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The Best Beaches and Excursions in the South of France

The south of France is a haven of luxuriant countryside, magnificent views and unique flora and fauna. Read on to discover the best beaches for soaking up the sun, unmissable adventures and things to do, for a truly exceptional holiday.

The Most Beautiful Beaches

Plage de Mala, Cap d'Ail: This breathtaking beach boasting golden sand and turquoise waters is located in the bay of Saint-Laurent. It is reachable only on foot, either by following the shoreline or using the stairs. 

Plage Passable, Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat: On the edge of the famous bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, this beach, sheltered from the wind and dotted with palm trees, offers a breathtaking view of the deep blue sea. A restaurant and a snack bar can also be found there.  
Plage de la Garoupe in Antibes: It is one of the most idyllic beaches on the French Riviera. Known for its crystal-clear waters and powdery sand, it is also the starting point of the Cap d'Antibes trail, which leads to the famous lighthouse which rises high above it. 

The Best Beaches and Excursions in the South of France - Provence

Plage du midi in Cannes: Stretching from the Port of Cannes to Mandelieu-La-Napoule, the tranquil sands of Plage du midi are less frequented than the mythical Croisette beach. It offers a breathtaking view of the Esterel massif and the Lérins islands. 

Plage de Cavalière, Lavandou: A beach of outstanding natural beauty, it is known for its white sand and pine trees. Also known as "the sporty one", there are plenty of aquatic activities available for young and old alike. 

Plage de l’Estagnol in Bormes-les-Mimosas: Looking for a touch of the tropics? Then Estagnol beach is for you. Dubbed "Tahiti Provençal", this magnificent beach with its fine sand and transparent waters will captivate you. 

The Best Beaches and Excursions in the South of France - Provence

Excursions in the South of France

The Calanques
: The south is known for its beaches but also for its wonderful rocky coves. The most beautiful are the calanques of Cassis, En-Vau, Sugiton and Marseilleveyre. With their picture postcard scenery, turquoise waters, unique underwater fauna and magnificent stark contrasts with the region's characteristic limestone rocks, the calanques are not to be missed. 

The lakes and rivers of Luberon: The Luberon massif offers magnificent bathing opportunities, ideal for breaking up a hike or a ride. Villanovo recommends the following spots: La Durance, a river that flows into the Rhône, and the lakes of La Bonde, of Vannades and of Cucuron. 

National parks: The PACA (Provence, Alpes, Cote d'Azur) region is the perfect destination for ecotourism and hiking. With its 8 national parks, you can have your pick of a whole host of choices. Take time to discover the regional park of the Alpilles, the Baronnies Provençales, the Camargue, the Luberon, the Queyras, the Préalpes d'Azur, the Verdon, the Sainte-Baume and the Mont-Ventoux. 

Le Colorado Provençal: Take a wander through this awe-inspiring environment - a cross between Mars and the panoramas of the wild west - and let it fill you with wonder. Located in Rustrel, the Colorado Provencal with its other worldly ochre vistas is simply breathtaking. 

The Best Beaches and Excursions in the South of France - Provence


Hiking: Situated halfway between the sea and the mountains, the south offers a wide range of possibilities for unforgettable hikes. Choose a hike near the sea, with a view of the turquoise blue of the Mediterranean or venture into the rugged hills of the Luberon and take on the steeper mountains of Provence. 

Ride a bike on the island of Porquerolles: The island of Porquerolles is a small island only 7.5 km long and 3 km wide, situated just opposite Hyères. With 50 kilometres of trails, this island is ideal for a bike ride with family or friends. The island holds wonderful coves, beautiful views and an abundance of greenery, making it a dream location. 

Kayaking: The south boasts many rivers offering fantastic places to kayak. Thrills and spills are guaranteed. Discover the south in a new and exciting way. 

Go diving in the Mediterranean: The Mediterranean offers a plethora of beautiful diving spots. It possesses many protected natural areas, where unique fauna and flora live. While all along the coast, shipwrecks, submarines and other wrecks dot the seabed, offering some unusual sights. 

Fishing activities in Le lac des Cigales in Le Muy: Outside of July and August, you can fish for all the trout you like, and in summer there is plenty of carp fishing. You are free to bring your own equipment or to hire it on site. Enjoy a picnic in the open air thanks to the tables at your disposal and admire this exceptional setting. The lake is 4 km from Muy and 20 km from the famous seaside resort of Saint-Raphaël in the Var. Beyond this, there are plenty of other sites in the south of France that offer the same opportunities.  

The Best Beaches and Excursions in the South of France - Provence

Pétanque: No holiday in the south of France is complete without a game of pétanque. It is a must! You'll find boules courts all over the towns and villages of the region. Join a group or start a tournament with friends. The best time: around the time of the aperitif with a good pastis and some tapenade.

Discover our selection of luxury villas for your next trip Provence

Mas Venissia

6 Bedrooms

Villa Denaé

4 Bedrooms

Villa Billy

3 Bedrooms