Some places are best to explore by foot, scooter or even on a camel. Countries like France, and especially the southern parts are best to explore by car. And what’s more fun to do than a road trip along the beautiful south coast of France? Especially during low season when there’s less traffic and less people on the beach!
A few years ago I made a mini road trip(READ:2days) along the Côte d’Azur (English: French Riviera) with starting point Marseille, continued to Cassis and ended in Cannes.
Situated on France’s south coast lies Marseille; Capital city of Bouches-du-Rhône department and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. With its beautiful “vieux port” (old port), Marseille is a great starting point for a road trip along the coastal towns and villages of southern France.
Fun Facts about Marseille: Marseille is the OLDEST city of France and was established more than 2600 years ago! Besides that, Marseille is also France’s second biggest city, next to Paris, and it’s also the biggest French port and one of the largest ports of the Mediterranean Sea.
When driving out of Marseille towards the east, you’ll come across an even smaller town called Cassis. Cassis is a small fishing port and beach town that’s characterized by ruins of a medieval castle(Chateau de Cassis) situated on top of a cliff.Fun Facts about Cassis: Cassis is known as “the little secret” of the Côte d’Azur and is often overlooked by tourists. When you think of a beach vacation in the south of France, popular places like St. Tropez and Cannes immediately pop up! In my opinion Cassis is a very relaxing beach town and probably less pretentious than the popular ones. I would highly recommend to add Cassis to your road trip along the coastal lines of the South France. One of the main beaches of Cassis situated in the center of the town is called Plage de la Grande Mer.
Overlooking Cassis from the cliff top.
Me chilling at Plage de la Grand Mer in Cassis
After a quick stop along the coastal road(see pics below), I ended my mini road trip in Cannes. Cannes is known as a popular and luxury beach destination among the rich and famous, especially during the Cannes Film Festival. One of the popular beaches in Cannes is called Plage de la Croisette.
Fun Facts about Cannes: You know that movie and the story about “The Man in the Iron Mask” with Leonardo DiCaprio? Well, just a 15-minute boat ride from Cannes lies Île de Sainte-Marguerite, an island where the infamous “Man in the Iron Mask”(of which his identity is still unknown) and other famous French prisoners were held inside the Fort Royal prison.
Below are some more photos of the scenic route along the coastline of the French Riviera/La Côte d’Azur.
In between Saint-Raphael and Cannes lies a large natural area full of red mountains, hills and cliffs called the Estérel mountains (FRENCH: Massif d’Estérel). I’d highly recommend to make a stop for a kodak moment along one of the most impressive and scenic coastal roads in France.
Have you ever made a road trip along the south coast of France? Let me know. xo – Jey.