From coast-to-coast of the Cote d’Azure, discover just why the Riviera is so popular with visitors, never failing to go out of fashion. Here's a summary of how you can spend 10 days in the South of France.
- Day 1 & 2 – Marseille
- Day 3 – Avignon
- Day 4 – Saint Tropez
- Day 5 – Cannes
- Day 6 – Frejus
- Day 7 – Antibes
- Day 8 – Nice
- Day 9 – Monaco
- Day 10 – Fly home
Days 1 to 3 – Marseille and Avignon
Jet into Marseille Provence Airport, from where your South of France 10-day itinerary begins. Ease yourself into the local way of life with a gentle walk around the port. Take a stroll down to the nearby Plage des Catalans, which although small, has plenty to offer in terms of rest, relaxation and all the things that beach life should be!
Stay local to the port for your evening’s entertainment, there’s always lots going on here, including performances at the local opera house.
Marseille is described as a city where old meets new, and it’s easy to spot examples of this at every turn, from its ancient cathedrals to ultra-modern museums.
MuCEM is one such example – a modern piece of architecture from the outside, with a fascinating collection of history on the inside. Dedicated to the history of Mediterranean civilisations, we think it’s easily one of the best museums the city has to offer.
As you explore the greater surroundings, be sure to look out for the 19th-century Basilique Notre-Dame de le Garde and Stade Velodrome, with their contrasting appearances. Out to sea, Château d'If is a fortress located off the coast of the city, on its own tiny little island. A tour will take you just under two hours and offers great offshore views of the city and coastline.
For those who want to enjoy a luxurious light evening bite, L'Épuisette is perfectly placed by the harbour and is everything you’d hope for from a Michelin star restaurant, including stunning sea views.
Day 3 – Avignon
Day three presents an opportunity to make the most of public transport and visit the exceptional vineyards in the region of Provence. Home to the world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine, the Avignon area is a must for wine-lovers!
Travel to Bedarrides (we’ll explain how to), and you’ll find an abundance of wineries and vineyards offering wine tasting experiences, as well as an opportunity to taste the delicious local olive oil and fresh bread. The beauty of taking the train means that you can wander from vineyard to vineyard, without worrying about how to get back! Or why not stay for dinner in the evening? Avignon has an impressive number of eateries, including Restaurant L’Essentiela – just be sure to book in advance.
It’s easy to travel by train from Marseille to Bedarrides, just hop on a train to Avignon and change here for your connection to this commune. The journey takes around 2h 16m in total, followed by a quick taxi into the town.
Day 4 – Saint Tropez
See why Saint-Tropez is called the jewel of the Med, with a whistle-stop tour to this glamorous destination. We’d recommend setting off early to make the most of your day. The most direct way to travel by train is from Marseille to St-Raphael-Valescure which takes around 1h 42m, followed by a 30m taxi ride to the beautiful coastal town of Saint Tropez.
This glamorous destination has been a popular holiday spot for the rich and famous for many years, who keep returning for the stretches of golden beaches, boutique shops and lively nightlife.
It’s all going on at the port, from museums to art collections. The Citadel of Saint-Tropez offers a snapshot of its maritime history, while Musee de L’Annonciade showcases a collection of some of the most famous artists who lived in the area.
As day turns to night, the port area lights up with plenty of after-hours bars and restaurants ready to show you its glitzy side. VIP Room, Gaio Restaurant and Les Caves du Roy are all popular spots with partygoers.
Days 5 to 7 – Cannes, Frejus and Antibes
The beautiful stretch of coast between Saint-Tropez and Cannes is best enjoyed from the azure blue waters out to sea. If you don’t happen to have a superyacht like the locals, settle for the next best thing – the local ferry – which operates a direct service between these two ports, taking 1h 15m.
Attracting A-listers from around the world, Cannes oozes sophistication and glamour. It’s also the perfect place to base yourself for seeing the local area over the coming days.
Easy to discover by foot, take a walk on the world famous Croisette Plage. This golden stretch of sand makes the perfect place to stop for a glass of something chilled or to sunbathe. The other side of the street is lined with some of the world’s finest hotels that come alive during the international film festival and many sporting events that grace the area.
