Discover the 10 most beautiful towns in the South of France and fall in love with one of Europe’s most magical travel destinations.
The South of France is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, stunning coastline, and charming towns full of elegance and charm. Located within rolling vineyards, sunflower fields, and vibrant blue waters, these towns offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. From hilltop villages to coastal towns, the South of France is one of the most beautiful places in Europe where you will find architectural marvels, colorful markets, and a vibrant cultural scene.
Here are the 10 most beautiful towns in the South of France to add to your travel bucket list.
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10 Most Beautiful Towns in the South of France
Èze Village is undeniably one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France. It is my favorite village in the region that was pretty busy and touristy but I still loved it, which are two things that usually don’t coexist for me!
NOTE: there is a difference between Èze village and Èze-sur-mer that is important to distinguish. Éze Village perches on a hilltop with medieval architecture, romantic streets, art galleries, and stunning vistas. Éze-sur-Mer, by the sea, is more relaxed, featuring pebble beaches and water activities.
Èze Village is a magical town offering breathtaking panoramic views and an unmatched medieval ambiance. This well-preserved medieval gem is home to narrow, winding streets lined with stone houses and flower-filled balconies creating a romantic and captivating atmosphere. Exploring the streets is one of the best things to do in Èze where you will find hidden squares, art galleries, and artisan boutiques!
The town is home to several architectural marvels, including the renowned Jardin Exotique. This beautiful garden boasts a variety of exotic plants and offers stunning views of the coastline. While Eze’s crown jewel is the 12th-century Èze Castle, perched on the highest point. The castle’s ruins not only offer a glimpse into the region’s history but also provide panoramic views of the mountains and sea.
Èze’s natural beauty, rich history, and romantic setting make it a top destination for those seeking a blend of medieval charm, stunning landscapes, and Riviera glamour.
Menton is undeniably one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France, thanks to its scenic location and charming atmosphere. Located between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Menton offers stunning views of turquoise waters and lush green hills. In fact, the look of Menton is what inspired me most to visit the South of France. The rainbow houses are something super unique and it is just as beautiful in real life as it looks in photos.
Menton’s old town, Vieille Ville, is home to narrow streets, pastel-colored buildings, and cozy cafes. Exploring the cobblestone alleyways you will find hidden squares, artisan shops, and local cafes, creating an unmatched atmosphere. The colorful streets are what made me fall in love with Menton, it is such a unique place full of colors and life.
Menton is also renowned for its exquisite gardens; The Jardin Biovès which showcases vibrant floral displays and impressive sculptures, while the Jardin Serre de la Madone offers tranquility and stunning views. These gardens provide perfect spots to relax and enjoy the town’s natural beauty.
One of the highlights of Menton is its annual Lemon Festival (Fête du Citron), which attracts visitors from around the world. The festival takes place in spring and features incredible sculptures made entirely of lemons and oranges, it is a fun celebration of Menton’s citrus culture and history.
There are so many amazing things to do in Menton but a highlight is spending a day on one of the beach sandy beaches. Both Plage des Sablettes and the Plage du Fossan, offer a place to unwind, swim, and enjoy the Mediterranean ambiance. The beaches also offer the perfect spot to view and admire the city of Menton and all its beauty.
Menton is an unmissable destination on the French Riviera. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach, exploring the charming streets, or immersing yourself in the town’s cultural heritage, Menton is a place I recommend everyone visits!
Saint-Tropez is not only one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France but also one of the most luxurious places in Europe. Renowned for its glamorous reputation and stunning coastal setting, Saint-Tropez offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, picturesque streets, and a vibrant atmosphere.
The town’s sandy beaches and clear water provide the perfect setting for relaxation. Its charming old town, La Ponche, with its narrow streets and pastel-colored houses, has a feeling of timeless beauty.
Beyond the beauty of Saint-Tropez is the luxury. This is one of the most luxurious and exclusive places in the South of France where you will find yachts, stylish restaurants, chic bars, and trendy boutiques. If you want to experience a place of ultimate sophistication and glamour Saint-Tropez is for you!
Villefranche-sur-Mer is located along the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. With its beautiful beaches, charming old town, and rich history, Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France you do not want to miss. This is one of the towns locals love the most as it is slightly less touristy than other cities like Nice and Menton with all the same beauty.
The town’s scenic coastal beauty is one of the main highlights and attractions for visitors. Its location on a picturesque bay provides stunning views of the sea with its clear blue waters and sandy beaches. A beach day in Villefranche-sur-Mer promises the ultimate South of France experience complete with colorful umbrellas, beautiful views, and plenty of swimming.
The old town of Villefranche-sur-Mer is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and charming squares. Wandering through its maze alleys is like stepping back in time, with every corner revealing something new and exciting. The boutiques, art galleries, and cafes that line the streets offer a look into the town’s vibrant and artistic atmosphere.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is one of Europe’s most magical hidden gems and the perfect place to visit for a more relaxing and less touristy South of France getaway. This coastal village offers an idyllic setting with some of the most beautiful beaches in France and a charming old town. It is easily one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France for many reasons and a personal favorite of mine!
