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Lavender fields, hilltop villages & historical wonders

Provence Highlights

Provence embodies so much of what makes France so special. Think of lavender fields, legendary rosé wine, hilltop villages, medieval abbeys… You are in Provence!


In the early 1300s, Avignon was the center of the Roman Catholic world when Pope V escaped Rome and settled in Avignon. Though the papal power only stayed there for a few decades, a wonder of architecture remains: the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace). Avignon is now a pleasant town known for its cultural scene: the Festival d’Avignon, one the the world’s most important contemporary performing arts event is held here once a year. You will also have innumerable options of great restaurants – we’ll recommend our favorite ones – in Avignon’s rampart-ringed old town.

Entrance to the Popes' Palace in Avignon, Provence, France
Entrance to the Popes' Palace in Avignon | © Original content / The French Route
The hilltop village of Gordes in Lubéron, Provence, France.
The hilltop village of Gordes in Lubéron, Provence | © Original content / The French Route

The quaint villages of the Lubéron

The Lubéron is a short road drive north of Aix-en-Provence. It’s known for its hilltop villages such as Gordes. We usually recommend other villages such as Lourmarin or Lacoste especially in Summer if you want to avoid the crowds. The Lubéron also is home to great vineyards (most of French greatest rosé wines come from this area). As for the perfect classic postcard short, we definitely recommend a visit to the Sénanque Abbey, where one can see beautiful lavender fields – they usually bloom from mid-June to mid-August – surrounding a beautiful Cistercian Abbey.

Follow Cézanne’s footsteps in Aix-en-Provence

Its elegance – some will say poshness – strikes visitors who come to Aix-en-Provence for the first time. Here, you will trail Cézanne, from the house where he was born up to the cemetery where he was buried. Aix-en-Provence and its surroundings were a tremendous source of inspiration for the painter who is considered the “Father of modern art”. Art is very important in Aix-en-Provence where several first-class museums are located, such as the Musée Granet (Granet Museum). Before you leave, don’t forget to try out the calissons, a sweet diamond-shaped delicacy made out of almond and sugar.

A Square in Aix-en-Provence Old Town
A square in Aix-en-Provence | © Original content / The French Route
Roman Amphitheatre of Arles at Night
Roman Amphitheatre of Arles at Night

Arles & the Camargue: Roman amphitheaters, horses & flamingos

On the Western part of Provence lies Arles and the Camargue’s region. In Arles, you will visit one of the world’s best-preserved Roman amphitheaters. The town is also known for its Rencontres d’Arles, a major international photography festival, held every Summer. If you want to explore the subregion further, we can include in your itinerary a day or two in Camargue. There you can spot candy-pink flamingos and the Camargue horses, one of the world’s oldest horse breeds.

Marseille & The Calanques

Marseille is not on the usual tourist itinerary. That’s a pity since there is a lot to see and to do in the second-largest city of France. No wonder why many Parisians have decided to leave the capital for Marseille since the pandemic! In Marseille, try out the bouillabaisse, a traditional fish soup, on the vieux port (old port). Walk all the way up to the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica to have the best viewpoint over the city of Marseille and the Mediterranean sea. On the outskirts of this city lies the Calanques, a gorgeous natural park with beautiful bays. And if you’re not too tired after that, you can visit the stunning MUCEM, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, inaugurated in 2013.

Calanque d'En-Vau within Calanques de Marseille
Calanque d'En-Vau within Calanques de Marseille

Provence Trips

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