Since summer's here, it's the perfect time to travel. Travel to the north when you want to cool off. Travel to the east when you want to experience new cultures. And if you want to lay down on the beach all day, travel to the south. The South of France, specifically, since this is where you'll find the beautiful French Riviera
. From Cannes to St. Tropez, this is the playground for the rich and famous. But what if you want to relax without too many tourist crowds in your way? Then go to the more underrated destinations in the French Riviera. There's Cassis, Port Grimaud, Eze, and more!
There's a lot to look forward to in the relatively unknown town of Cassis on the French Riviera. Firstly, the community itself is pretty quaint. With its classic pastel-toned architecture and humble fishing town vibe, it's a world away from the more crowded cities like Cannes
and St. Tropez. And when venture further out, you can reach the stunning Parc National des Calanques
, a national park made up of rocky headlands and scenic shores. If you truly want to get away from it all, you'll want to go on a day trip here and enjoy its natural wonders.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Michal Osmenda
Perched atop a hill in the French Riviera, Eze is the kind of scenic provincial town that you'd expect in this part of the country. It has retained its Medieval charm, complete with its walled structure, stone pavements, and red-brick roofs. This beautiful whirlwind of sunset hues looks incredible amidst the lush greenery of the French Countryside
. Not to mention a stunning contrast to the jewel tones of the Mediterranean sea nearby. Once you reach this hilltop city, you can enjoy one of the best views the French Riviera has to offer. They'd make for great Instagram posts!
Source: Flickr.com/ Andres Alvarado
From one charming hilltop town to another, Gourdon is definitely a must-see among the more underrated French Riviera cities. It's a pretty homely place, complete with humble cottages, luxury apartments
, small villas, and more. Though it has preserved its Medieval walled structure, you'll find that it has cleverly adapted to modern times. Throughout its stone paths now stand boutiques, shops, restaurants, pubs, and other establishments. You'll have no need to venture beyond Gourdon when you want to eat out, go shopping, and more. And of course, the views from this hilltop are incredible too!
Source: Flickr.com/ Jean Latour
It's a shame that Hyères isn't as popular among many tourists who visit the French Riviera because it's the sort of tropical paradise that one would associate Southern Europe with. While the town itself looks pretty similar to the other places on this list, it's the area's Iles d’Hyères that will have you coming back again and again. Remote and largely untouched, these islands are true Mediterranean paradises. Ironically, they might even remind you more of the Greek Islands than the south of France. That's how unique Hyères is compared to the other places on the French Riviera map.
Source: Flickr.com/ David McKelvey
Technically speaking, Menton isn't all that underrated. It has commendable tourism, especially compared to the other lesser-known French Riviera cities on this list. However, since it's located near some of the most popular places in the region, like Cannes and Nice, it easily gets overlooked. Add to that the fact that it's one of the closest French towns to Italy too. Most tourists simply use Menton as a stop on their way to the neighboring country, forgetting to look around and see just how colorful this place is. It's also a great place for foodies since the delicious cuisines of the two countries clash and converge here!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Speaking of Italy, you'll want to check out Port Grimaud next. Regarded as the 'Little Venice
' of the French Riviera, this port town was constructed back in the 1960s to serve as a more modern take on the iconic centuries-old Italian city. You can't help but compare the two as the St. Tropez bay serves as the canals between the different districts. But instead of riding gondolas
to reach another spot, you'll have to get on yachts instead. Nevertheless, there's no other place in the south of France, or in the entire country overall, that has perfectly blended two memorable places together.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Lérins Islands
History and paradise collide in The Lérins Islands, a remote archipelago near the city of Cannes. You can easily reach it via a 15-minute boat ride from the glamorous French Riviera city, particularly the islands of Saint Marguerite and Saint Honorat. On the former, a 17th-century fort stands as a museum, chronicling the tumultuous French and European history that took place in this part of the continent. The place even contains the cell of the 'Man in The Iron Mask,' a famous unidentified criminal turned to legend by famous French authors, Voltaire and Alexandre Dumas.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
There's more to the French Riviera than Cannes and St. Tropez! If you really want to see this famous region's true beauty, you'll need to venture off into the more underrated destinations and experience their charms yourself!