunning view of the Basque coastline.

Biarritz

11. Avignon
Nicknamed “the city of popes” because popes lived there in the 14th and 15th centuries, it’s one of the rare cities to have kept its battlements and historic centre. Known for its arts festival, people from all other the world come to visit this singular and rich in history town. Visit the “Palais des Papes”, the mythic “Saint-Bénézet” bridge and the “Place de l’horloge” for a travel back in time!

Avignon

This list is definitely not exhaustive but hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll plan a trip to the gorgeous South of France to discover everything France has to offer!
Which of these places have you visited?

Comments

  1. Can I just be in Toulouse! It’s my first time hearing about all these places and this town won me over just by the architecture. Overall love the blog post and hopefully I can visit these places one day.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Toulouse is beautiful! A lot of people don’t really know places in the south of France but once they do they really wanna go ahah 🙂
      Thank you so much; yes and if you do go visit let me know if you need more infos!

  2. These places are all so beautiful! My husband and I took off 4 months to travel, we were suppose to be gone for a year, however we got burnt out and plus this virus came along, so I’m happy we made it home in Dec. I do still have lots of other places I want to see!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Hi Amanda 🙂 Where did you go exactly?
      I hope you’ll be able to go back and see everything you want!

  3. I want to go to all of these places! I only know the name Toulouse because its a cat in the movie Aristocats. Didn’t know it was a real place!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Ahah yes indeed! Now you know 😉
      Let me know if you want more Infos on these places!

  4. Love all this info! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Stephanie says:

      you’re welcome! glad it’s useful 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    The South of France is full of diverse and interesting cities. One of my favorites is Menton- it’s the final stop before Italy on the Riviera. 🙂

    1. Stephanie says:

      Yes it really is a gorgeous place! I actually never been to Menton! How was it? 🙂

      1. Sarah says:

        Gorgeous! I lived there for a month teaching English to high schoolers. And it’s not as touristy/Anglicized like Nice and Monaco. There is also some cool hiking I wish I did more of.

        1. Stephanie says:

          Oh that’s so cool! Yes, there are so many activities to do there!

  6. I had my stag party in Cassis, deep sea swimming and deep water climbing. The landscape in that part of France is why the French don’t always need to go on holiday. Truly breathtaking.

    1. Stephanie says:

      That’s so cool!
      It is indeed 🙂 Just need to go south!

  7. Rokuan says:

    Ah ça fait plaisir de voir des articles qui parlent du Sud ! J’ai habité à Aix 5 années et j’adore cette ville, j’espère retourner y vivre un jour !

    1. Stephanie says:

      Ahah merci 🙂 J’avoue Aix c’est vraiment cool!

  8. Cécile says:

    Hello ! These places are amazing. I think I préfère mountains landscapes or color landscape like Eiguisheim and Colmar for example 😍 You are right, there is not only Paris un France which is beautiful place 🙂

    1. Stephanie says:

      Hi! They definitely are! 🙂
      For sure, all of France is beautiful! 😉

  9. Daynia says:

    Beautiful pictures! You really sold me on the South of France! I’m praying that covid19 ends soon so that we can continue to enjoy our world through travelling.

    1. Stephanie says:

      I’m glad I did! Me too, hopefully this ends soon and we can travel again!

  10. Krysten says:

    Thanks for the helpful list! France is on my bucket list!

    1. Stephanie says:

      No worries! 🙂

  11. Rachael says:

    Wow, I‘ve been to most of the places on this list but I have never even heard of Saint Raphaël! It sounds lovely! I will have to add it our list of places to visit when we are next in the south of France.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Really?! Yeah, it’s really beautiful and relaxing 🙂 Hope you can go!

  12. Wow! very informative guide and beautiful photos! I have to admit that some of them I’ve never heard about before. Thanks for sharing

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you so much! You’re welcome, glad you’ve discovered some new places 🙂

  13. Wow those photos are stunning! I’m definitely going to have to book a holiday to the South of France! Thank you for sharing. Rosie x

    1. Stephanie says:

      You should!! South of France is beautiful! My pleasure 🙂

  14. I have always wanted to visit the South of France, I have been to Paris many times but there are so many places in France I would love to go to! This is a great list thank you!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Yes, most people just go to Paris, but as you said there are so many gorgeous places in France! I hope you’ll be able to visit them 🙂

  15. Meaghan says:

    I had no idea that Nice was founded by the Greeks! The South of France looks beautiful and is probably the first place I’ll go when I finally visit France.

    1. Stephanie says:

      It’s gorgeous indeed! You’ll love it 🙂

  16. Kat says:

    Gorgeous post! Lovely to shed the light on other stars in France!
    Merveilleuse! Bravo!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Merci! 🙂 Every region in France is beautiful!

  17. Stunning, just stunning! I visited Paris for the first time in my life this past summer and I am now even more in love with France. I can’t wait to return and explore more.

    xo, J | http://www.dolledupbyj.com

    1. Stephanie says:

      So happy you love France! It’s a gorgeous country with so many places to discover!

  18. Corinne says:

    I’ve been to a few of these places and although they’re all beautiful, Nice holds a special place in my heart because I fell off my bike while cycling along the Promenade des Anglais and a charming French jogger came to my rescue. Haha! I suddenly felt better as if nothing happened. Something to tell the grandchildren, I guess. Only in Nice! I will definitely try and check out everything else on this list when we can all safely travel again.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Oh my god, that is such a cute story ahah 🙂
      You’ll never forget Nice 😉

  19. Paige says:

    I need to get back to France and explore more! All of these places sound amazing, but I think Toulouse is at the top of my list!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Hopefully, you can go back soon and explore more of France! 🙂

  20. I’ve always wanted to visit the South of France and have heard of a few of these places but not many. Now I want to visit more than ever! I didn’t realize there were so many amazing places in the South of France. Thanks for the breakdown! I love National Parks and am adding Pyrenees National Park to my list. It looks stunning! – Briana at Next Destination Unknown | https://www.nextdestinationunknown.com/

    1. Stephanie says:

      Yes, France has so much to offer! Glad to add something to your list 😉

  21. Awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you! 🙂

  22. One of my childhood friend’s nickname was Toulouse! I never knew it was a town. Great post. I enjoyed it.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha really! That’s funny 🙂
      Thanks so much!

  23. All of these places are so beautiful!! Really just making me want to travel that much more!

    1. Stephanie says:

      They are 🙂 Hopefully, we can all travel soon!

  24. Alison says:

    Such a lovely blog post 🙂

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you 🙂

  25. Oh, I love many of these places, but Cassis and Aix-en-Provence are two of my favorites by far. Great list and agree wholeheartedly!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you! Cassis is one of my fav as well 🙂

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