You have 10 days to spend in France and you want to discover South of France with beautiful Luberon,lavender fields, the villages of Provence, the Riviera, Nice, Monaco… This Provence driving tour, you want to organize and enjoy it by yourself.
So, perhaps you are asking how can I do ? What car itinerary will allow me to see Mediterranean coast, Camargue, Provence and other best places in South of France ?
Itinerary for a trip to organize and do by yourself in France
To help you and following my own favorite places, here is my route in South of France by car in ten days.
This South of France driving tour is a model that I share with travellers just to give an idea and help them to build their own itinerary. It can be different depending on when you will travel (summer or winter), traffic, strikes, changes in schedules, deviations…
10 days in South of France – my route in France by car
As a reminder and before giving you more details, here is the map of the 10 days in South of France itinerary by car.
My route in South of France by car – Hire a Car
As this route is made for a circuit by car, you will perhaps ask : where should I rent a car ? Directly in France ? At the airport ? What are website recommended ?
You can rent your car at the airport of course but also online with Expedia for example. On this platform, its easy and secure to rent a car : they have always good prices and propose a great customer service team to support you if you need.
My route in South of France by car – Detailed itinerary day by day
Paris Marseille – Day 1
- From Roissy Airport, you will arrive at Marseille Airport. Perhaps you will come from train station in Paris and arrive to the train station in Marseille.
- Take your rent car and drive to your hotel.
- Night in Marseille.
Where to choose your hotel in Marseille ?
- NH Collection Marseille
If you have enough time to visit Marseille city, it is better to be closer to tourist sites and in lively places (cafes, restaurants …) so near the Old Port (Vieux Port) would be perfect.
Situated in the new business and leisure district of Marseille, in the 2nd district next to the « Vieux Port » and the « Panier », this hotel is perfect for its location in the city center, close to tourist sites.
Its value for money is very ineresting for Marseille. Indeed, for 100 Euros per night, you can enjoy a hotel whose benefits are very high and exceptional service !
- Château Beaupin
If you don’t want or don’t have enough time to visit Marseille, it’s better to take an hotel in a peace, quiet and secure place.
Located in the chic and residential district of the 8th arrondissement and close to a beautiful beach, this beautiful mansion has a small garden, a pool, a barbecue… It’s really an exceptional place, splendid and calm in Marseille.
Castle life for one night at the price of a simple hotel : an apartment for 4 people at only 120 Euros per night !
Marseille Arles – Day 2
- Visit Marseille
For this day in Marseille, you can :
- Visit Marseille city with the Colorbus : a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour of Marseille by touristic bus.
- Take a Cruise to see the Cassis and Marseille Calanques and more…
- Make a nice Marseille walking tour
- Then drive to Arles (1h30)
- Night in Arles
Where to choose your hotel in Arles ?
If you don’t know what hotel to choose in Arles, this is my favorite : Hôtel de l’Amphithéâtre – 5-7, rue Diderot, 13200 Arles.
OK it is a bit old but I chose it because it is closest to the Amphitheater and the historic center, because it has a parking and for its excellent small price (75 € the night) !
Arles Camargue Avignon – Day 3
- 8h00 – Visit Arles (2h)
Arles is a city of art and history, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage of Humanity (roman heritage). It was the city of van Gogh and nowadays is the capital of the Camargue.
- 10h00 – Drive to the “Pont de Gau Ornithological Park” (30 minutes) and visit (1h00) :
- 11h30 – Drive to Aigues Mortes (30 minutes)
- 12h00 – Visit and take lunch in Aigues Mortes
The fortifications of Aigues-Mortes is a remarkably well preserved military structure. From the ramparts or from the dungeons’ terrace, you will discover a breathtaking sight on the Camargue and the salt marshes whose colours alternate between blue and purple.
- 14h00 – Drive to Avignon (1h30)
- 15h30 – Visit Avignon
In Avignon you can visit the Palais des Papes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Europe’s biggest Gothic palace, surrounded by imposing fortifications and defense towers. You can walk on the famous Pont Saint-Bénezet, the remains of a popular medieval bridge that partially crosses the Rhône. Wander the ancient streets and courtyards of this beautiful city.
- Night in Avignon
Where to choose your hotel in Avignon ?
