South of France Itinerary – 12 Days, Day-by-Day Tips

A panoramic view of the French Riviera, showcasing the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea dotted with numerous boats, the lush greenery of the hills, and the terracotta rooftops of coastal buildings, framed by vibrant pink flowers in the foreground.

A favorite location of artists and celebrities, the South of France is an iconic destination that you’ll never forget!

I recently went on a trip there and came back with a bag full of souvenirs and travel tips that I put in this South of France itinerary! Below you’ll find everything you need to know from which routes to take, the best town, hotels, attractions, costs and transportation.

On my holiday I only used the train and buses to get around (super easy!) and I made the itinerary according to that, however it can absolutely be done with a car as well, so you can use it too! You’ll find information for both ways on each day of this itinerary plus the costs, which will vary a lot depending on your travel preferences but I calculated from the experience of a mid-range traveler.

Honestly, it’s not easy to plan a trip to a place with so many unique destinations but put everything I’ve learned during my holiday there and also what I’ve found in my very-long research.

I highly recommend booking all your hotels, train tickets and tours in advance! The South of France is not cheap, and you might be able to score better prices if you book earlier.

Allez mes amis, let’s start this trip!

If you are in a hurry

Here are some important details that you should know about this South of France itinerary (I will give you my recommendations on what to do and where to stay below in the text:

Here’s a map that will help you visualize all the locations that I will talk about in this South of France itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive to Avignon & base yourself there

Victoria, the writer of the post in a flowing black dress poses beneath tall trees by a small circular fountain at the Musée Calvet in Avignon, France

Your first day will depend a lot on where you’ll arrive! I landed in Lyon, because that was the best option for me in terms of money, time and location.  

As I first wanted to explore the inland part of Provence and then head down to the coastal towns like Marseille and Nice in the French Riviera, it made more sense to arrive in Lyon and take the train to Avignon, base myself there for the following 5 days (which I’d recommend to you as well) and take day trips to the towns that I wanted to see in that area.

Other good options to arrive are Marseille (which is 1h and 20 min away from Avignon by train) or Nice (which is 4h and 30 min away from Avignon, a bit too much in my opinion), base yourself there and take day trips from there. But here I think it depends a lot on preferences.

The writer of the post walks along a cobblestone path by a rugged limestone rock face in Avignon, France

I wanted to base myself in a small town in the inland part of Provence (believe it or not, it is very different from the French Riviera) and after doing my research I found that Avignon was the town with the best public transport connections (trains, buses) and it also had a good position, meaning I could go wherever I wanted to and not spend so much time on the train.  

Another reason was that the hotel prices were much lower in Avignon than in Marseille or Nice, so it was more convenient to stay there.

I landed at the Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (3rd biggest airport in the country) and from there I took the INOUI train from Lyon-Saint Exupéry TGV to Avignon Centre train station. The ticket costs around €20 to €30 and the journey lasts 1h and 30 min.

PRO TIP: I highly recommend booking your train tickets, for longer distances like this one, in advance, as sometimes you can score better prices! I didn’t do it and ended up paying more and having to board on a really long trip to Avignon. Here’s the website from where you can get train tickets. I’d recommend checking this website before Google Maps as it’ll offer you a wider range of options.

Avignon has 2 train stations: Avignon TGV which is around a 1h walk away from the city center and Avignon Center which is 10 min away from the center. If you can, opt to arrive at Avignon Center (when going on day trips or exploring) otherwise you’ll have to change trains and get one from Avignon TGV train station to reach the center.

Where to stay in Avignon

Looking up at the imposing stone architecture of Avignon, France, with Gothic windows and buttresses set against a narrow alley,

If you follow this itinerary you’ll spend 5 nights in Avignon, so what you choose is pretty important! If you’re traveling by train I’d recommend getting something close to the Avignon train station so you can quickly get there in the morning. Or if you have a car, make sure you get something that offers parking (hopefully for free).

