The south of France has been popular with visitors since the 1950’s when it started to be visited by the rich and famous while they were in the Mediterranean and while this continues to this day it has been increasingly open to the more regular holiday maker. While areas in the French Riviera and Saint-Tropez have maintained their high levels of sophistication and cater for a select crowd, more and more locations have opened to the regular visitors. It might be necessary to rent south of france villas or at least it is still a nice option. There is a number of locations which show up on many peoples list of must visit location in the south of France and I have taken my pick of some of the best locations for you to check out while on holidays in the region. I have brought together a mix of natural locations, medieval towns and locations that give you a true taste of France.
Once the home of western Christendom, Avignon is steeped in religious and cultural history and architecture, Possessing arguably the best religious and medieval architecture in the region. With areas in the city designated as UNESCO world heritage sites, it is easy to see why when you visit the city. Once an area that was home to six papal conclaves relics from the period are still in existence.
Ideal for those who want a break from the beaches and wineries of the region, Avignon is the place for you. Take your time to stroll the streets of the city, enjoy the food and people watch as the locals and visitors browse the many markets in the town.
The ruins of Pont Saint-Bénézet are also definitely worth checking out as they stretch across the river which borders the city giving it one of the nicest backdrops to any city in France.
Founded by a Roman general and made popular during Frances renaissance period, Aix-en-Provence has kept much of its charm since this period. Expect tree lines streets, renaissance style buildings and monuments dedicated to Frances history. Still holding on to its cultural strengths the university city grows with over 40,000 students each year making it a lively and interesting city to visit. Being the home and inspiration of many artists, this city is an architectural gem which should be visited when in the region for an understanding of its importance.
Another Roman-founded city, Arles is another historical location steeped in history, culture and architecture. Founded as a trading post by the Romans Arles retains this use to this day. Another inspiration for many artists including Vincent van Gogh there are plenty of walking tours which highlight this artists inspiration throughout the city. Afterwards, you can see the early Roman amphitheatre as one of the best examples of the early settler in the region.
During the summer months bullfights still, take place in this region, but don’t worry as they are not killed although for true animal lovers it may still be too much to witness the games take place.
Although an independent city-state, Monaco’s location on the French Riviera allow it to still be included on the list. One of the most famous and affluent locations attended to by the rich and famous Monaco is a spectacle in itself. Definitely only budget-friendly when taking a day trip, Monaco is an ideal location to see how the rich and powerful spend their time. Arguably a more affluent and European version of Las Vegas Monaco enjoys a level of development not seen very often. Expect, big yachts, cars and personalities. Take a tour of the famous Monte-Carlo casino, monuments to the princess of Monaco or simply enjoy the differences Monaco has to offer its many visitors.
Not just a location to visit when its world-famous film festival is on Cannes as plenty to offer its visitors from quaint streets to explore and cuisine to enjoy Cannes also has beaches for sun lovers and over 300 days of sun in which to enjoy them.
While in the city explore its old quarter and the promenade. Here you will see the development and changes the city has gone through and you can explore the hiking trails which dot the surrounding areas also. Perhaps if you are lucky your visit will coincide with the film festival making your stay and time there even more special and different from other locations that are on this list.
Finally, for those who have had their fill of architecture, history and everything these towns and cities have to offer maybe its time to head into the wild or as wild as this area of France can get. Provence stretches from the sea to the hills in the distance. Here you will find countless vineyards, Lavender lined fields and dramatic landscapes in which you can lose yourself for days and weeks, check out the wine tours or take a stroll through the rolling hills. For the best experience pack, a picnic and some wine and truly enjoy your surroundings. Definitely, a must-see in the region if you can rent a car for the most enjoyable experience.
The south of France truly has so much to offer, this list doesn’t even contain the beaches and outdoor activities that can be had throughout the region, try to make a mix of things to do and truly enjoy your time.