You are currently viewing Road trip through southern France: Our itinerary for 2 weeks

Road trip through southern France: Our itinerary for 2 weeks

  • Post author:
  • Post category:France

Longing destination Southern France. A road trip through this part of the country has been on our personal wish list for what feels like an eternity. Is it the lavender fields? The mountain villages of Provence? The coastal roads of the Côte d’Azur? After two weeks “on the road” we say: It’s definitely the mix that makes the south of France so special.

On one day we enjoyed the houseboat idyll in the Camargue, the very next day we plunged into the hustle and bustle of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The south of France can fulfill clichés (we’re thinking of Provence, for example), but it can also surprise. Or would you have thought that southern France also has spectacular canyon landscapes in store for you?

In this blog article we will tell you briefly the individual stops of our two-week trip Road trips through southern France. At the end of the article you will find useful tips for planning your trip as well as a map with the most important places on our itinerary. Wanderlust guaranteed!

1. Route through southern France in two weeks Via Carcassonne to Narbonne Our road trip through southern France starts at the airport in Toulouse. The city is supposed to be enchanting – unfortunately a stopover here isn’t possible this time and we’re driving right away continue to Carcassonne in the Aude department. The medieval fortified city of Carcassonne is rightly the most visited destination in the region. We continue to Narbonne. The pretty French town on the Canal de la Robine inspires us straight away.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report: Aude in southern France: Carcassonne, Narbonne and our tips

Our accommodation in Narbonne: La Maison Gustave

Lozère: The gorges of the Tarn and the Jonte From Narbonne, our southern France journey takes us inland towards the north: for two days we explore the Lozère, the least populated department in France. With our rental car we curve along the spectacular gorges of the Tarn and the Jonte and explore the tiny mountain villages. The region is so sparsely populated that we often don’t see another car for miles. A highlight is our visit to sheep farmer Anaïs and the Fromagerie La Fédou.

In this blog article you will find all our tips: Lozère: The Tarn and Jonte gorges in the Cévennes National Park

Our accommodation in the Lozère: Le gîte de La Doline

Pont du Gard & Camargue We continue to one of the most important sights in southern France: the Pont du Gard. The aqueduct is one of the best preserved Roman structures. We explore the monument on foot and even paddle under the Pont du Gard in a kayak. Then one of the highlights of our southern France trip awaits us: our trip with the houseboat! That’s right, with our 12 Meter On a long boat we discover the Camargue and drive to the pretty town of Aigues-Mortes.

In We have summarized all travel tips in this blog article: The Pont du Gard: Kayaking under the Roman Aqueduct
Accommodation recommendation for Aigues-Mortes: Boutique Hotel des Remparts & Spa

Provence: The villages des Luberon Start of Provence! For two days we explore one of the most beautiful spots on earth: the villages of the Luberon, including Bonnieux, Lourmarin and Roussillon. If Provence clichés become reality somewhere, it’s here: the scent of lavender, Provençal farmers’ markets and picture-postcard streets lined with olive trees. Believe us, this part of the road trip will inspire you as much as we do.

All information about our trip through You can find the Luberon here: Provence: Our road trip through the most beautiful villages in the Luberon

Our accommodation in Lourmarin: Le Mas de Guilles

Aix-en-Provence We continue to the old capital of Provence: Aix-en-Provence. No doubt – the young, lively city knows how to inspire. We felt right at home in the narrow streets of the old town. We visit Paul Cézanne’s studio, admire the many old fountains and even take a trip to the mountains. However, not on any mountain, but on what is probably the most famous mountain in the region, the Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Cézanne repeatedly immortalized the mountain on canvas and made it famous. Here we reveal our highlights in Aix-en-Provence: Aix-en-Provence: The most beautiful sights & our tips

