Spread the Word!
South of France 7 days itinerary

South Of France Itinerary – 7 Days

With its shining coast and rural provencal heart, Mediterranean southern France has an immortal appeal. On our South of France itinerary – 7 days, you’ll drive through some of the best villages in Provence, to fiercely unique scenes: picturesque coastline, rugged hinterland and rural valleys. Furthermore, there are plentiful enchanting towns to explore.

Road Trip France To The Best Towns In Provence

The French Riviera’s spectacular urban communities, the dark blue Mediterranean Sea and the chic ridge towns never fail to charm. Inland, you’ll weave between fragrant fields, forested canyons and Roman vestiges. On this road trip, France won’t fail to delight.

En route you’ll see some of the best towns in Provence, interface with the artists, painters and authors who rushed here during the twentieth century, pursuing sun and motivation. This 7 days itinerary can easily be stretched to a 10 or 14 days holiday. There is so much to see and to discover that you won’t regret it.

South of France Itinerary 7 days

View the map on google drive.

South Of France Itinerary – Day 1

Marseille – European Capital Of Culture 2013

We suggest that you start your south of France itinerary in Marseille. Once rejected as the disturbing cousin of the Riviera— crime-ridden, polluted, pure dirty — Marseille has celebrated a once-overdue revival since it became European Capital of Culture in 2013. Although it’s true it has a much more rugged, rough-and-ready feel compared to the more genteel towns on the coast, it also has ample character.

Take a walk around the Old Port, then pass through the spangly Mediterranean-themed museum of the city, the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. Then head up to the oldest quarter of the city, Le Panier (from the basket French), crisscrossed by graffiti-clad alleyways, funky shops and neighbourhood cafes.



Best hotels in Marseille

Our hotel recommendations for Marseille:

InterContinental Marseille


InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu is set in a superb 18th-century building in the historic quarter of Marseille, 350 m from the Old Port.

The hotel has 2 gourmet restaurants onsite – La Brasserie Les Fenêtres and Le Restaurant Gastronomique Alcyone. Le Capain Bar offers an array of cocktails prepared by specialists.

The hotel’s own relaxation area features a Clarins spa with saunas, hammams, sunbeds, a gym and an indoor pool. The spa is available to hotel guests for an extra charge.

This is an ideal base for exploring the heart of Marseille, with theaters, department stores and museums on your doorstep.

Infos & Prices

Best restaurants in Marseille

Our restaurant recommendations for Marseille:

Things to do in Marseille

Sightseeing, attractions and tours – click here for more information.

South Of France Itinerary – 7-Days.jpg South Of France Itinerary – 7 Days.

France Road Trip Itinerary – Day 2

The Calanques

This part of France road trip itinerary takes you from the east of Marseille to a chain of parched, bone-white cliffs soaring over glittering turquoise coves. Such craggy inlets, known as the Calanques, stretch for about 20 km all the way to Cassis seaside village. They have been protected since 1975, and in 2014 they were declared a national park.

The roads into each Calanque are usually closed to passengers, but making a booking at one of the cove restaurants is a sly workaround. Le Château, in Sormiou, and Nautic Barin in Morgiou are both good options.



Cassis, Bandol & Sanary-sur-Mer

The coastal road passes a number of lovely seaside villages, all with their own justification for a rest, not least excellent wines from the region. Next comes Cassis, nestled at the foot of a spectacular rocky outcrop crowned by a chateau (now a hotel) dated from the 14th century.

Best hotel in Bandol

Our hotel recommendation for Bandol:

Splendid Hôtel

Splendid Hôtel has a fitness centre, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Bandol. Each accommodation at the 4-star hotel has sea views, and guests can enjoy access to a terrace and to a hammam. The accommodation features an indoor pool, free WiFi throughout the property and family rooms.

Popular points of interest near Splendid Hôtel include Renecros Beach, Eden Roc Beach and Barry Beach.

Infos & Prices

Still a working fishing port, its harbour is full of seafood restaurants, ideal for a plate of grilled sardines or a shellfish dish. Neighbouring Bandol is also known for its wines: stop at the Maison des Vins to get a wine-crash course and tips for local wine-growers.

