Discover the Magic of the South of France: Unmissable Destinations for Your Perfect Trip

From the lavender fields of Provence to the cosmopolitan allure of Nice, the south of France casts a spell of romance and joie de vivre. Long dreamy days of wine tasting, market browsing and beach lounging await couples.

This guide covers 12 of the top spots across southern France recommended for couples. Whether you’re wine connoisseurs, city explorers or beachcombers, you’ll find ideal destinations to create lasting memories.

Let’s dive into the magic of the Midi!

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Provence
  • Côte d’Azur
  • Bordeaux
  • Montpellier
  • Carcassonne
  • Arles
  • Nîmes
  • Avignon
  • Aix-en-Provence
  • Marseille
  • Toulouse
  • Languedoc-Roussillon
  • FAQs


With its sunny climate, vibrant cultures and relaxed pace of life, the south of France beckons couples looking for both epicurean and active adventures.

This guide showcases some of the most atmospheric and romantic spots across southern France recommended for couples based on factors like beauty, charm, cuisine and ease of travel.

Whether you want to hike the Calanques cliffs near Marseille, cycle through sprawling vineyards or taste-test macarons and cheeses, you’ll find inspiration for crafting your dream itinerary.

Let these magical locales ignite your travel lust! The Midi awaits.


This sun-soaked region lures couples with its lavender fields, rustic villages perched atop hills and vibrant outdoor markets. Unwind together here.

Top experiences include:

  • Exploring charming hilltop villages like Gordes and Roussillon
  • Shopping colorful farmers’ markets and sampling fresh cheeses, olives, seafood and more
  • Cycling together between vineyards and orchards
  • Learning hands-on cooking during a Bouillabaisse class in Marseille

With its laidback vibe and romantic stars, Provence seduces couples.

Côte d’Azur

The elegant French Riviera enchants couples with its belle époque glamour, Mediterranean views and upscale coastal allure.

Must-see spots include:

  • Strolling the Promenade des Anglais and Old Town of Nice
  • Sipping rosé at a beach club in glitzy Cannes
  • Hiking coastal trails in the cliffs and calanques near Cassis
  • Exploring the winding alleys and exceptional modern art of Saint-Paul de Vence

Sophisticated and sunny, the Côte d’Azur embodies southern romance.


The heart of wine country tempts oenophiles with its medieval towns and renowned vineyards producing vintages like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Top highlights include:

  • Biking together through vineyards passing stunning châteaux
  • Sampling velvety wines at estates across Bordeaux’s famed wine regions
  • Wandering photogenic quarters like La Bastide and Saint-Pierre in the city of Bordeaux
  • Trying seasonal fare at bistros and fromageries after wine tasting

Bordeaux’s refined charm and wining make pairs perfectly.


With its huge student population and youthful creative spirit, this lively coastal city keeps couples charmed day and night.

Don’t miss:

  • Wandering the giant polychrome mansions of the Ecusson historic center
  • Seeing works by masters like Botticelli at the Fabre Museum
  • Partying until dawn at the pumping bars and clubs around Place Jean Jaurès

Vibrant Montpellier complements breezy beach days with buzzing city nights.


This marvelously preserved walled city transports couples back to medieval times together.

Top sights include:

  • Exploring the stone towers and ramparts of the Cité de Carcassonne fortress
  • Trying cassoulet stew, the hearty regional specialty
  • Visiting local vineyards producing Minervois and Malepère wines
  • Enjoying atmospheric sound-and-light shows after dark

Carcassonne’s old-world magic is timeless.


Once home to Van Gogh, this Provence gem entices couples with scenic boulevards, Roman ruins and charming cafés.

Must-see highlights:

  • Retracing Van Gogh’s footsteps around sites he painted like the Roman amphitheater
  • Following the winding Rhône River dotted with colorful barges and bridges
  • Exploring ancient Roman monuments like the Column of Glanum
  • Grazing on tapas, cheese and wines at cozy bistros

Artistic Arles beautifully spotlights Provence.


