20 Things to do in the South of France
The South of France is one of my favorite places to travel to. With so much culture, history, entertainment and fabulous weather you will never be bored. I have been to the south of France a few times on holiday and I always want to return again.
Here are 20 things to do when exploring the South of France
1. Have hot chocolate for breakfast
There is not a tastier breakfast than the one you get in France. One of my favorite things was going for breakfast in the mornings. I especially loved sitting outside a cafe with a lovely hot chocolate and some pain au chocolat. This is a must if you are visiting France.
2. Go for a day at the beach
Some of the best beaches I have been to are in the South of France. There are so many lovely beaches stretched along the many coastal towns in the area it is hard to choose just one. There are many private beaches where you can rent loungers and an umbrella for the day. If you are feeling the pinch there is also many public beaches that are free. My favorite place was Juan Les Pins
3. Get the most out of your time with the tourist tram.
If you are short on time or may not be up to the challenge of walking all those hills the tourist tram is for you. There are many tourist trams around the different towns and cities that will bring you to the best viewing spots without having to break a sweat. The best ones were in Cannes and in Nice where they bring you the most beautiful views of the cities.
4. Go on a boat trip for a day
If you are staying in a particular part of the South of France it doesn’t mean you can’t visit other towns. There are multiple boat tours that offer day trips to different parts of the Cote d’Azur. I went on a day trip to St Tropez which was quite an experience.
5. Visit the local villages
There is a great train network connecting the different towns and villages along the coast. Go for a trip to one of the smaller towns and explore what the locals have to offer.
6. Pick up French lavender in a local Market.
There are so many local markets in the South of France. One of my favorites is the Provencal Market in Antibes. They have so much local produce including the famous French lavender. Buy some and keep the memories of your holiday going after your travels
This is a local specialty made from chickpeas, it looks like a pancake but it is more savory. They sell them at the Provencal market and they are delicious.
7. Go on a day trip to Monaco
Monaco is only 45 mins by train from Nice. It is a wonderful day trip and has some beautiful views and architecture. My favorite thing to do there sat out at the Cafe de Paris with a cocktail and watch all the rich and famous pass by.
8. Go to a festival.
There are so many festivals in the South of France in particular during the summer months. The most notable of course is the Cannes film festival where anyone involved in the film industry descends into Cannes to promote the latest movie. Of course, there are other festivals that are just as good, such as the Jazz fest in Juan Les Pin and the Montpellier Danse festival
9. Cycle around the beautiful towns and villages
The French countryside is beautiful and a great way to explore it is by bike. Rent a bike, go to your local boulangerie and pick up some snacks, and have an adventure in the french countryside
10. Have LOTS of ice cream.
As the weather is so hot in the South of France during the summer months, you can imagine ice cream is very popular. There are many ice cream parlors that offer a range of flavors. there are also many bars that offer ice cream with your drinks. Forget about your waistline and be sure to indulge in all the ice cream available.
11. Visit a museum.
One of the things I love about the South of France is the ability to be on the beach one day and learn about history the next. One of my favorite museums was the Picasso Museum in Antibes.
12. Drink wine in a French vineyard
There are quite a number of french vineyards in the South of France. Why not take a tour of one of them and see how their wine is made. You might even be able to sample some!
13. Pick up something old in a vintage market
As France is steeped in history, there are so many vintage markets looking to sell a piece of it. Whether you are interested in an expensive ornament or want to send an old postcard home there is something for everyone. Check out the days/times of the markets below.
14. Eat in a Michelin Star restaurant.
France is known for its fine cuisine and with the most Michelin star restaurants than any other country why don’t you go to one? Even though Michelin star restaurants have a reputation for being expensive as there are so many in France some of them are quite reasonable and offer different tasting deals. Check out the local Michelin star restaurants in your local area and see what they have to offer.
15. Go window Shopping
If you have some money to spend, the South of France is a great place for shopping. Chanel, Fendi and Michael Kors all with shops in Nice, Cannes, and St Tropez. Even if you can’t afford these shops it’s nice to stare in a see all the staff awkwardly peer out wondering if you’re actually going to go enter their store.
16. Get lost along the narrow streets.
I love the cities in the south of France in particular Cannes and Nice. I love exploring the old parts of these cities and just wandering around the narrow streets and discovering a cafe or a shop with local produce. Leave your maps to one side for a while and just go explore.
17. Stop and smell the perfume in Eze
Eze is a town not far from nice, most famous for its perfume. Why not take a day trip to this beautiful old town and find out how their local perfume is made.
18. Have a picnic in a park
As the weather is so lovely in the South of France I love to sit outside and take in the local sights and sounds of the parks. Go to a local market and buy some cheeses, bread, and meats and have a picnic. My favorite park in Nice where it sits on top of the city. it is worth visiting this beautiful park for the views alone
19. Learn how to cook from the best
The French are known for their amazing cooking skills. I love the South of France cooking style as it is so close to the Italian border both cuisines often merge together. Why not take a cooking class while you are in the region and learn some skills to take home with you and impress your friends
20. Embrace the Cote d’Azur lifestyle
When holidaying in the South of France do not get bogged down by trying to see everything. Do not engage in the hustle and bustle of city life. Instead, sit down at a local cafe, have a glass of wine or two, relax and let life pass you by.