Our tip: Restaurant Les Olivers, 25 boulevard Louis Lumiere | Hotel Ile Rousse83150 Bandol, Tel. +33 4 94 29 33 12

Best hotel in Cassis

Our hotel recommendation for Cassis:

Hotel Les Roches-Blanches Cassis

Hotel Les Roches Blanches Cassis is situated 1 km from the centre of Cassis. This 5-star hotel offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant. Cap Canaille is 6 km away.

Infos & Prices

Our tip: Restaurant La Villa Madie, Avenue de Revestel | Anse de Corton13260 Cassis, Tel. +33 4 96 18 00 00

Next comes Sanary-sur-Mer Seaside, maybe the most beautiful and authentic of all: here you can still watch the fishermen unload their catch on the quayside, and pick up local produce on the vibrant Wednesday market.



Best hotel in Sanary-sur-Mer

Our hotel recommendation for Sanary-sur-Mer:

Le Synaya

One of our top picks in Sanary-sur-Mer.L’hotel Le Synaya is located 200 m from the beach in Sanary-sur-Mer. The outdoor swimming pool is at guests’ disposal from April to October, and Le Castellet is 14 km from the property. The centre of Sanary-sur-Mer is 800 m from the hotel.

Infos & Prices

Things to do in Cassis, Bandol & Sanary-sur-Mer

Read more about activities, tours and excursions.

South Of France Itinerary – Day 3


Hyeres’ coastal town is divided into two: the beautiful old town, based around a medieval castle, and the T-shaped peninsula, home to a busy port of pleasure and some lovely sandy beaches (perfect for a day’s sunbathing and swimming).

There are several lagoons in between, which are perfect for birdwatchers. But the key reason to visit Hyères is for trips to the idyllic Îles d’Hyères, a tiny island archipelago with white sand and nature trails.

Tip: Restaurant Le Pradeau Plage, 1420 avenue des Arbanais | Giens83400, Hyeres, Tel. +33 4 94 58 29 06

Best hotel in Hyères

Our hotel recommendation for Hyères:

Hotel du Parc Hyères

Hotel du Parc is located in Hyères, 200 m from Casino des Palmiers and the tourist office, 300 m from the old town and 5 km from Almanarre Beach. Limited secure private parking is available on site, upon prior request.

Infos & Prices

South Of France Road Trip – Day 4


This part of the south of France road trip takes you to a hilltop village of the 12th century. It is heralded for its horticultural splendour: bright yellow mimosas in winter, bougainvillaeas deep-fuchsia in summer. Nonetheless, it’s basically just a nice place to stop for a wander: A stroll around the many art galleries, a souvenir shopping spot in the smart boutiques or a nice lunch in Restaurant Le Jardin.

There’s also an 11th-century castle to visit on the island, the Fort de Brégançon. Used for the French President since 1968 as a private residence, then opened to the public in 2014.



Corniche des Maures

Follow the coast road (D559) again, and follow its curves as it becomes the Corniche des Maures. Around this area there are plentiful swimming spots, so keep your eyes peeled and your bathing suit at hand. When you hit Le Rayol-Canadel the Domaine du Rayol is clearly signposted.

Domaine du Rayol

East of Bormes, the Corniche des Maures coastline bends past sandy beaches and seaside settlements such as Le Lavandou and Le Rayol-Canadel, where you will find one of the most exquisite jewels of this stretch of the coastline: the breathtaking Domaine du Rayol gardens.

With plants from across the globe and Mediterranean climates, it’s an explosion of fragrance and colour, best viewed in April and May when the flowers are in full bloom.

The lovely beach of the estate also runs guided snorkelling trips during the summer, which allow you to see some of the colourful flora and sea life beyond the Mediterranean waves.

The D559 meanders all the way to Swish St-Tropez, but unfortunately, if you’re here in the summer, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hit jams the closer you get to town. There’s a big car park near the harbour.

South Of France Itinerary – Day 5


Brigitte Bardot, a sizzling sexpot, came to St-Tropez in the 1950s and turned the small fishing village into a beloved jet set. Ever since Tropeziens thrived on their sex appeal.

On the Vieux Port yachts like spaceships jostle for millionaire moorings, while on the beaches cash-up kids dance until dawn and the restaurants are really great if you just didn’t pick up the tab. Don’t forget to try a slice of tarte Tropézinenne, the popular orange-flavoured cake in town.

Swamped in summer by more than 100,000 visitors a day, St-Tropez rediscovers its essence outside of the peak season. Now is the time to walk the cobbled lanes in La Ponche’s old fishing area, or drink pastis and catch a pétanque game on the beautiful Place des Lices.

Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez

Best hotels in Saint Tropez

Our hotel recommendations for Saint Tropez:

Pan Dei Palais

This luxurious hotel features an oriental-palace-inspired décor and is located in the centre of Saint Tropez. It has an outdoor pool surrounded by sun lounges and a pool-side summer bar. The Palais has a spa and wellness centre, where guests can enjoy the hammam or a range of body and beauty treatments. Pan Dei Palais is just a 3-minute walk from the Mediterranean Sea and the port.

Infos & Prices

Our tip: Restaurant La Vague, Plage de la Bouillabaisse | Cheval Blanc St-Tropez83990 Saint-Tropez, Tel. +33 4 94 55 91 00

Things to do in Saint Tropez

Read more about sightseeing tours, excursions and attractions in Saint Tropez.

Massif des Maures

The Massif des Maures is an area of surpassing forest just a few kilometres from the summer hustle of the Côte d’Azur, a wild collection of wooded hills covering the inland landscape between Hyères and Fréjus. The near-black vegetation is surrounded by pine, chestnut and cork oak trees which give rise to its name, Originating from the Provençal word mauro (dark pine wood).

The area is interspersed with hiking trails providing wraparound coastal views. Access to many areas is limited from June to September due to the risk of forest fires, but at other times of the year, this is a refuge of peace and nature.


Collobrières’ leafy village is worth a detour: it is renowned for its chestnuts, and it hosts its own chestnut festival in August. The largest chestnut tree in Provence is to be found here, measuring a mighty 10.4 m long. Enjoy the scenic roads Col du Canadel via D27 and the closeby route des Crêtes.

Road Trip Provence – Day 6

Fréjus & St-Raphaël

They may not be quite on a par with many of the Roman ruins of Provence, but Fréjus’s little town is still worth a detour if you’re an archaeology enthusiast, with the remnants of an amphitheatre, Roman theatre, and numerous arches and portals.

The old town is lovely too: make sure you stop for a gourmet tour of local cheeses at Le Fromager. Just off the coast is the sister town of Fréjus, St-Raphaël, a beachy, kind of boaty spot and a good base for overnight.

Best hotel in Saint Raphaël and Fréjus

Our hotel recommendations in Saint Raphaël and Fréjus:

Unique hôtel et Résidence is situated in Saint-Raphaël, 25 km from Cannes and 4.5 km from Aqualand Waterpark. Guests can enjoy the on-site lounge bar.

The lounge bar is open every day and guests can eat breakfast either at the bar or in the comfort of their own room. Snacks and drinks are available throughout the day.

Guests can enjoy various activities in the surroundings, including golfing and cycling.

Infos & Prices

Provence Tours Through The Haut-Var

It’s time to head inland from the coast into the Haut-Var hills. Provence tours take you through a rugged, wild landscape that feels a world away from the coastal chichi cities. Dray and sparsely populated, strolling through some of the best hill villages in Provence and riveting through gorges, it allows for beautiful driving. Your ultimate destination is the magnificent Gorges du Verdon, also called the Grand Canyon of Europe.

But a detour through one of the lesser-known valleys, like the Gorges de Chateaudouble, 12 km north of Draguignan, is worthwhile. In the direction of Draguignan, you turn off onto the D955 before you reach the town. It will take you via the Gorges de Chateaudouble. Turn left onto the D71 in Comps-sur Artuby and enter the wild world of the Gorges du Verdon.



Our tip: Have lunch in Chateaudouble with great views at Restaurant Le Chateau, Place Vieille83300 Chateaudouble, Tel. +33 4 94 70 90 05

It is about a 90-minute drive from the coast before reaching the gorges near Comps-sur Artuby, then ascending past the impressive Pont d’Artuby, Europe’s highest bridge, and following the southern side of the gorges along a route known as La Corniche Sublime.

The drops are dizzying and it’s mostly single-file, but there aren’t many more unforgettable drives out there. You must eventually pass the Lac de Ste-Croix’s emerald-green waters until reaching Moustiers-Ste-Marie.

