Glamorous coastal cities and villages have made the French Riviera the Mediterranean’s biggest draw for summer holidays. Yet, many travelers are not aware that when the summer begins its retreat to give way to the milder weather of the fall, the Côte d’Azur continues to captivate with irresistible charm.
Below we compiled our top three sites of the Riviera best enjoyed in the fall.
The normally busy port town of Sète is a little quieter in the fall, which is perfect for travelers wishing to explore further inland, where the landscape becomes even more scenic. Sète is home to Carcassonne, a fortified medieval city so culturally important that it has been deemed a World Heritage Site. Its wonderfully restored fortifications consist of a double ring of ramparts, more than 50 towers, and a castle, all of which belong to the French state. Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers a FREE Unlimited Shore Excursion to Carcassonne with a guided tour of the old city, the signature Narbonne Gate with its defensive flanking towers, and the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire known as the “The Jewel of the Old City.”
In autumn, the weather is adorably refreshing, encouraging outdoor exploration, which is perfect for touring the largest Gothic palace in Europe, the Pope’s Palace. In the heart of Provence is the former home of the Sovereign Pontiffs, with its ceremonial rooms, chapels and private papal apartments. Although they only stayed for 70 years their legacy can still be seen on the beautiful streets of Avignon. Guests may tour the Palace and surrounding village of Avignon, with its wonderful mix of history and culture set on the banks of the River Rhone, on a FREE Unlimited Shore Excursion.
The views and the temperature change dramatically from coastal to rural as you drive toward St. Paul de Vence from Monte Carlo. The historical and cultural heritage of Saint-Paul de Vence never ceases to amaze. This haven for artists boasts a number of fine museums such as La Fondation Maeght, which features contemporary works from Braque and Giacometti, among others. The local artisans are highly regarded for their weaving, woodwork and jewelry pieces, which are on display in the many galleries. On a FREE Unlimited Shore Excursion to this area, gusts enjoy exploring the village’s small markets, repositories of fresh-cut, locally grown flowers and irresistible gastronomic treats.
Whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned explorer, this part of the world consistently inspires and beckons for your return. Interested in visiting the glamorous French Riviera this fall? The 11-night Treasured Antiquities itinerary calls on these and many more Mediterranean ports aboard Seven Seas Voyager® as she makes her way from Barcelona to Venice.