In the evening, the InterContinental Carlton Hotel and Hôtel Martinez, are both great spots to people watch or for five-star dining. You also can’t miss the line of boutique shops here either, the perfect place to shop.
Day 6 – Frejus
The train from Cannes to Frejus takes around 42-minutes, making it the perfect place to explore during our 10-day tour of the South of France.
With its Roman history, there are several impressive archaeological sites to discover. Start with the Roman amphitheatre Arènes de Fréjus. This magnificent construction still stands intact, since the 1st-century AD, and can house up to 10,000 spectators. Some of the artefacts found here and in the nearby area can be seen the Musee Archelogique, which too harks back to the Roman era.
For something entirely different, there’s a Parc Zoological, which showcases smaller species and reptiles and is a sure hit for all ages.
As a change to Cannes’ glamourous dining, check out some of the casual restaurants in and around le Boulevard de la Libération, before making the quick journey back to Cannes by train.
Day 7 – Antibes
Still based in Cannes, it’s time to take a trip in the other direction, this time to Antibes – a 10-minute train ride away. Hanging off the side of the coast, it’s size might be small, but it is world renowned for the famous 16th-century artists that lived here – Picasso being one.
As such, a trip to the revered Picasso Museum is a must, with more than 250 works displayed here to pour over. Fans of the movement will also enjoy viewing works of Nicolas de Staël on show. No better place exudes South of France living at its best than Hotel Cap-Eden-Roc – a mesmerising spot for lunch. All the greats have stayed here, from royalty to world leaders.
The old town is a tranquil place to enjoy a glass of local wine, overlooking the beautiful shores below. With quintessential cobbled streets and pastel houses with large shutters, it’s easy to lose an evening simply mooching around.
Days 8 to 10 – Nice and Monaco
Day 8 – Nice
It takes just 40-minutes to travel by train from Cannes to Nice, the final stop on your South of France 10-day itinerary.
Curving around the coast, give yourself at least half a day to soak up the sun along the Promenade des Anglais. This five-mile stretch of beach offers postcard-perfect views, although it tends to be full of pebbles, rather than sand, so bring something comfortable to sit on!
With your fix of Vitamin-B complete, head inland and enjoy a wander around the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Tired of walking? Why not see the rest of the local sights on the Nice Segway Tour to save any aching legs.
There’s always something going on in the evening in this vibrant destination, we suggest heading down to the promenade for all the action, including delightful eateries and lots of late-night bars and clubs if you’re feeling in the mood to party.
Day 9 – Monaco
On a trip to Nice, it’s worth finding time to visit the independent state of Monaco. As the smallest country in the world, with a population of nearly 40,000 residents, it’s also one of the easiest places to navigate by foot. The direct train takes just 20-minutes, although you may want to do as the locals and arrive by mega yacht!
The marina is the perfect place to start - a familiar backdrop owing to its long-standing residence for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
If you don’t mind walking uphill, then Saint Nicholas Cathedral should be visited. It has a number of historical references, least of all being the final resting place of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. Just behind it is the mighty Monte-Carlo Casino, dress up and bring your credit card, for guaranteed fun.
Stay until the last train home and make the most of its bustling nightlife, there’s plenty of place for wining and dining, it’s what Monaco does best!
Day 10 – Nice and fly home
As your 10 days in the South of France come to a close, we‘ve planned in one final activity if you’re flying home later on in the day. Take a taxi to nearby Villefranche – a hit with A-listers like Elton John and Johnny Depp – it’s easy to fall in love with this petite town. Pay a visit to Fort du Mont Alban, a fortress from the 16th-century that still stands today, or perhaps just find a casual spot along the beach to enjoy a local coffee.
A bit further along, Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat offers unspoilt nature and a respite from the bustle of the nearby tourist spots. Be sure to visit the Villa Ephurissi de Rothschild not only for the impressive art collection but for its immaculate grounds.
As your trip concludes, it’s a 25-minute train journey from Nice Ville to Nice airport is well connected for international flights, the perfect way to return home.