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Top 10 must-do guided tours in the South region

During your stay in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, discover the history secrets and heritage of our region with the official tour guides from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Embrace the unforgettable experience of life in Provence, Alps and the French Riviera by visiting unmissable tourist destinations: Marseille, Nice, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Grasse, Toulon and Gap.

The Secrets of Marseille

The real historical heart of the Phocaean city is here, in the quarter of Panier, which provides us with 2600 years of Marseille’s history and overlooks the Old Port.  The site became mainstream with the popular French television series, “Plus Belle la Vie.”  Marseille has garnered stardom by hosting many films.  For this reason, it is quite necessary to visit the old town to understand the city’s evolution. From the Greek foundation to post-war construction, Le Panier is lined with narrow interlacing streets opening to quiet squares and full of secrets and history your licensed tour guide will bring to life. This guided walking tour will last 2 hours providing opportunities to discover picturesque architecture from St. Mary’s Cathedral to the Old Charity center.


Nice: Old Town Treasures

During your walking tour in the old town of Nice, your knowledgeable guide will lead you in the footsteps of the Ligures, Greeks, Romans, Piedmonts and the French who have all influenced the city. Your lecturer tour guide will explain the social and architectural evolution of the town as you stroll the narrow streets to the Baroque Cathedral of Sainte-Réparate and reach the Hill of the Castle. You will also savor the flavors of the region by tasting authentic local cuisine thanks to well-selected, local food makers.


Avignon: The City of the Popes

With its historical center listed as UNESCO World Heritage, Avignon shelters the most beautiful gothic architecture, the remains of a Romanesque bridge and old quarters surrounded by well preserved ramparts. Your lecturer tour guide invites you to walk along the Popes’ path as they turned Avignon into the capital of Christianity in the 14th century.  Centered on the confluence of once two mighty rivers, the Durance and the Rhône, the history of the Avignon is linked to trade and worldwide famous wine production.


The Elegant Aix-en-Provence

Former capital of the County of Provence, Aix-en-Provence has developed around its central main avenue (Cours Mirabeau) created in the 17th century. From this place, the guide will tell you the story of the local Nobility and their Hôtels Particuliers (townhouses). All of them are very luxurious and sumptuous. In the heart of Aix, you’ll notice a very elegant town planning where the local artisans have settled to satisfy your taste buds with their creations such as nougat or calissons.



Arles, From Roman Empire to Vincent Van Gogh

With its roman Theater and Amphitheater plus its Saint-Trophime church listed as UNESCO world heritage, Arles has preserved the most beautiful architecture of Roman Times in our region including also the thermal baths, the cryptoporticus, the city walls and the Alyscamps site. Arles is also the main gate of Camargue and has kept special and unique traditions in France such as bullfighting and Gypsy music. The city has also been immortalized by some of the masterpieces painted by Vincent Van Gogh. During a 2 hour walking tour, your lecturer tour guide will take you to a time travel from the Roman times to Van Gogh’s lifetime, passing by the beginning of Christianity, medieval period and the most ancestral camarguaises traditions such as the Abrivado or the Ferrade.


The Cannes you don’t know

Cannes is always connected to La Croisette that is blazing in May during the film Festival. Not far from glitters, there is another private Cannes and your tour guide will share all the history secrets with you. You’ll follow your guide up in the Suquet neighborhood to better understand the local traditions up to the Church Notre-Dame de l’Espérance. From the panoramic viewpoint, you’ll admire the city of Cannes, the seashore and the Islands of Lérins in the distance. These islands are famous to shelter one of the oldest monastic community in our region : the Saint Honorat Abbey.


Mythical Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez is not only a fancy trendy place, it’s also a very interesting historical site. It was a little strategic port in the Middle Ages, it has known glorious times from the 19th century thanks to the painters, the writers, the musicians and artists. It’s a key meeting place  for Cinema and show-business in general in the Summer. Your tour guide will show you the hidden treasures of the old town, from the Museum of Annonciade to the Citadel via the Lices Square and the church dedicated to the roman martyr Saint-Tropez.


Secret recipes of Grasse perfumes

In 2018, Grasse obtained the World Heritage of Humanity classification for its perfume history and knowledge. A fair recognition for this city considered as the capital of perfume since the 17th century. For you to know everything about perfume, your guide-lecturer opens the doors to the major perfumeries. Follow the guide through the alleys of Grasse along a path fullfilled with fragrances of lavender, jasmine, rose and orange blossom. You will learn how Galimard seduced Catherine de Medicis and thus transformed a city of tanners into the world capital of perfume.


Toulon to the Horizon

“Most beautiful harbor in Europe” according to Vauban and the first military port in France, Toulon is a city with a rich history, made up of explorations and conquests since its Roman foundation under the name of “Telo Martius”. The guided tour of the port and the city center with your guide-lecturer invites you to embark on an adventure in search of the lost murex (a small shell used to produce purple color), of the first explorers who traveled all the seas of the world, of Jean Valjean and Napoleon 1st.



Gap and the Flight of the Eagle

Capital of the Southern Alps, Gap is located on the Route Napoléon, on the edge of the Ecrins National Park: a strategic location in the heart of unspoiled nature. In the alleys of the city center, your guide-lecturer takes you in the footsteps of Chevalier Bayard (the knight without fear and without reproach). You continue towards the hill of Puymaure to relive the Flight of the Eagle, in 1815, when Napoleon I, deposed, escaped from Elba to take back his crown of Emperor from King Louis XVIII.