The South of France has some of the prettiest towns that line the Rivera. From East to west, the Mediterranean coast is peppered with tiny hamlets and small villages that just call to be explored. There’s always something that draws me to the south of France, whether it’s the beautiful towns, historic charm or unfathomable amounts of brie, camembert and gallons of wine 😉 – my travel lust only ever seems to grow for this region! I’ve started trying to plan some of our coming trips back here and I wanted to share some real gems that you definitely need to check out when you plan a trip to the South of France.

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1.) Narbonne

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The south of France has a surprising amount of Roman relics, with Narbonne being of no exception. This traditional port town is a great place for culture and relaxing – with the Mediterranean Sea being only 15 miles away. I found out about Narbonne due to its twinning with one of my favourite Italian towns of Aosta (which I coincidentally just featured for our Italian road trip).

2.) Le Baracés

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Le Baracés is one of the smallest communes in my list of places to visit this year. With a deep rooted French heritage and close proximity to Perpignan, Le Baracés and its close neighbour, Leucate are easy stops to include on a trip exploring the south coast.

3.) Grasse

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Who doesn’t want to smell nice with a little spritz and splash of a signature scent? If your travelling around the east coast of France, don’t forget to visit Grasse, which is noted as the world’s capital of perfume. Don’t forget to visit one of the prestigious perfumeries while you’re in the town.

4.) Rocamadour

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Rocamadour's_Porte_Basse South Of France

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However much I look or visit, I’ll never get bored of this stunning town. Nestled within a gorge, Rocamadour is a stunning place to consider staying while visiting the south west of France. The quaint charm of this rustic French town has already captured my heart. 🙂

5.) Gordes

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Gordes has become increasingly popular in recent years and it’s easy to see why! This gorgeous town literally blew my mind when I saw it – how had I never heard of it before? Why didn’t I include this on our last trip to the south of France? So many questions… so little answers. 🙂 If you do intend on spending a few hours or days in the city, make sure to include a Tuesday morning in the town itself, when locals open up their booths, windows and stalls to showcase a range of home-made wares, cheeses and wines.

6.) Saint-Tropez

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Yes, we’ve all heard about that spray tan that gives you a golden glow but have you actually considered visiting Saint-Tropez itself? Once the choice of the elite traveller, Saint-Tropez is thankfully much more accessible today.  Don’t forget to enjoy some of the fresh seafood that is caught daily from around the harbour.

7.) Bandol

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Almost 500 years old, this tiny French town has become renowned for its fertile soils. That doesn’t sound interesting until you remember that those fertile soils make exception wines! Yay! Don’t forget to take a trip to one of the local wineries and have a tipple or two! *hic* 🙂

8.) Martigues

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Close to Marseille, Martigues is a much smaller, less crowded town to explore the region and its historic charm. Based in the very centre of the French Riviera, Martigues is bathed in glorious sunshine in summer and warmer (and dryer) than average winters compared to the rest of France. *take-me-there-now* 🙂

9.) Saumur

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Okay this is technically not within the south of France but Samur deserves an honour mention! This picturesque town is known for its school of cavalry and delicious Escargots. Don’t forget to rent a small boat on a clear sunny day! It’s absolutely magical.

10.) Cerbère

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Most people disregard this town as merely as stopping off point between for trains between France and Spain but it’s so much more than that. If you’re taking the train, try and plan to stay in Cerbère for an afternoon to enjoy some of the local (and often unknown about) restaurants that line the mediterranean.

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10 Beautiful Towns You Need To Visit In The South Of France


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  • Misha

    I knew France was beautiful, but this is like another level. I have got to visit these towns at some point!!

    Flower Crowns and Fairytales

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah – so glad you like them too Misha! Honestly, it’s such a magical place to explore!

      Lloyd & Yaya

      xx

  • I live so close to France but never explored it. Looks beautiful and definitely worth a visit!

    Marlies, Magnificent Escape

    • HandLuggageOnly

      France is such a diverse country – you’d definitely love it Marlies!

      Lloyd & Yaya

      xx

  • What about St. Emilion?? 😀

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Oh no!!! Now you’re making me want to ad more. Literally spent the last 15 minutes research all about St Emilion and the surrounding countryside. Wow! 🙂

      Lloyd xx

  • These are all really beautiful. France is basically on my doorstep seeing as I live in the UK, but I’ve never taken the time to properly explore it! Now I’m feeling inspired!

    Danielle / http://www.escapingessex.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You defintiely should Danielle – Fly from Stansted, a la Ryan Air. We did this to Nimes in the south of France. The tickets cost £16 return!!!

      Such a great place to go for a weekend away!

      Big hugs,

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • MissLilly

    So gorgeous!! Want to visit them all

    • HandLuggageOnly

      🙂

      xx

  • This is so beautiful! I have only been to Lyon and Paris but I really need to rent a car and road-trip all over France!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yes! that sounds EPIC – we want to do one further west to include Andorra and the French Basque country!

      Can’t wait to hear if you do undertake your road trip!

      Lloyd & Yaya

      xx

  • Great feature! So many stunning little towns that I’ve ever heard of; definitely adding a few to my trave list!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad you like them too Kate. x

      Lloyd

  • sophieab5

    Living in Aix en Provence, I’ve visited all except Le Baraces and Cerbere, it would be difficult to name my favorite… But when you are in Gorges, drive around the moutain Luberon, you’ll find a few wonderful places, like Roussillon. “A year in Provence” takes place in this area ! Also I would recommend St Remy de Provence and the Alpilles area. Next to St Remy is Glanum, a roman town so well preserved that you would expect to see Jules Cesar going out of his domus (house) ! And Arles, the antic theater ! And Aix, my home town ! And Cassis and this breathtaking cliff above the sea ! Well, you’ll have to stay a bit longer 😉

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks you so much for sharing these amazing places! You’ve literally made my travel-lust list even bigger now! Haha!

      I’ve always wanted to visit Cassis, It looks like such a historic and quaint town. Definitely going to have a look at Aix too! We might be needing so more advice from you before our next travels! 🙂

      Lloyd x

      • sophieab5

        You’re welcome !
        When you plan a trip to Aix, tell me, so we can meet and I’ll show you my favorite places

  • Oui In France

    Great list and pics but I think you mean Saumur for #9…

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! You’re totally right! #TypoFail 🙂

      Thanks for letting us know.

      Lloyd & Yaya