Our accommodation recommendation: Maison Dauphine

Roquebrune-sur-Argens From Aix-en-Provence our road trip continues to Roquebrune-sur-Argens. The pretty, comparatively untouristy village is located directly on a rock massif: the Rocher de Roquebrune. And while we’re there, then of course we’d like to see the view from the see Summit. Said and done. A fairly demanding hike of around 3 hours rewards us with spectacular views. The next day we explore the area from the water: During our canoe tour along the Argens river, the Rocher de Roquebrune keeps popping up in front of us on the horizon.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the hike here: Roquebrune-sur-Argens: Hiking and Kayaking at Rocher de Roquebrune

Our accommodation recommendation in Les Issambres – 20 drive from Roquebrune-sur-Argens: Mer du Mer

Cannes on the French Riviera The last stop of our southern France trip is the vibrant Cannes on the Côte d’Azur. You could easily spend two weeks along the Côte d’Azur alone , there are so many places worth seeing here. Our choice falls on the film festival city of Cannes – smaller than Nice, but not quite as luxurious as Saint Tropez. We enjoy the friendly combination of urban and Mediterranean flair and take a trip to the offshore island of Sainte-Marguerite.

You can find our travel report here : Cannes on the Côte d’Azur: The most beautiful sights & our tips

Our accommodation in Cannes: Hotel Oxford

2. More travel tips for a road trip through the south of France Rental car: Tips & Info In principle there are two options: Either you travel by car from Germany or Austria to France. Or you can simply rent a car on site. We picked up our rental car directly at Toulouse airport and returned it to Nice airport two weeks later.

It is important when booking a rental car that you have the right insurance eighth. Without exception, we always book the option with reimbursement of the deductible. This means that in the event of damage you must first pay the deductible, but this will be reimbursed to you afterwards.

We have had good experiences with Sunny Cars did. We are burned children, because in New Zealand we had a parking damage through no fault of our own (with a hit-and-run). Sunny Cars gave us the without any ifs and buts Euro reimbursed, which we would have had to pay without appropriate insurance.

Tolls on Motorways Important to know: Most Motorways in France are tolled and the tolls are pretty high. However, the motorway network is operated by several companies. The amount of the fees is therefore different and not uniform. For our route we have a total of about 20 Euro tolls paid.

Payment is made at the toll stations, the so-called “Péages” – either in cash or by credit card. There is also an electronic accounting system, the so-called “Télépéage”. For this you need a special box in the car (additional costs), which is why it was out of the question for us. Attention: You should definitely get in the right lane at the toll booths. For example, the icon with money and coins means that you can only pay in cash.

Security in southern France Before our trip we read some horror stories about car burglaries in southern France and along the Côte d ‘Azur read. So much in advance: Nothing has ever happened to us! However, we spoke to several locals about the topic on site and many confirmed to us that this is actually a problem.

In order to minimize the risk, you should avoid things and especially no valuables left in the car. This is of course easier said than done, because very often when you change location you want to visit one or the other sight on the way. There is nothing else to do but leave the suitcases in the car.

In such cases we have always considered two things: 1. As far as possible we have monitored or at least very frequented parking spaces wanted. 2. We have made sure that it is not visible from the outside that there is luggage in the trunk. Of course, these are just precautionary measures and ultimately you can just be unlucky. It’s best not to let this drive you crazy.

Keyword Terrorism in southern France. Admittedly, if you follow the media coverage, you can quickly become quite scared. However, we strongly advise you not to let this drive you crazy. Despite everything, the chance of something happening is very, very small. However, what really takes some getting used to is the sight of military patrolling in some places with machine guns. We noticed this in Aix-en-Provence, for example. In general, however, we never had a bad feeling.

Food & Drink in southern France France is a country of indulgence. Meals, especially dinner, are really celebrated here. Therefore, one rarely eats only one main course, but usually a menu, consisting of entrée, Plat and Dessert. Before that, mostly fresh baguette with tapenade (a delicious olive paste). With the menu you drink Vin in large quantities. Well, it’s not that bad, but the French love it their excellent wine and therefore almost always order at least one bottle for the table. Incidentally, in southern France rosé is particularly popular.

