Sénanque Abbey near Gordes (South of France) © French Moments
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Last Updated: 27 June 2022

When you think of travelling to France, you probably imagine going to Paris, Normandy, or possibly Alsace-Lorraine. However, one place that sometimes doesn’t get the credit it deserves is the South of France; home to beautiful medieval architecture, vineyards, breathtaking rivers, and sunny Mediterranean weather.

romantic destinations in France: Lourmarin, Provence © French Moments
Lourmarin, one of the most beautiful villages of the Luberon © French Moments


Visit the South of France!

There are countless things to do in the southern part of the country, so if you’re interested in going off the beaten path a little, here are 10 things you can try out when you’re on a trip.


Visiting Lyon

An urban centre that rivals the beauty of Paris itself, Lyon is an incredibly bright city located at the intersection of the Saone and Rhone rivers. The weather is almost always stunning and the unique architecture is a sight to behold.

Things to see in Lyon - South of France © French Moments
The cathedral and the Fourvière Hill in Lyon © French Moments


In terms of food, hands down some of the best in France can be located in Lyon, with there being cuisine that matches pretty much anyone’s palate, whether that be seafood, baked goods, cheese, artisan masterpieces, or good old-fashioned rustic dishes.

If beautiful sights and tasty food is your kind of thing, you can get more information at nicelocal.fr.

Lyon Gastronomy © French Moments
A restaurant in the old town of Lyon © French Moments


Try Some Chocolate!

Although Belgians might get the credit for having excellent European chocolate, they’re easily rivalled by the chocolatiers in the South of France. While there are numerous types of chocolate you should check out, you absolutely have to try the hot chocolate, which manages to combine sweet, light, and slightly bitter flavours in a perfect concoction.

Mendiants au chocolat © French Moments
Mendiants au chocolat © French Moments


Go to The Réserve Africaine de Sigean

If you’ve ever wanted to have a safari experience, you probably would assume you would need to travel somewhere in Africa, but that’s not actually the case!

Réserve Africaine de Sigean (South of France) © H. Zell - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Réserve Africaine de Sigean © H. Zell – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The Réserve Africaine de Sigean is a massive 300-hectare animal park located in Aude. It features over 160 exotic species, such as lions, rhinos, camels, zebras, and water buffalo.

The park is incredibly unique and gives visitors the feeling of being on an entirely different continent.


See Camargue National Park

Appeal to your inner nature lover and check out the Camargue National Park!

Known for its incredible Mediterranean biodiversity, there are countless plants and birds you can check out while being treated to calm, warm weather and the beauty of the sea.

The wild horses of Camargue - Stock Photos from GUDKOV ANDREY - Shutterstock
The wild horses of Camargue. Stock Photos from GUDKOV ANDREY – Shutterstock


Visit Avignon

If history and architecture appeal to you, then Avignon is a stop you have to take while in France.

Located on the Rhône, the city has an incredibly deep papal history, is filled to the brim with medieval structures, and is home to excellent art.

General view of Avignon General View - Stock Photos from saiko3p : Shutterstock
Avignon. Stock Photos from saiko3p : Shutterstock



If you’re interested in a much more calm, less crowded seaside experience, then say no more!

Sète is a small settlement located close to Spain that has a strong fishing community. The town is endowed with numerous canals, boats, and humble infrastructure, making it a picturesque version of small-town France.

Sète (South of France) © Christian Ferrer - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Sète (South of France) © Christian Ferrer – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons


Going to Cannes

Famous for its incredibly popular film festival, Cannes is a great way to experience the glamour of the Parisian metropolis without dealing with all the hustle and bustle.

French Riviera - Cannes © Gilbert Bochenek - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Cannes © Gilbert Bochenek – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The city is jam-packed with cultural intrigues and has no shortage of interesting people, good food, and beautiful sights.


Going on Vineyard Tours

There are a bountiful number of vineyards in the South of France and what’s more French than a glass of fine wine?

Most southern vineyards specialize in red wines and there are a plethora of vineyard tours available to tourists and locals alike. Must-stop places include Saint Tropez, Bordeaux, and Lyon.

Vineyards near Bédoin, Provence © French Moments
Vineyards near Bédoin, Provence © French Moments


Go to An Olive Orchard

In addition to wine, there are actually quite a few olive orchards as well. While Italy or Greece might take the spotlight when it comes to olive oil, France has its own varieties of comparable quality. When looking for olive oils to try, always make sure you go to professional tastings from local producers. That way you can really savour the one-of-a-kind flavours of different variations.

The Entreconque Valley © French Moments
Olive orchards near Les Baux © French Moments


Visiting Arles

If you’re a fan of ancient Rome, then Arles is definitely the place to be. The town contains a tremendous amount of architecture from the Classical Era, including aqueducts, a necropolis, and most notably, a giant amphitheatre. All of this, in addition to some medieval buildings, has resulted in the city being designated a UNESCO heritage site.

Arles from above - Stock Photos from Francois BOIZOT - Shutterstock
Arles from above – Stock Photos from Francois BOIZOT – Shutterstock


Making the most of your trip

It’s always a good idea to live life to the fullest and what better way to do that than going on a cultural adventure?

The South of France has countless opportunities for fun, insight, growth, and change, making it one of the best places you can plan an epic excursion.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it so much, you’ll buy a place and move there one day!

Bédoin, Provence © French Moments
Cycling in Bédoin, Provence © French Moments


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