Needless to say, the landscape at the French Riviera is iconic. Just look at the clear water along the Côte d’Azur melting with the bright blue sky… Isn’t it a dream?
Rent a car and follow our road trip itinerary to satisfy your crave for some sun-and-beach kind of holiday!
Starting your epic road trip to the South of France is surely exciting! Just imagining overlooking the Mediterranean sea whilst driving must be a one-of-a-kind travel experience! It may be a enduring long journey of 1 to 2 days’ drive (depending on your itinerary) from Paris. Unless you want to spend some time in the Capital, flying directly to Marseille or Nice would perhaps be more efficient.
If Côte d’Azur is on the top of your list and you decide to explore the whole of France by driving down from the north, starting your trip at Calais or Lille from Eurostar stations and then head to the more Eastern part of France (such as Burgundy then to Lyon) should be a great option.
We know you’re in a rush to the Sun and shores, but be aware of speeding as radar camera are all over France, you might risk a 25€ fine to you or your car rental company!
What to do when you have:
1 Day: Driving along the famous Côte d’Azur is a must: Nice, Cannes, the fortified medieval village in Eze, Monaco and Antibes
2 Days: Visit the popular and luxurious holiday destination among Hollywood stars at Saint Tropez and Sainte Maxime
3 Days: Hike along the Calanques (limestone cliffs) in Marseille and Cassis
4 Days: Stroll in the world’s Capital of Perfume, Grasse and marvel at the lavender fields in Aix-en-Provence
You shouldn’t miss
Food & drinks
In the South, people love to prepare their food with seasonal produce and fresh ingredients. Besides Rosé wine and the Niçoise Salad, if you’re around the Riviera, how can you not try the typical bouillabaisse (a traditional Provençal fish stew)? Originated from the fishing ports of Marseille, this traditional mixed seafood soup made with clam, lobster and fish is extremely rich in its flavour and nutritions.
You should also try magret de canard (seared duck breast) from the South-West of France. You may get to try this regional dish around France but in the South, they do it with sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce or honey…delish!
Photo credit: Trover
Given that the South of France has ample supply of sunshine, it’s the perfect location to do as many outdoor activities as possible! You can spend your morning in local markets, attend some waterfront music festivals, go sunbathing and lying on the beach (tanning is important), setting off your hiking journey, or even scuba diving in the clear turquoise waters around Nice!
Where to go next
Heading west will lead you to Arles, Avignon and Nîmes. The former is the lovely town where Van Gogh held dear to; in Avignon you’d be able to participate in the 3-week outdoor Theatre Festival in July; and in Nîmes you’d be stunned by the medieval Arena, a Roman amphitheatre.
Driving further towards the border of Spain, you’ll reach Montpellier and its nearby costal paradise, Sète, where lots of French holidaymakers spent their summer. Narbonne is another off the beaten path secret historic town to be discovered, with its amazing local wines, magnificent landscape and heritages.