The south of France is also known as Le Midi. Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind whenever you hear this is the Riviera, Provence, and the Pyrnees. This part of France is usually the most visited region by tourists. This area consists of the coastline of the French Mediterranean, borders from the Italian to Spanish, and two French regions: PACA or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to the east of the Rhone, and Languedoc Roussillon to the west of the Rhone.
Moving around is easy as the roads are accessible and the train system is reliable. The coast of Southern France is famous for swimming during summer but there are other parts which are equally attractive for vacations. The summer season is relatively long from September to October. There are a lot of good beaches and resorts you could visit. The scenery is also good with the old villages and monuments you may see around.
Indeed, they say that it is the perfect French holiday destination.
Here are some places you may wish to see in case you are planning a vacation.
Almost 3 million people go to Nice yearly just to see its golden beaches and wide bays. This is where you can find Promenade des Anglais, the Matisse museum, the Russian Cathedral and Vieux Nice. Nice is said to be the fifth most populous city in France. It started to be a popular place for vacation when aristocratic families spent winter there during the 18th century.
This place is famous for its resorts and the summer homes of the rich and famous being built there. Its beaches are among the famous in the world. Beaches here offers a lot of activities to choose from such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, and water sports such as jet skiing, water skiing, scuba diving, and power boating. Some beaches are public, while others are private.
This is found in the heart of Provence where the Pope’s Palace could be found. It once served as hpme to sovereign pontiffs. The Le Palais des Papes is complete with private papal apartments, chapels, and ceremonial rooms. It was actually a symbol of power of the Christian in the 14th century. It is located near River Rhone. The place became popular when Vatican moved away from Rome in 1303 to seek the tranquility only Avignon could provide. They only stayed for 70 years though, but until now, their influence is evident within the area.
Gorges du Verdon
This is considered to be the counterpart of United States’ Grand Canyon. This river canyon is 25 kilometers long and 700 meters deep. Swim in the turquoise green waters of this extraordinary wonder of nature. The place is perfect for a day trip along the countryside of Provence. This place is famous for those who want to go kayaking or hiking. Even rock climbers go to this place. Do not miss seeing this place if you are going south of France.
Pont du Gard
In this place is an aqueduct found at Gardon River in the north of Nimes. Pont du Gard is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the South of France because of its historical importance. This place has a visitors centre and a Mediterranean garden. You may even swim under its arches or go canoeing. This aqueduct has been a popular tourist destination since the early times because of the masonry attributed to it. It is often a part of traditional tours by masons themselves. Also, it has become a popular destination for literary advocates. A lot of writers have already visited this place and wrote of their spectacular experiences afterwards.
Like Arles, Roman culture is evident in Nimes. It has been a place to be favorite by emperors because I was located in Via Domitia, which is the route that chariots took from Spain to Rome. Nowadays, monuments can be found here such as Maison Carree, and the temple of Diana is here too as well as an amphitheatre. If you wish to shop, there are a lot of boutiques around. For the artsy people, there are art galleries within the vicinity too. This is also the place where famous festivals are held. In February, there’s the Carnival and the ferias of Pentecost in September.
The roots of this city can be traced to the Romans. It still has an amphitheatre, 17th century mansions, museums, and even a wide river. It used to be the base of Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin’s “Studio of the South”. Van Gogh painted his most famous masterpieces here. Among the famous regions in Arles is the Camargue.
This is a medieval walled town found in Camargue. The fortifications and structural patterns you may see around are surely a feast for your eyes. This place is usually popular during summer. If you wish to shop, there are a lot of shops around or if you wish to eat, there are also a lot of restaurants offering good food.
Make sure to plan your trip wisely so you could go to the places mentioned above. Usually, the best time to go to the south of France is between April to May and September to October. Other than those months, the temperature could be freezing and you might not be able to maximize your trip. Enjoy exploring!