Provence is one of the most popular destinations for holiday makers in France, once visited and you’ll always yearn to return.
There are more than 800 villages and towns in this area of France and everyone will have their own preference but here are 5 of our favourites in lovely Provence…
With its historic walled city, a UNESCO World heritage site, Avignon is the Capital of the Vaucluse department. The famous medieval bridge over the Rhone River is immortalized in the song “Sur le pont d’Avignon”. One of the best known attractions in the town is the incredible Gothic Palais des Papes, a medieval palace from which French Popes once ruled. In 2017 a new wine complex will open in the town, called the Carré du Palais it’s located in an historic mansion, the Hôtel Calvet de la Palun – we can’t think of a much nicer place to have a wine tasting! The cultural hub of Provence, Avignon is a must see.
Aix en Provence
This charming old town typifies the Provencal lifestyle. It’s also known as the “City of a Thousand Fountains” with museums, fabulous markets and a large historic centre. It was once home to Cezanne and you can’t help but understand why he was so obsessed with light and colour when you visit here. To sit in the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau is one of the greatest joys in life.
The “red town” of Provence with its ochre coloured houses that reflect the sun beautifully is stunning. It’s a small town but it’s well worth seeking out (it does get crowded in high summer so go early to have it yourself). There are lots of charming cafés and restaurants and fabulous views over the countryside with its huge ochre cliffs that gave the town its bright colours. Wander the narrow streets lined with gorgeous 17th and 18th century buildings, and admire the work of the many artists that live and work here.
This small hill town not far from Nice wins the hearts of all those who visit. Famous for its art galleries, celebrity home owners, winding steps and boules court it truly illustrates the arte de vivre. Saint-Paul-de-Vence is breathtakingly pretty.
This sun-warmed medieval village that dates back to Roman times (see the Arc de Triomphe) is quite simply captivating. Van Gogh immortalised the town, the sanatorium where he stayed is just up the road, and it’s here that he painted his famous “Starry Night”. St-Remy-de-Provence is stylish, classy and oozes with vibrant life – a living photo album to ooh and ah over. This is a place to sit at a terraced café and count your blessings.