Paris Olympic Games 2024: What to do in South of France

Ysa Anctil profil picture as a Tour Guide

Ysa, Tour Guide & Earth Lover, France

February 23rd 2024

We always look forward to the return of the Olympic Games every 4 years. And this time, they will take place in one of the most famous cities in the world, Paris. Also, the events will take place in more than 18 French cities, ranging from Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes to Tahiti. Indeed, the four corners of the European country and overseas will have the honour of welcoming athletes, families, friends and supporters from all over the world.

Since the Olympic Games will take place throughout France, it is imperative to take the opportunity to visit this magnificent country. Beyond attending the big events, your visit to France must be as profitable as possible. And this is why we invite you to visit the South of France to discover not only the football and sailing events, but also to taste its culture, hear it, see it and live it.

Therefore, you will find in this article everything you need to know to attend the soccer and sailing events in Marseille and Nice. In addition, you’ll get to know how to truly enjoy the region in all its beauty, in an eco-responsible and local way. Take advantage of local tourism and follow our few tips to enjoy your best vacation and Olympic period.

paris olympic games seine bridge

How to go from Paris to South of France

Since you probably directly flew to Paris to watch the main sports of the Olympic Games, you need to find your way down south to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. For instance, a few options are possible and here they are:

1. Go to South of France by train

The SNCF company is the one that takes care of the entire railway network in France. Therefore, you can easily find a train ticket between the different stations in Paris, towards the South. The TGVs (high-speed trains) are efficient and very pleasant. In addition to having a low carbon footprint, you will discover France and all its landscapes from north to south. In addition, it only takes around 6 hours to reach Nice and/or 3-4h to reach Marseille from Paris.

2. Travel to South of France by plane

It is easily possible to take a low-cost flight between Paris and Nice or Marseille. Despite the high carbon cost, it is not necessarily the quickest way to travel from north to south if you had your travel time from central Paris to one of the airports as well as leaving 2-3hours before take off to checkin your luggage. When you do the maths, you quickly see that the train is actually working better most of the time. If you are still commited to travel by plane, once you arrive in Marseille or Nice airport, it is easy to reach their city center.

Several companies such as EasyJet, Transavia, Air France, and other low-cost, offer several flights per day between the capital and the cities of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. But be careful, these low-cost airlines often do not offer check-in luggage. Likewise, you might end up with decent extra charges for your suitcase, unless you’re traveling light. Flights are around 1.5h long though and a view from above is still something quite nice, especially in Nice who is well-known to have one of the most beautiful landing in the world.

3. Road trip to South of France

Many highways serve the country. In around ten hours, you can travel from north to south to reach Marseille or Nice from Paris. Beware of roadworks and tolls, which can be very costly.

However, it is obvious that the road trip option turns out to be very pleasant for those who want to see the country and stop along the way. Also, other events of the Olympic Games take place on the way, such as in the city of Lyon or Saint-Étienne for example, where football is celebrated there.

This option proves to be very interesting for big fans who want to enjoy matches between 4 major soccer fanatic cities.

4. Move down South by Bus

This option is probably the last one you should consider. Even if it could be the cheapest option, it will certainly be the longest one, taking up to 10 hours between Paris and Marseille and 13h between Marseille and Nice. However, if no other option is suitable for you other than that, visit the companies FlixBus and Blablacar to get your tickets.

5. Share a ride and carpool

Carpooling is a widely used practice in France. So if the desire to share and exchange is ingrained in you, join a local driver on a trip to Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Blablacar is the reference in France for carpooling and sharing rides.

cassis south of france next to marseille for olympic games 2024

What and when are the sports events of the Olympic Games in the South of France?

To match the cultural identity of the South Region of France, football, also known as soccer, is taking place in the biggest and most famous stadiums. Marseille and Nice host more than 10 and 6 games, respectively. Marseille also hosts the sailing competition for 12 dates. 

  • Football:

July 24-25; 27-28; 30-31 in Nice.

July 24-25; 27-28; 30-31 + August 2-3; 5-6 in Marseille.