Below you’ll find a short list of the best hotels that have a central location. We also have an entire post, with many more options if you’d like to see more:

Check Avignon rates

Day 2: Explore Avignon & its museums

The writer of the post contemplates artwork in the airy, sunlit hall of the Musée Calvet in Avignon, France, surrounded by high ceilings and historical artifacts

Avignon’s charm is like none other and walking on its cobble-stone streets between the medieval buildings will make you feel as if you’ve landed in a French poem or painting!

At least that’s how I felt and to be honest, out of all the towns I visited in Provence, Avignon was definitely among my favorites. The atmosphere, the people, and the places are like none I’ve experienced before!

Nestled on the Rhône River and not too far from Pont du Gard and Isle Sur La Sorgue, Avignon is home to countless museums and also to the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, Palais des Papes (the Pope’s Palace), which once served as the papal residence.

A majestic chandelier illuminates a woman on a balcony inside the opulent Musée Calvet, with intricate frescoes and grand windows

I started my day here with a cup of coffee and French pastries on the terrace at Grand Cafe Barretta, in Place Saint-Didier (a gorgeous spot)! Not too far from it there’s a beautiful church (turned exhibition center) called Cloître des Célestins (map).

The church was almost destroyed in a fire, which you should definitely see! Its structure remained almost intact and the architecture is so special (I found this place by mistake, that’s why I highly encourage you to take some breaks from Google Maps and just wander on the streets in Provence, you’ll never know what you’ll find).

From there you can head to explore the museums, which by the way are all set in gorgeous mansions!

Some of my favorites were Musée Angladon (the entrance fee is €8), Musée Louis Vouland (also €8), and Musée Calvet which you can visit for free and which has one of the best art collections that I’ve seen and a serene garden that you shouldn’t miss out on!

Classical statues in the bright, column-lined corridor of the Musée Calvet in Avignon, France

Note: Most museums in Avignon are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and open from Wednesday onwards, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly so that you can visit them.

You’ll probably need a short break after all that, head to Place Saint-Didier as there are some bars there where you can enjoy some French wine!

Then you can continue your exploration with a visit to Palais de Papes (€12) and also to the Musée Du Petit Palais which has works of art by Botticelli (the entrance is free)

After a day of exploration, you can enjoy a meal and a glass of French wine at D’Ici Et D’Ailleurs, a fab restaurant that has a mixed menu of international dishes and a terrace! The perfect way to end the day!

Day 3: Take a day trip to Arles

Aerial view of Arles, France, showcasing the historic Roman amphitheater surrounded by dense urban buildings and the Rhone River in the background

Luckily, the Avignon train station has connections to some of the most beautiful villages in Provence!

I took advantage of that and visited as much as I could (and as much as my wallet could)!

My first-day trip was to Arles, a town much connected to Vincent Van Gogh (he lived here and has lots of paintings that captured the town’s beauty).

The trip from Avignon to Arles takes 20 min and a return ticket costs €10 (or €16 if you buy it on the spot, here’s the official website where you can check the price).

A picturesque view of a verdant, vine-covered building in Avignon, France, with open shutters and blooming flowers

Once there, head to the city center which is packed with cafes, and maybe rest for a bit, then you can start visiting! Infini Café is a cute little place where you can stop that has outdoor seating (so you can do some people-watching) plus the coffee is strong!

Some of my favorite places here were L’espace Van Gogh where you can see the garden that inspired many of the artist’s paintings! Apparently, he said that Arles had a unique natural light, and honestly I did see that while looking at the garden.

In fact, the whole town has a sort of filter applied! Maybe it was placebo, maybe not but I found Arles to be very different from Avignon even though they are so close to each other.

If you want to see some of his paintings you can visit the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Museum where the entrance fee is €10.

And you definitely should see the Arles Amphitheatre while here!

Charming cobblestone street in Arles, France, flanked by traditional old houses with shutters and pots of green plants

But to be honest, my biggest advice when visiting Arles is to just wander on the streets. That’s what I did and I loved getting lost on its maze-like little avenues. Plus I managed to stumble across lots of souvenir shops from where you can get some cool stuff like the yummy French nougat candy and cool jewelry!

