A Comprehensive Guide to the
Top Attractive Sights in
Provence

Introduction

Provence has such alluring scent that no one, especially first time visitors, can’t shake off. This makes it an ideal relaxation get-away place for you and your family. The sweet scent of Provence is guaranteed to leave you nostalgic long after you have left.

The Marseille fish market is something to look forward to early in the morning. There is always a sense ofexcitement in everything in Provence. This includes going to greet the fishermen in the Vieux Port. They are the  friendliest you will ever meet anywhere in the world and are ever ready to answer any question you have.

You can also take your family with you to go catch the sunrise from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. The sight is arguably the most beautiful way to start your day. It leaves an impression on everyone which will leave you talking about it long after the experience. It is the most visited place in Marseille. Watching sunrise from the basilica is a significant tour in itself. Your children will learn a lot from a visit or you can use it to reconnected with your partner. Fortunately, that’s not all Provence has to offer.

Provence is a destination with a year-round offer for a truly special taste of the good life. Genuine joie de vivre can be found throughout every part of Provence, spanning villages and ancient towns to the mountains and unspoiled countryside. Including the snow capped Alpine mountains, the Roman towns, the magnificence of the Verdon Gorge, the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, and the lavender blooming fields. It has everything visitors would ever need.

Where is Provence Located ?

Provence is a historic province that is geographically located in south-eastern France, stretching from lower Rhône’s left bank to the west to the east of the Italian border, and bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It corresponds largely to the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and encompasses the departments of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and the Vaucluse and Alpes-Maritimes. The Region’s biggest city is Marseille.

7 Fun and Interesting Facts about Provence

  1. In France, there are six separate departments within the region of Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur and these are the Alpes-Maritimes, Hautes-Alpes, Bouches-du-Rhone, Var, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and Vaucluse.
  2. Marseille is the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, and also the capital of the department of the Bouches-du-Rhone, named after the Rhone’s mouth, and its dwellers are known as Marseillais.
  3. It’s a year-round tourist attraction because of the mild climate and Nice is second only to Paris in the number and size of its hotels.
  4. Provence gets more than double the sunlight hour in the United Kingdom per year, averaging at 300 days, with only 60 days without sun. This area in France is one of Europe’s sunniest areas, in reality, it is much sunnier than the LA and Miami.
  5. Provence is famous for being the world’s largest rosé-producing region. About 88 percent of this region’s wines are rosé. It is a pale pink colour, and its signature is elegant flavours.
  6. Provence is the abode of ancient artefacts from Roman times. Exemplary samples of Roman architecture are at home here.
  7. Provence is the host of the World-famous Film Festival in Cannes.

What are the Top Attractive Sights in Provence ?

1. Marseilles' Cosmopolitan seaport

This large cosmopolitan city is France’s oldest, as well as the largest city after Paris. tourists may stroll through Le Panier’s historic district to find atmospheric Algerian restaurants and traditional Arab souks or stop in the Vieux Port (Old Port) waterfront restaurant to try a delicious seafood stew (bouillabaisse) – Marseille’s specialty.

2. Seaside Glamour at Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez has both glamour and glitz reputation, and many visitors would be shocked to learn its roots as a small fishing village.

3. The Calanques

The Calanques are a group of inlets on either side of Marseille, along the coast. They are a few of the region’s big draws, but not always easy to get to. Either hiking in or going by boat is the safest way to. Take a photo or go to one of the restaurants

4. Saint-Paul de Vence

A Town of picture-perfect Hilltop perched high at the top of the hill, this dreamy medieval village is surrounded by well-preserved ramparts. Saint-Paul de Vence is a well-known tourist destination in Provence and is always packed with tourists taking a detour from all the Côte d’Azur attractions.

