Provence is easily France’s most popular tourist destination after Paris and with books like A Year in Provence romanticising it even more, it is no wonder that everyone wants to travel there. To help inspire you even more, here’s a list of 10 things to do in Provence – both romantic and otherwise – many of which have been enjoyed by our contributors.
Kimberly took her family to the Luberon Valley and found it to be a spectacularly beautiful region. They based themselves in the hillside town of Gordes and also enjoyed visiting nearby towns likeÂ OppÃ¨de-le-Vieux and Roussillon. She particularly recommends visiting each town on their market day to stock up on tasty local delicacies.
Luberon Valley by Kimberly Sullivan
Gorges du Verdon
The largest gorges in Europe are apparently the Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Gorges) in Provence. In summer you’re able to swim in the gorges and throughout the year there are lots of outdoor activities available so it’s not just scenic, but a great destination for some healthy fun (especially if you’ve been over-indulging in the great local food and wine).
Gorges du VerdonÂ by Kimberly Sullivan
Aix-en-Provence is a charming university town and artist Cezanne once lived there. It’s worth strolling around with the sole objective of looking at the fountains – there are some 40 different fountains in the old town alone and some of them are quite beautiful.
Aix-en-Provence by Passion Leica
The city of Avignon is always worth a visit but if you can time it to celebrate the Avignon Festival then so much the better. TheÂ Festival dâ€™Avignon has both traditional, formal performances and more off-beat, new performers and many of the festivities take place in the famous Palace of the Popes and other Avignon historical buildings.
Palace of the Popes byÂ Thomas Dowson
France’s second city, Marseille, is no quaint and lovely spot like much of Provence, but still worth a visit. One especially lovely part is the Vieux Port area with its markets and winding streets (and of course a fish market too).
Fish in Marseille by Alexbip
The pretty town of Sisteron is one of many known as a gateway to Provence and it has all the characteristics which make Provence an attractive destination: beautiful scenery, quaint old town, and great weather (300 days of sunshine each year, apparently!). There are also three museums, the most interesting or unique of which is the Baden-Powel Scout Museum.
Sisteron byÂ boldorak2208
Situated on the end of the Camargue National Park, Arles was once home to van Gogh and it’s the very town where he sliced off a part of his ear! Arles is also home to some impressive Roman ruins.
Arles amphitheatre by ell brown
Saint Remy de Provence
The small village of Saint Remy de Provence is home to more impressive Roman ruins, and a particularly fine market every Wednesday. And significantly, it’s also home to the asylum where van Gogh was sent after the ear-slicing incident.
Markets in Saint Remy de Provence byÂ Fabrice Terrasson
If you’re looking for a beach holiday then Cassis is one great Provence spot to have one. The town is gorgeous and the beach, surrounded by white cliffs, is beautiful too.
Beach in Cassis by sambayogi