Note: I also think Arles can be explored in half a day if you just stick to the big attractions. So if you want you can go back to Avignon and visit some attractions you have left there or even go to Saint-Maries-Des-La-Mer by bus (I talk about this town in Day 5).

P.S. If you’re doing a Provence road trip, I’d recommend visiting the nearby town called Les Baux-de-Provence. It’s a tiny village only a 30-minute drive away from Arles! Or the gorgeous Nîmes (set a 40 min drive away) which has many Roman monuments and other cool attractions like Jardins de la Fontaine.

Day 4: Visit Saint Remy de Provence

A stone fountain adorned with sculptures on a quiet street in Arles, France, with colorful buildings and a blue street sign for "Rue des Arenes.

Visiting Provence is no easy thing, trust me! There are countless beautiful towns that you can visit and it’s not easy to pick just a few, especially if you have a limited amount of time or money. But my advice is to always follow that calling and see which town feels like the place you must see!

And I’m more than sure that many of you will hear the calling of Saint Rémy de Provence!

You can visit this town as a day trip from Avignon but this time by bus only (or car if you’re doing the whole Provence road trip thing). The 707 bus goes from Avignon (check the hours on this website) and it takes around 1h and costs around €10 for a return ticket.

Saint Remy de Provence is actually the birthplace of Nostradamus – the famous French astrologer!

And it certainly carries an enigmatic vibe!

The Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, with vibrant purple lavender fields in the foreground and a clear blue sky above

By the way, if you arrive in Saint Remy de Provence on the local market day, which is Wednesday you should definitely explore the stands as you can find some fab souvenirs at a fairly cheap price!

As for the attractions, you should definitely see the Monastery Saint-Paul de Mausole where Van Gogh self-admitted after the episode when he cut his ear. You can see his room which still has paint on the food!

And also the Alpilles Museum (€5 to visit), and Musee Estrine (€7) which has some great works of art!

For those who are on a South of France road trip, I’d also recommend visiting the Luberon villages like Gordes or Ménerbes, which are around 1h away by car from Saint Remy de Provence! These hilltop villages are absolutely incredible but hard to reach without a car.

Day 5: Spend a day in the magical Saint-Maries-Des-La-Mer

Rooftop view over Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France, with the Mediterranean Sea in the distance and a clear blue sky overhead

This was one of my favorite day trips from Avignon!

Saint-Mariés-Des-La-Mer is absolutely stunning and you should definitely visit it, especially if you want to spend time at the beach and swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

To get there from Avignon, you have to go again to Arles (ticket is around €16 with return) and from Arles you have to take the A50 bus (ticket is around €2) just outside of the station (you’ll see some bus lanes) to reach the town, the whole journey takes around 1h and 20 min.

The writer of the post gazes at the sparkling Mediterranean Sea from the sandy shores of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France

Note: Make sure you have coins with you because you’ll have to buy the bus tickets and usually they don’t have change to give you.

On the bus look for the pink flamingos and beautiful horses! As part of the Camargue Regional Nature Park, a natural protected area with wetlands, Saint-Mariés-Des-La-Mer is filled with unique birds, insects, and animals!

The town got its name from Saint Mary of Jacob and Saint Mary Salome who crossed the sea from Palestine after the crucifixion along with Sara, a mysterious woman!

If you didn’t get a chance to grab breakfast head to La Bohème by JF (map), the most beautiful brunch spot I’ve ever been to! Everything from the food (which is vegetarian) to the service and the atmosphere and the hostesses, will make you fall in love with this place! Plus they have lots of cool souvenirs!

From there you can start exploring! There are a few places that you should see here like the Sanctuaire des Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer church which you can visit for free! It’s an important pilgrimage place and it carries such a unique signature!

If you’re coming around the end of May you may even get to attend along with the gypsy communities from all over Europe, the big celebrations in honor of their patron, Saint Sara!

The writer of the post explores the narrow, sunlit corridors between ancient stone walls in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France

Pro Tip: You can also climb some stairs and reach the top, where the view is pretty great! I got some nice pics there, and it only costs around €7.

