Provence is an ancient county which these days broadly corresponds to a large part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur administrative region. It is located in the south-east of France and stretches from the left bank of the river Rhone to the right bank of the river Var, where it meets the ancient county of Nice located on the left bank. However, more broadly speaking, in a cultural and touristic sense, Provence stretches as far as the east and south of the Gard department (beyond the Rhone as far as Nîmes and the Vidourle river) and as far as the south of the Ardèche and the Drôme departments.
These landscapes of vineyards, agricultural land and colourful countryside which charmed Cézanne, Van Gogh, Chagall and Giono are just as enchanting today as they were then. Nature is conserved here, partly thanks to two regional nature parks (the Parc Naturel Régional du Lubéron and the Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles), which also help to add value to this heritage by encouraging very many activities practised amongst nature. Provence therefore offers an extraordinary range of leisure pursuits, such as sailing on the lakes and water courses, golfing, hiking, cycling along marked routes, wild water and aerial sports, climbing and caving, fishing, tourist activities on the river Rhone and recreational activities in numerous leisure parks, etc.
Cultural pursuits are, nevertheless, not overlooked in this region. Its legends and ancient and Medieval monuments are places that deserve just as much to be explored. And, while you are there, why not take the opportunity to visit the major cultural get-togethers that make Provence's heart beat, such as Avignon Festival, the Chorégies d’Orange [summer opera festival in Orange] and the Festival of Lyrical Art in Aix. Provence has an abundance of undreamed-of treasures, and the towns bend over backwards to show themselves off to you all year round.
The traditional festivals and markets provide another opportunity to discover another treasure of Provence: its local products and gastronomy. This region certainly has the widest variety of wines, which can be easily tasted in cellars or at the numerous wine festivals. Wine is a splendid accompaniment to this authentic region’s typical dishes, in which olive oil and olives play a predominant role. Truffles, herbs (thyme, fennel, sage, savory and rosemary, etc.) and honey are also widely used in Provencal cuisine. Finally, what would Provence be without lavender and lavendin which cover entire plateaux and hills with their wonderful blue colour throughout the summer months.
Thanks to the richness of this region a flourishing craft scene has developed: Christmas crib figures from Provence (with Aubagne being the prime producer), perfumed items, items made from olive wood (kitchen utensils and sculptures, etc.).
To discover all that this sunny region has to offer, we can offer you a selection of prestigious holiday rentals in the heart of Provence. Luxury villas or guest rooms will be the perfect setting for your dream holiday, with the soothing sound of cicadas chirping in the background.
Our suggestions... What to see/do in Provence
Visit cultured towns, such as Arles, Orange, Fréjus, Avignon and Nîmes, etc.
Discover local products following various established routes, such as the Route des Vins [wine], the Route de la Lavande [lavender] and the Route de l’Olivier [olive trees], etc.
Take part in traditional festivals to find out about Provencal folklore, such as the Fête de la Tarasque [festival based on a legendary monster] in Tarascon, the Fête de la Transhumance [transhumance festival] in St Rémy and the Fête médiévale de la Véraison [Medieval festival marking the point when grapes change colour] in Châteauneuf du Pape, etc.
See our holiday rentals in this area