Southern France
Best months:
November to January

Southern France

LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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Bardhylius: EUR location FRA; 20 February 2008

Southern France is a geographical area in the southern part of the country. Marseille is the largest town in this region and is really the capital of the South. When you talk to one of the locals, don't mention that you like Paris.


Grain de Sel: Ajaccio Beach, Corsica; 2006

Like all Mediterranean surf destinations, a land of occasional potential but alas, sadly very silent. The occasional Sirrocco will blow some windswell back against this coast, which provides a nice novelty wave in larger conditions, but it is very rare to get it clean. Sometimes you just have to strip down to your Speedos and make like the locals. Don't worry if it's flat, Biarritz is only a few hourse overland to the west, enjoy your time in the sun.

The island of Corsica is part of this region and offers far more exciting prospects. Birthplace of Napoleon, the island sits well into the centre of the Mediterranean and sees far more reliable activity courtesy of the Sirocco. You are still really looking at windswell but there is nothing like a surf in the Med to tell the grand children about.


Autoroute A10 (from

There are many ways of travelling France: by plane, train, bus, motorcycle, bike, thumb or car.

France has a well-developed system of highways. Rent a car and you are free to go! Metro is not very cheap in Paris, but will take you, literally everywhere.

Train is a great option to get around France. TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse - High-Speed Train) is fast and extremely comfortable – it truly is a wonderful way of seeing the country.

Hitchhiking is possible as well, just be patient. And your knowledge of French will help you a lot here (and generally in every situation).

where to stay

Hessam M. Armandehi: Campsite, September 2005

Vallon Pont d'Arc is a town and commune in the Ardèche département, in Southern France, which offers a range of accommodation. Options range from fully catered luxury chalets to hotels to self catering apartments - so there is something suitable for all budgets.

Domaine de l'Astic is recommended by travllers - Prices from €37/person (including breakfast) and has a swimming pool.
There are also loads of campsites around the town, many of which have direct river access to the Ardeche River.

Camping de L'Ile is a camping area by the river, about 1km out of town en route to Pont d'Arc.

If you want to camp in the Gorge as part of a two day canoe (or hiking) trip, you need to book in advance into one of two 'bivouwacs'. Numbers are strictly limited (250 per site during the week and 500 at weekends, as at summer 2007):
Gaud or Gournier is a camping ground along the river Ardeche. Reservation required.

what to pack

Cserlajos: Nike Cortez 'TB trainers; 2007

This region has warmer climate, though it's worth taking warm & cool clothes and have at least one set of nicer clothing for more formal occasions.
Pack some basic toiletries so that you do not need to spend unnecessary money to purchase these basics. You may want to just buy a travel pack and bring it.

Definitely take along some bug repellent spray, good sunscreen and sunglasses. Better take your medicines with you (esp. anti histamine tablets), as the brands can be unfamiliar.  All the gear if you plan to camp: a good waterproof sleeping bag and tent; special gas container u can use for heating food and water; a sturdy backpack or a cargo pack with a good daypack. Invest in a portable water filter or at least take some puri-tabs or boil the water.

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