Southern France offers glorious Mediterranean sunshine, an unrivalled peace and some of the most stunning sights and views on the planet. Here are some of the most gorgeous towns to visit or stay in the South of France.
Gordes (Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)
A beautiful hillside town adorned with Romanesque terracotta roofs and winding narrow pathways. Head to Gordes on a Tuesday morning, when the locals open their shutters to sell the locally produced cheese and wine. Nearby is the famous Sénanque Abbey, surrounded by some of the most beautiful lavender fields, tendered by the resident monks.
Lauzerte (Occitanie, Tarn-et-Garonne)
Another hill-top treasure sitting proudly over the Occitanie countryside. During the day visit the idyllically peaceful town square featuring cafes, bars and a quirky piece of pavement art! On Thursday evening in summer, the Marchés Gourmands takes over the square for an evening of food, drink and entertainment and then take in the sunset over the nearby hills.
Carcassonne (Aude, Occitanie)
This medieval fortress town is Europe’s largest walled city. Famed for its spires, walls and beautiful bridge, be sure to visit in the evening, when these stunning landmarks are lit up.
St Tropez (Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)
As famous for the St Tropez sun tan as it is as a destination for the rich and famous. Located on the French Riveria, sample the local historical landmarks, gaze up at the millionaire’s yachts, or just catch some rays on the nearby Pampelonne beach.
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)
An absolute must for Van Gogh fans everywhere. Saint-Rémy-de-Provenceinspired his ‘Starry Night’ painting. You can visit the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausolé, which was once an asylum where Van Gogh was treated. Beyond the art connection, there are winding streets, elegant fountains and an abundance of cafes that you will have come to expect from this sun-drenched part of France.
Rocamadour (Occitanie, Lot)
Imagine a fantasy French village – and Rocamador is it. Integrated into the hillside, Rocamadour is Instagram ready from every angle! For a unique experience visit the nearby monkey forest, where Barbary macaques (normally found in Gibraltar) roam freely in the woodland or Grotte Préhistorique des Merveilles, with cave art over 20,000 years old.
Don’t forget your travel insurance! Even if you are travelling within the EU and you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) it only offers limited protection. You could still be asked to pay towards treatment, and it certainly doesn’t help if your passport gets lost or stolen!