Considering its size, it’s fascinating history, and its many diverse regions, it is no surprise that France is one of the world's leading tourist destinations, and is considered to be a vacation and hiking destination for many. But one of the wonders of France transcends all of them, and is considered a gem of grace that never gets old - and this is Provence. This southern, sunny area sits on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is a prime tourist attraction, known for its pastoral landscapes, its unique atmosphere, its excellent cuisine, and the fine wines exported from it all over the world. To get a better understanding of this great holiday destination, we've compiled information for 11 of the top attractions to see before while on a Provencial trip in Provence.
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If there is a place in Provence that should not be missed – It’s this village, which is by far one of the most beautiful villages in France. Built on a hillside, Gordes is a magical combination between a peaceful and worry-free French village and a fashionable and contemporary holiday town - so among the many tourists who flock to it during the summer months, you will also find quite a few French celebrities and elite. One of the most interesting landmarks in Gordes is the castle at its center, on top of the hill, built in the 11th century in the Renaissance style which now serves as a museum of the history of the region.
Your visit to Gordes, which we mentioned previously, won't be complete if you don’t leave the village and travel about 5 km to Sénanque Monastery - especially if you are in the area during the summer months, June - September, then the blossoming of lavender in the field surrounding the building is at its peak. The monastery, which was built in the 11th century, boasts Romanesque style, which was typical of the period of its construction and makes for an extraordinary sight. Another unique feature of this monastery is that the monks who live here work for their livelihood, making lavender essence and bee honey - and while visiting you’ll be able to witness them take part in this work.
Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by impressive white cliffs, which have little inlets of charming sea between them - this is what will be seen before your eyes in the small and quiet fishing town of Cassis, located just 20 kilometers east of Marseille. At Cassis, you can enjoy not only the wonderful sea views, but also the town’s picturesque little harbor, the variety of wines produced in the area and the relaxed atmosphere that dominates the streets, and the many shaded squares and small cafes where you can sit and enjoy the charm of the area.
Avignon is one of the most important and interesting cities in Provence, which was subject to "fame" in the 14th century, when in 1309 Pope Clemens V chose it as his home, thereby relocating the popes from Rome to Avignon until 1377. The testimony of the meeting of not less than 5 Popes in Avignon can be found in the splendidly preserved papal palace along with the walls built to protect it. Apart from its religious past, Avignon is also a lively and enjoyable city to visit, and if you visit during July, you’ll find a large festival dedicated to the art of theater, but there are also many dance and music performances as well.
If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling back in time to the Middle Ages; to times of nobility, majestic banquets, elegant stone buildings, and unparalleled splendor, then you should visit Uzes - a picturesque town that preserves the spirit of the times. Beyond the medieval atmosphere of the "first Duchess of France," as Uzes is called, you will find ancient Roman remains very well preserved, such as Pont du Gard, an ancient water canal that crosses the region near the town. The Cathedral of Uzes is also an important landmark in a place worth visiting and it’s recommended to visit the town on Sundays - when one of the best markets in all of Provence opens.
This town is a must-visit for the art lovers among us because one of the world's most famous artists, Vincent Van Gogh, who was known to be mentally disturbed was admitted to the hospital in its territory. Here Van Gogh painted some of his most famous and beloved paintings, such as "Starry Night" and "Wheat Fields." In Saint-Remy you will find the Van Gogh Trail, which runs between the different sites in the city painted by the Dutch artist, although a little imagination is needed to see this because in the past years they have changed considerably. In addition, you will find the home of another famous historical figure, the esteemed astrologer, Nostradamus, as well as markets and cafes serving the finest raw materials Provence has to offer.
Not only picturesque little towns are located in the Provence region, but also some of France's largest and leading resorts, such as Nice, one of the most beautiful and beloved cities in the country, the second most important tourist city in France after Paris and the fifth in terms of population size. Nice sits on the shores of the Mediterranean in the well-known French Riviera and enjoys a magical atmosphere that combines old and new. You can stroll along the beautiful promenade, visit the many historic buildings in the area (such as the church of Notre-Dame de Nice), as well as take a break in one of the cozy cafes of this city, rich in entertainment, nightlife, and leisure.
Another small and pleasant city you shouldn’t miss on your visit to Provence is Aix-en-Provence, especially if you love urban architecture and fountains - because this city is just full of them - it even got the nickname "City of the Thousand Fountains"! Along the many streets of Aix-en-Provence, there are a wealth of spectacular fountains and various designs, which can be seen on a short stroll through the city. There are many art institutions here, such as the Musée Granet, where works by some of the greatest artists in history, such as Rembrandt, Cezanne, Monet, and Picasso, are exhibited.
Not only do the stunning views from the top of the hill on which the village of Roussillon is located make the experience of the visit unforgettable, but also the abundance of colors that will be revealed to you as you look at the houses and surroundings of the village. Together with Gordes, already mentioned previously, Roussillon is considered one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in this part of Provence. The village is located on a rocky Ochre ridge – a brownish-yellow rock - hence the unique colors of the houses and buildings in the village, which are coated with a mixture made of the rock and plaster.
If you want nothing more than to relax on a quiet beach, sunbathe in the warm sun with nothing to do, you should head to Porquerolles, a chain of four islands on the coast of the Var province in Provence, here you will feel that you are right on the Caribbean coast and not on the Mediterranean. The French government has declared the islands a protected area since the 1970s and is working hard to nurture their beauty and preserve their virgin and clean surroundings. Along the coast there are many hotels, restaurants, and cafes, so you can definitely catch a decent but relaxing vacation here since the tourist hordes have not yet discovered the place.
Provence is famous not only for its landscapes and its pleasant rural atmosphere but also for the flourishing wine industry here, which you can see and taste at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a small medieval village built in 1317 surrounded by vineyards. You can also tour the village’s wine museum, where you will get a glimpse of the history of the area and the wine producers in it. In the distant past, the houses of the popes who lived in Avignon were located in this area, and today the atmosphere of freedom and tranquility remained in place and gave it permanent ease.
,François de Dijon
, Marianne Casamance
, Vi..Cult... Dominique Sanchez
, Jarrod Doll