Provence & French Riviera Road Trip Itinerary – South of France

If you are planning a trip to France I highly recommend including the South of France in your itinerary. Spend a week exploring quaint villages, beautiful lavender fields and chilling in the luxurious French Riviera. My road trip itinerary is for one week but you could easily extend this to 10 or 14 days if you would like more time relaxing in the South East of France. In this article I will share my Provence & French Riviera Road Trip Itinerary.

Provence & French Riviera Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrive in Marseille
Day 2:  Aix-en-Provence, Roussillon & Gordes
Day 3:  Plateau de Valensole and the Lavender Fields
Day 4:  Gorges du Verdon
Day 5:  Menton
Day 6:  Monaco, Nice
Day 7:  Nice
Day 8:  Drive back to Marseille

You could also extend this trip by adding extra stops along the French Riviera to Antibes and Cannes.

Day 1:  Arrive in Marseille

My friends and I chose to fly in and out of Marseille as the flights were cheaper and we wanted to start with the lavender fields in Provence. You could also do the same trip starting in Nice.

I used rentalcars.com to search different car rental companies and find the best deal.

As we arrived in quite late we went straight to our hotel near Aix en Provence. However if it’s your first time to Marseille I would recommend heading in to explore the city for at least a day. Make sure you walk around the Old Port of Marseille and check out the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde and Palais Longchamp.

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Where to stay:
Marseille:
Novotel Marseille Vieux Port or Residence le Canebiere
Aix-en-Provence: City Résidence Aix-en-Provence or Escale Oceania Aix-en-Provence

Day 2:  Aix-en-Provence, Roussillon & Gordes

Start your day getting lost in the cute little streets of Aix-en Provence. Make sure to check out Cours Mirabeau, Paroisse Cathédrale Saint Sauveur Aix-en-Provence and Place d’Albertas.

Aix en Provence South FranceAix en Provence South France

After lunch drive for just over an hour to Roussillon, a super cute town that is home to the biggest ochre deposits in the world. The town is surrounded by countryside and magnificent red cliffs, and if you stroll around the maze of streets you will notice the beautiful ochre façades of the houses. You can park just outside the old town for €3. Make sure to stop at the super instagrammable town hall for a photo!

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Last stop of the day is Gordes, one of the most famous villages in Provence. Built on the foothills of the Monts of Vaucluse, facing the Luberon, Gordes is a super instagrammable hilltop village. The roads to get here are quite winding so it will take around 30-40 minutes to drive here from Roussillon (more than what Google Maps suggests).

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Where to stay:
If you want to stay near your last stop of the day I would stay near Gordes: Hotel Restaurant Carcarille or Mas De La Senancole
If you wish to stay near the lavender fields for a couple of nights I would stay near Valensole or in Manosque (bigger town with more amenities): Les Terrasses de Valensole or L’Hôtel du Terreau Logis de France 

Day 3:  Plateau de Valensole and the Lavender Fields

Wake up for sunrise and enjoy the most beautiful lavender fields in Provence. You will find a number of lavender fields on the Plateau de Valensole, especially on the road between Manosque and Valensole.

Please note that Lavender is a summer flower that starts to bloom in Provence around mid June and is generally harvested from mid July to the beginning of August. So if you come out of this season you will miss the lavender fields.

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Spend the rest of the day exploring the nearby villages of Valendole, Riez and Greoux-les-Bains.

Where to stay:
If you wish to stay near the lavender fields for a couple of nights I would stay near Valensole or in Manosque (bigger town with more amenities): Les Terrasses de Valensole or L’Hôtel du Terreau Logis de France.

Day 4:  Les Gorges du Verdon

Depending on where you are staying on the Plateau de Valensole the drive will take you around 40 minutes to an hour to the Pont du Galetas which is where you can access the Verdon Gorge (or les Gorges du Verdon).

Spend the morning kayaking or pedalo-ing up the Verdon Gorge, admiring the bright turquoise water and sheer cliffs. For more information check out my Top Tips for Visiting the Gorges du Verdon.


