With its charming villages, delicious wines and beautiful scenery ranging from rolling hills to coastal regions, Provence makes the ideal vacation location. Following are some suggestions for various ways to discover and enjoy the variety of beauty, taste and charm that Provence offers.
For an unforgettable day of art and wine, make sure you head to Les Baux de Provence. A ruined castle and the remains of a medieval village lend a romantic aura to the isolated spot. There are only 22 residents inhabiting the village in 2017. Situated on a rocky mountain the name is derived from “bauc” the Provencal word for “rocky spur.” Quarries have existed at this site since antiquity. Limestone and then Bauxite were mined extensively. The remains of several mines make up the Carrières de Lumières site where dramatic art shows with light and music play along the towering walls. Among the most recent exhibits are the artists Gustave Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh. We can arrange the privatization of Carrières de Lumières if you book a luxury holiday villa with us.
For a taste of some of the delicious wines that come from Provence, visit Mas de la Dame situated at the foot of Les Baux de Provence. Mas de la Dame is run by the great granddaughters of the original owner. Domain Milan is another family-owned winery worth visiting that specializes in biodynamic wines. It is situated only 5 minute drive to Saint Rémy de Provence.
Continue your wine and art day by heading to Saint Rémy de Provence, a beautiful village with picturesque winding streets dotted with charming shops and restaurants. Not far from here, there is the famous Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole that was once a psychiatric asylum. Vincent Van Gogh was a patient at this asylum where he painted several of his most well known works, including The Starry Night.
Not far from Avignon is Gordes where you can visit remains from the Roman occupation, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Be sure to visit the medieval Abbaye de Senanque which was built in 1148.
L’isle sur la Sorgue is a picturesque village that’s often referred to as “the Venice of Provence.” It’s also known for “The International Antiques Fair” that occurs at Easter and in August.
Roussillon is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France which is saying something considering how many stunning villages there are. From 1942-1945, Samuel Beckett hid from the Nazis in Roussillon and mentions the town in his play, “Waiting For Godot.” Be sure to check out the “Sentier des Ocres” or “Ochre Trail,” which winds through the spectacular orange-red quarries.
Also considered one of France’s most beautiful villages, Lourmarin is nestled among vineyards and olive groves. Another famous writer, Albert Camus, lived there from 1913 to 1960.
A Day Trip to Camargue
Be sure to take a day trip to Camargue stopping by the city of Arles. Originally a Roman outpost, there are many remains from this period including the Roman baths of Constantine, the forum and an amphitheater. Artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin were inspired to paint here and there is now an annual contemporary photography festival, “Les Rencontres D’Arles.”
Set on the Rhone river, it’s easy to access the wild and beautiful Camargue regional national park where the famous white horses, pink flamingos and black bulls make a colorful backdrop to the marshes, beaches and salt fields where rice and salt are produced.
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