Who doesn’t love a good road trip? They give you a sense of pure freedom as you travel on your own time – windows rolled down, music turned up – to the places you choose.


And where better in the world to load up the car and hit the road for a few days than the South of France?

The landscapes are wonderous – towering mountains, deep river gorges and winding valleys. And with a whole host of beautiful bays and picturesque towns to visit, the only problem you’ll be faced with is deciding on your route. Never fear – your friendly South of France Surveyor is here to guide you on your journey.


With many years of experience living and working in the South of France, we have covered a fair few miles ourselves. We have therefore created the perfect 5-day South of France driving itinerary – from Orange to the Massif des Calanques – that will allow you to see many highlights of the region while ensuring you don’t spend all of your time in the car.

Day 1 – Orange

We recommend you begin your journey in Orange, Provence – a beautiful, charmingtown, dripping with culture and history. From the UNESCO listed Roman Theatre, to the original Arc de Triomphe (no, it’s not in Paris) and the Roman Museum, there’s so much ancient architecture to feast your eyes upon in this glorious, sunny commune, there’s simply no better place to commence your holiday.


There are also lots of choices for eating out – though you can hardly do better than La Grotte, which is built into the very wall of the Roman theatre. Breath-taking.

Day 2 – Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

This is a road trip, so, after spending the night in Orange, Day 2 will begin with a relatively short 50km drive down to the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque – just a little over an hour in the car.


Built in the 12th Century and located near the beautiful village of Gordes (another must-see during your visit), the sublime Sénanque Abbey is still home to a community of Cistercian Monks, who grow and harvest lavender and allow people to stay as guests on a retreat.


Take the guided tour, visit the gift shop for some unique souvenirs, and then head down to the medieval village of Gordesfor an afternoon and eveningstrolling around the charming shops and fabulous restaurants.

Day 3 – Aix-en-Provence

Day 3 begins with an 80km drive south (about an hour and 20 minutes) to Aix-en-Provence, a gorgeous little city, filled with gardens, fountains, museums, and lots to see and do.


Visit the MuséeGranet – a classic museum housing an eclectic collection of over 12,000 works, spanning neoclassical sculpture, to pop art, to Picasso originals – then take a walk around the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveurd’Aix-en-Provence, a beautiful cathedral featuring Gothic and Neo-gothic influences.

Day 4 – Marseille

An early-morning 35km drive further south – less than an hour away – will take you to Marseille. Here, the famous Notre Dame de la Garde sits on a hilltop overlooking this marvellous old city and the sea. After a visit there, you can head down to Vieux Port (Old Harbour) to take some wonderful photos, eat fresh fish and seafood, watch the boats, and ride the Ferris wheel. Highly recommended.

Day 5 – Massif des Calanques

Finally, a drive around to the Massif des Calanques – just 15km away – will begin the last day of your road trip.


The Clanaques are a series of rocky cliffs and bays between the city of Marseille and the town of Cassis. These little inlets have been formed in the limestone cliffs over thousands of years, leaving behind a stretch of beautiful little bays – perfect for stretching your legs and breathing in the scenery. There really is no better place for a hike and picnic to finish off your South of France road trip.

Final Thoughts

If our 5-day South of France driving itinerary has left you eager to enjoy a more prolonged visit, you may be considering purchasing a property.


South of France surveyor, Charles Mackintosh has decades of experience buying and selling properties in the region and has the knowledge you need to help you on your very own property journey.


Get in touch with Charles today for more information and insights.