Southern France Itinerary Travel User Guide
Southern France, known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse culture, is a dream destination for travelers. From the glamour of the French Riviera to the medieval villages of Provence and the picturesque vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon, there’s no shortage of experiences to be had in this enchanting region. This comprehensive travel user guide will provide you with a suggested 2-week itinerary, tips, and recommendations to help you make the most of your time in Southern France.
Week 1: French Riviera, Provence, and the Camargue
Day 1: Arrive in Nice
Begin your journey in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera. After arriving at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, check into your accommodation and spend the day exploring the city. Visit the Promenade des Anglais, stroll through the colorful markets in the Old Town (Vieux Nice), and admire the panoramic views from Castle Hill.
Day 2: Day trip to Monaco and Èze
Take a day trip to the glamorous city-state of Monaco. Visit the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum, and try your luck at the iconic Monte-Carlo Casino. On your way back to Nice, stop at the medieval village of Èze for breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
Day 3: Antibes and Cannes
Head west along the coast to Antibes, a charming town with a rich maritime history. Explore the Picasso Museum, wander the narrow streets of the Old Town, and visit the Fort Carré. Continue to Cannes, known for its prestigious film festival, luxurious shopping, and sandy beaches. Stroll along La Croisette and take a photo on the famous red carpet.
Day 4: Saint-Tropez and the Verdon Gorge
Drive to Saint-Tropez, the epitome of French Riviera glamour. Wander around the picturesque port, visit the Musée de l’Annonciade, and relax on the iconic Pampelonne Beach. In the afternoon, head north to the Verdon Gorge, Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Hike along the gorge, rent a kayak, or simply admire the stunning views.
Day 5: Aix-en-Provence
Travel to Aix-en-Provence, a vibrant university town known for its tree-lined boulevards and lively markets. Visit the Atelier Cézanne, explore the elegant Cours Mirabeau, and indulge in some calissons, a local almond-based treat.
Day 6: Avignon and the Luberon Villages
Visit the medieval city of Avignon, home to the Palais des Papes and the famous Pont d’Avignon. In the afternoon, explore the Luberon, a region famous for its picturesque hilltop villages. Visit Gordes, Roussillon, and Bonnieux, each with its unique charm.
Day 7: The Camargue
Discover the Camargue, a vast natural park known for its wild horses, pink flamingos, and salt pans. Visit the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, take a guided tour of the park, or rent a bike and explore on your own. Return to your base in Provence for the night.
Week 2: Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées
Day 8: Montpellier
Drive west to Montpellier, a lively city with a mix of modern and historic architecture. Visit the Promenade du Peyrou, the Musée Fabre, and the Place de la Comédie. Enjoy an evening of food and wine at one of the city’s many outdoor terraces.
Day 9: Nîmes and Pont du Gard
Head to Nîmes, a city with a rich Roman history. Visit the well-preserved Roman amphitheater, the Maison Carrée, and the Jardins de la Fontaine. Continue to the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a remarkable example of Roman engineering. Admire the ancient aqueduct and visit the informative museum before returning to Montpellier for the night.
Day 10: Carcassonne
Travel to the fortified medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk the ramparts, explore the narrow streets, and visit the Château Comtal. In the evening, dine at one of the city’s many traditional restaurants for a taste of the region’s cuisine.
Day 11: Toulouse
Make your way to Toulouse, also known as La Ville Rose due to its distinctive pink brick buildings. Visit the Basilique Saint-Sernin, the Capitole de Toulouse, and the Musée des Augustins. Don’t forget to try the region’s signature dish, cassoulet, at a local restaurant.
Day 12: Albi and Cordes-sur-Ciel
Take a day trip to Albi, a picturesque town on the banks of the Tarn River. Visit the impressive Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile and the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec. Continue to the hilltop village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, a stunning example of medieval architecture. Wander the cobblestone streets and admire the panoramic views before returning to Toulouse for the night.
Day 13: Rocamadour and Sarlat-la-Canéda
Drive north to Rocamadour, a cliffside village with a dramatic setting. Visit the sanctuaries and chapels, and take the funicular for stunning views of the surrounding countryside. In the afternoon, continue to Sarlat-la-Canéda, a beautifully preserved medieval town in the heart of the Dordogne region. Explore the historic center and indulge in some local foie gras or truffles.
Day 14: Bordeaux
On the final day of your Southern France itinerary, head west to Bordeaux, a city famous for its wine and elegant architecture. Visit the Cité du Vin, a state-of-the-art wine museum, and take a stroll along the Garonne River. In the evening, celebrate the end of your trip with a glass of Bordeaux wine at one of the city’s lively wine bars.
This comprehensive 2-week itinerary showcases the diverse beauty, history, and culture of Southern France. From the sun-soaked French Riviera to the medieval cities of Provence and the idyllic countryside of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées, this journey offers an unforgettable taste of the region’s many charms. With careful planning, a spirit of adventure, and an appreciation for the region’s rich heritage, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a memorable Southern France adventure.