France is one of the most popular travel destinations in all of Europe. The country has obtained this international favor due to its sophisticated allure. The country is unofficially known as one of the most romantic countries in the world and it is a massive influencer of international cuisine and culture. The scenery of the country is diverse, with sunny coastlines, green fields, snowy Alps, and a world-famous capital city, so it offers travelers nearly any type of vacation they desire. With nearly 80 million visitors a year, France, particularly, Paris has been one of the world’s leading tourist destinations for over three decades.  

There is also another France, which some travelers never get to experience because they do not go beyond the heavily populated tourist areas. While attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum should definitely be seen while visiting France, the south of France also offers an unmissable experience to travelers.

The south of France is an underrated area that is not central to the popular tourist attractions. The spacious vineyards, grand hills and valleys, and quaint villages are just some of the timeless features that belong to this area. Travelers are drawn to its stunning ombre horizons, historic estates, and picturesque landscapes.

Here is a guide to the best regions in the south of France that travelers should visit during their next trip. 

 Île Sainte-Marguerite 

This Mediterranean island is one of the best remote getaways in the south of France.
Pictured: A clear watered shore of Île Sainte-Marguerite

This Mediterranean gem is one of the largest of the Lérins Islands and is a seemingly remote getaway with clear waters, unbeatable views and nature that appears untouched by man. The best things to do in Île Sainte-Marguerite offer visitors insight into the rich history of the island. The underwater Museum of Cannes, Fort Royal and the Promenade des Anglais are all popular attractions on the island. Travelers should be sure to book accommodations well in advance since the island no longer has overnight accommodations (the only hotel closed in 2005) and Cannes is the closest place to stay. 

Saint-Marguerite is right off the coast of Cannes, so transportation is easy to organize. The island is located only half a mile from the mainland, so there are a few convenient ways to reach it. Île Sainte-Marguerite is about 15 minutes from La Croisette by boat, which travelers can affordably book for around $15. A slightly more expensive alternative to a ferry is taking a tour or opting to rent a boat for a day trip. 


Porquerolles is a coastal area off the southern coast of France.
Pictured: A boat sailing near the shores of Porquerolles

This coastal area is an island in the Îles d’Hyères that has a land area of nearly two miles. Porquerolles is known for its exquisite beaches, which have crystal clear waters and boast sunny climates around 300 days of the year. The island has many beaches that are both quiet and private, so this island may be best suited for those who prioritize tranquility during their stay in southern France. The Notre Dame beach on Porquerolles has been voted as one of the best beaches in Europe, so travelers can be sure to have an unforgettable experience. 

Porquerolles is a short 10-20 minute boat ride from the coast and offers a secluded getaway on the French Riviera. Travelers can depend on ferries that depart from La Tour Fondue port, which is south of Hyères since boats leave every 30 minutes and are available all year round. 


Occitanie is a southern region of France that is known for its historic attractions. 
Pictured: A town of Occitanie that is surrounded by large mountains

This region of France is the southernmost metropolitan area of France (excluding Corsica), which has a thriving tourist scene. Occitanie offers travelers diverse natural spaces like the stunning Mediterranean coast, beautiful mountain ranges, and the French countryside. Occitanie has a thriving spa culture which includes wellness treatments like hydrotherapy and hot springs. These treatments and remedies are great for those trying to truly unwind. 

The region has plenty of culturally rich attractions and activities for visitors. Occitanie has eight sites that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Pont Du Gard (an intricate bridge built in the first century that people can only walk on during guided tours). With over 300 museums, 400 festivals throughout the year, 40 ski resorts, and 30 thermal resorts in its cities, travelers will never have a dull moment. 


Grasse is an iconic fragrance destination in the south of France. 
Pictured: The small Mediterranean town of Grasse and the green valleys of the French countryside

This French Riviera town is famous for its connection to the fragrance industry. Grasse is considered the perfume capital of the world, so tourists enjoy tours of the perfumeries and museums in town. Chanel even cultivates its fragrances (notably, Chanel No. 5) from the flowers grown in Grasse. The Musée International de la Parfumerie is located in the town center, but travelers can also visit world-renowned perfume houses (like that of Molinard and Fragonard) to learn more about the historic and cultural importance of Grasse.

Grasse is perfect for travelers who want to be able to walk and access anything they need. The town has many winding streets with terraces, so it is common for tourists and locals to walk anywhere in town they need to get to.