Fancy an urban adventure in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur? Discover our top 10 picks of the region’s cities and towns.
Get a breath of fresh air in Briançon
Set at the gateway to Italy, the genteel lifestyle and rich history of Briançon make it one of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur’s must-do towns. Fed up with grey skies? The sun shines down on Briançon 300 days a year. Fancy some pure air? Perched at an altitude of 1,326 metres, the heights of Briançon promise an invigorating wake-up. What’s more, you will love strolling around the ancient streets of Vauban’s fortified town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Discover the thousand facets of Marseille
If there is one town in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur that has character to spare, it’s Marseille Beautiful and rebellious, this ancient Greek city promises an unforgettable urban adventure. From the Vieux-Port (Old Port) to La Canebière, via the historic quarter of Le Panier, Marseille is a genuine melting pot of atmospheres and experiences. Feeling peckish? Head to Parc Borély for a picnic on the grass. On the menu: anchoïade and navette biscuits made with orange flower water… Fashionistas will want to head over to the chic Rue Paradis for a spot of shopping. End your escapade with a stop-off to say hello to Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica, nicknamed La Bonne Mère (the Good Mother), a genuine emblem of the city.
Fall under the spell of Avignon
Avignon is more than a simple bridge! The town is an authentic crossroads between Provencal culture and lifestyle… A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Popes’ Palace, with its impressive Gothic architecture, hosts many events including exhibitions, concerts and plays. Modern art fans will want to visit the Collection Lambert, a recent museum where you can admire the works of Basquiat. And lovers of fine wining & dining will enjoy savouring Avignon‘s gastronomic and wine growing traditions before heading to Pont Saint-Bénezet bridge (the “Pont d’Avignon”) to watch the sun go down…
Be Dazzled in Cannes!
Setting foot in Cannes takes you one step closer to the stars. A hub of luxury, dream decors and legendary personalities, all eyes are on Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur‘s most dazzling town. Begin your adventure at the Vieux-Port (Old Port), with its festival of stunning white yachts. Fancy showing off? Simply take a casual walk along La Croisette, to the rhythm of palm trees swaying in the sea air. Feeling lucky? Step into one of the town’s many casinos. And if lady luck is on your side, treat yourself to a helicopter tour over the town with Azur Hélicoptère to admire the breathtaking vistas.
Taste authenticity in Sisteron
Set on the Napoleon Road, the village of Sisteron is a must-do during your stay in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Gourmets will be keen to sample the local Red Label lamb, awarded a Protected Geographical Indication label. Married with olive oil, it promises to please even the most demanding foodies. Explore the heights of the town, home to the Citadel of Sisteron, resembling a crown of stone. The summit offers sweeping views over the majestic Rocher de la Baume. In summer, don’t forget to book your seats for the Festival des Nuits de la Citadelle, with its line-up of enchanting live shows in an exceptional decor.
Travel through time in Arles
Also located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the town of Arles – a hub of Roman monuments and creativity alike – offers a perfect blend of heritage and modernity. Roam the town to discover its 8 UNESCO World Heritage monuments including the Roman Arena, Theatre and Thermes de Constantin baths. The itinerary dedicated to Van Gogh in the town centre also promises an unforgettable experience. Last but not least, Les Rencontres d’Arles brings together photography fans from the world over every summer.
Savour the moment in Nice
Seeking a tranquil holiday? Nice in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is the perfect place to savour life and revel in everyday pleasures. A simple stroll along the Promenade des Anglais becomes a precious family memory or tender escapade for two. Alternatively, Parc Phoenix, with its reptiles, tropical plants and exotic flowers and birds, is the perfect place for a delightful excursion with your little ones.
Amble in Aix-en-Provence
Similarly to its neighbour Marseille, Aix-en-Provence in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is a hub of hospitality and generosity – the kind that makes you want to stay forever. The town tour starts in the centre at the market, with its tempting line-up of craftwork, fabrics, flowers and vegetables : an exhilarating ballet of colours and fragrances. Fancy cooling down? The Fountain itinerary is a pleasant and original way to get to know the town. Treat yourself to a coffee at the foot of the Clock Tower, before setting off in the footsteps of local-born master Cézanne…
Live life to the fullest in Saint-Tropez
You certainly won’t be short of excitement in Saint-Tropez ! The town’s festive atmosphere isn’t just a myth… Start your tour with a visit to the novel and enchanting Maison des Papillons, adorned with magnificent butterfly specimens. Stroll down to the beach, plunge your feet into the azure waters and succumb to the beauty of the Med until sundown, when a plethora of bars and night clubs open their doors for a party to remember…
Recharge your batteries in Digne-les-Bains
Savour a taste of the good life in Digne-les-Bains, acclaimed for its thermal baths. Reputed for its many benefits, the town’s spa water promises to put you back on top of the world far from the hubbub of city life. Continue your adventure with a visit to the Jardin Botanique des Cordeliers, instilled with the delicious perfume of over 350 medicinal and aromatic plants. Next, head to the Jardin des Papillons, where over 100 butterfly species flitter and flutter in the open air. For a dose of culture, don’t miss the Musée Alexandra David Neel, harbouring the collection of this avid explorer and fervent lover of the Orient and its mysteries. The Musée Gassendi offers a fascinating blend of ancient art, natural history and 19th-century sciences, together with a modern gallery dedicated to Andy Goldsworthy; it is also the departure point for the “Refuges d’Art” land art itinerary, dotted with works by the British artist.