Most of the shops and restaurants are set around the church area, once you’ve had your fun you can head to the beach which is a 5 min walk away!

Pro Tip: Make sure to organize your time a bit, I kind of spent a lot of time in the town and forgot I wanted to chill on the beach. So just double-check your watch and consider at what time you’d want to leave to head back to Avignon.

I loved this beach, the sand was super soft and the blue-crystal water was perfect for a swim!

Day 6: Board on a train to Marseille & explore the city

The historic Vieux-Port of Marseille with boats moored in the harbor, Fort Saint-Jean standing guard, and a backdrop of the city's terracotta rooftops and distant mountains

If you haven’t had enough of the Mediterranean Sea, don’t worry, now you can enjoy its sights pretty much for the rest of your holiday!

On day 6 you will leave Avignon and head over to Marseille! There are lots of trains and most take around 2h to get there and the single ticket costs €25 if you buy it in advance (which I highly recommend, as I mentioned earlier). If you buy it on the spot or even the night before you travel it can be up to €30 or even €40 depending on the time and season.

You can base yourself in Marseille for 2 days or even more if you want to move around. But that depends a lot on which other towns you want to visit. I would personally recommend visiting places that are nearby so that you don’t spend too much time on the train/car. So places like Aix-en-Provence (45 min by train), the Sainte-Baume Natural Regional Park (2h and 40 min by train) and Calanques National Park (1h and 35 min by train).

This dream destination is filled with lots of attractions and gorgeous areas! We have an entire post dedicated to the top places in Marseille, that you should definitely check if you’re headed there!

As for your day here, you should definitely explore the Old Port (Le Vieux Port), which is one of the largest ports in France, and indulge in some fresh fish (usually caught right on that day)!

By the way near the port area there’s a super fun place which is perfect for drinks and dinner,  called Café de l’Abbaye, that also has a terrace with amazing city views!

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille, France, standing atop a hill with panoramic views of the city and hills in the distance

Then you can head to Le Panier, which will be like heaven on earth for history lovers! Its winding streets, the small boutiques and its artsy vibes will make you fall in love with this place!

Some iconic sites that you should visit here are the Musée de l’illusion Marseille (the entry fee is €18) and the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (the entry fee is €11) which has some incredible exhibitions and is even connected to Fort Saint-Jean, so you can visit that too!

If you have time on your hands and if the sun isn’t burning then I’d recommend walking uphill to see the Basilica of Notre-Dame of la Garde which has incredible architecture!

Not too far from the church there’s a really cool place where you can grab a bite, called Carlotta With. The place has such a cool design and the food is super yummy.  

As I mentioned Marseille is the perfect place for those who love going out to sea! There are countless boat tours that leave from Le Vieux Port. I found this amazing boat tour which goes to Calanques National Park! During the boat trip you’ll get to snorkel, explore and grab a yummy lunch! The activity lasts 7h and costs €130.

Where to stay in Marseille

Sunset view over Marseille featuring the iconic Ferris wheel beside the ornate Cathedral of Notre-Dame de la Major, with the Mediterranean Sea in the background

If you know for sure you’ll spend some nights in Marseille, then here are some of the best hotels with a central location, for all budgets:

Day 7: Day trip to Aix-en-Provence

Sunset view of Aix-en-Provence, France, with the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral towering over the city and the rolling Provence hills in the backdrop

Celebrate your 7th day in Southern France with a cup of coffee early in the morning at Deep, where you can enjoy specialty coffee and mingle with the locals!

Then you’ll be all ready to board a train to the famous Aix-en-Provence, a fab destination that you should add to your Southern France itinerary!

There are direct and frequent trains from Marseilles Saint-Charles train station to Aix-en-Provence. The journey lasts only 45 min and costs €19 for a return ticket.

Visiting Aix-en-Provence feels like getting lost in a French postcard! I know you only have a few hours but try to explore it at a slower pace so that you can enjoy your time here properly!

Start your day on Cours Mirabeau, a buzzing street filled with gorgeous buildings and from there you can explore all the narrow, winding streets and take some memorable pics! Make sure you get one of the famous Fontaine de la Rotonde, the city’s important landmark!

