Provence Travel Guide
Car break-ins have become part of daily life in the south, especially in the isolated parking lots where hikers set off to explore for the day. Be especially careful around the marshes of the Camargue, the departure point for the Îles d'Hyères ferries, the rocky Esterel between Fréjus and Cannes, and the coastal path around St-Tropez: take valuables with you and, if possible, leave your luggage at your hotel.
Also beware of petty theft—purse snatching and pickpocketing. Use common sense: avoid pulling out a lot of money in public, and wear a handbag with long straps that you can sling across your body, bandolier-style, with a zippered compartment for your money and passport. It's also a good idea to wear a money belt. Men should keep their wallets up front, as safely tucked away as possible. At airports and train stations, never leave your luggage trolley unattended.
Although cities in Provence are safe during the day, take caution at night, especially in port towns such as Marseille, Nice, and Toulon. Marseille is particularly known for its drug-related crime, although in general tourists are not targeted. Avignon also has a high crime rate, and tourists should be alert and walk purposefully through town at night.
Distribute your cash, credit cards, IDs, and other valuables between a deep front pocket, an inside jacket or vest pocket, and a hidden money pouch. Don't reach for the money pouch once you're in public.