5 Great Reasons to Visit the South of France
When many travelers think about visiting the south of France, they imagine luxurious yachts and expensive beachfront hotels they could never afford. But the truth about this area is that its beautiful location, gorgeous weather, laid-back atmosphere and many hidden charms make it an excellent holiday destination- no huge budget required. Hop a seat on a train, rent a car or ride a France ferry down to the south of the country and experience what this great region has to offer.
Slow Down You might visit Paris for the breathtaking adventure of the city, but the south is where you’ll come to slow down and just take it all in! You’ll have the best experience here if you just fall in with the rhythm of the region, strolling leisurely through the outdoor markets, sipping cappuccinos at outdoor cafes and watching the waves roll in and out. Toast your good company with an aperitif at an outdoor terrace bar before heading out for a delicious dinner. Speaking of which…
It’s Foodie Paradise The south of France is characterized by its incredible seafood- so knock yourself out with everything from fresh oysters in the half shell to grilled sardines sprinkled with sea salt, fried fish wrapped in paper on the beach to an upscale raw bar at a beachside bistro. The flavors are as bright as the yearlong sunshine, since the Herbes de Provence are grown right in the region. And if all the gastronomical delights aren’t enough, the south is a world-class wine producing region and you can’t go wrong at any vineyard you pass.
Convenient Location While Paris is the must-see spot in France for most tourists, the south is the place to be if you’d like plenty of travel options! Trains run regularly through the region, and from Montepellier for example, you’re just 4 hours from Paris, Barcelona and Nice. Many of the budget airlines also fly through the region, which opens up a whole world of options.
It’s Not All About the Glamour While there are definitely places and events in the south of France are totally glam-worthy (James Bond for a day in the Monte Carlo casinos, anyone?), it’s totally up to you whether you want this to be part of your holiday. There is a wide array of simple, affordable experiences to be had nearly everywhere you go in the region. Rent a car and explore the small villages dotting the coastline; take part in the Jasmine Festival in Grasse (the perfume capital of the world!), enjoy a riverside picnic or explore the stunning Camargues National Park.
Get Away From It All While you may imagine hordes of tourists clogging up the beaches in Nice and Cannes, this is by no means what most of the south of France is like. Drive through the quaint villages, stopping for delicious meals at sidewalk cafes and speaking with the friendly locals. Try taking the hiking trail known as the “Balcony of the Cote d’Azur”, which leads you to a top notch view of some of the Mediterranean’s very best coastline.