The 6 most beautiful destinations in the South of France

France has an abundance of wonderful places throughout its territory. Between nature, sea and history, what are the must-see destinations in France?

Marseille, the Phocaean city

Thanks to the various beaches that make it up, Marseille is an ideal vacation destination for quietly enjoying a break under the Provence sun. With 170 days of sunshine a year, the city attracts many tourists in search of optimal temperatures. It is undoubtedly one of the best destinations in France.

With its extensive public transport network (train, bus, streetcar and metro), Marseille is certainly an attractive metropolis where it’s easy to get around. It’s accessible from major roads and from the airport at Marignane, around 25 km from the city center.

Spreading over 8500 hectares of green spaces, the Calanques National Park rich in biodiversity lets you savor the benefits of an outdoor outing. During your stay, you can follow one of the marked hiking trails to one of the park’s calanques. Between sea and mountains, the scenery is fabulous and exceptional. It’s undoubtedly the perfect place to recharge your batteries and relax.

Historic monuments, atypical neighborhoods and cultural visits are also among the city’s tourist attractions. The Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, the Château d’If, the Palais Longchamp, the Vieux-Port, the Panier, the Cours Julien, the Mucem, the Natural History Museum… All these places that allow you to learn more about Marseille’s history and culture are worth a detour for young and old alike.

For people wishing to settle in Marseille, access to employment is favorable thanks to the many offers available. In terms of healthcare, the Phocaean city boasts several hospitals and hospital centers in which patients are cared for by quality professionals who provide a variety of services depending on the pathology diagnosed.

Les Gorges du Verdon

An exceptional place for tourism in France, les Gorges du Verdon attracts many tourists flocking from the four corners of the globe. As sumptuous as it is gigantic, this natural geographical site stretching over 100 kilometers is highly recommended for walking, mountain biking, canoeing, climbing or paragliding. With a breathtaking depth of up to 750 meters, it is the biggest canyon in Europe.

Beyond the impressive choice of sporting activities, the Gorges du Verdon are listed among the most beautiful natural sites in France and Europe thanks to the restful and inspiring natural setting that characterizes them. Several lakes make up this natural beauty. Very popular in summer, the Verdon lakes – including Lac de Castillon, Chaudanne, Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron – are renowned for the exceptional quality of the waters, the cleanliness and the landscaping of the banks. A magical place that absolutely must be seen!

La Camargue, wild lans

A French natural region located on the shores of the Mediterranean, la Camargue extends over the municipalities of Arles, Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône and Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. A wetland covering 150,000 hectares, it is home to countless animal and plant species. It is listed as a biosphere reserve and regional nature park by UNESCO. In summer, there are approximately 30,000 pink flamingos.

The wild and immense beaches of the Camargue are probably perfect for travelers looking for tranquility. Just two hours from Marseille, Piémanson beach and Beauduc beach – both made up of fine sand – will give you the impression of traveling out of time and being alone in the world. It’s the promise of a relaxing vacation away from the crowds.

Every year, two ferias taking place over several days take place in the towns of Arles and Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Hosting numerous festivities, these include camargue races during which white-clad ‘raseteurs’ attempt to remove the cockade attached to a bull’s forehead.

Aix-en-Provence, city of Cézanne

Located half an hour from Marseille, Aix-en-Provence shines with its artistic ambience. In this hometown of Paul Cézanne, the Impressionist painter, several high-quality cultural institutions are accessible, such as the Musée Granet, dedicated to the artist, and the fondation Vasarely hosting seminars and private events. During your stay, stroll through the historic alleyways where you’ll have the opportunity to see numerous water fountains while sampling calissons, a specialty made from candied melon fruit paste and almonds.

To the east of the city lies the Sainte-Victoire, a limestone massif uniting the Var and Bouches-du-Rhône departments. It is home to numerous hiking trails suitable for all types of walkers. The most motivated will climb all the way to its summit culminating at 1011 meters. Depending on the route, you’ll be able to discover the religious heritage of Sainte-Victoire: the Croix de Provence, priory, small chapels… No matter which hike you select, you’ll always get an eyeful!

The Provencal Colorado

In the Luberon, near Marseille, the Provencal Colorado at Rustrel offers a panorama worthy of the Wild West. Ancient open-air ochre quarries with canyon-like features and reliefs in the shape of fairy chimneys make this place unique in France. The pigmentation of Colorado clay varies from yellow to bright red in full sunlight. Once there, you can choose between two hiking trails to discover the treasures of Provence. Visits to this site steeped in history must respect the instructions given by Colorado’s protection officers so that this marvel – a subtle blend of the work of man and nature – endures for future generations. For nature lovers and explorers in search of the most beautiful landscapes, this is a must-see in the South.

La Sainte-Baume, a sacred place in Provence

At the gateway to Marseille, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence, the Sainte-Baume regional nature park (with a surface area of 81,000 hectares) revolves around the magnificent limestone massif of the same name rising to an altitude of 1147 meters. A true symbol of Provence, this mountain boasts exceptional flora and fauna. Benefiting from a triple climate (Mediterranean, steppe and mountain), the park produces abundant water, a rare and precious element in lower Provence. During your stay in the southern region, you can take to the marked trails with different levels of difficulty to admire the magnificent scenery from the top of the natural massif. The more athletic can hike to the Sainte-Marie-Madeleine cave, a place of worship where Mary Magdalene – according to legend – took refuge after her exile to end her life in penitence.