Purple lavender meadows as far as the eye can see; Roman ruins, lazy villages, salt marshes and rustic landscapes; these are the beauties of Provence, the uniquely picturesque region that stretches across the south-east of France.


Its charm has inspired numerous artists, from Cézanne and Van Gogh to Picasso. As for visitors, both sun and culture lovers chose Provence, as well as its famous Riviera, for their holidays. Cannes is a cinephile’s paradise, while Marseille warmly welcomes all those who wish to immerse themselves in its thousand years of history.

All those who love and always seek for unique antiques, as well as wine tasting lovers, will absolutely adore Provence. Moreover, gastronomes will be fascinated by the variety of options; charming family restaurants, Michelin-starred temples of fine dining and picnics with traditional produce from local markets are some of the alternatives in this idyllic part of France.

Above all, with its sights being unique in beauty and history, Provence is ideal for day trips and exploration. Visit the Palace of the Popes located in Avignon, the biggest Gothic fortified palace in the world, dating back to the Middle Ages. Tour the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence – or Matisse Chapel, as it is more commonly known – and take in the frescoes, stained glass and cross created by the Impressionist painter Henri Matisse himself. Take a guided tour of the tiny wooden cabin, the campanon, built by the famous architect Le Corbusier himself, and take deep breaths of fresh air in the Mercantour National Park.

The best time for your trip

Visit Provence in spring or autumn to avoid its hot, crowded summers and its wet, blustery winters. May, September and October are the ideal months for your trip. May sees the Cannes Film Festival and the iconic lavender and sunflower meadows bloom, while in September and October one may enjoy the warm climate without the crowds of visitors that flock to the region during summer.

Getting your way around

If you plan to tour extensively using public transport, you can get a ZOU! card that will secure you significant ticket discounts on buses and trains throughout Provence. Alternatively, from June 1st to September 30th, you will be able to purchase a day pass for unlimited rides in certain parts of the region. However, the best way to visit Province is definitely by car, as it will take you to villages, prairies and vineyards, you would otherwise find difficult to access.

Weather in Provence

Provence has a Mediterranean climate. July is the hottest month of the year, with an average temperature of 24°C and 12 hours of bright sunshine per day. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 6°C.

Where to stay in Provence

Commanderie de Peyrassol: Located in a lush area, bristling with olive groves and magnificent vineyards that produce excellent French wines, Commaderie de Peyrassol is a rustic stone mansion with tastefully renovated rooms; decorated with antiques, terracotta floors and high ceilings with wooden beams. Near the manor house you will find a beautiful gallery and a park with stunning modern sculptures.

Hôtel de Tourrel: A beautifully restored 17th-century hôtel particulier and former residence of the illustrious French de Tourrel d’Almeran family. Standing before the unobtrusive exterior of the mansion, one does not imagine the superlative hotel that lies behind the heavy walnut door; the owners like to keep a low profile for their guests who come from every part of the world. The decor includes ornate Renaissance objects, 1920s and 1930s furniture, stone walls and high ceilings. Enjoy a cocktail by the rooftop pool, before heading down to the restaurant to sample sophisticated Provençal dishes. The hotel’s wine cellar, featuring over 350 bottles of wine, definitely deserves a visit.

Crillon le Brave: A stunning cluster of seven white stone buildings at the foothills of Mont Ventoux, once part of a prosperous settlement abandoned after World War II. This is Crillon le Brave, a 5-star hideaway with deluxe bedrooms and suites, charming corridors and beautiful courtyards. La Tour, that’s room 33, is among its best, with two luxurious side by side bathtubs, a huge terrace and an arched window with a view of the olive groves and vineyards. Pay also a visit to their impressive restaurant, as well as to the even more interesting and slightly more casual Bistrot 40K to enjoy delicious local dishes.

Maison Jalon: This bright boutique hotel awaits you in the small village of Puyricard, ten kilometers from cosmopolitan Aix-En-Provence. In this place that seems to have been taken out of a Cézanne painting, Laetitia and Dimitri Jalon, former interior designers in Marrakech, decided to build their home and open its doors to guests. On the upper floor of Maison Jalon, you will find four vibrant unparalleled bedrooms, each of whom has a huge south-facing terrace. But, their real charm lies in the colorful, vintage decor that brings in mind the aesthetics of Wes Anderson’s films.