La Rotonde fountain in Aix-en-Provence, France, with statues and lions spouting water, surrounded by lush trees against a clear blue sky

One of their biggest attractions in Aix-en-Provence is Cézanne’s studio which they’ve turned into a small museum that has his old furniture, work tools and some of his art pieces. The entry fee is around €10.

You can see more of his work and of other artists like Rembrandt at Musée Granet, an art museum that has sculptures and paintings (the entry fee is €7).

After all the walking around you’ll probably be famished and thirsty for some French wine! Place des Cardeurs the next stopping point then! This square has so many bars and restaurants! A really good one is L’after 18 where they serve those yummy cheese platters!

Aix-en-Provence is also known for being super close to the famous Plateau of Valensole, which has a large lavender field that you usually see in pics!

Dramatic landscape of Valensole Plateau with rows of purple lavender under a stormy sky in Aix-en-Provence, France

Note: The blooming lavender season in Provence is from mid or late June to mid-August, so I’d recommend visiting them if you’re coming during that period, otherwise you may not get much of a sight if you come earlier or later than that!

If you have a rental car, and follow a road trip itinerary, you can easily get there (the town is like 1h away from Aix-en-Provence). For those who don’t, there are 2 options, you can take the train, but the journey will take around 4h with the return, plus you also have to count the time that you’ll be spending by the fields (if you have just 1 day, this could be a bit of a stretch).

You can also join a tour, which could be a bit more efficient. I found this one which lasts 4h, in total, with the time that you spend there as well. The tour costs €79, and in my opinion, it could be doable if you’re just for 1 day in town, but in my opinion it would be better to stretch it to 2 days.

Day 8: Board a train to Nice & explore the town

Panoramic view of Nice, France, with the famous Promenade des Anglais along the Baie des Anges and a bustling beach scene

We’re approaching the end of our Provence itinerary and heading to one of my favorite towns in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region (drum roll please) – Nice!

The journey from Marseille to Nice is around 2h 40 min and the ticket costs €40, when bought in advance, or if you buy it on the spot or a few hours before it could be up to €50 or €60 (depending on the time and season).

As you approach the border with Italy you’ll definitely feel the Italian influence more and more, at least that’s how I felt when I moved to Nice and then further down to Eze and Menton.

And you’ll notice that in the food as well! By the way, if you’re looking for a cool place to grab dinner, Bocca Nissa is a fab spot! Their Mediterranean menu is amazing!  

The writer of the post explores the narrow, sunlit corridors between ancient stone walls in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France

This is a pretty big city that offers access to lots of other cool towns like St. Paul de Vence, and you can find lots of amazing hotels there! We have a whole post with the best places in Nice if you want to browse through a wide range of options.

There are so many things to see and do in Nice and you can prioritize depending on how much time you have!

But first, you’ll need some coffee! At least that’s how I started my day here because I was already a bit tired. Le Country Store has some really good coffee and also some sweet and savory dishes. I liked their cookies and cakes, they were super yummy!

I absolutely loved the Old Town, it’s buzzing with energy and the people are so warm and nice! Here you’ll find lots of colorful buildings, narrow streets filled with restaurants and some attractions like the Nice Cathedral, a lovely flower market (map), a port and the Colline du Château Park (Castle Hill).

Of course there are lots of cool museums too! I visited the Marc Chagall National Museum (entry fee is €8) and absolutely fell in love with his work, the museum is pretty big and has lots of his pieces!

The writer of the post admires the ornate interior of the Masséna Museum in Nice, France, featuring elegant frescoes, gilded decor, and antique furniture

Another place that I’ve been to and felt immediately transported to a whole other era was Villa Masséna Musée (entry fee is €10). This place has one of the most incredible interior designs I’ve ever seen! Everything is so French and fancy, I loved it!

And there’s also the Matisse Museum (entry fee is €8) which is set in a gorgeous 18th-century villa!

But one thing that you shouldn’t miss out on is walking on the famous Promenade Des Anglais!