5. Avignon, Papal city

Discover the old Papal state in the Rhone Valley at Avignon. The Popes who lived there influenced the stunning architecture which is a recognized UNESCO historic centre. The crown jewel is certainly the Papal Palace. This is the largest Gothic palace in the developed world and the 14th century, it was home to nine consecutive Popes. In 1947 the famous Avignon Festival was created in the courtyard of the Palace. Twenty-five rooms, from the catholic churches with their amazing frescoes to the Pope’s apartments, greatly influence both the arts and exhibitions.

6. Fields on Lavender

In early summer you can notice lavender growing across the length and breadth of Provence in vast purple fields, especially in the Luberon district across Gordes. Also, visit the Lavender Museum to find out all you need to know about this Provence’s number one export.

7. Aix-en-Provence, below the Mount Sainte-Victoire

Take a break from shopping in the fashionable boutiques in Aix-en-Provence to enjoy the city’s architectural gems branded “little Versailles” due to its elegant baroque town hall and conventionally positioned mansions. Walk along with the steps of great painter Cézanne, son of Aix-en-Provence, and visit his Les Lauves workshop. Through the nearby Esplanade Cezanne, enjoy the most beautiful views of the Sainte-Victoire Range, a sight that inspired the artist to portray its beauty in over 80 paintings.

8. The Bonnieux hillside village

Bonnieux hillside village is a must-see on every Luberon tourist itinerary (the north Provence area).  Sitting in one of the restaurants overlooking the breathtaking scenery may be the best experience.

9. Nîmes Roman City

Nîmes, which lies at the Provence-Languedoc-Roussillon boundary, is a Roman city with some impressive remains. Start at Les Arenes, the marvelously preserved Roman arena of the first century. Two-tiered seat stories held audiences of about 20,000 watching the gladiators battle, and the charioteers ran their squads all over the vast sealed arena.  Today it is the venue for Roman games and bullfighting which happens on a weekend in May.

10. Lourmarin

Unlike villages at the hilltop attracting lots of visitors in the Luberon yearly, Lourmarin resides unassumingly on a plain where vineyards, olive groves, and almond trees serve as the protective feature to this scenic town. Lourmarin is considered among the prettiest communities in Provence. Over time, the village has drawn many prominent figures, including Albert Camus and Winston Churchill.

What are the interesting things to do in Provence ?

There are plenty of activities to do while in Saint Barthelemy. The major include:

1. See the Camargue's Famous White Horses (and Cowboys)

The Camargue is a French cowboy country, in the mouth of the mighty Rhone River. The remote area located on an island where the river divides is home to guardians who bred the black bulls and rode the white horses characterizing the salt marshes. There's an exceptional wild bird's variety for nature lovers such as the pink flamingos. Horseback riders should consider an accompanied ride, leaving from Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer if they want to take to the marshes.

2. Join the ancient Orange Roman Theater

The ancient Orange Roman Theater is a must-see in Provence. The theater is one of the well-preserved Roman theaters still existing for over 2000 years, and Emperor Augustus' original statue still looks out from its stage niche at the audience. You can climb the old seats and even step on the platform. You might be lucky to grab a performance with one of the concerts or cultural events that still happen every summer.

3. Visit the European and Mediterranean Culture Museum

Think about the origins of local culture and get in touch with the history of Europe. Discover the MuCEM, and take a glance at the Musée Regards de Provence to see some art too.

4. Take a boat or ferry tour to the Frioul Archipelago

The Frioul Archipelago comprises four islands situated off France's Mediterranean coast, about 2miles (4 km) from Marseille. The archipelago's islands cover roughly 200 hectares of the landmass.

5. Drive the Cotes du Rhone

A day navigating the wine road of France's Cotes du Rhone will take you to beautiful villages, past vineyards, and spectacular mountain routes through southern France. You will sample the wine the region is renowned for along the way – inexpensive, easy-to-drink blends (chiefly reds) branded as Cotes du Rhone. Do not hesitate to rest and take in the views as the road passes through the mountains, floating high over the valleys before plunging back down. It's even better to bring along a picnic to enjoy along the way at a scenic spot.

