by adminrif on 25-02-2019 in Articles1

Our Ultimate Guide to Provence

Provence is known for its' diverse landscapes, crystal blue waters, beautiful lavender fields and vineyards for miles. The region enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year, so it’s no wonder people flock to enjoy the weather, the museums, the private mansions from the Renaissance, the chapels, and the art galleries.

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit this jewel, our guide might come in handy to make your travelling and sight-seeing a little easier. 

Avignon is a wonderful base to explore Provence from. It's a beautiful medieval city, with an old town that’s been named a UNESCO world heritage site. The Palais des Papes is at the centre and is perhaps one of the most significant and important Medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. 

Whether you love grand architecture or you are fascinated with history, be sure to take a tour of the palace. It’s the biggest gothic fortress in the world. 

Half an hour from Avignon is the Pont du Gard.  Built in the 1st century AD, the Pont de Gard is one of the best preserved Roman constructions on earth. It’s also a UNESCO world heritage site and aditionally, the most visited ancient monument in France! There are wonderful spots to enjoy a picninc lunch or dinner here. After crossing the 48-meter high bridge, find a spot to set up your picnic. Enjoy a glass of wine and perhaps a swim as the sun sets over Avignon. It’s truly a unique sight that you can’t find anywhere else.

An hour and 40 minutes' drive from Avignon are the famous lavender fields. Provence is known for its lavender and sunflower fields. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you will be able to catch them. The best time of year to visit them is June or July. Visit Valensole and the famous Plateau de Valensole to experience these beautiful Lavender fields first-hand. There are also plenty of cafes and restauarants if you wish to stop for lunch. 

An hour and a half from Valensole is the stunning Gorges du Verdon. Gorges du Verdon is known for its' turquoise green river water, white water rafting, and hiking. This is also a must-see if you are planning a trip to Provence.

The Luberon region is also a gem with plenty to see and do. Gordes is one of the most famous Provencal villages. There is a lovely farmers market that takes place every Tuesday morning and the stalls are set up around the foot of the Castle. It is an hours' drive from Avignon. At this farmers' market you will find the best local produce including fabrics, linens, soaps, lavender, clothes, and an abundance of food and wine. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Another must-see is to tour the Senanque Abbey which is only a 10 minute drive from Gordes. The Senanque Abbey is a fully functioning monastery that was founded in the 12th century. They have guided tours that start every hour, and it’s one of the best ways to soak in all of the information that comes with the gorgeous abbey. 

You can finish the day by exploring Roussillon. The town is full of old red buildings with colorful doors and the ochre trail is a beautiful nature trail through natural red quarries and cliffs.

Below are some more destinations that are definitely worth visiting if you have the time!

Aix En Provence: 1 Hour Drive from Avignon. Known as the “brainiest” city in France, it’s known for bringing in artists, lawyers, and nobles. There are reportedly 1,000 fountains you can visit, thermal hot springs, bookstores, markets, boutiques, and open-air restaurants where you can wine and dine.

Saint Remy de Provence: 30 Minute Drive from Avignon. Saint Remy de Provence means enjoying the incredible landscapes of the Massif des Alpilles, with the town resting right at its foot.

Les Baux de Provence: 40 Minute Drive from Avignon. Les Baux de Provence is a medieval village at a fortified rocky site in between Arles and Saint Remy de Provence. This one is best to be treated as a day trip as there is so much to see within the town including the Chateau-Fortress de Bau, Eglise St-Vincent, and Musee des Santons. 

Orange – Châteauneuf du Pape: 30 Minute Drive from Avignon. One of the best ways to visit these spots is to take a guided tour. During this tour, you will pop in between charming little villages, Roman ruins, and taste wine in old cellars. It's also one of the most popular tours in Provence, so it's definitely worth visiting if you can!

Côte d’Azur: 2 Hour 30 Minute Drive from Avignon. The French Riviera is famous for its old glamour and beautiful coastline. Famous seaside towns like Antibes, Nice, Cannes, and St Tropez are some of the most popular destinations. Head to the French Riviera for sun-soaked days by the sea!

Provence is an unforgettable destination that offers not only history but views that will have you in awe.