lavander field in provence france (1)

Provence is a beautiful region in southeastern France that is well-known for its picturesque villages, lavender fields, and Mediterranean climate.

About Provence

church in avignon

Located between the Rhone River and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence has a long history of human settlement dating back to the Paleolithic era, and today, the region is home to about four million people and has the city of Marseille as its capital.

Provence is also a really popular tourist destination, with visitors coming from all over the world to enjoy its stunning landscapes, unique culture, and, of course, visit some of the best cities in Southern France.

From the vibrant markets of Avignon to the stunning cliffs of the Calanques National Park, the rugged coastline of Marseille, and the majestic mountains of the Alps, Provence has everything you can wish for a perfect vacation- sunny weather, stunning scenery, and delicious food.

So is the French Riviera in Provence? Well. the answer is a little tricky, as Provence mostly corresponds with the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (that includes the French Riviera) but they are not the same.

Long story short, Provence and Côte d’Azur are part of the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Plan the perfect trip to Provence:

🏨 Find the perfect hotel on Booking.com

🎫 Get exploring: book tours and excursions with Get Your Guide and Viator

🎒 Pack smart by following my essential packing list


What is the weather like in Provence?

arene de nimes (1)

The climate in Provence is typically warm and sunny throughout much of the year, with hot summers and mild winters.

During the year, the average high temperature is around 65 degrees, and the annual low-temperature average is about 46 degrees, making it a great destination for any time of the year.

What is the meaning of “Provence”?

The term “Provence” is used to refer to both the region of Provence in France (formerly a province), as well as the culture and dialect associated with this area.

Meanwhile, the Provençal dialect is also spoken by many people in southern France, especially in the cities and towns of Provence.

This dialect has a distinct accent and vocabulary that sets it apart from other regional French dialects, making it an important part of the cultural identity of the people of Provence. Today, the preservation and promotion of this regional language is an important goal for many residents and organizations in the region.

Getting around Provence

If you’re planning a trip to Provence, there are many great options for getting around the region.

One popular option is renting a car, which allows you to explore the beautiful countryside at your own pace and get off the beaten path to visit some of the more charming villages that can be found throughout the region, like Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Roussillon, and Cassis.

Another great alternative is taking public transportation, such as buses or trains. This can be a good option if you are looking to save money on your trip or prefer not to drive yourself.

Finally, many tourists also opt to travel by bicycle, which is an excellent way to experience Provence in a slower – but still very scenic – way.


12 Things to do in Provence, France

There are many wonderful things to do in the region of Provance, commonly known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and unique local culture.

Here are some of my favorites:

1- See the Roman Theater of Orange

roman theater de orange

The Roman Theater of Orange is a must-see for any visitor to the region.

Built over two thousand years ago, it is one of the best-preserved Roman theaters in the world. The theater was used for various public performances, including plays, concerts, and dance spectacles.

2- Visit some of the famous lavender fields

From perfumes to soaps to natural remedies, lavender is a staple ingredient in traditional Provençal culture and one of the most iconic images associated with Provence is that of lavender fields stretching out as far as the eye can see.

The vibrant purple flowers and picturesque scenery attract tourists from all over the world and make for a really beautiful view.

Some of the best lavender fields to visit in Provence include Valensole Plateau, Luberon, and Pays de Sault.

3- See the Pope’s Palace in Avignon

popes palace avignon

If you are looking for a fascinating historical site to visit in Provence, then the Pope’s Palace in Avignon should be at the top of your list.

Built in the 14th century, this impressive palace served as the home and office of seven successive Popes before getting occupied by the Legates and Vice-Legates in the 15th century.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this impressive palace combines elements of Gothic architecture with classical Roman design, making it both an important historical relic as well as an aesthetically stunning building.

Today, visitors can explore all three levels of the palace and its many rooms and courtyards in cultural events, theme tours, exhibitions, and concerts throughout the year.

4- Visit the famous Senanque Abbey in Gordes

senanque abbey 2

Another must-see destination in Provence is the Senanque Abbey in Gordes.