The charm of the town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat lies in its luxurious villas and elegant architecture. The mansions and Mediterranean-style villas paired with the aesthetic restaurants and churches make it an incredibly picturesque place to visit.
One of the highlights of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is its stunning coastal paths and scenic trails that offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. The Promenade Maurice Rouvier and the famous Sentier du Littoral are perfect for exploring the town’s coastline and discovering hidden coves. It is also home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the French Riveria: Plage Paloma.
The town is also home to the iconic Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a stunning villa and gardens that showcase art collections and beautifully landscaped gardens. Visitors can marvel at the stunning architecture and immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding gardens.
Annecy, one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France, is located in the scenic French Alps. Known as the “Venice of the Alps,” it captivates visitors with its breathtaking natural surroundings and charming medieval atmosphere.
The town’s main attraction is Lake Annecy. A stunning lake with clear turquoise waters and surrounded by the beautiful Alps. Its beauty is unmatched, offering opportunities for swimming, boating, and lakeside relaxation.
Annecy’s old town is a picturesque maze of narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and winding canals. Exploring its charming alleys you will find charming cafes, quaint shops, and various markets. The iconic Annecy Castle, perched on a hill, offers panoramic views of the town and the lake, immersing visitors in centuries of history and architectural splendor.
Cassis is a picturesque fishing village renowned for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant waterfront. With its charming harbor, colorful buildings, and relaxed atmosphere, Cassis is one of the most beautiful towns in the south of France.
The highlight of Cassis is its breathtaking Calanques (pictured below), a series of narrow inlets surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. These dramatic rock formations are perfect for nature lovers, offering opportunities for hiking, boating, and swimming in crystal-clear waters.
The town itself has a calm atmosphere complete with its narrow streets, charming squares, and lively waterfront. Visitors can stroll along the Quai des Baux, lined with cafes and restaurants, and soak up the atmosphere. The weekly market offers an array of local produce, including fresh seafood and regional specialties.
Cassis is also renowned for its exquisite white and rosé wines. The surrounding vineyards produce some of the finest wines in the region, and visitors can enjoy wine tastings and cellar tours.
Gordes is an incredibly charming perched on a hilltop in the picturesque Luberon region of Provence. It offers a beautiful blend of medieval charm, stunning landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage.
The town’s hilltop setting provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Its golden stone houses, narrow streets, and winding alleyways create a romantic and timeless ambiance. Gordes’ architectural splendor is exemplified by the Renaissance Château de Gordes, a majestic castle and a must-visit while visiting Gordes.
Surrounded by lavender fields and vineyards, Gordes is a visual feast for nature lovers. The countryside comes alive with colors and scents, creating a magical atmosphere. The town also embraces art and culture, with its art galleries, cultural events, and vibrant creative scene.
Gordes is one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France that offers something very different from the others. It is not a coastal town so no swimming and beach days, but lots of exploring and admiring old architecture and timeless culture.
Cannes, situated on the mesmerizing French Riviera, is one of the most beautiful towns in the South of France. Renowned for its prestigious film festival, Cannes offers much more than just Hollywood glamour. With its stunning beaches, iconic promenade, and old-town charm, the town has a unique and captivating beauty.
The sandy beaches of Cannes, stretching along the Promenade de la Croisette, are a paradise for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. The Promenade de la Croisette, lined with palm trees and luxury hotels, is a symbol of Cannes’ opulence and elegance. It offers breathtaking views of the sea and serves as a vibrant hub for shopping, dining, and people-watching. While the clear waters provide a picturesque backdrop for relaxation and leisure.
Cannes’ old town, known as Le Suquet, transports visitors back in time with its narrow streets, colorful houses, and charming squares. The medieval architecture and the Notre-Dame de l’Espérance church add a sense of history and character to the town.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, is a beautiful town with rich history and a unique look. Surrounded by majestic cliffs and located near the stunning Gorges du Verdon, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is located in one of the most unique and mesmerizing places in France. The town’s narrow streets, colorful houses, and surrounding mountains create a romantic and enchanting atmosphere.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is renowned for its traditional ceramic craftsmanship. The town’s pottery workshops and boutiques offer you a chance to admire and purchase exquisite hand-painted ceramics.
Overlooking the town, Notre Dame de Beauvoir, a Romanesque chapel, provides breathtaking panoramic views of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and the surrounding countryside. The chapel’s presence adds a touch of spirituality and history to the town.
Best Time to Visit the South of France
The best time to visit the south of France is typically during the late spring (April to June) and early autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is generally mild, with comfortable temperatures, fewer crowds, and a more enjoyable travel experience. The summer months (July and August) can be quite hot and crowded, especially in popular tourist destinations like the French Riviera.
Late spring offers blooming landscapes, pleasant temperatures, and a vibrant atmosphere, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Similarly, early autumn provides a pleasant climate for exploring without the intense heat of summer.
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