Where to holiday in Provence?
Sun-drenched and lavender scented, the picturesque region of Provence has been charming visitors for centuries. Just down the coast from the glamorous resorts of the French Riviera, life in Provence is peaceful and laid back with a wonderful mix of history and tradition dating back to Roman times. The Provence region starts in the Var (Central Provence) and runs along the coast through the Bouche de Rhône and down to the Camargue (Western Provence). It also stretches right up into the Hautes Alpes encompassing the Alpilles in the Vaucluse and the Alpes de Haute Provence. (North Provence)
Known throughout the world for its picturesque olive groves and vineyards, Provence is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in France. Rich and varied, the region has it all from hidden calanques to golden stretches of sandy beach, medieval villages perched on rocky cliffs and fields full of flowers surrounded by ancient forests. Thanks to the incredible combination of magnificent countryside, 300 days of golden sunshine per year and some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere, this stunning region is the perfect destination for a relaxing holiday with friends and family.
Home to some of France’s most ancient traditions, there’s no shortage of culture in Provence. The locals celebrate everything from chestnuts to grapes and much more besides with year-round festivals held throughout the region. If fresh asparagus is your thing, the pretty little town of Mormoiron in the Vaucluse hosts a celebration of the harvest season every year with special events planned throughout the weekend. And the nearby village of Richerenches is famous for its truffle festival held each November in honour of the ‘black diamond’ of Provence. Learn more about the origins of some of Provence’s customs and religious traditions, participate in colourful processions and enjoy a taste of the Southern lifestyle which has been hundreds of years in the making.
From ancient traditions to modern music, during the summer season Provence comes alive with festivals and concerts held up and down the coast. Classical fans will love Aix-en-Provence’s prestigious opera festival which runs for 3 weeks with an exciting programme of classical and opera music, while the International Piano Festival of La Roque d'Anthéron held in the grounds of the Château de Florans is not to be missed. Jazz enthusiasts should head down the coast to Cassis for the chic Jazz Sur Le Toit festival where concert goers gather on a roof terrace with panoramic sea views for dinner, drinks and of course, some fantastic jazz tunes. And if you prefer your festivals with a more contemporary twist, the city of Marseille has got you covered with the Acontraluz electro festival held on the beach each summer featuring some of the world’s best electronic music artists and DJs. From local talent to world music without forgetting blues, rock and everything in between, the summer music scene in Provence truly has something for everyone to enjoy.
Wild and rugged, the timeless light and colours of the Provençal landscapes have been inspiring artists and painters for hundreds of years. A stay in Provence is an opportunity to go back in time and discover the scenery immortalised by the biggest names in the art world during the 19th and 20th centuries. Follow in the footsteps of Cézanne and stroll along the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau in beautiful Aix-en-Provence before visiting his studio overlooking the Mont Ste Victoire which inspired much of his best work. The pretty town of Arles might date back to Roman times but fans of Van Gogh will know it as the inspiration for many of his most famous paintings and the site of the infamous fight with fellow artist Gauguin which resulted in the loss of his left ear. Visit the new Art Foundation or follow the Van Gogh walking tour through the narrow streets of the town before stopping for coffee on the terrace of Le Café la Nuit, the brasserie portrayed in Van Gogh’s famous oil painting by the same name. With such breath-taking beauty on offer, you might even be inspired to take up painting yourself while you’re in the area.
One of the very best ways to discover this wonderful region for yourself is to pay a visit to one of the many local markets. Colourful and lively, a trip to the market is the perfect way to spend a lazy morning when you’re on holiday. Browse through stall after stall of locally-grown fruit and vegetables ripened in the Provençal sunshine, pick up local specialties such as nougat or calisson or take home a few olives to nibble with your evening aperitif, this is the Southern lifestyle at its most authentic. The biggest and best markets can be found in the larger towns of St Remy, Arles, Aix en Provence and Isle sur la Sorgue but markets are a way of life in the South and even the tiniest villages usually have a few stalls selling local produce so there’s no excuse not to indulge in a little retail therapy while you’re visiting.
If shopping is your passion, you’ll be spoilt for choice here in sunny Provence. Visit Avignon and Aix-en-Provence for a taste of luxury boutiques and designer names or head to L'Isle sur la Sorgue for a fantastic choice of antique furniture and homeware. In the Luberon, Gordes and Lourmarin are famous for their wonderful artwork and pottery, visit the local galleries and find a one-of-a-kind piece to remind you of your time in the South. If you’re after perfume or lavender-based products, you must visit Grasse which is known as the fragrance capital of the world. Pick up soaps, lotions, and even candles to take a little of that wonderful summer scent home with you at the end of your stay and keep the holiday feeling going throughout the year.
Blessed with some of the most exciting scenery in the world, Provence is a paradise for sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts. Spend your vacation hiking through lush green forests, climbing in rocky gorges or swimming in azure blue water, the possibilities are endless. Head to the pretty fishing village of Saintes Maries de la Mer for an unforgettable sunset ride on horseback through marshes and beaches accompanied by a Gardian, the original cowboys of the Camargue. Or if you’re more at home on 2 wheels, Provence also offers the ultimate cycling challenge, the infamous Mont Ventoux. Start in the village of Malaucène and then power your way up 25kms of twisting hairpin bends to the summit, the highest point in the Vaucluse. Tough it might well be, but the frankly breath-taking views of the Alps and Mediterranean from the top are more than worth it, we promise. From scuba diving to sailing, paddle boarding to pétanque, whatever type of activity you’re looking for during your holiday, Provence has got it all.
