A guide to the French Mediterranean coast

The southern coast of France can be conveniently divided into two sections, which have quite different characters. Those sections are divided by the Rhône river, on one side of which is the Languedoc and on the other Provence and the Côte d’Azur. The warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful landscapes make this coast very popular with tourists. During peak season, it’s important to book early and make sure your accommodation is tidy before you go. Sections of the French South Coast have a reputation for being very expensive, but if you look around and perhaps camp and consider self catering options, then a holiday to the French Mediterranean section may not be as expensive as you might think.


The Languedoc region, west of the Rhône, has long stretches of sandy beaches. This is a popular tourist region and many of the popular beaches get very crowded during the peak summer months. Still, there is so much sand along this coastline that you’ll often be lucky enough to find long stretches of empty sand. Be prepared to experience all the trappings of the tourist industry though – this coastline has been extensively developed over the last forty years or so. That said, it is still possible to find some unspoiled and traditional regions among the 20th century seaside resorts. It is better to avoid the area between Camargue and Marseille, as it is more industrial and less touristy. An exceptionally beautiful stretch, unlike much of the rest of the French Mediterranean coast, is the region where the Pyrenees mountains meet the sea. There are traditional seaside towns like Banyuls and Collioure, rocky cliffs and charming little coves.

Provence Coast / Côte d’Azur:

In the southeast of France, east of the Rhône, the coast of Provence is the most visited part of France. This popular region covers the section of coastline commonly known as the French Riviera, in France it is called the Côte d’Azur. This coastline’s fine pebble and pebble beaches, small inlets, and beautiful scenery were once the exclusive domain of small fishing villages and sleepy little towns, until tourism began to arrive in the area in the late 18th century and development began. Development continued apace during the intervening centuries, turning this coastline into France’s Mediterranean playground. However, despite all the development, it still retains many beautiful beaches and attractive coastlines. Some resorts are fancier than others, some appeal to the mass market, and others are quieter and less affected. Popular resorts include Saint Tropez, Juan les Pins, Saint Raphael, Cannes and Nice, although there are many other holiday destinations along this coast. If you’re considering a vacation to this coast, make sure you book your travel and accommodation well in advance, as these places can get very busy, especially in July and August. Find out about the character of the different towns on the Riviera and make sure you book in the place that suits you best.

The French Mediterranean coast is perhaps more varied than many people would expect. There is something for everyone along this coast and it is easy to see why so many people from all over the world are drawn here each year.

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