Best Things To Do in the South of France in October

If you are wondering why to visit the South of France in October, this article will give you the answer. This region has many beautiful corners, from the beach to the mountains, from luxurious principalities to lavender-scented rural villages.

The South of France has everything, and we invite you to enjoy it.

The average temperature in the South of France

The south of France has a Mediterranean climate, with sweltering summers and pleasant winters, although a bit rainy. Autumn can bring some heavy storms, and spring is splendid.

The coldest month is January, with an average minimum of 3.8°; the hottest month is August, with an average maximum of 27.6°.

The weather in October

The weather may vary slightly depending on the city you want to visit. Let’s look at some examples in the month we are interested in.

Bordeaux

  • Average minimum temperature: 10.7° C
  • Average maximum temperature: 19.6° C
  • Sea temperature: 18° Celsius

Marseille

  • Average minimum temperature: 12.6° C
  • Average maximum temperature: 21.3° C
  • Sea temperature: 18° Celsius

Nice

  • Average minimum temperature: 14° Celsius
  • Average maximum temperature: 21° Celsius
  • Sea temperature: 19.5° C

Corsica

  • Average minimum temperature: 12.6° C
  • Average maximum temperature: 22.8° C
  • Sea temperature: 21° Celsius

There are usually between 6 and 7 days of rain throughout the area in October. The French Riviera, especially in autumn, tends to have more rainfall than the Rhône delta, as it is affected by southerly winds.

Best Places to Visit in October in the French Riviera

The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, includes some of the most popular places in France and has beautiful places to visit all year round.

We will tell you the best places to see in the French Riviera in October.

Marseille

Marseille’s spectacular climate makes it advisable to visit all year round.

It is the second largest city in France and is the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The tourist offer is very varied, making it one of the favorite places for travelers visiting the country.

Moving a few kilometers away from the sea and entering the rural area of Provence in early autumn, it is still possible to see some lavender fields with their spectacular purple color, especially in Aix-en-Provence.

lavender field Provence

And if it’s a rainy day, a good plan is to visit the Soap Museum, where you can learn how to make your own soaps.

There is always a good excuse to walk around the Vieux-Port (Old Port) of Marseille, where the city was born.

From here, you can visit the main points of interest in Marseille, such as the basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde.

You should also visit the fortresses guarding the port, which date back to the 12th century.

Most of the excursions departing from Marseille also leave from the port. For example, here you can take the boat to the Calanques National Park.

To learn about the port and the city’s history, we recommend visiting Fort Saint-Jean. This historic building was built during the 17th century and used by French and German troops during World War II.

As you walk through it, you will hear the history of the Old Port and all the attacks it suffered.

The most emblematic place in Marseille is La Vieille Charité. A group of buildings connected by galleries is located in the Le Panier district, considered the city’s historic center.

Marseille at night

The architecture of the place is worth the visit, and inside you will find several museums and much more.

Marseille has much more to offer, such as the cathedral, the Ile d’If, and the Palais Longchamp.

That is why spending several days in this great city is advisable to get to know everything Marseille offers.

Nice

Nice is one of the South of France cities that attracts more summer tourists, maybe too many. So visiting Nice in October is a good idea, as you will avoid all the crowds and, in addition, prices will go down a bit.

If you like to walk with a good view, you will enjoy a walk along the Promenade des Anglais.

Nice's Coast

Start at Port Nice Carras and head towards the Monument Aux Morts. You will always have splendid palaces on your left and the Mediterranean Sea on your right.

You can stop at any time and admire the palm trees and pergolas accompanying the entire walk.

Another ideal place to stroll and relax is Promenade Du Paillon. A modern park with a collection of trees and plants from around the world.

And you can’t leave the city without seeing the old town of Nice. Vieux Nice has looked the same since the 1700s, and its cobblestone streets are an invitation to get lost.

If you like museums, you will have several options in Nice. First, we recommend visiting the Nice Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Saint Tropez

Saint-Tropez is one of the best places to see on the French Riviera in October. This village is an old fishing village. During the summer, it is the place of choice for the jet-set.

