The French really know how to live and near-perfect Provence setting for a vacation, with opportunity to relax, have fun and explore... can make a vacation truly wonderful. How to spend a well-deserved holiday in sun to get your mood in best shape for 2019, I thought I'd highlight 15 of my favorite things about Provence, as well as things to do and places to visit. Let me know in comments below if you think I missed something else!
1. Sun of Provence
A good vacation should be warm and full of sunshine. Provence can best meet your needs. On average, more than 2850 hours of sunshine per year. Compare that to London's 1400 hours and you'll quickly realize that Provence is definitely the place to sunbathe and you won't get too hot in 20C in summer!
2. Provence coast
Along southeastern outskirts of France from Camargue to Nice along edge of Mediterranean Sea runs coast of Provence. This beautiful and diverse stretch of coastline is home to stunning beaches, stunning scenery and trendy cities. On a sunny day, a trip to Calanques is a must - these 20 km long cliff tops are dotted with small beaches, some of which can only be reached by kayak. Also worth a visit is coastal town of Cassis, where Winston Churchill learned to draw. Quaint fishing boats cruise along harbor with pastel-colored cottages in background, making it a truly scenic spot.
3. Villages and towns of Provence
There are many stunning cities and countless charming villages. Avignon is a city worth visiting. It is full of churches and stunning chapels and is often referred to as heart of Provence. Aix-en-Provence may be one of most beautiful cities in Provence, if not France. A beautiful mix of 15th and 17th century townhouses, tree-lined plazas and churches, this is perfect place for a sophisticated urban getaway. If you are looking for perfect village, Le Castellet offers stunning views of surrounding countryside.
4. Lavender field in Provence
Blossoming from June to August, lavender fields embody very essence of Provence. Fragrant purple rows fringe fields, making surrounding landscape more beautiful than usual. It not only looks great, but is also useful! Not only in soaps and other bath products as an essential oil, but also sometimes in cooking!
5. Sunflower Provence
There is a visual wow factor next to lavender in a field of sunflowers in Provence. Once you get used to buying these 4 bouquets at supermarket, you will be amazed to see dozens, if not thousands, of these bright yellow flowers marching across landscape.
6. Canyon Verdon in Provence
France's deepest gorge, Verdon Gorge, is one of must-see natural wonders of Provence. In addition to picturesque landscapes, it is also a great place for hiking. In picturesque area, you can rent a kayak, which will allow you to travel both on water and on foot.
7. Provence Beach
There are many beautiful beaches on coast of Provence. Stretching from wide sandy beaches to almost unexplored coves, you can enjoy sand and sun as well as delicious food. The coastal town of Bandol marks start of French Riviera and has several famous beaches within easy reach of town. Santa Cruz Beach with fine white sand is frequented by locals.
8. Outdoor sports in Provence
Provence is a dream for those who love nature. There are endless walking paths to explore stunning scenery along route. There is no shortage of action sports here: cyclists will love trail and cross-country biking, while adventurous people will love paragliding and even bungee jumping!
9. Circuit Paul Ricard in Provence
Route Paul Ricard is located near historic village of Le Castellet. The track, built by creators of famous Pastis drink in 1969, has seen many memorable races and has recently been used as an advanced test track. If you get into Formula 1, you will see more projects on track.
10. Long lunch in Provence
Vacation should be relaxing and go at same pace as everyday life. This is partly due to French culture, and thanks to beautiful weather, you will have plenty of opportunity to fully enjoy a leisurely lunch that can stretch until noon (possibly followed by a rest in shade) for two or three. Lunch with finest food, and if possible, enjoy it al fresco Take a look at constantly changing daily set menus that most restaurants offer, often prepared for you with seasonal produce that chef buys that day from local markets.
11. Cuisine of Provence
France has been famous for its gastronomy for many years, and Provence is home to many quality restaurants. Book a table and enjoy an unforgettable meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Provence. A Michelin guide search will list them all, but from experience I can fully recommend Christophe Bacquié restaurant at Hotel du Castellet - with two Michelin stars in this year's guide, your taste buds will thank you for experience.
12. Coffee culture of Provence
The French like not only food. Coffee is another highlight. But it's not just coffee, way it is drunk is integrated into everyday life, resulting in a delicious coffee culture. Forget Starbucks and a £4 latte, sit at a small table overlooking town square, order a "café" and enjoy espresso they bring (which will cost you a euro). Milk is not usually served, but if espresso is too much, try "un cafe all longé", which serves espresso in a large cup diluted with hot water.
13. Wine Provence
Provence is home to a number of quality vineyards and wineries in renowned areas such as famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, after which an extraordinary red wine is named. While Provence produces excellent red wines, this region is best known for its rosé wines. This rosé-hued wine is fantastic and perfect cold drink for warm weather.
14. Provence Market
France is known for quality of its markets, and Provence is no exception. The town has its own market, a lot of people packed with all kinds of fruits and vegetables, flowers, honey, fish and delicious cheese. Most of produce is local, so food is very fresh! Even if you don't shop, wandering around city on market day is usually French and a great way to spend a few hours.
15. History of Provence
Provence has a rich and colorful history dating back thousands of years, and much of ancient architecture can still be seen in region's villages, towns and cities. From village of Le Castellet to magnificent cathedral of Aix, anyone with an interest in history will find Provence a truly breathtaking destination. If you think this is ok, please like or share with your friends. If you have a different opinion, let us know in comments below, thanks!