Lac de Ste-Croix-South Of France Itinerary – 7 Days

Best hotels in Haut-Var

Our recommended hotels in Haut-Var:

La Bastide De Moustiers - Les Collectionneurs

La Bastide De Moustiers – Les Collectionneurs is a country house nestled in the Provence village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in the Verdon Gorges. Sainte-Croix Lake is just 10 minutes’ drive away. Guests can enjoy a restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool.

The property is owned by French chef Alain Ducasse and the 1-michelin-starred restaurant serves provençal cuisine which is adapted according to the season and to the produce available in the hotel’s vegetable garden or at the market.

La Bastide de Moustiers is located 90 km from Aix-en-Provence. Guests have access to free parking.

Infos & Prices

Plateau de Valensole

This dreamily quiet plateau has the largest concentration of lavender farms in Provence, and a checkerboard of waving wheat and rows of lavender extending to the horizon.

Lavender Field

Best hotels at Plateau de Valensole

Our recommended hotels for Plateau de Valensole:

Hotel Lou Paradou

The Lou Paradou hotel is located in Greoux-les-Bains, by the Verdon River, next to the lavender fields in the heart of the Provence. It is set within a large park and offers a heated, seasonal and heated outdoor pool and an infrared sauna and steam bath.

The hotel is just 400 m from Greoux village pedestrian centre and there is free on-site parking.

Guests can visit the Verdon Gorge, the largest canyon in Europe, the Luberon villages and Haute-Provence hilltop villages. Local leisure activities around Gréoux include hiking, mountain-bike, white-water sports, gliding and rock climbing.

Infos & Prices

South Of France Itinerary – 7 Days


Aix-en-Provence is a Bourgeois-Bohemian chic enclave which you shouldn’t miss on your road trip Provence. The richness of nature, music and architecture. A paradise for strollers, the highlight is Vieil Aix, the mostly pedestrian old town.

South of Cours Mirabeau, Quartier Mazarin was laid out in the 17th century and is home to some of the finest buildings in Aix. Particularly enchanting is Central Place des Quatre Dauphins with its fish-spouting fountain (1667). Further south is the quiet Parc Jourdan, where locals meet to play pétanque underneath plane trees.

From Aix-en-Provence, it’s a 30 minutes’ drive to Marseille. Plenty of time to return your hired car and catch your flight.



Best hotels in Aix-en-Provence

Our hotels recommendations:

La Maison d'Aix

La Maison d’Aix is located in the Mazarin quarter of Aix-en-Provence, a 3-minute walk from the Cours Mirabeau. It offers a small indoor pool heated at 28 degrees, relaxation area and hammam.

Infos & Prices

Our tip: Hotel Le Pigonnet Restaurant, 5 avenue du Pigonnet | Hotel Le Pigonnet13090, Aix-en-Provence, Tel. +33 4 42 59 61 07

Things to do in Aix-en-Provence

Read more about sightseeing tours, activities and attractions in Aix-en-Provence.

South Of France Itinerary – 7-Days.jpg South Of France Itinerary – 7 Days

Best Time To Visit Provence

During the spring months, nature awakens from its winter rigidity. Blossoming herb fields, the fruit and almond trees that unfold to their full beauty. Temperatures in spring vary between 20-25 degrees, just the right climate for long walks, this lasts until the end of March. After that, high-pressure areas from the tropics move north and ring in the summer.

The summer in Provence is hot and dry with a magnificent deep blue sky. The temperatures often rise above 30° C. It is bearable because of a light wind that cools down at night. Between June and September, the precipitation rate is very low. Some say, the best time to visit Provence is between July and August when the lavender fields are in full bloom and glow purple and smell wonderful. It’s also the busiest time of the year.

Autumn is the most colourful time, beautiful to look at. Temperatures of over 25 degrees make it very pleasant to stay outside. Autumn is the rainiest time, so the chances of experiencing a real downpour are very high, so 40% of the annual precipitation can pour out in one day. This does not mean that autumn is rainy, and especially if you are looking for pleasant temperatures and little tourism, and want to admire the colourful spectacle of nature, this is the best time of year for a trip.

During the winter months, the climate is rather dry, sunny and relatively mild. Snowfall is very rare. What can be very unpleasant is the mistral wind, which sweeps over the land at high speeds.

You may want to read the following articles on our blog, too:

Get an overview of our Europe travel articles:

Leave a Comment:

Diese Seite kann kompensierte Links enthalten. Siehe unser Impressum. This page may contain compensated links. Read our disclaimer.