The 7 km (4 mi) long promenade literally translates to Walkaway of the English, because lots of aristocats from England loved strolling on this road and admiring the sea views!

As you walk across it, you’ll find lots of sandy beaches, some private but some are public and most have beach chairs that cost from €20 to €50, depending on the beach.

P.S. If you’re looking for a place to add to your South of France road trip itinerary I would recommend adding the Verdon Gorge (Gorge Du Verdon) on your list of things to see. It’s not too far from Nice (around 2h and a half) and it’s a gorgeous spot with breathtaking scenery.

Where to stay in Nice

Book your place in Nice

Day 9: Explore Èze on a day trip

Twilight view of the hilltop village of Èze, France, with buildings perched on a rocky outcrop and the crescent moon above

Known as the hidden gem of the French Riviera, Èze is one of those places that I find hard to put into words, but for you I’ll try to describe it as vividly as possible!

But honestly you have to go there if you’re in Nice since the journey is just 40 min by bus and costs around €4 for a journey with a return. You can take the 602 bus and also the 82 bus.

Note: I recommend getting the bus instead of the train. That’s because the train station in Èze is set at the base of this hilltop town, and there’s like a 10-15 min bus up to the town and the buses are not so frequent. So it’s better to just take the bus straight from Nice as it will leave you directly up into town.

But if you kind of want to take the train, there’s the option to do so and reach the town by walking on the famous Nietzsche Trail, but you will need proper shoes (like sneakers or something very comfortable) for this and something to put on your head if it’s too sunny!

A picturesque cobblestone alley in Èze, France, with a vintage street lamp and lush greenery

I walked on the trail once and it wasn’t too difficult, and you have sort of stopping points where you can take a short break but I think it’s pretty doable!

You probably recognised the name of the trail. It was indeed named after Friedrich Nietzsche, the famous German philosopher. He lived here for a few months and hiked around which apparently helped him write the third part of his famous book Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

I got to say, it sure is an inspiring place! The views alone, as you climb up to Eze Village are breathtaking!

Once you reach the town, be prepared to walk into a whole other world!

Pro Tip: Eze can get super crowded, especially because it’s sort of small, and its streets are very narrow and uphill. I would recommend avoiding the weekend and also try to go either pretty early or maybe after lunch, around 3 or 4 PM.

The whole old part of Eze is built out of stone and there are colorful flowers everywhere! The narrow streets are packed with souvenir shops set in the tiny buildings which can fit just a handful of people!

Since the town is pretty small there are just 2 major attractions that all tourists visit, including the Le Jardin Exotique (the entrance fee is €5), a gorgeous garden where you can admire the incredible sea views and some really cool plants and the Chapelle Sainte-Croix, des Pénitents blancs, which is the town’s church that you can visit for free.

The writer of the post contemplates the quaint, stone-paved streets of Èze, France, lined with traditional buildings and signs pointing to a local hotel and restaurant

There are a few restaurants up here, but they are pretty expensive so if you’re on a budget I’d recommend checking the restaurants that are set near the station where the bus from Nice will leave you, those are more affordable.

Château Eza (which is also a hotel) is a fab place with breathtaking views where you can enjoy a fancy dinner!

I went to Mets Vins Chics, a pretty affordable place set right at the base of the old village and ate a really good meal!

Before or after you head up to explore the old part of Eze, make sure you visit the Parfumerie Fragonard – L’usine Laboratoire (map).

I went on a guided tour there (which was free) and got to learn more about perfume-making and the factory’s history. At the end you’re led into the store and get a discount if you buy anything!

Day 10: Learn more about Monaco on a day trip from Nice

Scenic view of Monaco, with luxury yachts docked in a marina, surrounded by densely packed terracotta-roofed buildings and the Mediterranean Sea

Want to learn more about Grace Kelly, the famous actress who became a princess and visit one of the most iconic countries ever? Then jump on a train to Monaco!

Monaco is just a 40 min train ride from Nice and a return ticket costs €9 (when bought in advance).

