France 3-Day Itinerary: Mediterranean Coast
The French Riviera has made France’s Mediterranean coast famous, but there are two regions that cover this southern border – Provence–Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which goes from the Italian border to around Arles/Avignon; and Languedoc-Roussillon, which goes from there to the Spanish border. Traveling along the coast through both regions is not only a fun break during a 10-day Paris vacation itinerary, but it’s also the perfect way to discover just how diverse and freaking gorgeous France is.
Three-Day Mediterranean Coast Itinerary: Nice, Marseille, Montpellier
Unlike the other three-day itineraries here on Why Go France, this one takes a bit of traveling. But the traveling part itself is so stunning, I don’t think it’s too much to say that it can be included as legitimate sightseeing.
Your three bases will be Nice, Marseille and Montpellier. Here are some logistical things about these bases:
All three of these cities are connected to Paris via the super-fast TGV trains.
You can start either at Nice or Montpellier and go in one direction or the other.
If you go from Montpellier->Nice and you’re returning to the East Coast of the U.S., note that there are direct flights from Nice to New York’s JFK. So you can put it at the end of your trip without having to go back up to Paris to return.
This is a great itinerary if you’re skipping Paris altogether and instead traveling from Spain to Italy, or vice-versa.
OK! Now, you’ll need places to stay. Check out these articles, which includes my top hotel picks for each city:
- Hotels Near the Place de la Comédie in Montpellier
- Hotels Near Vieux Port in Marseille
- Hotels near Promenade des Anglais in Nice
You can also check out our handy hotel search widgets to book right now:
Hotels in Montpellier
Hotels in Marseille
Hotels in Nice
Phew! Logistics are out of the way. Here’s the fun stuff:
Nice Itinerary Links
- Things to do in Nice, and free things to do in Nice
- The Cours Saleya Market in Vieux Nice
- The Nice Side of Cemeteries
- Celebrating Carnaval in Nice (if you’re there around Ash Wednesday)
- Day trips from Nice (if you’re feeling ambitious)
Marseille Itinerary Links
- Things you should know about Marseille
- 8 things to do in Marseille
- Free things to do in Marseille
- Day trips from Marseille (if you’re feeling ambitious)
Montpellier Itinerary Links
I don’t have nay links up for Montpellier yet, but this overview of the city includes sightseeing options and little side trips. And starting in February, Tram Line 3 will take you to the beach in just a few minutes! Don’t think February is a good beach month? Consider this: I got sunburned while sitting at an outdoor cafe on Christmas Eve this year.
Oh, one more thing that hopefully won’t confuse all the information I just gave you: If you have some extra time and you’re there at the right time of year (just before Easter), head to Perpignan, near the Spanish border, to see the super-creepy Sanch Procession. A definite off-the-beaten-path moment (that may never let you sleep again).
Have more questions? Want more specific advice? Hit me up on Twitter, or ask me on Facebook!