Provence, France: where it is, when to go and what to see

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Joel Fulleda

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Provence is one of the most touristic regions in France. The postcard depicting the beautiful and boundless lavender fields is the image par excellence of this region, located south of the French territory. In fact, the reasons why Provence can boast of being so favored by tourists all year round are many: abbeys among green hills, perched villages, elegant palaces of the '500, churches and cathedrals in Gothic and Romanesque style, golden beaches bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, but also very high mountains and endless landscapes. A trip to these parts will be able to satisfy everyone's tastes.

Let's find out together how to organize a trip to Provence, France: where is it, when to go and what to see!


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where it is
  3. How to reach us
  4. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  5. The main cities
  6. 10 things to see: the places of interest in Provence
  7. The main routes in Provence
  8. What to do in Provence: excursions and tours
  9. How much does a holiday in Provence cost? Prices, offers and advice
  10. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 4.935.000
  • Capital: Aix-en-Provence
  • Languages: French and Occitan
  • Local currency: euro (€)
  • Weather: Mediterranean, temperate and mild; average annual temperature 20 ° - find out more
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is

    Provence is a region located in the southern part of France, borders Italy to the east, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region to the north, Occitania to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Its capital is Aix-en-Provence, while the largest city is Marseille.

    How to reach us

    By plane

    From Italy there are several direct flights with landing at Nice airport or Marseille airport (from Rome, Naples, Venice and Bologna), the two airports serving the Provence region. The flight from Rome to Nice lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, to Marseille it takes 1 hour and 25 minutes.

    By bus or train

    Traveling aboard the trains to reach Provence from Italy is certainly an interesting choice: the journey allows you to admire the views that expand among the hills of the region, which can be enjoyed at your leisure. The sections, however, consist of various changes, as well as numerous stops between Italy and France and proceed at night (a train departing from Rome and bound for Nice takes about 14 hours of travel, from Milan to Nice, however, takes about 6 hours).

    Some bus companies, such as Flixbus, operate between Italy and Provence in very affordable prices, but the journey is particularly long (from Rome to Nice the bus takes about 15/16 hours)

    By car

    Those who leave from central-northern Italy can certainly evaluate the idea of ​​arriving in Provence by car from Milan to Nice there are 315,7 km to travel, instead from Rome to Nice it is about 900 km.

    The access point is located at Ventimiglia in Liguria, from there continue on the Autostrada del Sole (A8). During the summer it must be considered that the cars in the queue could be numerous.

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: Mediterranean, mild winters and hot and muggy summers. Average winter temperature 7 °, summer 24 °, with peaks of even 35 °. Precipitation never abundant, mainly in September. Average annual sea temperature 17 °, in summer it reaches 22 °
    • Best time: from mid-April to August; the lavender blooms from late June to August. In spring the days are sunny but cool, summer is the best time for sun and beach
    • Period to avoid: in September it often rains, while from December to March it is rather cold
    • Advice: late June-August is recommended to admire the fields and hills of Provence. Travel light, with a hat, sunglasses and comfortable shoes. In summer, bring sunscreen, swimwear and everything you need for the beach

    The main cities

    1. Marseille: home to one of the airports of Provence, an important city founded by the ancient Greeks, with the fourth largest port in the Mediterranean - discover the smart guide
    2. Nice: home to the second airport in Provence, it is the favorite destination of the Côte d'Azur, where summer tourism is concentrated - discover the smart guide
    3. Aix en Provence: elegant city in the south of the region, embellished by numerous parks, fountains and prestigious buildings
    4. Avignon: city with an elegant and historical profile, where the well-known Palazzo dei Papi stands, present among the UNESCO World Heritage assets
    5. Arles: center characterized by historic buildings and brightly colored cafes, which inspired Van Gogh's paintings. Strategic city for visiting the Camargue region
    6. Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer: village in the south of Provence ideal for hiking on the Rhone river, as well as for enjoying its fine sandy beaches
    7. Cannes : city famous for the May Film Festival, a seaside destination also favored by VIPs and tourists from all over the world - discover the smart guide
    8. Saint-martin-vesubie: village located 1.000 km above sea level, an ideal place to enjoy the spectacle of the French Alps
    9. Gordes: village perched in the heart of Provence, from where you can get lost in the most endless nature
    10. Saul and Valensole: important centers to admire the lavender fields, especially in July

    10 things to see: the places of interest in Provence

    1. Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde: the basilica is located in the highest and most panoramic point of the city of Marseille, dating back to the 800th century
    2. Castle of If: fortification of the '500, born as a prison and located on a small island of the Frioul archipelago in Marseille
    3. Palace of the Popes: important building in French Gothic style, located in Avignon, temporary papal residence built during the 1300s
    4. Gorges of the Verdon: natural formations built by the Verdon river, which can be visited via various paths - find out more
    5. Croisette: famous beach in Cannes, very popular during the summer and located near the Film Festival building
    6. Mercantour National Park: natural park located near the French Alps, consisting of eight valleys, home to numerous species of flora and fauna, including Apennine wolves from Italy
    7. Les Baux-de-Provence castle: Romanesque-style castle dating back to the th century, perched on the peaks of the city of the same name, a few km from Avignon
    8. Cathédral Saint-André: the imposing cathedral in Romanesque and Gothic style built in 1096 in the city of Bordeaux
    9. Lavender fields in Vansole: around the city of Vansole there are the famous lavender fields typical of the postcards of Provence
    10. Arena of Arles: ancient Roman amphitheater dating back to the st century AD

    The main routes in Provence

    Provence is a region so rich in attractions and landscapes that it can be visited far and wide, according to your preferences! For this reason it is also adaptable to different types of itineraries of different duration.

    For those who love the sea there is to relax on the Riviera, those who prefer bucolic nature can opt for the imperidibles lavender fields and finally, for the wine lovers there is no shortage of places to soak up the Provençal wine and historical tradition.

    1. Week-end on the Riviera: itinerary that starts from Cannes, continues to Nice and ends in Monaco and its surroundings, to enjoy a relaxing weekend along the French Riviera
    2. Lavender road: four days to visit the most beautiful cities in which to get lost in the fields of Lavender and sunflower, we start from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, continue to Vansole, Gordes and arrive in Sault
    3. The wine route: a week to discover the wine production areas of Provence, starting in Toulon, then continuing on to Bandol, Cassis, Marseille, Aix-en-Proivence up to Bordeaux

    What to do in Provence: excursions and tours

    How much does a holiday in Provence cost? Prices, offers and advice

    A trip to Provence could turn out quite expensive, especially if you are traveling in the high season, from June to September. During these months, in fact, many tourists go to the seaside areas, such as Nice, Cannes, but also inland, as in the areas of Vansole and Sault, since July is the month when the lavender fields explode in their magnificent colors (the flowering period is from mid-June to mid-August).

    An affordable choice can be stay in cities such as Aix-en-Provence, close to both the coast and the lavender resorts. As for airline tickets, it is necessary book well in advance: low cost airlines also connect some Italian cities to Provence.

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 55,00 per room -
    • starting from € 60,00 -
    • Return flight + 5 days / 4 nights from € 280,00 per person -
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