With its stunning landscape, captivating towns, diverse culture and a unique atmosphere of romance, France has always been a popular travel destination. Each of the country’s regions is unique in its own way, but if you’re planning to explore the wonders of Southern France, there are several must-see locations that you simply cannot miss. While the South of France is known for its luxury and sophistication, great wine and food, especially when it comes to French Riviera and the forever-popular cities of Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez, this region hides beautiful sleepy towns and enticing landscape that will completely mesmerise you.
Despite being a Riviera coastal town, Sète features a completely different and authentic atmosphere. This fishing town is locally known as Little Venice owing to its beautiful canals lining the main streets. You will be completely consumed by this city’s authentic spirit while observing the local fishermen proudly carrying their catch or saying goodbye to ferries setting off into the sunset. Strolling along the Promenade Maréchal LeClerc, you’ll be able to soak in the beauty of Sète, its lovely architecture, and vibrant restaurants. You should stop by an intimate restaurant further inland and have a taste of local specialties, including moules frites (mussels and fries) or bouillabaisse (fish stew). After a lovely meal, you should go for a captivating hike up to the Mount St. Claire. Following the staircases from the harbour, you’ll reach a beautiful hilltop esplanade where you can admire the view of the harbour, windmills, flickering lights of the town and surrounding vineyards.
Uzès is yet another small, little known town in Southern France that will delight you with its beauty. The town’s centre features authentic narrow streets lined with elegant boutiques. At the square called Place aux Herbes, you can relax in a lovely restaurant over a glass of fine French wine and a view of square’s fountains. For a truly authentic feel, you should mingle with the locals at Saturday market that takes over the entire town. At the Royal Tower, you’ll have the best view of the iconic Tour Fenestrelle, a Romanesque tower of Uzès Cathedral. Arts and culture lovers will be charmed by Uzès’ Arts Fair, while those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Haribo sweets museum. With plenty of interactive displays and free sweets, the trip to this museum will charm both adults and children.
If you’re a lover of Roman history, the small city of Nîmes should definitely be on your travel list. Nîmes is home to the best-preserved Roman Arena in the world. It exudes authenticity and features a unique mixture of Roman, French and Spanish influences best recognised in the city’s architecture. This city is also known as the home of denim – the very name “denim” comes from the phrase de Nîmes. At the city’s centre square, you can find Maison Carrée, a thousand-year-old temple, and a charming ancient museum. After your visit to the museum, you should relax in one of the lovely cafés surrounding the city centre and then continue your exploration of Nîmes. Modern art aficionados should visit the museum Carrée d’art – its glass exterior creates a stunning contrast against ancient buildings. For some peace and quiet, you should follow the canals lined with palm trees and you’ll reach the Jardins de la Fontaine dating from the 18th century. Follow the staircases to the medieval tower and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
Narbonne is a Roman settlement on the Via Domitia that features lovely medieval palaces, ancient villas, and mesmerising art. Those who want to learn more about the Roman heritage should visit the Archaeology Museum where they can admire Roman paintings, stunning frescos, mosaics, marble statues, columns and other exhibits. From Gilles Aycelin Donjon, a stunning tower of the archbishop’s palace, you can soak in the view of Narbonne and its mesmerizing gothic 14th-century Cathedral. However, if you want to explore the entire region and its stunning beauties, you should consider going on a Canal du Midi cruise. This is an authentic way to soak in the local atmosphere and explore the city of Narbonne, as well as beautiful sleepy villages.
Southern France is a beautiful region that features mesmerizing landscape, stunning architecture, and authentic and vibrant cities.
Author bio: Roxana Oliver is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on Twitter and Facebook. She is also one of the editors at .