Le Vernet – 73 Rue Joseph Vernet, 84000 Avignon, France
Le Vernet is not an hotel. It’s a beautifull old building with very quiet apartments in the center of Avignon. Apartments are decorated with great taste and are very functional with parking. It feels like home. Lola is very friendly and responsive to the askings. Great neighborhood with great restaurants and shops. Low prices (about 80 Euros).
Baux de Provence Gordes Lavender Fields Aix en Provence – Day 4
- 8h00 – Drive to Les Baux de Provence (1h00)
- 9h00 – Visit Les Baux de Provence (2h00)
Perched on a rocky hill, Les Baux-de-Provence is ranked among the “most beautiful villages of France”. Its streets flooded with sun, its squares and shaded terraces make it a postcard of Provence.
- 11h00 – Drive to Gordes (1h00)
- 12H00 – Take lunch in Gordes
- 13h30 – Visit the Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque and walk in the lavender fields. They are in bloom during late June and early July.
- 14h30 – Drive to Aix en Provence (2h00)
- 16h30 – Visit Aix en Provence
Aix-en-Provence, birthplace of Paul Cézanne, has retained a certain charm due to a rare architectural unity and Italian influences.
- Night in Aix en Provence
Where to choose your hotel in Aix en Provence ?
Aquabella Hôtel & Spa (2 Rue des Etuves 13100 Aix-en-Provence)
Everything is perfect in this hotel : The room, breakfast, bar, pool, spa and especially its location in the historic center of Aix en Provence. And besides, it has a parking !
Moustiers Gorges du Verdon Castellane – Day 5
- 7h00 – Drive to Moustiers Sainte Marie (2h00)
- 9h00 – Visit the village of Moustiers (1h00)
High place of Provence, this place is surrounded by a cliff which dominates the village. The church and the museum of Faience are interesting to see, typical narrow streets and many shops …
- 10h00 – Discover the Gorges du Verdon driving (la route des crêtes) by Palud sur Verdon for about 2 hours
The ridge road is located on the right bank of the Verdon, near La Palud-sur-Verdon, in the Pays du Verdon. 23 kilometers long, the ridges route overlooks the most famous part of the Gorges du Verdon, which is certainly the most beautiful Canyon in Europe. Throughout the road, you can admire the mythical cliffs of the Verdon by taking advantage of the 14 belvederes arranged.
- 12h00 – Drive to Castellane (40 minutes) and take lunch.
From Castellane you can make one hour tour to see the two beautiful lakes (Castillon lake and Chaudanne lake) :
From Castellane, take the D955 towards Saint-André-les-Alpes.
Continue along the Castillon lake, passing on its impressive dam, on which is drawn the biggest sundial of the world.
About 1km after the dam, turn right towards Demandolx. Take height by chaining the laces that line the road.
A little before the village of Demandolx, turn right again following the direction “La Silve – Castellane”.
The descent is via a narrow road (not recommended for motorhomes) on Lake Chaudanne.
Follow Lake Chaudanne and join the intersection with Route Napoléon. Turn right to join Castellane via the D4085.
- 15h00 – From Castellane drive to Hyeres (2h30)
- 17h30 – Installation in your hotel and night in Hyeres
Where to choose your hotel in Hyères ?
Hotel La Potiniere – 29 Avenue De La Mediterranee, 83400 Hyères
Located next to Hyères, the Hotel La Potinière has is own private beach. This hotel faces Porquerolles and Port-Cros Islands. Decorated in typical Provencal style, the hotel’s guestrooms are functional, comfortable and peaceful.
And of course this hotel has free parking ! So it is perfect for a relaxing break and lazing on the beach.
Hyeres Porquerolles Island Saint Tropez Cannes – Day 6
- 8h00 – Drive to La Tour Fondue (35 minutes)
- 9h00 – Take the ferry boat to Porquerolles Island (15 minutes)
- 9h15 – Visit the Island and relax on the beach
- 13h00 – Return to Hyères
- 14h30 – From Hyères, 2 options :
Drive to Saint Tropez (1h30)
or drive directly to Cannes (1h30).
In summer, there is too much traffic to go to Saint Tropez, the best is to cancel this visit and go directly to Cannes
- 16h00 – For option 1) Visit Saint Tropez and then drive to Cannes (1h30).
- 16h00 – For option 2) If you come to Cannes directly from Hyères, you have enough time to begin to visit Cannes at your arrival.
- Night in Cannes
Where to choose your hotel in Cannes ?
