It only takes 2 syllables to put a smile on your face. That’s the magic of Provence. The violet of its lavender fields, the green of its olive trees, the white Camargue horses, black bulls, and the blue Mediterranean Sea make the region a stunning multicolored kaleidoscope.
A region so extraordinary that some tourists skip the French capital and go directly to the cinema legend Marcel Pagnol's favorite place in the south-east of France.
Our advice? Take your time and savor each moment under the sun - you’re in the South of France, after all. The area is so vast you’ll find yourself jumping from place to place in wonder. It only takes one trip to Provence to make you never want to leave. We wonder which will be your favorite place: the region of Avignon, Les Alpilles, La Camargue, Les Cévennes, Le Luberon or the Rhone Valley?
To live each day in front of the largest gothic palace in France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a city of the colorful South of France, is to benefit from a unique and fulfilling daily life. If you prefer the grandiose things in life, you'll love the Palais des Papes in Avignon. This sublime fortress, with ceremonial rooms and priceless frescoes, is the emblem of Avignon. But that’s not all. The city is known for its warm and dynamic atmosphere (92,000 residents). We love the cobblestone streets, its squares and lovely fountains, ramparts, cozy little bistros under the shade of plane trees and its performing arts festival.
Avignon will be your palace if ...
- 42.5-years-old and an early retirement in Provence is Plan A
- Dancing "on the Pont d'Avignon" daily is also Plan A
- Is the Pope a Catholic? There’s your answer.
If you are more country mouse than city mouse, then take off and discover the breathtaking panorama of Les Baux-de-Provence Valley. But for a mouse that loves to live la vie de château, climb up a rocky spur to reach the Château des Baux. And right before your eyes, an invaluable gift, the beauty of its vineyards and olive groves, as far as the eye can see.
This site of natural beauty and limestone hills will put your heart to the test. But deciding which of the Alpilles' villages is your favorite will push its limits: Maussane-les-Alpilles and its adorable sheepfolds; Saint-Remy, its Provencal market and its charm memorialized by Van Gogh; Tarascon and its chateau; or Fontvieille and the famous windmill of novelist Monsieur Alphonse Daudet. And choosing shutters for your Provencal farmhouse will be the topic of many family discussion to comes. But if it comes to it, draw between blue shutters (like the sky), olive green or lavender (like the fields).
Live in Les Alpilles, if …
- Like Princess Caroline (from Monaco), your country house will be in the heart of Les Alpilles
- French literature will be a must in your household
- Between Cézanne and Van Gogh, you prefer the original
Of course, Camargue brings to mind the image of beautiful white horses galloping in the marshes. But during your stay, you can also run into pretty pink flamingos posing on one leg, checking out a potential neighbor (you). Camarguais farmhouses, rice fields and les manades (herds of cattle led by riders) of horses and bulls make this region an extraordinary territory. Living in the heart of this natural site is fantastic for nature lovers, and having a lovely city like Arles next door makes all the difference. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Arles, and its Roman arenas shine in the spotlight of its ancient theater and Saint Trophime cloister.
Leave for La Camargue, if …
- Between white and black, you choose white horses and black bulls
- Andromache performed in an ancient theater is truly something else
- You’ve dreamed of shouting "Hail César" from your carriage on the way to the arena
If you have a big soft spot for Rome or the great Romans, then in the center of Nîmes you will feel the gladiator's soul. You will be able to live in harmony with historical relics like the arenas, the Maison Carrée (the only preserved ancient temple in the world) and the Magne Tower. But let’s not forget: living in Cevennes is a radical life change into the countryside with the expansive forests and mountains. But we promise the panorama will be worth it!
You’ll say yes to Les Cevennes if …
- It’s about time for you to answer the call of nature
- When in Cevennes, you do as the Romans do
- And for your cravings, Haribo sweets have built a museum (not only for you but for the bonbons)
Luberon is a firework of colors: the lavender fields, old olive trees, the ocher cliffs of the beautiful hilltop village of Roussillon - where the homes’ facades are coated in the colors of a setting sun. Each village tells a story, the locals have an accent that sings and find themselves at the village square for fierce games of petanque. We repeat, take the time to discover the region. The Gordes houses on the hillside and terraced gardens with a natural big screen for a panorama (no CGI needed). And also L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, to hang out with the vintage antique dealers and a delicious taste of Provencal cuisine in a small bistro overlooking the river. The soft wind will carry you from village to village so that you find the one where you want to settle your suitcases.
You’ve chosen Le Luberon if …
- It was obvious, you didn’t have to choose
- Your guilty pleasure is hunting and bargaining at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
- You intend to become an international ratatouille expert
How do you talk about the Rhone Valley without giving everything away? We’ll try, but we’re warning you, your curiosity will be ignited. It’s famous for the Rhone River and its topography that makes it perfect terrain for vineyards. In the valley, we find major producers of AOC wines. And when it comes to gastronomy, Provence and its local cuisine will cause quite a stir for your taste buds, as you travel the roads from cities to villages. As for the urbanite, discover the little secrets of its 4 major cities, where it’s nice to live: Montélimar, Orange (the city of princes), Valencia and Vienna (without the dirndls).
Go on an excursion in the Rhone Valley, if …
- You want the most beautiful and never seen before collection of the Santons of Provence
- You like good grapes and fine wine (in moderation)
- Your teeth are like concrete, so the Nougat de Montelimar is without moderation
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