Once the summer is over, tranquility returns to the village, and visitors can admire the authenticity of its streets.

Sailboats in St Tropez at sunset

The main event held in the city during October is the Voiles de Saint Tropez, a regatta considered one of the most beautiful in the world. The Voiles de Saint Tropez.

The main event held in the city during October is the Voiles de Saint Tropez, a regatta competition considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

More than 300 boats compete for two weeks. They say that the best place to admire everything is from the Portalet Tower.

During this month, there is also an international film festival, called Cine de las Antípodas, dedicated to Australia and New Zealand cinema.

And no matter what time of the year you visit Saint-Tropez, you must see the Citadelle, the hilltop district, from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and its coastline.

Monaco

In the world, few things are more luxurious than Monaco’s coast. And the most luxurious moment of all is when the Monaco Yacht Show takes place.

This event takes place in the Port Hercules of Monaco and welcomes the world’s most beautiful and expensive yachts.

If you are interested, it takes place between the last days of September and the beginning of October.

Port of Monaco

If you can’t afford your own yacht, don’t worry. There are many tours of the coast of Monaco by boat, and you can do various water activities in the area, such as snorkeling and dolphin watching.

Outside of the water, Monaco has many more attractions to discover.

You can make a route through the most beautiful gardens of the principality. You can visit places such as the Monaco Exotic Garden, the Saint Martin Gardens, the Japanese Garden, and the Casino Gardens.

Don’t miss other iconic places in the principality, such as Fontvieille, Condamine and Tête de chien. The latter is an incredible viewpoint, from where you can enjoy beautiful views over Monaco.

Cannes

Although it is synonymous with the international film festival, Cannes offers much more. That’s why it’s one of the best places to visit on the French Riviera in October.

Cannes’ best views are on the Boulevard de la Croisette. You can stroll along this pedestrian walkway that runs parallel to the Mediterranean and observe the Lérins Islands and the most luxurious hotels in the city.

You will also get used to seeing super expensive yachts and cars.

Puerto de Cannes

Another must-see in Cannes is the Le Suquet district. Walk through its cobblestone streets and see places like the Place de Castre, a place with so much history that was the first settlement of the Romans who came to the region.

You could also visit the Forville market and the Tour du Masque de Fer, the place where the famous Man in the Iron Mask was sheltered.

The best place to eat well in Cannes is the Forville market, where you can taste all the typical products of the Provençal area.

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Best places to visit in the South of France in October

We have already told you what you can do in October at the most popular sites in Côte d’Azur.

Now we bring you the best places to see in the South of France in October off the list of the most touristy sites.

The islands of Hyeres

Hyères is 20 kilometers from Toulon and has 2400 years of history. Without a doubt, Hyères has the charm of old villages.

The best way to discover this charm is to walk up the streets of the medieval town on Castéou hill.

You will enter the old town through the Massillon gate and find colorful facades surrounded by ancient walls.

We recommend that you sit in one of the cafes on Place Massillon and take some time to contemplate your surroundings.

If you prefer to relax in a greener place, you can enjoy Saint Bernard Park, located at the top of the medieval city, where there is a good collection of exotic Mediterranean plants.

Another reason why we consider Hyères one of the best places to see in the South of France in October because it has a unique archaeological site in the region.

Between May and October, you can walk the underwater archaeological trail. It is an incredible experience that you do use a mask, fins, and oxygen tube. Have you heard of any other sites that you can visit like this?

It was built in the 4th century B.C. and included thermal baths, sanctuaries, cobblestone streets, and dwellings.

You can also tour the bay by boat. A wonderful experience to visit this town in the south of France.

Exploring the Calanques National Park

This park is fantastic. It is the only national park on the continent that is terrestrial, marine, and periurban.

It was formed more than 120 million years ago, and as it rose, marine valleys the Calanques Massif created marine valleys, which are like small fjords.

Calanques National Park

Through Calanques park, there are several trails linking Marseille to Cassis. The route between the two cities is about 20 kilometers long.

