South of France - French Riviera - best places to visit in Europe summer 2024 - where to go in Europe - where to go in south of France

Why the South of France is one of the best destinations in Europe

I moved to Europe more than 5 years ago, and let me tell you, almost nothing beats summer in Europe! From the sun-kissed beaches of the South of France to the charming villages of the Italian Riviera, each place has its unique charm waiting to be discovered. 


The South of France is widely known for its glamorous cities like Cannes & St. Tropez, but did you know that there are SO many hidden gems waiting to be explored?

This region has some of the most charming villages in Europe, breathtaking backdrops of the mountains and the Mediterranean, and cultural experiences that often go unnoticed by the typical tourist.

One of my favorite villages the quaint village of Eze, perched high atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Its narrow cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and panoramic views make it a hidden gem worth exploring. Wander through its winding alleys, discover artisan shops, and soak in the timeless beauty that surrounds you.


Eze, South of France    Eze - view from La Chèvre D'Or restaurant 


Or venture towards the coast to the picturesque town of Menton, that sits on the border with Italy, as is known as the pearl of the Côte d'Azur. Away from the hustle and bustle of its more famous neighbors, Menton makes you travel back in time with pastel-colored buildings, vibrant local markets, and cascading bougainvillea that adorn every corner.


Menton village  Menton beach


My advice is to base yourself in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera. It does not give "crowded big city vibes" which is what I absolutely love about Nice. On the contrary, think of Nice as "quite Parisian charm" meets "small coastal city" vibes. In Nice, you will have tons of accommodation options with reasonable prices. It's very well connected to all the beautiful villages with public transportation. Plus, Nice has so many dining options and a vibrant night life.

How to travel around? Public transportation is easy to navigate and very affordable! Ticket prices range between 1.5 euros to 10 euros only. I reccomend using google maps to check which busses or trains to take. You can buy the bus tickets on board the bus but make sure to have small cash bills as they don't take bills larger than 10 or 20 euros. For trains, you can purchase it either in the main train station or online (to avoid crowds in the train station in Nice) on the official train website

How does the budget look like for the South of France? You can do this destination on a medium-cost or opt for a luxurious vacation, it all depends on your preference! A medium-cost budget ranges between 120-200 euros for mid-range accommodations like 4-star hotels or nice airbnbs. Meals range between 10-60 euros (excluding drinks) in good restaurants. Wine ranges from 6-15 euros, depending on the brand. Activities here are mostly free since it's mostly sightseeing or sunbathing, and there are plenty of nice public beaches that are completely free.

When is the best time to visit? The weather is suitable for swimming and sightseeing from Mid-May till early October. However, for lesser crowds, I'd reccomend visiting end of May-beginning of June or in September.

So the next time you find yourself in the South of France, take the road less traveled and discover the hidden gems that make this region truly special. Whether it's stumbling upon a charming village, immersing yourself in local culture, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, you'll find that the South of France has so much more to offer than meets the eye.


  Nice, French Riviera      
St. Jean Cap Ferrat - Paloma beach     
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