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Top 10 Places to Visit in the South of France

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
It’s so much more than the luxury destinations the celebs frequent. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Places to Visit in the South of France. For this list, we’re looking at all of the most appealing regions, towns and cities in, or near, the southern part of the country.
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Top 10 Places to Visit in the South of France

It’s so much more than the luxury destinations the celebs frequent. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Places to Visit in the South of France.

For this list, we’re looking at all of the most appealing regions, towns and cities in, or near, the southern part of the country.

#10: Monaco

Okay, so we’re starting out with a place that isn’t actually part of France, though it is located on the French Riviera. The Principality of Monaco is an independent country and city state whose total area is only about two thousand square kilometers. While you’re in the south of France, you’d be remiss to skip a stop here to take in all the luxury and excess that this tiny nation is known for. Monaco is famed for two things above all: the Monte Carlo casino and the Formula One Grand Prix track, both of which you can visit while you’re there.


#9: Antibes

While you’ve likely heard of Nice and Cannes (which will appear later on our list), it’s possible that you’re unfamiliar with this town which is located directly between the two. If you want to avoid the major crowds but still relax in a high-end and indulgent locale, then Antibes might just be the perfect place for you. The area has a rich history for those who are interested in antiquity, because Antibes was actually established as a colony of Greece in the 5th century BCE. Art lovers will also enjoy the Picasso Museum, which celebrates the time that the painter spent in the region.

#8: Porquerolles

While many of the gems of the French Riviera are located along the coast, you have to actually go out into open waters to experience some of the true highlights. Porquerolles Island is a shining example of this, located approximately fifteen minutes off-shore by ferry. The island is known for both its gorgeous beaches which are said to rival those of the Caribbean, as well as its excellent vineyards. The entire island is free of motor vehicles, so your best bet to get around is to rent a bike and enjoy the many miles of trails.


#7: Saint-Tropez

When you hear about the rich and fabulous jet-setting to the south of France, they’re often headed to this luxury hotspot. Saint-Tropez was originally a fishing village, but became a popular travel destination after the Second World War. It can get very busy in the peak summer months, so if you’re looking for a quieter vacation, it might be best to visit in the off season. If you want to get the full A-lister experience though, one of the best ways to see what Saint Tropez has to offer is by renting your own boat and travelling along the coastline.

#6: Avignon


While discussing the south of France, many focus solely on the French Riviera, but if you head a little further inland, there is so much more to discover. This Provença city is one of the most charming in the country. Located along the Rhône river, Avignon is known for its famous “ponts” or bridges, as well as its religious history in the 14th century when the papal seat was in France rather than Italy. The Palais des Papes, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not to be missed, especially for those who want to take in the history of the area.

#5: Carcassonne


Located further West than many of the other destinations we’ll be looking at today is this fortified city, which will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to the Middle Ages. The walled town of Carcassonne, whose center is known as La Cité Médiévale, is a popular attraction among tourists to France and is the largest walled city in Europe its have fortifications still intact. The history of the town dates back millennia, and it has gone through many different iterations over the centuries. Some of the walls you can see today are as old as the 4th century!


#4: Cannes

Because of its famed film festival that draws celebrities here each spring, Cannes has become recognized on the world stage. But for the rest of the year, this seaside city in the French Riviera is still frequented by the rich and famous; and even if you can’t count yourself among them, you can live like them in this high class destination. The waterfront Boulevard de la Croisette is where you’ll find many luxury boutiques, so spend the day window shopping while taking in views of the sea which is just across the road.

#3: Nice

This city’s nickname is “Nice la Belle” which translates to “Nice the Beautiful”, and it’s a moniker that is surely well-deserved. While many of the other towns on the Côte d'Azur are primarily tourist destinations, Nice is a real city that doubles as a traveler’s paradise. It’s one of the largest cities on the Mediterranean, and mixes history, architecture, excellent cuisine and luxe pampering to make it one of the most diversely entertaining locations on our list. Of course, the beaches are also a huge draw, and foodies will be bowled over by the Saleya market. This is the type of city that you’ll never want to leave.

#2: Marseille

The cultural hub of the south of France is undoubtedly Marseille. With a population of a little under a million, it’s not a large city by any means, but it still packs a serious punch when it comes to art, food, history and architecture. In fact, in 2013 it was even deemed the European Capital of Culture. For many years, it wasn’t necessarily on many travelers’ bucket lists, but more recently it has become a must-see destination for those exploring the area. It may be a little grittier than some of the other spots on our list, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Sète


#1: Provence

This region encompasses much of the South of France, but we couldn’t choose just one town or city to represent it because it’s best experienced from the countryside. Provence is known for being an idyllic and pastoral piece of the French tradition, and its reputation is certainly well-deserved. From the squares of Aix-en-Provence to the famed lavender fields, there’s truly something for everyone here. Whether you’re exploring the abundant wineries or the gorgeous landscapes, Provence is a traveler’s dream. Though part of France, in many ways Provence is considered to be culturally distinct and it’s always ready to be explored.








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