If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you’d know that our trip through the South of France garnered a lot of interest. Here’s the much-anticipated 14-day itinerary detailing our journey, showcasing some of the best places to visit in the South of France, including the serene countryside of Provence and the shimmering French Riviera. We love this area so much and can’t wait to go back and explore deeper.
South of France itinerary overview
After a memorable week in Paris, we boarded a high-speed train to Avignon. From here, our plan was to work our way down through Provence and cruise along the French Riviera to the Italian border. Mostly, we used trains for our travels, except in Provence, where a car is essential to access the charming hidden villages. Whenever we travel, we prioritise staying in historic town centres, offering a fusion of picturesque views, mouthwatering cuisine, and the authentic touch of local cafes. For a quick reference, I’ve also added star ratings to the places we visited to make it easier to decide on your own itinerary.
Avignon – our first stop and central hub to explore the Provence countryside
Nestled in the heart of Provence, Avignon is the perfect base to explore Provence. Avignon it’s a vibrant and historic city that set the tone for our adventures ahead.
Things to do in Avignon: Pont d’Avignon, Palais des papes, Rocher des doms, Musée du Petit Palais, Musée Angladon.
One of our favourite experiences of the trip was renting a vintage Citroen 2CV from (Yes Provence) to explore some of surrounding Provincial villages.
Gems in the Provence countryside
There’s endless quaint towns around this area ……. here’s a few of the ones we got to visit. If you have more time I would also suggest staying a couple nights in one of these towns to really soak in the charm.
Undoubtedly one of my favourite towns to visit in the south of France. We loved exploring the white limestone village streets of the historic centre, its boutiques and cafes.
Spending the afternoon at Saint Paul Asylum where Van Gough painted many of his famed artworks was another one of our highlights. Highly recommend it!
Where to stay in Avignon?
A few stay recommendations in Avignon.
We headed to Gordes to catch sunset over its historic hilltop village. The Provincial country landscapes here left us speechless. We spent the evening dining at Le Tigre Japanese restaurant.
Exuding old-world charm, this town was a serene escape and a great spot to have lunch and explore.
L’Isle sur la Sorgue ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This quaint town provided a delightful short visit and is famous for its provincial antique stores.
Tip: If you’re here during June or July, the blooming lavender fields are an absolute must-see!
Day 5-8: Antibes & The French Rivera
We finally arrived to our first stop on the French Riviera. Antibes was bustling and full of energy as it was regatta season. During our stay we explored the port town, and its great weekend markets. From here we visited some neighbour towns. Also, here we found this cafe called Nomads and they have good Australian style coffee.
Where to stay in Antibes?
Here are a few suggestions for your stay at Antibes.
- Enjoy Antibes
- Appartement de standing Le Velvet Bay climatisé en bord de mer
- Au cœur du Vieil Antibes
- 11 rue Vauban
Cap du Sentier Littoral ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was one of the places that people continuously recommended and it truly did not disappoint. A beautiful coastal walk, with amazing swimming spots especially at the famous Billionaires Bay.
Saint Paul de Vence ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My favourite medieval village and one of the oldest on the French Riviera. We spent the afternoon exploring its quaint cobble stone lanes and boutiques. One of the most famous spots is is the former house of poet Jacque Prevert which now is an airbnb. There are also some great restaurants if you stay for the evening but make sure you book early as they get busy.
Day 8-14: Villefranche-sur-Mer
To explore more of the French Riviera we based ourselves for 6 days in the colourful fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer. Its about 15 minutes around the corner from Nice. A beautiful quiet and picturesque alternative, one of my favourite places to visit in the south of France. As a bonus it has a nice swimming beach and some great seaside restaurants.
Where to stay in Villefranche-sur-Mer?
There are not many hotels but you can find some nice apartments. I would recommend booking in advance since there’s limited options.
We stayed at this airbnb and it was great!
You can also check out these other options.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer & Petite Afrique beach ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A nice spot for a day at the beach and to explore the town.
Éze & Cap d’Ail ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Cap d’Ail has a beautiful coastal walk and some great swimming spots along the way. We headed up to the hilltop historic village of Éze for the afternoon, explored its winding lanes and boutiques. While you’re there don’t miss checking out the Jardin Exotique for panoramic views. We stayed for sunset in Eze with cocktails at Château de La Chèvre d’Or with its stunning French Riviera views.
We decided to do a day trip to Cannes while the film festival was on. Theres great boutiques to shop and you can spend the day at one of its famous beach clubs.
A few people recommended getting a boat and visiting the Lérin Island but since it was cloudy an windy during our visit we skipped it.
Monaco / Monte Carlo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
We spent a day in Monaco, exceptionally busy as it was during the Monaco GP. The energy was amazing. The cities architecture is stunning and theres loads of boutiques and amazing dinning. We didn’t get to explore too much of lower town as it was closed off for the track so we headed up to Monte Carlo to check out the stunning views, explore the old town and palace.
Menton was the cherry on top, easily one of the best places to visit in the south of France. A vibrant conclusion to our coastal journey. Menton is the last French town before Italy and has a lot of its influence. Its historic centre is probably one of the most colourful towns along the coast. Great to explore its cute laneways or spend the day at the beach. It’s also full of great Italian restaurants, a taste of what was to come on our following adventures through to the Italian Riviera.
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