And of course, no visit to this part of the world would be complete without tasting some of the gourmet treats Provence is famous for. You can’t beat the fresh fish and seafood served along the Mediterranean coast and inland the region is known for its sun kissed vegetables, aromatic herbs and delicious olive oils. Spend your holiday snacking on crusty baguettes spread with creamy goat’s cheese from the hilltop village of Banon, enjoying sweet Charentais melons in the delightful town of Cavaillon or nibbling on calissons, the little almond flavoured sweets which have been handmade in Aix en Provence since 1454. Discover delicacies such as tapenade made with the tiny black olives grown in the Provençal hinterland, or bouillabaisse, Marseille’s signature fish stew which locals say is best enjoyed on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean with a chilled glass of local rosé in hand.
As you’d expect in a region known for its gastronomy, the restaurant scene in Provence is about as good as it gets. There are so many restaurants in the South of France that you can eat out every day of the week. Prepared using traditional recipes, paired with carefully chosen local wines and served with love, going out to eat in Provence is always a special occasion. Enjoy leisurely evenings with friends in tiny village bistros where you’ll be treated like one of the family, or sample gourmet dishes prepared by some of France’s top chefs in one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants found all over Provence. With rich and varied dishes on offer all over the region with a dazzling array of local flavours and colours everywhere you go, this is French cuisine at its very finest.
What to expect?
The hilltop villages of Provence are full of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. To help you find the perfect base to explore the region, we have a full range of luxury properties all over the region. Featuring spacious grounds, chic interiors and every possible comfort and amenity, all you have to do is select your favourite and get ready for the holiday of a lifetime in the South of France.
Here’s a taste of what to expect from your luxury holiday accommodation in Provence this season:
- Beautifully decorated holiday homes with bright and spacious living spaces
- Fully-equipped kitchens with top-of-the-range appliances and cookware
- Elegant dining spaces for entertaining or casual meals with the family
- Generously-sized comfortable bedrooms with private or shared bathrooms
- Luxury amenities including air conditioning, WIFI access and satellite TV
- Sundrenched terraces and courtyards with outdoor lounge and dining areas
- Magnificent swimming pools with loungers and daybeds to soak up the sun
- Exquisitely-landscaped grounds with manicured lawns and local greenery
- Private outdoor leisure facilities including tennis, boules and ping-pong
- Stunning views of the hill-top villages and breathtaking Provençal countryside
How to get to Provence
The holiday starts as soon as you arrive in Provence. With some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, travelling to your luxury rental property will be a pleasure as you drive through this beautiful region. Fly commercial into one of the international airports in Marseille or Nice or leave your yacht in St Tropez for the season, it’s time to try a taste of life in Provence.
Flying to Provence couldn’t be easier. There are international airports up and down the coast from the Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport in the Alpes-Maritimes to the Marseille Provence airport in the Bouches du Rhône plus smaller airports in Avignon, Nîmes and Toulon. From the airport all you need to do is transfer to your luxury rental property by car to really get the vacation started.
If you’re travelling to your rental property from within the region, we will be delighted to arrange a transfer by private car with chauffeur for you and your party. All we need to know is your location and your itinerary and we’ll take care of everything else.
When is the best time to visit?
Spending time in the sun-drenched region of Provence is always a pleasure. With its stunning scenery, golden light and slower pace of life, Provence is the ideal destination for an unforgettable holiday. No matter when you visit during the year, we guarantee you’ll find a reason to return to this little corner of paradise.
In spring, the moors come alive with the scent of wild rosemary and thyme while poppies spring up in the olive groves and fields all over the region. Locally-grown strawberries and asparagus are sold in every village market and all of Provence celebrates the Festival of Vine and Wine with tastings at many of the local vineyards.
If you’re after a glimpse of Provence’s iconic lavender fields, the summer season is your best bet. Take the Route de La Lavande and drive through lavender-scented Medieval villages before taking in one of the local folk festivals or summer concerts held all over the region during the summer months.
Fans of the great outdoors will love Provence in autumn. Blessed with glorious weather and balmy temperatures well into November, this is the ideal time to go hiking or cycling through the hills and forests of Provence. And after a hard day’s hiking, what could be nicer than celebrating the start of the grape harvest by joining in with one of the many wine festivals held throughout the region.
To discover Provence’s Christmas traditions and festivities, head South during winter season and explore the many Christmas markets, nativity scenes and light displays for yourself. Winter sports enthusiasts will enjoy the pretty ski resorts of the Alpes du Sud while the whole region goes crazy for the black diamonds of Provence with truffle markets and fairs held from November until mid-March.
With so much going on all over the region, your biggest problem might well be finding time to fit everything in during your luxury holiday in sunny Provence.
How to book a villa in Provence?
When it comes to finding the most luxurious holiday homes in Provence, we really know our stuff. Thanks to our in-depth knowledge of the South of France, we’ve put together a fabulous selection of properties with every possible amenity to help you find the perfect villa for your holiday. Simply check out our website to learn more about each of our Provençal rental properties and then contact our Cannes office to organise your stay.
Our international team will be on hand to check availability, confirm your reservation and prepare the property to make sure everything is just how you like it upon arrival. And we also have a full range of à la carte services and luxury service packs on offer to ensure that your holiday in Provence not only meets your expectations, but completely exceeds them.
To reserve a luxury property in Provence, simply contact us using the details here: Contact Beauchamp Estates.