Glamour, celebrities, yachts, top-notch gastronomy, and glittering nightclubs are what we most often associate with the Cote d'Azur. The South of France has been a desirable and trendy hotspot for travelers for decades and its reputation is well-deserved. The Riviera's usual suspects include Cannes, Nice and St. Tropez, but there's so much more to this amazing region than its most popular cities. During peak season these destinations are sometimes overcrowded with tourists and prices skyrocket, ruining your perfect image of the glamorous Cote d'Azur. If you're looking to avoid the hordes of tourists and for something with a bit more privacy, read on!
The South of France is full of hidden gems featuring unspoiled beauty
With more than 5 million tourists visiting the area every year, it can get packed here! While most tourist flock to Cannes and Nice, some parts of the French Riviera remain overlooked and hidden. From little fishing villages to stunning islands, head to these lesser-known places to experience the real charm of the glorious South of France.
This colorful gem on the French Riviera is still flying under the radar for the time being, but not for too long. Situated right next to the Italian border, Menton is a small and peaceful city bursting with traditional charm. Its pastel homes, charming port, ocean views and green hills have won it the nickname the Pearl of France. The town is also famous for Jean Cocteau, a famous French artist and film director. If you're a Cocteau fan, don't miss visiting the museum entirely dedicated to him!
2. Port Grimaud
With more than a thousand houses lining the canals, this bayside town will instantly remind you of Venice. This beautiful town gets its signature look thanks to the architect François Spoerry who built it back in the 1960s. The pastel-colored Provençal homes and charming canals create a magical, picturesque setting. This dreamy, watery town is ideally explored by a scenic boat ride or via a long, relaxing walk with an ice cream cone in hand!
Even though this small fishing villages is no longer a secret with more and more tourists flocking here each year, it still hasn't been entirely ruined by mass tourism. With so many charming villages dotted all over France, you might ask yourself what makes this one so exceptional? Its irresistible beauty lies in its laid-back atmosphere, sun-kissed beaches, award-winning wine and friendly locals. Located in the heart of Calanques National Park, the town is blessed with jaw-dropping fjords and beaches as well. Whether you come here to rest and catch some sun or to spend an active holiday, Cassis almost never fails to amaze its visitors.
4. Salins d'Aigues-Mortes
The South of France is world-famous for its high quality salt, but not many people know that the salt marshes here are also a stunning place to visit. The bubblegum pink Salin Aigues-Mortes are out of this world on their own, but to sweeten the deal, thousands of pink flamingos also call the area home. You can tour the impressive salt marshes as well as facilities where salt is made, so besides its Insta-worthy beauty, it's also the perfect place to taste some fleur de sel!