From here you want to drive for around 3 hours to the French Riveria town of Menton. As this is quite a long drive you might want to consider stopping in Grasse on the way. A town just north of Cannes that is known for its long-established perfume industry.

Spend the evening in Menton, walking round the colourful streets and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere of the French Riviera.

Where to stay: I stayed at the Hotel Pavillon which was the best value for money and within walking distance of the main town.

Day 5:  Menton

Spend your first full day on the Cote d’Azur enjoying Menton’s iconic Plage des Sablettes. The beautiful Azure water laps in front of colourful orange and yellow houses, it’s the perfect Instagram spot!

TOP TIP – Head to the Quai Impératrice Eugénie for the best photo spot (below).

Provence Menton French Riviera

Make sure to get lost walking around the cute narrow streets of Menton, don’t miss La Rue Piétonne and Les Marches, and check out the Rampe Saint-Michel and Rue Lépante (pictured below) for more photo opportunities.

Where to stay: I stayed at the Hotel Pavillon which was the best value for money and within walking distance of the main town.

Day 6:  Monaco, Nice

Just a 20 minute drive away from Menton is Monaco, a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera. The tiny city-state is famous for its lavish wealth, casinos, and glamorous events such as the Monaco Yacht Show and the Monaco Grand Prix.

Top things to do in Monaco:
– Have a drink overlooking the Port Hercule
– Take a chance at the Casino Monte-Carlo
– Head up to Avenue de la Porte Neuve for the best view of Monaco and the surrounding mountains.

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Just 30 minutes down the road from Monaco is Nice, the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department. Sitting on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges, Nice is a great place to enjoy the sun whilst also having plenty of things to do.

Where to stay: I stayed at the Arome Hotel near Massena Square.

Day 7:  Nice

Spend your last full day on the French Riviera exploring Nice and the surrounding area. You might want to drive out of Nice in the morning to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to check out the beautiful Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild.

The Villa Ephrussi was built during the Belle Epoque in the early 1900s, and features 9 themed gardens.  You can visit the house and gardens for €15 (€10 if you’re under 26).

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Can you imagine living here? What a priVILLAge it would be 😍🏰🤣 :::: The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is just a 20-30 minute drive from Nice. If you're planning on driving to Monaco or Menton it's the perfect stop 🚗 (you will need your own transport to get there). :::: The @villaephrussi was built during the Belle Epoque in the early 1900s, and features 9 themed gardens (Spanish, Japanese, Rose, Exotic…) 🌹 You can visit the house and gardens for €15 (€10 if you're under 26) :::: TRAVEL TIP – I would go for opening at 10am to have it mostly to yourself 😊 :::: Join my travel family, tag your photos with #thewanderlustfamily 🥰 :::: #villaephrussi #villaephrussiderothschild #provence #cotedazur #frenchriviera #frenchrivieralife #nicefrance #niceville #frenchhouses #prettylittletrips #ilovefrance

A post shared by Ellie Green | Travel blogger (@thegingerwanderlust) on


Other things to see/do in Nice:
– Visit the place Masséna and place Giuseppe Garibaldi
– Stroll around Old Nice (make sure you go to Place Rossetti and Rue Rossetti)
– Try some local food at Chez Rene Socca
– Walk along the Promenade des Anglais and chill on the beach
– Check out the beautiful Russian Orthodox Cathedral
– Climb up Nice Castle Hill
– Visit the local museums

Where to stay: I stayed at the Arome Hotel near Massena Square.

Day 8:  Drive back to Marseille

If you’ve booked return flights from Marseille then it’s time to head back. If your flight is at the end of the day then you will have time to make some stops along the way to either Antibes or Cannes. You might also consider going hiking to the Calanques near Marseille.

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I hope you enjoy your road trip around Provence and the French Riviera, and fall in love with the South of France as much as I did! This road trip itinerary is for one week but you could also extend it to 10 or 14 days depending on how long you want to spend in each place.

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