Explore The Best Towns of Southern France

by Benjamin Kerns

Jan 6, 2016

The Roman Amphitheatre of Nimes, France © Leonid Andronov | Dreamstime


Paris seems to be the go-to destination for Americans looking for a taste of France, but the countryside has plenty of beautiful sights to offer. The south of France, in particular, is a wonderful place full of culture and splendor.


Aix, France © Olga Buiacova | Dreamstime 54537252

© Olga Buiacova | Dreamstime



The university town of Aix is one of the most gorgeous in the country, with tree-lined streets, chapels and a younger vibe that breathes life into the city walls. It’s also known as the city of a thousand fountains because the place is full of them. The Fountain of the Four Dolphins is not to be missed.


The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Lourdes, France © Marekusz | Dreamstime 26907827

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary © Marekusz | Dreamstime



Lourdes is something of a religious mecca in Southern France and is said to be the spot where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous at the Grotto of Massabielle in 1858. The area has become a little gimmicky, but the cathedrals that have been erected here since are astonishing.


Chateau de Pau, France © Anna Pakutina | Dreamstime 53047856

Chateau de Pau © Anna Pakutina | Dreamstime



This little town nestled against he Pyrenees was once home to King Henry IV and his castle still stands as a remarkable testament to his reign. You’ll enjoy leisurely strolling alone the sidewalks in this quaint city with spectacular views of the mountain in the distance.


Maison Carree, Nimes, France © Robert Zehetmayer | Dreamstime 27348124

Maison Carree © Robert Zehetmayer | Dreamstime



Nimes is a home to some of the most venerable and striking monuments in the country, including the Amphitheatre and the Temple of Diana. It was a favorite among Roman and Spanish emperors and the city center is now home to numerous boutique shops and restaurants.



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