Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said the Pyotr Veliky had dropped anchor off Toulon on Wednesday morning, adding that the visit would last through November 8.
He earlier said that the Russian Navy commander, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, would meet with the French Navy chief of staff.
The Pyotr Veliky is the lead ship in a task force from the Russia's Northern Fleet that also includes the large ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko.
After port calls and training at sea in the Mediterranean, the Northern Fleet warships will head for the Caribbean to hold exercises in November with Venezuela's navy.
Another Northern Fleet task force, led by the missile cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, will conduct joint exercises with Black Sea Fleet warships in the Mediterranean in December.