NOTE: Since Monaco is not a part of France, make sure before going there that you get some option on your phone that will give you internet or minutes, because the one you have for France might not work in Monaco. It’s different for every phone company so double check, because I didn’t and I woke up with no internet there!

Once there you can start exploring the fancy streets and admire all the yachts in the port area and insanely-looking cars, after all this is the home of the rich and famous!

Some really iconic attractions in Monaco are Le Palais Princier de Monaco (the entry fee is €10) which is the country’s royal residence and the Musée Océanographique de Monaco (the entry fee is €19) which has a huge aquarium, definitely a must-see if you’re traveling with the kids!

The writer of the post in a stylish outfit stands against a vibrant yellow building with green shutters in Menton, France,

As with most places, I wanted to walk around a bit and get into the vibe of the place and it is indeed a very special place! But I think what I enjoyed seeing the most were the classy women and men of Monaco!

Mind you they were pretty old but you could notice they were locals and were very different from the town’s younger generation! They definitely reminded me a bit of Grace Kelly!

There’s also a really fun place to visit for those who are car fans! There’s a museum that has the Private Cars Collection of HSH Prince of Monaco (the entry fee is €10) which includes vintage cars as well as new ones!

Day 11: Visit Menton near the Italian border

The writer of the post walks across the bridge in the seaside town of Menton, France, with a backdrop of colorful buildings and the Mediterranean coastline

In the mood for some Italian flavors? Then head over to Menton, a town where the French and Italian cultures blend and where you can eat yummy food!

It takes only 35 min to get from Nice to Menton by train and the return ticket costs around €13 (when you buy it in advance).

Menton is one of the most beautiful villages in the South of France and I loved its mixed culture! Plus it has everything from beaches, amazing restaurants, unique attractions and views that will make you feel so relaxed!

You can start by exploring the Old Town and admiring all the orange buildings! You can stop for some lunch there (there are lots of restaurants that serve great sea food here) and some coffee to regain your strength and then head to the beach to enjoy the breeze for a bit!

The writer of the post explores the lush greenery of the Val Rahmeh-Menton Botanical Garden in Menton, France, surrounded by exotic plants and a serene atmosphere

One place that I really wanted to see here was the Val Rahmeh-Menton Botanical Garden (the entry fee is €7) which is absolutely incredible! It has so many different types of plants and trees, it truly is like a sort of Eden!

But I also recommend visiting the Jean Cocteau Museum (the entry fee is €5) for those who want to see some unique pieces of art and also the Basilique Saint-Michel Archange de Menton that you can visit for free!

P.S. Right near the church there’s an amazing perfumery called Coqui Coqui (map) that has some of the most amazing perfumes I’ve ever smelled! Definitely stop by if you want a cool souvenir from your Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur trip!

Day 12: Board on a plane home from Nice Airport

Elevated view of Cannes, showing the bustling marina filled with yachts, the Croisette promenade, and the old town of Le Suquet with its lush greenery and terracotta roofs

Et voila! We’ve reached the end of this South of France itinerary!

But before I let you off and you board on your plane home feeling so French and with your bag full of souvenirs I wanted to give you an idea of some other things that you could do if you have your flight late at night!

You could wake-up early, check out and leave your bags at the hotel while you take another day trip to another town in the French Riviera!

Cannes is only a 30 min train ride away from Nice, so you can head there for the morning to enjoy your coffee and see where the famous Cannes Film Festival is held!

Back in Nice, you can grab your bags and head straight to the Nice Ville train station and head straight to the airport!

There’s a train that will take you directly to the airport and the journey takes 30 min.

Or if you’d prefer to just stay in the town and see more of it, maybe even visit another museum like the International Museum of Naïve Art Anatole Jakovsky.

Other itinerary ideas

The writer of the post gazes out at the azure waters of the Mediterranean from a high vantage point in Èze, France, with the coastline and a clear sky stretching into the distance

The Provence itinerary you’ve just read was made for 12 days, as that’s how much I spent in the South of France. However I know that some of you will spend less than this or even more.