The park is home to more than 200 protected animal species, and the landscapes are amazing, whether you are looking at the mountains or the turquoise sea that bathes its coasts.

Touring Camargue

Located between the municipalities of Arles and Saintes Maries de la Mer, the Camargue Regional Park is surrounded by the Grand Rhône River to the east and the Petit Rhône to the west. There, you can see the formation of a delta.

We include this park among the best places to visit in the south of France because its biodiversity is crazy.

horses at sunset in Camargue Natural Park

We can divide its landscapes into three types: in the south, it has dunes and lagoons; in the east and west, you can see salt flats; and in the north, you will find crops.

The lagoons and marshes of the south attract the most tourists because of their great beauty. These landscapes are flooded in autumn and deserted in summer and have a flora that has adapted perfectly to the salinity of the soil.

So if you go in October to Camargue Park, you will find thousands of purple flowers.

Getaway in the Vaucluse, the Grand Canyon of Provence

Vaucluse is a French region known for its lavender fields. In fact, the village of Sault is known as the “Capital of Lavender,” and a big festival is held there on August 15.

The rest of the year, you can also enjoy the purple landscapes of the fields, and the penetrating aroma of this beautiful flower at the local markets held every Wednesday.

One of the most beautiful villages in the Vaucluse region is Gordes.

Gordes Provence

There we remind you to visit the abbey of Sénanque. It is a 12th-century building managed by Cistercian monks who enjoy showing off this ancient treasure.

In Gordes, you should also visit the castle and the church of St Fermin. And in this town, the Provençal markets are held on Tuesdays, so if you make your visit coincide with this day, you will have an extra reason to go.

Le Var, the place with the best weather in October

The department of Le Var has excellent attractions you can enjoy during October and throughout the year.

An option in nature is the Port-Cros National Park, famous for its crystal clear waters, oak forest, and steep cliffs.

It is an excellent option for hiking enthusiasts, who can enjoy more than 600 species of plants along the trails.

And if the October weather plays a trick and you get a rainy day, you can stay in Toulon, the largest city in the area.

You can walk through the medieval center and visit ancient churches, such as the church of St. Louis and the cathedral of Santa Maria de la Seds.

Another of the best places to see in Toulon is the Cronstadt pier, which has a great gastronomic offer with restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy regional food.

Carcassonne

Carcassone is a walled city and is one of the most recommended places to visit in the south of France in October.

If you walk through the town, you will be walking through medieval streets declared a World Heritage Site.

And if you leave the village, you will find a landscape full of vineyards.

If you move away from the ancient citadel, you will find some viewpoints with fantastic views of the walled city and the surrounding vineyards. For this, you can visit the Pont View or the Pont Neuf.

One of the city’s most emblematic buildings is the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, which began to be built in the eleventh century and was completed in the fourteenth century, and therefore shows a rather eclectic architectural style.

The other building that is a must-see in Carcassonne is the Château Condal. It is a vast four-story building with nine watchtowers.

You can climb to the top of its ramparts and contemplate the valley of the Aude river.

Les Gorges du Verdon

One of the places we recommend you to visit in the south of France if you are a nature lover is the Gorges du Verdon. The gorges have formed an impressive canyon, the largest in Europe.

The canyon walls reach 700 meters high, so this place is a paradise for climbers and those who love paragliding.

It is also very visited by those who want to kayak, rafting, canyoning, and canoe.

If you are not a fan of extreme sports, don’t worry, there are also some quieter activities. For example, to know the lake of Castillon. You can bathe in its beaches of emerald waters and surround by mountains.

And for a romantic farewell, you can contemplate a sunset on the Sainte-Croix lake. Climb to one of its viewpoints and enjoy the scenery.

As it is one of the most visited places in the south of France, it is advisable to avoid going in July and August if you do not like crowds.

Since there are too many tourists, it is difficult to find accommodation, restaurants are complete, and it is even difficult to find a place to park the car. That is why we recommend you to visit it in October.

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