Southern France or the South of France is known for its diverse and magical landscapes, ranging from the rolling hills and vineyards of Provence to the pristine sandy beaches and azure waters of the French Riviera.

It’s also peppered with extraordinary architecture – as this bumper batch of architect-designed holiday homes attests. So whether you’re looking for a beachside St Tropez villa, or a contemporary cave in Luberon, here are the best holiday villas in Southern France (the South of France).

Villa Tulum, St Tropez

This 1970s hilltop home offers a dose of French Riviera glamour. Available to rent via Le Collectionist from €1,620 per night, the four-bedroom South of France villa unfurls around an Aboriginal-inspired garden that is studded with cacti and orange trees. An infinity pool looks across the Pampelonne beaches, out towards Île du Levant.

Villa Jones, Haut Var

This garden villa sits on an ancient olive grove overlooking a woodland valley near Bargemon in Haut Var, Provence. Husband-and-wife architects Margot and Edward Jones designed the 200 sq m property in 2003 as their family holiday villa in the South of France, and it’s now available to rent direct from £2,500 per night. Villa Jones features a series of dramatic spaces arranged enfilade: a huge loggia and courtyards extend interior spaces, while glass doors open the dining room onto a sweeping 60m-long pergola which runs the entire length of the Haut Var holiday home’s façade. It has four double bedrooms.

Villa Suave, Cannes

Suave by name, suave by nature. This six-bedroom Cannes holiday villa blends traditional Provencal features with contemporary finishes. The red-roofed stone building is a available to rent from Le Collectionist from €1,790 per night, and rooms feature shuttered doors and windows, beamed ceilings and mouldings. But it’s outside where Villa Suave really shines thanks to a large shaded dining terrace, swimming pool and jacuzzi with picturesque views of the French Riviera.

Mas de la Roubine Residence, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Parts of this rural Saint-Rémy-de-Provence holiday home date back to 1664 but it has been recently refurbished and extended by its current owners. The Mas de la Roubine Residence has over 4,000 sq ft of living space, sleeping 12 in the main house and up to six in a separate guest cottage. Interiors are easy-going with oversized sofas and furniture collected from various flea markets in the surrounding area. The 2.5-acre plot has landscaped gardens, a swimming pool, fish ponds and a soccer pitch for kids (big or little). It’s available via Kid & Coe from €575 per night.

Carrière Saint-Symphorien, the Luberon

Located at the foot of a 12th-century quarry, this sophisticated troglodyte dwelling was designed by architect duo Philippe and Lien Jonathan as their studio home. The pair discovered the overgrown site in 1997 after it was abandoned in the 1930s, and spent a decade transforming its ruinous spaces into a contemporary home. Sleeping two people, the South of France villa is available to rent via Airbnb from £125 per night, and comes with an infinity pool carved into the rock, and views of the Luberon valley.

The Alouettes Residence, Hyères

Scandinavian and French styles fuse at the Alouettes Residence, which dates to 1912 and is owned by a Danish couple. Period features inside the Cote d’Azur villa include lofty ceilings, tiled floors and huge picture windows have been paired with a minimal colour palette and modern furnishings. The showstopper is a marble staircase that rises through the property, which sleeps up to eight, and available to rent via Kid & Coe from €240 per night. This villa in the South of France is ideally located for design and art pilgrims visiting Hyères’ Villa Noailles for the annual Festival International de Mode et de Photographie (April) and the Design Parade (29 June – 2 July).

G House in Bonnieux, the Luberon

Yves Saint Laurent museum designers Studio KO crafted this concrete villa in Southern France, which leaves rustic at the door. The Brutalist bolthole is 3km from Bonnieux, and perches above a wooded valley with views of the Luberon landscape. Huge pivoting windows naturally ventilate the 2,152 sq ft home, which sleeps up to five people, and is dotted with antique furniture and artworks. Rent it via The Perfect Hideaway from $800 per night.

Southern France Villas: Architectural Retreats You Can Rent | By Betty Wood | the spaces