That’s why I wanted to give you a few more ideas of what I think are the major sites that you should see if you don’t have that much time, or which other places you could visit if you have more than 12 days:

  • 7 days: stick to the big towns like Avignon, Marseille and Nice and take 1 or 2 day trips either to Aix-en-Provence from Marseille and to Eze/Menton/Cannes from Nice (depending which one you’d prefer)
  • 10 days: I’d also still stick to the big towns of Avignon, Marseille and Nice, but take more day trips like one to Arles/Saint-Remy de Provence from Avignon, Aix-en-Provence from Marseille and Eze from Nice
  • 14 days: for this option you can do the entire itinerary I added here plus adding a few more day trips, like a proper one from Nice to Cannes or from Saint Tropez from Nice or Marseille

Transportation in the South of France

Vibrant red and yellow train at La Vésubie station with passengers, set against a backdrop of the Southern France mountains

There are 2 ways you can do this South of France itinerary, by using a rental car or by public transport.

By public transport • Comfortable
• More affordable
• Can take longer in terms of traveling
• More difficult if you have a lot of luggage 
By car• More flexibility
• Comfort 
• You can reach remote location 
• More expensive
• You’ll need to pay fees for accessing the highways in Southern France
• Parking can be difficult to find 

By public transport

When I went on my trip I used only public transport and I can tell you from experience that the trains and buses in Southern France are super reliable! They arrive on schedule and you can get pretty much anywhere you want!

What I would recommend is to base yourself in a town that has lots of connections with the other towns in that area (that way you don’t have to spend a lot of time on the trains, move around will luggage all the time and you can also save money) so if you don’t follow this exact itinerary, find another way that works for you while keeping that in mind.

By car

If you are doing a Provence road trip and renting a car then you shouldn’t worry, the one that you just read about above, can be done by car too.

What’s better is that with a rental car you could visit some hill towns that are hard or impossible to reach by public transport or some of the lavender fields that are set in remote locations. And even do other cool things that I didn’t mention like exploring the beach clubs in Saint Tropez and visiting Antibes and seeing the Pont du Gard.

🤩 Best attraction:Èze Village
⛵ Top tour:Calanques Sailing Day 
🏨 Best hotel:La Divine Comédie-Suites Deluxe 
🌞 When to visit:Early June/mid-September

FAQs about South of France itinerary

Aerial view of the coastal landscape near Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, with densely clustered houses, green hillsides, and the azure Mediterranean Sea

📅 How many days do you need in the south of France?

It depends on how many towns you want to visit on your own trip! But I would recommend at least 7 days for your South of France trip.

🤔 What is the best way to tour southern France?

Some of the best ways to tour the south of France are by public transport or car.

🍷 How can I spend 5 days in the South of France?

You can visit some of the bigger towns like Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and then go explore the coastal towns like Marseille and Nice.

☀️ What months are best for the South of France?

I’d recommend visiting Provence early in the summer, like the beginning of June or later in September. That way you can avoid super hot weather and there won’t be as many crowds as you’d find in mid-July.


An evening scene in a bustling street of the South of France, with warm lights illuminating the facades of buildings and locals enjoying the atmosphere

Voila! You made it to the end of the South of France itinerary!

There’s a lot of information on the best towns, hotels, attractions, transportation and other things so take a big breath and a short break!

Trust me, you’ll want to know all this before leaving for your trip and it’ll help you relax there and enjoy your holidays.

As I mentioned, it’s super important to book everything from your hotels to the train tickets and tours in advance for your Provence itinerary. That way you can score some cheaper prices!

It was a pleasure to plan this South of France trip itinerary for you! I had the best time while visiting this part of the country and I’m sure you’ll feel the same!

If I left any questions unanswered, or if you want to ask anything about a particular place or attraction that I’ve been to, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below. I’d be happy to help you out!

Safe travels,


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Travel guide graphic for 'Customizable Itinerary for South of France - 12 Days' showing vibrant images of the historic Palais des Papes in Avignon and a quaint, colorful port in the French Riviera

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Promotional image for a 'Customizable Itinerary for South of France - 12 Days' featuring a scenic coastal view of Nice with its famous waterfront promenade and azure waters, under a pastel-hued sky.

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