This splendid 4 stars hotel is a 10 minute walk from the beach. The Renoir is located a 5 minutes walk from the Palais des Festivals, the marina and Rue d’Antibes. Perfect location to explore Cannes, very friendly staff, comfortable and very fluffy bed, very clean, breakfast very good… . There is nearby private beach, located a 5 minutes walk from Renoir Hotel. Guests have access to a nearby parking.
Cannes Saint Paul de Vence Nice – Day 7
- 8h00 – Visit Cannes
Seaside town on the French Riviera, Cannes is famous for its international film festival. La Croisette, an elegant boulevard along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, famous jewelers, luxurious shops and palaces.
- 12h00 – Drive from Cannes to Saint Paul de Vence (40 minutes)
- 13h00 – Visit Saint Paul de Vence and take lunch
Facing the Mediterranean Sea, backed by the Southern Alps mountains, this medieval village is one of the most beautiful on the Côte d’Azur. This tiny piece of Provence attracts creators and artists. Sensibilities and talents of the most diverse horizons settle and meet in the many art galleries.
Where to choose your hotel in Nice ?
Located in the heart of a residential area close to everything : the train station, the Place Masséna, downtown, old Nice, the Promenade des Anglais, beach, good restaurants… The Ellington Hotel has the charm of the old buildings with the current comfort. The welcome is always warm and attentive. A well-stocked breakfast with lots of choice, fresh fruit, very good quality in a wonderful setting (beautiful patio). Regarding the room, the cleanliness is impeccable.
This hotel is really a good choice to visit and enjoy Nice !
Nice Eze Monaco Menton – Day 8
- 9h00 – Drive from Nice to Eze (30 minutes)
- 9h30 – Visit Eze
This beautiful village perched with a view to the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferret, offers a remarkably preserved medieval architecture. The alleys lined with vaulted houses with numerous stalls of artists and craftsmen give the village a particular atmosphere of authenticity and traditions.
- 11h00 – Drive to Monaco (30 minutes)
- 11h30 – Visit Monaco and take lunch
Monaco is an independent state with the official name of the Principality of Monaco. It is 24 km from Nice, bordering Cap-d’Ail, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Beausoleil.
You will be surprised and amazed at each step, in the heart of the City of Princes. From the Old Town, a real open-air museum, to the Casino Square, unique in the world, discover the history of the Grimaldi.
- 16h00 – Drive to Menton (45 minutes)
- 17h00 – Visit Menton
Here is a place where nature and culture combine harmoniously. City of gardens, city of lemon but also City of Art and History, Menton is rich of an exceptional natural and historical heritage. From the cornices, you can admire a landscape of postcard, that of a city posed on the sea !
- 19h00 – Come back to Nice (45 minutes)
- Night in Nice
Nice Marseille – Day 9
From its cosmopolitan past, Nice, capital of the Côte d’Azur, has preserved this indefinable charm. This city has become a model of tourist excellence with a particular art of living and a single local culture. Enjoy its privileged climate, its legendary sunshine illuminate its Old City, the Promenade des Anglais bordering the Bay of Angels, its rich museums…
Drive from Nice to Marseille (3h00)
- Visit Marseille if you have enought time (cf. my post Marseille is it a dangerous city ?)
- Night in Marseille near the airport or near the train station (to save time for the next day to come back to Paris).
Where to choose your hotel in Marseille ?
- Hotel Ibis Marseille Provence Aéroport
The hotel Ibis is perfect if you want to spend one night near the airport for a small price (55 Euros).
Located at 400 m from Marseille Airport, this hotel provides a free shuttle service from 5:00 to midnight. There is also a free parking.
Ibis Hotel offers a grill restaurant and a bar. Guests are invited to use the outdoor swimming pool.
- Holiday Inn Express Marseille Saint Charles
Very good location if you want to stay for one night near the train station and also near the historic center of Marseille :
This hotel is right opposite the main station, metro, trains and car rental within 50 meters. Nice, quiet neighbourhood, safe and has some restaurants, cafés and supermarkets nearby. Has an underground garage parking. His price is very interesting (70 Euros).
Come back to Paris – Day 10
- Come back to Paris (by flight or TGV train)
- Take your flight or your train to come back home.
Do you prefer a route by train ? You can discover my article 10 days in South of France by train
Perhaps you are dreaming about a night in a castle in Provence ? Look at: The 5 best cheap castles hotels in Provence
and if you have enough time : 2 week itinerary south of France