Body and soul
Marseille is well known for its African-French cultural mix and its a great idea to refresh in one of the many spas and hammams. Many of them are above board and cater exclusively to men on certain days of the week or during set times, and it’s very common for locals to use them.
In Marseille, head to the Bastide-des-Bains. In Aix-en-Provence, locals love the Hammam des Precheurs, which has a couple of relaxing massage rooms, where you can get scrubbed down in hot, soapy water and have a back massage. It has two eucalyptus-smelling hammam rooms and is open most of the week. Check the times for details.
La Bastide Des Bains, 19 Rue Sainte, Marseille, France, +33 04 91 33 39 13
Hammam des Precheurs, 10 Rue Félicien David, Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 04 42 24 11 11
The South of France has several barber shops that provide a full shave and grooming experience. Cooper’s Cut Shop in the centre of Aix describes itself as being the ‘best fucking cut shop’ and its cool demeanor, lively staff, and music make it a must visit for anyone looking for a reputed barber.
Cooper’s Cut Shop, 11 Rue Paul Bert, Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 04 42 23 19 16
Those looking for a cool hairdresser in Aix, Sculpt is the fashionable choice. The original branch is on Rue Paul Bert, but they’ve recently expanded to open another branch in Rue d’Italie. The music is loud, the hair on the cutting-edge of fashion and the staff friendly. They don’t take appointments, but the queues are normally manageable. In Marseille, head to Mavro Coiffure, where the atmosphere is friendly, chatty and more low-key.
Sculpt Coiffure, 11 Rue Paul Bert, Aix en Provence, France, +33 04 42 23 19 16
Sculpt Coiffure, 6 Rue d’Italie, Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 04 42 93 10 11
Look the part in the South of France. Those in search of stylish swimwear, one of the most reputed places for trunks and shorts is Vilebrequin. Remember, in the south of France, people have to wear speedo-type swimwear while in swimming pools (for hygiene reasons, they won’t let swimmers wear anything in the pool area that can be worn on the street).
After that, find something to wear for poolside lounging or hanging out at chic bars. Head to Blanc Bleu in St Tropez for maritime-inspired clothing. In Nice, head to Angle de la Mode (‘the angle of fashion’) for natty suits and prêt à porter fashion. Those who want to get kitted out with all the right clothes before arriving, order clothes online from Nice’s La Fabric Shop.
Blanc Bleu, 8 Avenue Foch, Saint-Tropez, France, +33 04 94 43 00 00
Angle de la Mode, 4 Rue Grimaldi, Nice, France, +33 04 97 08 38 82
Since the sun shines more than 300 days a year in the South of France, eye protection is a must. For sunglasses, the main chain is Solaris, which can be found across the region. And don’t forget Galéries Lafayette, France’s major department store for bags, sacks, glasses, and those essential French scarves that everyone wears. Those who want to peruse the latest accessories and fashions, head to the fancy mall at Les Terrasses du Port in Marseille and find the high street brands on the first floor and the designer stores on the second.
Solaris, 24 Avenue Jean Médecin, Nice, France, +33 04 93 80 77 80
Galeries Lafayette Nice, 6 Avenue Jean Médecin, Nice, France, +33 04 92 17 36 36
Les Terrasses du Port, 9 Quai du Lazaret, Marseille, France, +33 04 88 91 46 00