This beautiful Cistercian abbey was founded in 1148 and has been occupied by monks ever since. The monastery complex is located among rolling hills, lavender fields, and cypress trees – a quintessential image of the Provençal landscape.

The unique Romanesque architectural style, peaceful atmosphere, and stunning natural surroundings have made this monastery one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.

Today, visitors can explore the grounds at their leisure or even take a guided tour to learn more about the history and significance of this famous landmark.

5- Go hiking in Parc National des Calanques

parc nationel des calanques

Another great way to experience the beauty and diversity of Provence is to go hiking in Parc National des Calanques.

Officially designated as a national park in 2013, this area encompasses over 15,000 acres of rugged coastal landscape just south of Marseille and makes for a fantastic hiking destination.

6- Take in the impressive sights of the Château des Baux de Provence

chateau des baux de provence

Located in the small town of Les Baux-de-Provence, the Château des Baux is one of the most iconic historical sites in all of Provence.

Dating back to the 11th century, this ancient castle was once home to a powerful and influential noble family, and it has since become famous for its impressive architecture and rich history.

Today, visitors interested in medieval history can explore all four floors of the castle and its grounds, including the famously well-preserved underground crypts.

7- Sip on ice cold Provencial wine

ice wine from provence

No visit to Provence is complete without sampling some of its world-famous wines. From crisp rosés and earthy Grenaches to full-bodied Cabernets and sweet dessert wines, there are many delicious varieties to choose from.

The best way to enjoy these delightful vintages is by sipping them on a terrace or restaurant patio while taking in the sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

8- Explore the village of Roussillon

roussillon (1)

Located in the heart of Provence, the picturesque village of Roussillon is known for its striking red ochre cliffs, which are visible from nearly every vantage point.

In addition to these geological wonders, Roussillon boasts many charming cafes, boutiques, and art galleries that reflect the town’s artistic heritage.

9- Shop for local products at Provence markets

french cheese in a market in provence

No trip to Provence is complete without experiencing its vibrant local markets. From fresh produce and artisanal cheeses to handcrafted soaps and locally-sourced wines, the markets of Provence are truly a shopper’s paradise.

Each town has its own unique market where you can experience all the best things about local life in Provence, but the most popular are the ones in Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, St-Rémy-de-Provence, and Arles.

10- Kayak through the magnificent Gorges du Verdon

gorges du verdon (2)

For a truly unique outdoor experience in Provence, nothing beats kayaking through Gorges du Verdon.

Located just outside of the small town of Carpentras, this stunning natural landscape is characterized by towering limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, and lush green vegetation.

Whether you choose to explore the gorge by yourself or book a guided tour with an experienced local guide, kayaking through this majestic landscape is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

11- Visit Marseille, the second biggest city in France

marseille

Located on the southern coast of France, Marseille is the second-largest city in the country and a popular destination for travelers from around the world.

This vibrant coastal city is known for its stunning beaches, charming Old Port area, and rich history as a major trading hub during the Middle Ages.

Whether you are looking to enjoy some time in the sun or explore all that this cultural melting pot has to offer, a visit to Marseille is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

12- Admire Arenes de Nimes, a roman amphitheater

statue in the arene de nimes

The Arènes de Nîmes is well worth a visit during your time in Provence. This ancient Roman amphitheater dates back to the 1st century AD and still boasts many of its original architectural details, from its stunning Corinthian arches to its intricate stone carvings.

In addition to exploring this fascinating historic site, visitors can also attend one of the many concerts or cultural events that are held here year-round.


Conclusion: Where and what is Provence?

lavander flowers

That’s a wrap! Now that you know exactly what and where is the region of Provence, you are ready to start reading further and planning your trip to his very special place. Happy travels!

About Me

Camila Neves

Nice to meet you! My name is Cami and I am a full-time traveler and foodie. I live in Nice in the South of France and this blog is where I share my impressions and travel secrets.

Camila Neves