« FRANCEDiscover France • South of France

Discover the magical South of France

The coastline of the French Riviera was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales.

Popular Destinations: Aix-en-ProvenceAvignonCannes
FRENCH RIVIERAMarseilleNicePROVENCE

• Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence, South of France

Aix-en-Provence is often referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the 17th-century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins (Fountain of the Four Dolphins) in the Quartier Mazarin, designed by Jean-Claude Rambot, and three of the fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau …


• Avignon

Avignon, South of France

In 1309, Avignon was chosen by Pope Clement V as his residence when the city and the surrounding Comtat Venaissin were ruled by the kings of Sicily from the house of Anjou, and from 9 March 1309 till 13 January 1377 was the seat of the Papacy instead of Eternal Rome …


• Cannes

Cannes, South of France

Cannes lies on the Cote d'Azur within easy reach of the Maritime Alps. It is noted for its gorgeous sandy beaches which are mainly open to the public for a fee, particularly as one moves west to Cannes La Bocca. The Cannes Film Festival, held annually in May, is a major event for the world film industry …


• French Riviera

French Riviera, South of France

The French Riviera coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats …


• Marseille

Marseille, South of France

Marseille is classified as a significant centre of art and history. The city boasts many excellent museums and galleries. With its beaches, history, architecture and culture (24 museums and 42 theatres), Marseille is one of the most visited cities in France …


• Nice

Nice, South of France

Nice is a city in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille and Genoa, with 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area at the 2007 estimate. The city is a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur). It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice …


• Provence

Provence, South of France

The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. It was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of France …



… more destinations in the magical Souoth of France

» Aigues-Mortes

Aigues-Mortes

In the Petite Camargue region in southern France, the best way to see the medieval town of Aigues-Mortes is from its medieval ramparts. On a wander atop the city walls, you can see right across the ancient town, once filled with knights and crusaders during the 12th-century reign of Louis IX. Saint Louis ordered the ramparts so that his French kingdom could have a Mediterranean marina that would give them passage to the Middle East. Make sure to check out the famous Constance Tower while you're in town …

» Antibes

Antibes

Sixteenth-century ramparts and winding cobbled streets on the French Riviera-welcome to Antibes! A Mediterranean city with quite the history, Antibes was originally known as Antipolis, founded by the Ancient Greeks in 5 B.C. Then came the Romans, who renamed the city Antiboul and erected a theater big enough for 10,000 people. Barbarians and disrepair came next, until the area's famous ramparts were ordered by Louis XIV, safeguarding Antibes from raiders and pirates who trawled the Mediterranean Sea …

» Arles

Arles

Lovingly nicknamed the 'soul of Provence', the historic city of Arles is a key stop on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim route and the gateway to the Camargue Natural Park, set on the banks of the Rhone River. One of the oldest cities in south France, founded by Greeks in 6th-century BC and later established as the Roman capital of Gaul, Britain and Spain, Arles boasts a number of archeological points of interest. A 20,000-seat Roman amphitheatre, Les Arenes, sits at the heart of the medieval center …

» Baux de Provence

Baux de Provence

Les Baux-de-Provence is a charming town in the Provence region, and whose name refers to its location: in Provençal, a baou is a rocky spur. Baux-de-Provence has a fantastic position amidst the Alpilles mountains, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. The stunning location is set atop a rocky formation complete with a ruined vast fortress. Baux-de-Provence has a rich history: in the middle ages, Cardinal Richelieu ordered the demolition of the castle …

» Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Surrounded by golden beaches in the spot where the Rhône River meets the Mediterranean Sea sits the whitewashed town of Saintes Maries de la Mer. As the capital of the Camargue region in the south of France, Saintes-Maries is a popular summertime destination made famous by the imposing Church of the Saintes Maries de la Mer. Built as both fortress and refuge between the ninth and 12th century, its grand Romanesque steeple can be seen from miles away …

» Manosque

Manosque

Located on the limits of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department on the edge of the Luberon, Manosque is an old walled town filled with ancient doorways, fountains, meandering streets and charming squares like Place du Terreau, Place Marcel Pagnol and Place du Contrôle. Furthermore, Manosque has numerous historical buildings like Hôtel d'Herbès, the Town Hall, Hôtel de Gassaud, the Gothic-Romanesque Saint-Sauveur Church and, of course, the Notre-Dame-de-Romigier Church, which was built in the 10th century …

