Perhaps you’ve got your dream holiday or honeymoon planned. Or maybe you’re looking to purchase a property abroad and have (wisely) chosen the South of France as the perfect location. No matter the reason, the date is circled on your calendar and you will soon be crossing the Channel.


But how will you get around in this beautiful, picturesque region of the world?


Knowing how to travel in the South of France via various modes of transportation will help you make the most of your visit. Thankfully, your trusted South of France Surveyor Charles Mackintosh is here to guide you on your way.

Locate the Towns and Cities You Want to Visit Ahead of Time

The South of France is a large area, covering the main regions of Dordogne, Bordeaux and Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, the French Riviera and Provence. You’re not going to be able to cover every inch of ground in one single trip. You also don’t want to waste your precious time while you’re there, aimlessly driving around or train-hopping from place to place, watching those alluring towns and countryside whizzing past you.


So, do your research before you hit the road.


Consult Google, read guidebooks, or check out some of our previous posts – such as ‘The Best Places to Live in the South of France’ and ‘Discover Crowd-Free Holidays in the South of France’ – so you know where you’re going before you actually go.

Travelling by Car

If you’re planning a road trip, there are a few things you need to know.


First, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road, and the wearing of seatbelts is compulsory in both the rear and front seats.


You’re also not allowed to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. Speed limits vary, and they will be in kilometres, not miles like they are in the UK – so don’t get caught out.


Generally speaking, the speed limit will be 50km/hr in towns and cities, 80km/hr on major roads, and 130km/hr on motorways – though do of course, watch out for road signs.


As for paperwork – you will need your UK driving licence with you at all times (this can still be used for the time being post-Brexit, although requirements are likely to change in the future), your vehicle registration certificate, as well as a certificate of insurance.


As for where to go in your car – check out our ‘5-Day South of France Driving Itinerary’ for inspiration.

Travelling by Train

The French rail network is excellent, making train travel a fantastic option for exploring the South of France.


Major cities are linked by high-speed TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse) services, while towns by TER (Trains Express Régionaux).


Most trains in the region are now modern, come with Wi-Fi, and have large windows, giving you stunning views of the French countryside while you travel. A great tip is to book your tickets early – which shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve planned your itinerary in advance. This will often get you the best price, but you may have to stick to a specific time.


You can order all French train tickets online and print them out as an e-ticket, much like you can when flying.

Travelling by Bus

There are many bus tours you can book online to ensure you see all the scenic villages and countryside you want, while remaining safe in the knowledge that you are being guided by a local. If you want to use local bus services to get around, like trains, these, too, are very efficient. Some run every half an hour or so, and are an efficient way to get to popular destinations– although excursions to more rural areas will probably require a bit of preliminary online research and planning.


Note that very few buses run on a Sunday, so plan your trip accordingly.

Final Thoughts

There you have a few top tips for travelling around in the South of France. But a single trip might not be enough. Indeed, you may fall so in love with the place that you decide to relocate permanently to this stunning part of the world.


If so, you will of course need a knowledgeable and experienced South of France Surveyor like Charles Mackintosh to help you make the right property purchase.


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