10 Most Amazing Destinations in the South of France

Martina Rosado
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Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is located in the south of France, about 1 hour and 15 minutes by car from Marseilles airport and 37 miles from the Spanish border.

In the very heart of Provence, this town is considered to be the capital of southern France due to its vicinity to Marseilles. It also has an interesting casino, open to the public.

Although Aix-en-Provence is a tourist destination, it provides its guests with a unique chance to sense the spirit of this city, thanks to its rich artistic, archaeological, historical and culinary history.

This is also due to the fact that the old town of Aix, which dates back to Roman times, is one of the very few authentic areas that can be seen in Provence, since many of the old facades and houses remain untouched.

Aix-en-Provence is also known for its speciality products and for the wines and quality cheeses that are produced here. Aix also offers several interesting museums and is the location chosen for the famous film “Aix en Provence, ouLe compagnon du voyage” (Aix in Provence, or The companion of the journey).

Cannes

Lourmarin

Biarritz

(Petit Was Beach)

This is a resort town on the Atlantic coast of France.

The Petit Was beach in Biarritz is a popular and little known destination. It is a very calm beach with suitable for families with kids.

This refreshing beach is only 20 minutes away from Biarritz Bay with the city’s main attractions all within easy reach and the only real obstacle to enjoying your time in the sun is the tide.

Arles

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

The house, a small detached villa, is built to resemble a Norman chateau, although the original owner was a Sark salesman. Built in 1913 in the tradition of Norman property, it combines originality and luxury in an exceptional setting: little houses, old gardens, and cemeteries, surrounded by vineyards. This is one of Saint-Paul-de-Vence's most emblematic sights.

The house is a Grade 1 historical monument and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Carcassonne

Languedoc-Roussillon.

This walled city is located in the South of France, close to Perpignan and Toulouse. It is also part of the department of Aude and the largest fortified settlement in France.

Carcassonne is famous for its defense system that includes walls, towers, and a large castle. Parts of this fortification system are preserved to this day and are known as “The Cit’” (French for citadel). During WWI some of the fortress was partially destroyed. However, most of the system is still standing and impressive.

The fortress has a rich history and was the setting for several medieval historical novels. It also represents a striking example of a strategic point of passage during the Middle Ages. It was here that the passage between France and Spain would take place until the 19th century.

The Roman town of Carras fell into ruin after the fall of the Roman Empire. The Normans, who used the ford of Carcassonne across the River Aude as an important route between France and Spain, built the castrum, which is the Latin word for fortress. The fortress, however, was ultimately captured by the Cathars in 1209.

Avignon

Avignon, the “City of Popes” is as fun today as it ever was. A lively town, Avignon welcomes you with its colorful streets, exciting night life and many late night eateries.

In the time of Charlemagne, Avignon’s heyday was at hand. This is when Pope Clement brought the papacy to Avignon. A fisherman’s village at the time, the city soon prospered and the name “city of popes” was born.

Today the city is an amalgamation of history that continues to thrive. This is largely due to the fact that the place is busy especially in summer. A great blend of ancient history and urban flair, Avignon has a lot to offer. The city is situated in the pleasant life of the south-central France.

Avignon also houses the magnificent Papal Palace and the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace). The palace was constructed between 1330 and 1370. A great example of Gothic architecture, the palace houses a museum that showcases the art and artifacts associated with the Avignon popes.

Nice

Is the capital of the French Riviera, which is the French term for the coastal belt by the Mediterranean Sea. You can think of it as the French Cote d‘Azur.

Nice is a city of 275,000 residents, with a population of 350,000 in its metropolitan area. Nice has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. Nice experiences warm showers that are accompanied by generally dry conditions in the summer. In the winter though, it can get very cold, going as low as -3 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit).

The city’s official language is French, and the main religion is Christianity. In 2011, the population of the city was 66.1% male and 33.9% female. The median age was 43 years.

The majority of people in Nice, at 55%, are of Italian origin. There are also people of French origin, Maghrebi origin, and Romani in the city. Nice has a large immigrant population from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Romania, and Poland.

Monaco

Map of Southern France