With an astounding collection of Roman buildings like its amphitheater and temple, this city immerses couples in antiquity.

Don’t miss:

  • Marveling at the 2,000-year-old Maison Carrée temple gleaming in white stone
  • Taking in sweeping views of Nîmes from atop the Tour Magne
  • Exploring the best-preserved Roman amphitheater outside Italy at the Arena of Nîmes
  • Shopping lively farmers’ markets full of regional wines, olive oils and produce

Nîmes’ magnificent ruins transport couples back in time.


Encircled by medieval ramparts along the Rhône, this cultural hub is dominated by its grand Papal Palace packed with sacred art.

Top experiences include:

  • Admiring the soaring Gothic architecture of the Palais des Papes
  • Browsing cutting-edge contemporary art exhibits at the Collection Lambert
  • Enjoying street performing and theater at the huge July theater festival
  • Tasting Côtes du Rhône wines straight from surrounding vineyards

Artistic Avignon stimulates couples’ senses.


With graceful fountains and leafy boulevards lined with boutiques and cafés, this refined city charms couples seeking Provence’s finer things.

Must-see highlights:

  • Enjoying People watching from bustling Cours Mirabeau and its moody fountains
  • Seeing exhibits from native son Paul Cézanne at his namesake studio
  • Sampling sweet almond calissons, the town’s specialty morsels
  • Experiencing thermal baths together at the elegant Thermes Sextius spa

Elegant Aix-en-Provence beautifully bottles Provence up.


France’s gritty second city wows couples with its captivating contrasts – from ancient port to thriving culinary scene and coastal perch.

Don’t miss:

  • Exploring the aquatic wonders of MuCEM museums and Villa Méditerranée
  • Sampling bouillabaisse stew and fresh seafood right at the Old Port
  • Immersing yourself in Marseille’s multicultural energy and street art
  • Taking in panoramas along the wild Calanques coast and fjords

Marseille’s eclectic spirit and sun-soaked vistas fascinate couples.


This vibrant “Pink City” on the Garonne River delights couples with its live music, riverside cafes and outstanding food scene.

Top experiences include:

  • Strolling the 18th-century mansions and galleries of the Capitol square
  • Absorbing the impressive collection of sculpture and Old Masters paintings at the Musée des Augustins
  • Grazing on cheese, pâté and cured meats at Les Halles Victor Hugo food market
  • Catching live jazz and blues in bars around Place du Capitole

Seductive Toulouse hits all the right notes.


Dotted with sun-baked villages along the Med, this coastline summons active couples with its trails, watersports and laidback surf vibe.

Must-dos include:

  • Kayaking together along the rocky coves and calanques
  • Surfing and stand-up paddleboarding with other couples and friends
  • Learning about the Cathars’ history and hilltop castles
  • Savoring oysters, mussels and salty air overlooking the sea

With 300 days of sun, the Languedoc coast beckons outdoor-loving pairs.


What is the best time of year to visit the south of France?

April-June and September-October have ideal weather without summer crowds. But nice weather lasts from May through September.

What options suit couples for accommodations?

Charming rentals like gîtes, villas and châteaux abound, as well as cozy boutique hotels and luxury beach resorts.

Which regions are best for wine lovers?

Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon are famous, but Provence and the Rhône Valley also produce exceptional wines.

What is transportation like in southern France?

Driving is easiest for exploring the countryside and smaller villages. Trains connect major cities well, and bikes suit active couples.

What foods and drinks should couples try in the Midi?

Bouillabaisse, cassoulet, cheeses, wines, buckwheat crêpes, olive oils, lavender honey, Calissons candies and more!


We hope this guide has fueled inspiration for an unforgettable couples getaway in magical southern France! With so many picturesque places and mouthwatering cuisine, the options are endlessly tempting.

Coast or countryside, cities or villages, relaxation or adventure—the south of France truly offers everything couples could desire in a romantic escape.

Let these dreamy locales help craft your own French itinerary. The Midi’s bon vivant joie de vivre awaits! À bientôt.

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