Meat and fish dishes dominate the menu. And in the truest sense of the word, because often – apart from starters and desserts – you will only find this dichotomy on the menu. Traditionally, meat is always part of a meal in France. It’s hard to believe, but we were actually looked at in amazement at one time or another when we asked for a vegetarian dish. But don’t worry: vegetarian cuisine is gradually experiencing an upswing – after all, we even ate in an excellent vegan bistro in Aix-en-Provence. Sometimes, however, you have to accept that the selection of meatless dishes is very limited.

What is missing in creative, vegetarian dishes, France makes up for with the patisserie bet. It’s simply stunning. We’ve lost count of how many tartes au citron we’ve eaten in two weeks. And other French desserts are also to die for. All we can say is: crème brûlée!

In terms of coffee, in our opinion, France still has some catching up to do. In other words: We rarely got really good espresso. At this point, a little French coffee knowledge: What we know as “espresso macchiato” (or “small brown one” in Austria) is called a “noisette” in France.

Travel expenses: Price level in southern France Eating & drinking in the restaurant: Eating out unfortunately has its price in France. Restaurant visits are at least 30 percent more expensive than here in Austria. Main courses in a good restaurant usually cost around 15 until 20 Euro. With special meat dishes you sometimes have to 2500 Calculate euros. The three-course evening menu is usually also served with round 30 offered in euros. The price-performance ratio is usually great with these menus, but with two people you are quickly at 70 Euro arrived for one evening. However, wine is relatively affordable.

Fuel prices: Refueling in France is also a bit more expensive than in Germany and Austria. A liter of petrol cost during our visit (September 2018) 1,50 Euro. For a full tank we have about 70 Paid in euros.

Tolls and parking fees: For our itinerary you have to pay approx 50 Calculate Euro tolls. (More information can be found above in this article.) The amount of parking fees varies greatly: the more touristy and larger the place, the more expensive parking usually is. In small towns you can sometimes park for free, but in Cannes, for example, we are short for a few hours 15 Euro paid.

Hotel prices: Hotel accommodation is of course a flexible cost factor. In the high season the prices increase. With a budget of about 100 Euros for a double room per night should definitely be calculated if you want a certain level of comfort. But don’t worry: not even in Cannes did our hotel cost much more than that. The cliché that southern France is unaffordable is by no means true.

The best travel time for southern France The summer months July and August are absolute high season. The beaches are often crowded because the locals also go on holiday in their own country during the summer holidays. Something else makes summer an extremely popular travel time: the lavender blossom. It begins around early/mid-June and lasts until early/mid-August. Especially the sea of ​​flowers of Provence is the tourist magnet par excellence during this period. You can find more information about the lavender blossom in our blog article: Provence travel tips.

It gets quieter in September. We ourselves were in the 2nd and 3rd week of September in southern France and found this time ideal because it wasn’t that crowded anymore. During the day it still had to 30°C and we could easily go swimming in the sea. Even in October you can still be lucky with the weather. Another popular travel period is spring. The sea may not have warmed up yet, but you can witness it when the landscape slowly begins to bloom.

Went to France with no knowledge of French? Don’t worry: It’s a fairy tale that you have to speak French to travel to France. Even if the English of the French is often more bad than good (especially in rural areas), you can usually get by with English. You can almost always find someone who speaks at least a smattering of English. If necessary, you can also communicate with hands and feet and in times without roaming costs, individual terms can also be googled quickly.

However: We speak from experience that it is definitely easier if you at least understands a few phrases of French. We both learned French at school. Although we have (unfortunately!) forgotten most of it, a lot has of course still stuck with us. That was very useful for us, because we could read the menu, for example, without having to translate too much via mobile phone at the same time. We also had very nice encounters with the locals, who are usually very happy when holidaymakers speak their language. In this sense: Bon voyage!

3. Map & Video: Even more impressions from southern France

818497Transparency: {Advertisement} For this blog article we have collaborated with the French National Tourist Board (Atout France). As part of the #facesoffrance nature campaign, we were allowed to travel through southern France for two weeks. Of course, this cooperation has no influence on our opinion.

This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

You already have made a road trip through southern France or another region in France? How was your itinerary? If you have any more tips or questions, please leave us a comment!