There is no more sun- and celebrity-rich part of southern France than this iconic wedge of glittering coast, mountain retreat, Roman temple and gastronomic art de vivre.
So prepare for heart-and-soul seduction. Travelling à la Provençal means sensual sauntering past scented lavender fields and chestnut forests; through fresh apple-green vineyards and silvery olive groves; around markets, Matisse-designed chapels and medieval hilltop villages impossibly perched on rocky crags. Be it with two wheels or four – on the back of a bicycle or with roof rolled back in a vintage Citroën 2CV – no region better begs lazy days out, interrupted only by copious alfresco lunches.
Yet Provence and the Côte d’Azur is not all Zen-paced rural chic. Roughly wedged between rough-cut Marseille with its urban art scene, and megalomaniacal Monte Carlo with its skyscraper skyline, this hot spot on the sky-blue Med also screams action, glamour and just a hint of the ridiculous. Where else do cowboys herd cattle while Roma blaze flamenco beneath flamingo-filled skies? Where else does the world flock to watch film stars strut the red carpet into a concrete bunker? Where else can you canyon fast white water in the morning, crack open sea urchins for lunch, see fabulous 20th-century art in the afternoon, and bunk down in a tree house, old Celtic hamlet or wine-making château come dusk?
Living is stylish, landscapes are lyrical. Provence is an old-fashioned love affair that never dies.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Explore the best of Provence on foot in 8 days
- Live like a local in Provence
- Sample some of the regional produce on a wine tasting trip from Avignon
- Pushed for time? See the highlights of Provence in just one day
Last updated: Feb 8, 2013
Tips & articles
2 April 2013
Prepare to be seduced by the vibrant port city of Marseille. This charming city in France‘s Provence region has undergone...
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