» Monaco

Monaco

The second smallest country in the world, Monaco offers endless entertainment. From the Monaco Grand Prix to gambling at the famous Monte Carlo casino, this jewel of the French Riviera is best seen through one of our hand-picked tours. Monaco is an easy day trip from Nice or for an evening experience from Cannes, or even combined with Eze on a small group tour from Monaco directly …

» Moustiers Ste-Marie

Moustiers Ste-Marie

Often classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Moustiers Ste-Marie lies at the western entrance of the majestic Verdon Gorge National Park, and is built on 300-foot (100-meter) platform terraces up the side of limestone cliffs. The most popular thing to do in Moustiers Ste-Marie, besides roaming its romantic, winding alleys, is to stand atop the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel and admire the jaw-dropping panorama over Plateau de Valensole …

» Nimes

Nimes

It's a history that stretches back to pre-Roman times, with various evidence of Bronze Age settlements. But with the Romans came more permanent colonization; soldiers were often given tracts of land in the area as payment for battles. The original Roman gates are still there, as is the Colosseum-style arena. Check the city's entertainment schedule before visiting, and catch a concert inside - something you can't do in Rome! …

» Orange

Orange

Orange is a town in the Provence region of France with a mainly agricultural economy. The famous town is known because the Romans left their mark there; Orange is often cited as having the most impressive Roman architecture still standing in Europe. The town's Roman theatre and Triumphal Arch of Orange and surroundings were classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. In addition, the town's Museum holds the largest marble cadastral Roman maps ever discovered …

» Port Grimaud

Port Grimaud

Next door to St Tropez, the seaside town of Port Grimaud is known as the 'Venice of Provence' for its famous canals. Just 50 years old, the town was designed by architect François Spoerry in the 1960s, who designed the pastel-colored houses in the traditional fisherman's style of the French Riviera-all wrought-iron balconies and terracotta tiles. Initially controversial and seen as a faux Provence town …

» Roussillon

Roussillon

While Provence is more a state of mind than a place - you can't actually point to Provence on a map - the hilltop village of Roussillon is exactly what visitors think of when they say they want to visit Provence. Picturesque, compact, colorful and with astounding views of the countryside, this village in the Vaucluse couldn't be more charmingly Provençal if it tried. The almost candy-like colors of the buildings come from the surrounding earth …

» St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence

The medieval era of French history can still very much be felt today, perhaps nowhere better than at the nearly perfect St Paul de Vence. About 12 miles from Nice and almost directly inland from the Nice Airport, this medieval hilltop jewel is what visitors dream of when they say they want to stroll through a charming village in the South of France. From the 12th-century keep, which now serves as the town hall, to the 14th-century church, the 16th-century fortified walls and the cemetery …

» Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

The Provencal village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 20 km south of Avignon, is most famous for its impressively preserved Roman ruins, but behind its ancient façade lies a lively town full of character. The magnificent Triumphant Arch of Glanum is the town's most dramatic attraction - the oldest Roman arch of the narbonensis region - and the ruins of its 14th century defensive walls still encircle the ancient Gallo-Roman center, with the original portes still used as gateways to the center …

» Tourrettes

Tourrettes

Tourrettes, a hilltop village in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, consistently makes every list of day trips from Nice. It's exactly what visitors dream of when they talk about "discovering" a place in the South of France that seems like it's all their own. The pedestrian-only and oldest part of the town is a warren of narrow streets lined with stone homes, many with ground-floor shops that could empty the wallet of even the most budget-conscious traveler …

» Uzes

Uzes

If you're traveling through western Provence, no doubt you're going to visit the Pont du Gard, a Roman-era aqueduct that is truly worth seeing. But many see it as simply a monument to Roman times, and lose its context. And that's where a visit to Uzès can help. Uzès, located in the eastern part of Languedoc, was the starting point of the original aqueduct, and carried water via the Pont du Gard to nearby Nimes! But Uzès is not only a remnant of the Roman era …


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The South of France includes the regions of Languedoc-Roussilon, Provence and the Cote D'Azur, and Corsica. The South is the most popular vacation spot in France, and the stunning sun, sand, and atmosphere of the Riviera draws millions of visitors each year to the beach resorts, while Corsica maintains a quaint charm and natural beauty in abundance …

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Magical Journeys to France

The South of France includes the regions of Languedoc-Roussilon, Provence and the Cote D'Azur, and Corsica. The South is the most popular vacation spot in France, and the sun, sand, and atmosphere of the Riviera draws millions of visitors each year to the beach resorts, while Corsica maintains a quaint charm and natural beauty in abundance …

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