Εστιατόρια και μπαρ

L’Alcove: You will find this little gem hidden in an alleyway that usually goes unnoticed, but once you spot it and pass its doors, you will discover a brand new world. Descend the round staircase that will lead you to the magical cave in which one of the best restaurants in Provence is located. Low ceilings, gothic arches, subtle lighting and beautiful candles will offer you a different and highly romantic dinner in this former cellar. L’Alcove offers exciting and creative interpretations of classic French dishes.

Moulin à Huile: Surely one of the most beautiful restaurants in the area, serving Provençal dishes in an ever-changing environment; in winter you will dine in the stone dining room of an old mill, while in summer you will find yourself on a lovely terrace overlooking the river. Chef Robert Bardot prepares unique dishes for you, while the enviable collection of fine wines, which took him years to build, includes bottles from all over the French South.

Caju: For vegan and vegetarian cuisine, visit Caju. The restaurant serves 24 hours a day, except on Mondays and Tuesdays when it is closed. The menu changes seasonally as the dishes are created from fresh ingredients and produce. Here you will find healthy options prepared by the restaurant team in their quaint, tiny kitchen.

Le Vieux Tonneau: A French bar to enjoy your wine, beer or cocktail. During summer, in Le Vieux Tonneau everyone sits outside, around large walnut barrels. During winter you will enjoy your drink inside, in a cordial atmosphere. You may also visit its sibling, Le Petit Baron, for lunch or a glass of French wine in the evening.

Κρυμμένοι θησαυροί

Orange: When in the greater Provence region, do not miss the chance to visit Orange, or the “City of Princes”. Orange is home to two UNESCO World Monuments; the Triumphal Arch and the Roman Theatre, which still hosts cultural events and festivals. Take a look at the Museum of Art and History, whose excellent collection includes historic relics, ancient artefacts and works of art dating from prehistoric times to the 18th century.

Saint-Remy-de-Provence: This tranquil village offered peace, solace and inspiration to Vincent van Gogh, who stayed in a San-Remy-de-Provence asylum for a year, from 1889 to 1890. You can visit the painter’s room and see copies of the paintings he created during his stay in this health centre, which was hosted in the old romantic Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole. To learn more about the artist’s life and work, stop by the Estrine Museum which features an entire wing dedicated to him.

Mougins: Without doubt, one of the most enchanting villages in Provence and Pablo Picasso’s favourite. Stroll through its narrow, winding streets and sit in its small leafy squares. In these charming streets you will find small boutiques, galleries and artists’ studios. Mougins is worth a detour just for its quaintness and the wonderful views of the wider Provençal landscape. The beauty of the village attracted Picasso, who stayed there from 1961 to 1973 and turned the Notre-Dame de Vie chapel -which is open to visitors- into his studio.

Mont Faron cable car: This cable car, located in Toulon, is the only one in the French South. Open from the beginning of February until the end of November, it will take you up to an altitude of about 600 metres on the Faron hill. From there you will admire the magnificent panoramic views of the bay of Toulon, the magnificent villas that adorn the hillside and the beautiful mountains of the region all the way down to the sea. Stop around for a picnic or visit one of the many restaurants. You can also take one of the trails, if you fancy hiking ().


  • Driving in Provence requires great vigilance. Most of the villages worth visiting are located on the slopes of hills and mountains, so drive slowly and carefully, if you don’t want to miss them.
  • You are in the French countryside, famous for its small villages, purple meadows and vineyards. Exploring will definitely take longer than you think and, even if you’re planning to visit a restaurant, it’s a good idea to always carry some snacks with you.
  • Like everywhere else in France, it’s a good idea to try to speak a little French. The locals always appreciate it; they even take it as a compliment.
  • Learning beforehand some key words and phrases often found in French restaurant menus would be more than helpful, since the majority of good restaurants in France do not provide English menus.
  • If you plan to visit any of the local markets, do so early in the morning. The produce you’ll find there is excellent and there are plenty of people crowding around to shop for their picnic essentials.
  • The trip to Provence is not an ordinary one. It is a large region and by no means will you be able to explore it in a single visit. If there are things you absolutely want to see, do a little planning beforehand. You may also leave some room for spur-of-the-moment impulses.