France’s Provence is a beautiful and relaxing area that soothes the mind, body, and soul. There are lots of opportunities to chill out or embrace the active outdoors lifestyle, so whatever you are looking for in a fabulous vacation, you’re sure to find it in pretty Provence. Combine picturesque scenery and charming villages with nearby beautiful beaches, peaks, and valleys. Discover the local culture, history, and cuisine, and get to know the laid-back people of Provence.
Here are some top reasons to visit Provence:
One of the main cities in the Provence area, Avignon is a wonderfully charming city that is steeped in fascinating history. The place where the 14th century Popes fled to after the corruption of Rome, it has been inhabited since around the Stone Ages. There are numerous monuments and buildings to admire from a wide range of eras. One of the city’s most visited sites is the Palace of the Popes. Huge and impressive, it is the biggest Gothic fort across the world. There are several Roman ruins scattered around the city, including the remains of the old forum. You’ll also see lots of reminders from the medieval period, including decadent palaces and mansions and charming churches.
Other Interesting Historical Attractions
Around 25 kilometres outside of Avignon you can see the stunning architectural feat of the Pont du Gard. One of the Romans’ greatest achievements in this area, it is a three level aqueduct that spans the Gardon River. Made from stone, it is an impressive sight. Other Roman sites can be found at St Remy and Glanum.
Chateau de la Barben is a huge gorgeous castle that is filled with lots of old furnishings, decorations, and exhibits. You can see in detail how the nobility of the past lived in decadent splendour. Going down into the dungeons is also very interesting. The area is home to numerous old castles and stately homes, most of which are really worth a quick stop.
If you’ve ever heard references to purple fields in Provence try and visit the old Senanque Abbey during the lavender growing season and you’ll be able to see why people talk about rolling areas of purple! At other times the historic monastery still makes for an interesting visit.
Look out for small stone structures known as bories that dot the local landscape. Originally constructed during prehistoric times they have been reconstructed lots over the years.
The countryside areas offer many chances to enjoy beautiful hiking and mountain biking in the great outdoors. The Ecrins National Park is particular favourite, bursting with interesting wildlife and creatures. You can paddle through the water in a kayak or canoe to enjoy the sights from a different perspective.
Another great spot for hiking is in the picturesque Luberon area. There are assorted walking trails, each providing lovely views and a variety of sights.
Each Sunday morning the market at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a thronging hive of activity. One of the area’s best-known and busiest markets it is great for seeing a slice of the local way of life. You can also pick up plenty of delicious fresh goods, ideal for if you want to make a picnic featuring all the best local flavours. The Saturday morning market in Apt is another popular choice, and there are plenty of smaller markets on other days all across the region.
There are many reasons to visit Provence … make sure you add this gleaming French gem to your wish list!