  • Sailing: 

July 28 – August 8 in Marseille.

stade marseille for olympic games 2024 south of france

What to do outside of the Olympic Games?

Here is where your Olympic Games trip is taking a whole new dimension! 

1. Visit Provence

The Provence region stretches from west of the Rhône river to the Italian border at the easter point of France. From the Hautes-Alpes to the Mediterranean Sea, this region in the south-east of France and has a diversity of incredible landscapes. Ranging from the mountains, to the lavender fields, the sea and its coves to various natural parks, it is full of outdoor activities to do.

Otherwise, Provence has a rich culture through culinary and history. Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Grasse, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Monaco and St-Tropez are some of the cities you definitely need to visit in between competitions. Here are a few idea about what to do in a few cities.

2. Enjoy Nice and its surroundings by E-Bikes

Nice or Nissa la bella as the locals call it, is incomparably rich. Its reputation and location makes it the second most visited city in France after Paris with 5 million visitors every year.

And the best way to avoid missing out on the key elements of this city is to take part in an E-Bike tour. Considering the geographic extent and everything there is to see, the electric bike is definitely the most intelligent and eco-responsible option.

Take part in one of our bike tours to discover not only the city, but a vineyard or even a micro-brewery. There is something for every taste!

3. Discover Antibes and its rich history

Antibes, a hidden gem of the French Riviera, can be discovered by walking, cycling, eating and above all, laughing. All the locals and its former visitors will tell you: Antibes is an unmissable treasure.

Enjoy its sandy beaches, its incredible peninsula, its rich history, its local Provencal market and its well-kept secrets. All of that, thanks to a walking tour along with our local guides.

If there is a city that is definitely worth the detour, it is Antibes. Take our word for it!

4. Taste the glamourous city of Cannes

Cannes, the city of glitz and glamour on the Côte d’Azur, invite you to discover it in every way possible. Through shopping, casinos, luxurions hotels, its Palais des Festivals where the Cannes Film Festival takes place every year in May, etc.

Beyond all that, there is a very strong Provençal culinary culture in the area. 

Come and discover Cannes in all its flavors and colors during a Food Tour accompanied by a local guide. He/she will take you to wine bars, restaurants, caterers and local merchants that you will certainly missed on your own.

5. Walk around Monaco

At first glance, Monaco seems like a city of luxury cars and big hotels only. It is true that Monaco, one of the richest independent states in the world, boasts incomparable wealth. However, it has a story that few people dwell on. And this is what our local guides focus on when the time comes to accompany visitors to this principality. Not only do we pass through the country’s key neighborhoods, but we enter into every detail that makes up this 2 km square territory.

Without a local guide, it is almost impossible to truly discover the soul of Monaco, charming and accessible at the same time.

Discover our private tour right here. 

6. Get lost in Marseille

Marseille, the second city in France, has everything for herself. With its particular language accent, its culinary culture, its football stadium, she impresses with her atmosphere that is both refreshing and electrifying.

You can only understand Marseille when you stroll there, between the quays, the Garde hill with its impressive Cathedral while sipping a Pastis on a terrace under the shade of a parasol.

Contact us for a private tour in the creeks, in the city and even in its neighboring sister Cassis, a hidden treasure held in the shadow of Marseille.

view of nice south of france olympic games 2024 paris

The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games in Paris on July 26th, 2024 will get the ball rolling for this global event. Which, will take place throughout France and overseas. The starting point, the Seine. Many people will not only want to encourage their country during certain events, but also take the opportunity personally to discover the richness of the most visited country in the world.

There’s nothing like taking the train from one region to another to see the beauty of the landscapes. Or even a road trip, or even better, by carpooling to connect with locals and who knows, form bonds forever.

You just need to plan your visit well, while allowing yourself moments of improvisation to take full advantage of what life throws at you. Just fully experience and make this stay in France unforgettable. Here’s another idea! Why not combining Antibes & Cannes on the same day? Then, you won’t miss anything of its two flagship cities of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur during your visit to France for the Olympic Games.

The options are endless, especially if you stay in our company 😉

See you soon in our beautiful country!

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