What to see in South of France
What are the best places to see in South of France? There are so many things to see and do in the beautiful South, let’s be organised…
South of France is one of the most irresistible region of France. The sun is usually shining all year long in the South of France and there are many beautiful places to visit. Southern France could be divided in 4 regions going from the south coast including Riviera, Cote d’azur and Marseille to French Alps in the north, including Provence and Languedoc, and Rhone valley.
The south coast of France : Riviera and Cote d’azur
South coast is a jewel on the seashore. A jewel because it is beautiful but also because some places of the Riviera are made for very rich people (Saint Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, Monaco or Monte Carlo…).
Antibes and cap d’Antibes
Antibes is near Juan-les-pins and Golfe-Juan, on the Riviera. Antibes, on the Riviera, is especially known for the quiet charm of its old town, the beautiful sandy beaches and the cap d’Antibes, a very nice cape with woods of pine and rich villas.
Cannes, on the Riviera, is a nice seaside town with sandy beaches and long promenades on the seafront (« La croisette »). Cannes is known for the International flim festival of Cannes, during which the town is crowded…
Marseille, one of the biggest and oldest city of France, offers a mix of culture and people.
If you go to Marseille, don’t miss the « vieux port » (old port) and eat a « bouillabaisse » there. Visit also the « calanques », a few kilometers from Marseille, which are wonderful rocky inlets and lagoons.
Monaco (or Monte Carlo)
Monaco is a tiny principalty known for its Monte Carlo rally, the Casino and the harbour.
Nice is the capital of the French Riviera. It is a nice seaside resort with beaches and a long promenade on the seafront : the « promenade des anglais ».
Saint Tropez is a famous Riviera town known for its medieval streets and its harbour.
Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence is a charming town of Provence with beautiful architecture and romantic streets, situated a few kilometers north from Marseille. The painter Paul Cezanne painted the Sainte Victoire Mountain which is in the countryside nearby Aix en Provence.
Arles is a town with roman history, displaying beautiful churches and roman ruins, especially well-known roman arena (« les arènes »). Vincent van Gogh lived and painted in Arles.
Nimes is also a town with roman history, especially roman amphitheaters and temple.
Rhone valley is a beautiful place known for its wines (Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Cote du Rhone…). Make sure to taste them if you visit the Rhone valley !
In the south of the Rhone valley, Ardèche is known for its gorges, some granite-sided ravines made by the Ardèche River. Some call it the ‘Grand Canyon of France’. It is a nice place to see and for doing canoe.
Situated on the Rhone river, Avignon is known as the « city of the popes » because christian popes lived in the city instead of Rome during the 14th century in a beautiful palace, « le palais des papes », a Unesco world heritage. Avignon is also known for its bridge, (sur) « le pont d’Avignon »!
Lyon is the one of the biggest city of France (after Paris). Lyon offers a mix of architecture and cultures. If you go to Lyon, don’t miss the Vieux Lyon, plenty of boutiques and « bouchons » (small restaurants serving local dishes). But you will have many other reasons to taste good food because Lyon is one of the capital of good french cook (Paul Bocuse, Bresse poultry…).
Annecy and the Annecy lake
Annecy is a very nice resort city offering a wonderful view of the french alps and the lac d’Annecy.
Chamonix, the Mont Blanc and french alps ski resorts
Mont Blanc is the western Europe highest mountain and Chamonix is the historical capital of alpine skiing.
The french alps offer very famous ski resorts (Courchevel, Megeve, Meribel, Val d’Isere…) and excellent skiing facilities.
Leman or Geneva lake, Evian
Evian (known for its water) and Geneva (Switzerland) are on the same lake front : the Leman lake.