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South of France Holidays


Holidays to the South of France have a reputation for being more than a little on the glitzy side. Think multi-millionaires fanning themselves on luxury yachts at St Tropez Harbour, the chilled martinis and high-stakes poker of Monaco’s Monte Carlo, and, of course, the Hollywood stars who descend on Cannes every year for the famous film festival. But there are plenty of cultural treasures to unearth, too, as well as memorable places that don’t tend to make the headlines of your average showbiz magazine.

Firstly, there’s Nice. The iconic capital of the French Riviera comes with a glorious mix of gorgeous beaches and generous helpings of old-town charm. Taking a stroll down Promenade des Anglais is a must, closely followed by a climb up to the top of castle hill for panoramic views over the city and the glittering Mediterranean Sea. For a slightly more bohemian feel, make your way to Marseille – once crowned the European Capital of Culture, it boasts a vibrant restaurant scene that’s the toast of foodies around the world.

Fancy something a bit more under the radar? Montpellier’s packed full of understated charm thanks to its cobbled streets, historical buildings, and architecture that can be traced back to the Renaissance period. And if you’re hungry for more history, head to Toulouse – also known as La Ville Rose – and walk along the Canal du Midi, the ancient waterway that connects the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans.

So, whether you’re looking to join the jet set on one of the South of France’s star-studded beaches, or prefer the historical allure of a mediaeval castle, there really is something for everyone in this most famous of holiday destinations.


Explore our map of South of France


Planning to visit in July and August? Expect the weather to be hot, dry, and sunny with maximum temperatures of around 27 °C. The climate’s milder in spring, however, with average temperatures of around 10 to 15°C during March and April.
C’est magnifique! Every region in the South of France seems to have a signature dish that’s known across the world. If you’re staying in Marseille, for example, then you must try bouillabaisse – a fish stew, which is traditionally smothered over thick slices of crusty bread. Meanwhile, ratatouille – a humble dish made with a variety of different vegetables – is a staple of countless restaurant menus across the Provence region. And you can’t jet home without trying at least one glass of pastis – an aniseed-based tipple that’s common in bars up and down the French Riviera.
There are plenty of soft and sandy beaches, historical attractions, and outdoor activities to keep little ones amused for the entirety of your holiday. Paddle at Ruhl Beach in Nice, stroll along the port in Marseille with ice creams in hand, or visit the ancient city of Antibes and explore its mediaeval castle. The South of France is certainly more than just an adults-only playground.
Public transport’s a safe, efficient, and affordable way to get around the South of France. For example, several train lines – such as the TER network – connect many of the cities together to make travelling between them a breeze. Cities such as Nice and Cannes are also surprisingly small, which means exploring on foot or by bike are stress-free ways to discover all the sights.
Beach season may be over, but many tourist attractions remain open to visitors. There are also fewer crowds, too. Remember to bring your skis as there are plenty of skiing resorts in the South of France. The most famous resort is probably Auron – which is up in the French Alps near the town of Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée.