There is more to the south of France than St Tropez and the Cote d’Azur, even though that might not be the perception. If the Cote d’Azur runs east from St Tropez, there are approximately 250 miles of coastline to the west that are equally interesting and picturesque.
For a start, there are the Illes d’Hyeres, just to the east of Toulon, which are incredibly beautiful. This small group of rocky islands offer stunning walks, great views, and wonderful diving. There are birthing opportunities in nearby Toulon, but being the largest naval base in France this is not the most picturesque spots. Bandol, just to the west, is a far nicer stopping-off point.
The coast between Toulon and Marseille abounds with picturesque towns, sheltered bays and small beaches, all waiting to be explored with the tender. Marseille itself is rather lovely, but the nearby Iles Du Frioul are very pretty and the fort there was where the fictional Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned.
Further east again is the Camargue region, famous for its swampy terrain and beautiful wild horses. Just inland, and well worth the trip, are Arles and Nimes, two Provencale towns famous for their Roman remains and Vincent Van Gogh. If you were to continue south-west along the Languedoc-Roussillon coast, the beaches get better, but the scenery less inspiring.
From Montpelier in the west to St Tropez in the east, this stretch of the French coastline is less trendy than the Cote d’Azur, but in many ways is the better for it. Here you will find a South of France where French is the predominant language, there are more boulangerie than haute-couture boutiques, and more people drive Citroens than Ferraris.