Love the beauty of Provence with all your heart! Travel along picturesque roads that meander through vineyards, olive groves, and rows of vivid purple-lavender and golden-yellow sunflower fields. Explore the streets of hilltop villages with stone cottages and painted shutters carved out of sheer rock sides. Leap into the calm waters of the turquoise sea, waterfalls, and canyon rivers. Enjoy the delectable French cuisine while sipping a glass of chilled Provencal wine. Find the best things to do in Provence, France, and anything else you could want.
Things to do in Provence, France
Some of the world’s most exquisite villages can be found in Provence. Each of them has its charm and ambiance, making it remarkable. Additionally, there are unspoiled natural areas close by—yet another reason to travel to this region of France!
The capital of Provence’s lavender district is Valensole, a quaint little village that is a beautiful place to stay while visiting. Visitors can witness the surrounding valley blanketed with vibrant purple flowers in July and August. Even though the lavender doesn’t bloom for the remainder of the year, visiting Provence is still highly recommended. Here are the best lavender fields in Provence.
Walking the streets with a baguette and conversing with the welcoming residents is a great way to see authentic Provencal culture.
More about: The lavender village Valensole in Provence
Oppede’s modest homes, painted shutters, and winding pathways make it seem like something from a storybook. The hilltop community features stunning vineyards, stone homes from the fifteenth century, and breathtaking views of the lavender fields. This settlement, indeed, used to be deserted!
After decades of conflict, people didn’t want to dwell up high and distance from their farms. But during World War II, artists drawn to the village’s allure once more settled there. This quaint bed and breakfast was in the middle of the town where we stayed.
Tip: Ascend to the village’s highest point and visit the church and castle. The most breathtaking views of the gorge below may be seen from here.
It’s understandable why renowned films worldwide have used this picture-perfect hilltop village as their backdrop. The stone homes are perched on a hillside with a view of the lush green valley below and the golden sun overhead.
Because of the romantic sceneries and the lovely colors of the surrounding architecture and terrain, it has become a favorite area for artists to live in. Take some time to explore the historic underground caverns, go to art galleries, and hike to sweeping vistas for starry nighttime views of the town of Gordes.
Read more about: Gordes, France: Icon of Provence
Tip: Gordes is among several of Provence’s most well-known lavender fields. For instance, the Senate Abbey is a location for dream photographers.
The spring that cascades from a very tall rock is the main attraction of the medieval village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. The largest spring in France is located inside a cave and perches on a ridge. You may also view the remnants of the old local castle above the spring.
The river turns a stunning emerald green when the spring empties into it. Stroll beside the tranquil river that meanders through the hamlet and beneath the bridges, pausing for a meal at one of the charming riverbank cafes.
Without a doubt, one of the most unique and exquisite communities in all of Provence is Roussillon. The town used to be an ochre mining site adjacent to a deep canyon. The villagers of Roussillon also utilized ochre on the outside of their homes. As a result, each house has an ochre tone, ranging from terracotta oranges to dark reds.
It’s difficult to top the beauty of all these hues, and strolling around the houses while observing how the sun changes color is a delightful experience. You can take a few walks in the canyon after spending some time in the village.
More about: Rousillon and Le Sentier des Ocres
Among the most picturesque villages in France is Moustiers-Sainte-Marie! The location, spanning a deep canyon and perched on a cliff, is magnificent. More painted homes with vibrant shutters may be seen as you stroll alongside the lovely river that flows through the town. The quaint stone cottages are seen from the side of the rock. An old church may even rise out of the sheer rock at the top of the hamlet. Climb the 262 steps to witness one of the most distinctive things to do in Provence if you’re up for the challenge!
The complete: French Riviera Travel Guide
One of Provence’s most spectacular natural areas has to be the Gorges du Verdon! The magnificent canyon was naturally built over hundreds of years, producing a stunning turquoise river with limestone cliffs above. Watersports enthusiasts go to this well-liked area, where they may rent kayaks or paddleboats from a few spots along the gorge.
Savor the views from the water, making occasional stops at beaches along the river, cooling off in the river to avoid the heat, and taking in the force of the waterfall.
Tip: Don’t forget to take in the vistas from the neighboring well-known bridges. Alternatively, you can drive the loop roads at the top of the canyon if you have a car, as there are places to pull over and take pictures.
Everything about: Gorges du Verdon, France
Provence’s hidden treasure, Cotignac, remains comparatively unexplored on the popular tourist route in southern France. This charming settlement on the edge of a cliff is tucked away beneath massive limestone pillars and has caverns where people still live today! Despite the town’s tiny size, the area has many activities, such as visiting Sillans-la-Cascade, a neighboring waterfall with gorgeous turquoise pools.
Here, there’s also a strong feeling of community. Visit the nearby microbrewery to experience it for yourself. There, you may partake in events and sample some unique beer flavors!
More about: Cotignac, Cliffside Village of France
How to Visit Provence, France
Marseille Provence, Provence’s primary airport, offers flights to numerous major European cities. If your route takes you outside of Europe, you must arrange a flight from Paris that connects.
Driving is the finest way to explore the Provence. While admiring the breathtaking vistas, navigate the little settlements and past lavender fields.
Another way to go to one of the cities from Brussels, the Netherlands, or England is by Eurostar. Quick connections are available from Paris to Marseille, Avignon, or Aix-en-Provence.
Getting Around Provence
Provence is a stunning natural area with a fantastic coastline and the Luberon National Park. The only ways to get to many isolated cliffside settlements are via automobile or the occasionally scheduled public bus service. We suggest renting a car if you want the freedom to see all the lavender fields, waterfalls, and other natural areas.
Nonetheless, taxis and public transportation are viable options for getting to Provence. Aix-en-Provence is a great starting point for travel because it’s well-connected to most destinations in the area.
Where to Stay in Provence
Every village in Provence is a lovely spot to stay while visiting. Valensole and Gréoux-les-Bains are the best (and most expensive) places to see the lavender fields.
Search for hotels in Manosque to save a lot of money on lodging. Select Moustiers-Sainte-Marie for a slightly more adventurous location, as it offers access to the magnificent Gorges du Verdon Canyon.
Best Cafes and Restaurants in Provence
Food and wine are essential in Provence, and the people there take great pride in their mouthwatering local fare. Every hamlet has weekly markets where you may taste local specialties and purchase some to take home. You can also choose to visit Provencal farms and wineries. Beautiful restaurants with terraces where you may enjoy the warm evening weather can be found in every town. Our top picks from Provence included:
- La Bastide de Pierres (Gordes)
- Le Petit Café (Oppede)
- La Grappe de Raisin (Roussillon)
- Le Petit Provençal (Manosque)
- La Table Toscane (Riez)
- Comptoir de Valérie (Valensole)
How Much Does Provence Cost?
Provence is particularly well-known for its lavender season, accompanied by increased hotel and dining costs. In this season, a hotel room should cost between 80 and 200 euros per night; in the off-season, it should cost between 40 and 140 euros per night. Fortunately, entrance costs are minimal in Provence because the region is mainly known for its scenery and natural beauty.
Costs of Traveling in Provence
Go to Provence on a low budget for $340 − USD 530 per person, in the midrange for $1160 − USD 1790, and on the high end for $1700 − USD 2230. On the other hand, expenses vary depending on activities, lodging, and transportation. Flights were not included.
Best Time to Visit
Provence is in the south of France and has beautiful days of sunshine throughout the year. The summer can be busy, mainly when the lavender fields are in bloom (July & August) and the gorgeous beaches of the Cote d’Azur are at their best. However, it’s a great time to take advantage of kayaking and swimming in the numerous waterfalls and rivers of the region.