6. Stop for photos or take a tour through the growing Lavender at the Abbaye de Senanque

One of Provence's iconic images is the Cistercian Abbaye de Sénanque of the 11th century in the Luberon. Surrounded by deeply coloured fields of lavender, its robust Romanesque architecture radiates peace and tranquillity, encapsulating the original purpose of Bernard of Clairvaux, who founded the Cistercians in the 12th century as a simple, pure order. Lavender Fields at the Abbaye de Senanque has been one of the most visited abbeys in southern France.

7. Have a look at the Blue Hour

Light is famous in Provence. The clarity of light in the area has drawn painters for centuries through a mixture of temperatures and the crazy Mistral wind which clears the air. Every day the sky turns into a beautiful colour for around an hour, at dusk and dawn. Have your cameras set, and have a glass or two of wine to toast your success when you see it.

8. Swim under A Waterfall

France has some incredible wild swimming spots and Sillans-la-Cascade has none better than that. Being off the beaten track, its point overlooking the waterfall at least a 45-minute walk. You'll have to climb down the side of the hill from there and head down to the river below. You can go down even further to find more downstream waterfalls. Park in the car park in the village and follow signs to "La Cascade" translated as the waterfall in French. On sunny days, take plenty of water along.

9. Dive at Coco islet

The Îlet Coco is a must for experienced divers in Saint Barthelemy. Riddled with caves, drop-offs and an abundance of marine life, this popular location in the south of the island has gained its fame. Come and see dolphins, tortoises, fish and the fortunate divers can also see humpback whales.

10. Create great memories by sailing the coast on a catamaran

Rent a catamaran with or without crew for a trip at sea, from half a day up to a week. Tour the island, take a dive in one of its paradisiacal bays or just enjoy a tropical breeze and a cool tie punch taste.

Best Tips on Holidaying in Provence

1. Book the best accommodation

Best accommodations aren’t hard to find in Provence. Consider the following best and affordable accommodations:

2. Locate the best restaurant

Locating the best restaurants at Provence is a key to enjoying your adventure. The following are the best restaurants in Provence:

  • Mickael Feval 
  • Bar des Oiseaux
  • Restaurant de la Chassagnette
  • Le Mas de Peint 
  • The Vivir

Click here to see more accommodations at Provence

Conclusion

There are the great works of art see. I recommend you design your itinerary to cover all these works and turn it into an exciting tour game for your friends or family. At Arles, you will find some of the famous paintings of Vincent van Gogh. From there you can move to Antibes where you will get to acquaint yourself with the works of Picasso. Once you have had your fill of Picasso, the next stop should be Aix where the paintings of Cézanne are waiting to sweep you off your feet. But if you are a great fan of Cézanne, you can save Aix for last and go from Antibes to Nice for the works of Matisse.

You can also literally stop to taste strawberries in Carpentras. These are Provence’s early harvest of sweetness. In fact, there is the Carpentras Strawberry Fraternity where the members wear a jolly red costume that makes them look quite like strawberries. Strawberries are grown all over Provence but at Carpentras, you will find the sweetest you have ever tasted.

If you are still looking for more treats, you can check out the black truffles in Ventoux. It is one of the most expensive edible mushrooms but they are not so expensive in Provence. Therefore, you can take advantage of your visit to try them out. Then you can take home some olive oil and tapenade and all the beautiful memories Provence has to offer you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Temperatures tend to average around 30 ° C (86 ° F) in the summer and fall to 15 ° C ( 59 ° F) in the winter. The infamous Mistral wind can greatly impact temperatures, especially in the western part of Provence.

Lavender flower from late June till mid-August but is collected between mid-July and late August, the actual time depends on the plants, area, and the weather, so you should schedule your visit around mid-June to mid-July if you’d rather be sure to grab the lavender’s bloom.

Euro is Saint Barthelemy official currency but the dollars are also accepted.

It’s best to visit Aix-en-Provence from March through May and September through November when the weather is as mild as the crowds. The warmer months have an influx of Frenchmen and foreign tourists fleeing to the South of France, so the number of hotels and restaurants is limited and prices are high.