The Essence of Provence is a beautiful aroma, a picturesque sight, a marvelous market. It is quiet and vibrant. It's the seaside fjords of Cassis and the Lubéron hillsides. It’s serene countryside and bustling cities. It is vivid landscape. Provence must be smelled and touched and felt to be known! It's a region of contrasts! It's a sensory experience which one discovers at every step, in every village, and all in the most luminous light! Allow at least five days. We'll work on your itinerary together!
A Paris Travel will help with all your trips arrangements for Provence. We have fully-escorted tours and also will work with you on a consulting basis to design your personalized itinerary! Click here to read about our Provence tours.
You can travel on the TGV/Bullet train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Aix-en-Provence or to Avignon in about four hours. Let us help you enjoy some relaxation in a pleasing itinerary customized for you.
Le Mont Ste. Victoire so intrigued Paul Cézanne that he repeatedly captured it with his brush! As a native of Aix-en-Provence, he appreciated the many angles of the mountain so much that he painted it more than sixty times. It dominates the area around Aix-en-Provence, since it seems to emerge out of the countryside.
Intriguing in the light so unique to Provence, it appears to change color. Up close, it’s powerfully beautiful with its limestone glistening in the sunshine and from a distance, it is rather like a staged backdrop for the Provençal countryside.
"I go to the country every day, the motifs are beautiful and so my day is spent more pleasantly here than anywhere else."
-Letter from Paul Cézanne to his son. Aix en Provence, 22 September 1906
Van Gogh discussed Provence's lighting when he wrote:
"Here, nature is most amazingly beautiful. Everything is spectacular, the dome of the sky is a remarkable blue, the rays of the sun are pale sulfur."
Provence is the sight of men playing Pétanque. (There’s no law against women playing it, but I challenge you to find any doing so!) This game, also called boules, is a relaxed game, a sort of spirited yet quiet activity and the accompanying friendly repartee seems to naturally suit the region. The sounds of the cigales/cicadas singing in the background seem to mimic the easy chatter among the players.
Wherever you travel in Provence, you'll want to return for more. Let us help you with your plans and then you'll know that you're maximizing your time and enjoyment. Whether you need a transfer, a private tour, or accommodations, À Paris Travel is ready to help!
Les villages perchés, the perched hilltop villages of the Lubéron are unique to the region. This limestone mountain range includes about fifty little communities. We offer private guides in Provence to show you the countryside! Once high fortresses with warring tribes and enemy feudal chieftains, the Provencal villages of the Luberon are today charming destinations with forever vistas, wonderful shops, and quiet escapes from the bustle of the big cities.
Perched above lavender fields, vineyards and olive groves, the villages exude a tranquility and majesty each one as unique as its history! Bonnieux, Gordes, Menerbes, Lacoste, Roussillon, Oppède-le-Vieux--none should be missed and yet each is different! Pristine, stunning, medieval, little pockets of charm! Truly the towns of the Lubéron are magic, so contact us and let us arrange an itinerary so that your travels to France include a visit to Provence!
Frederick Mistral, a native of Provence and a prolific poet wrote about his native homeland:
"Provence grants us a gleam of the Beautiful."
To experience a Provençal market, is to truly understand the region. The colors of the fabrics are feasts for the eyes while the robust aroma of the paella permeates the weekly market. The market in Aix-en-Provence is every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while Ile la Sorgue has a fantastic Sunday market. Each town has its own day for the markets and these are the most special party of the area! What a thrill! The sound of the cicadas is temporarily drowned out by the banter between the merchants and the customers.
"The air in Provence is impregnated with the aroma of garlic, which makes it very healthful to breathe."
From fresh herbes de Provence, to soaps from Marseilles, to locally made pottery to every cheese known to man (and then some!) to fresh produce (unparalleled in its flavor!) to flowers with seemingly magical petals of color, and to much much more to be discovered, one is overwhelmed by the experience and enthralled by the charm of the markets, so very wonderful in this country and so intricate to the life of each little French village!
The South of France is very accessible to Paris and can be combined easily! Our consultants can help you with your plans.
"Oh delightful fragrances! Oh light! Oh gentle nature's peace; what longings of paradise you place in my child's soul."
Provence is the countryside and it's also the seaside. Cassis is just one of the colorful villages along the Mediterranean Sea. Whether exploring the winding streets, venturing out in a boat into the Med to view the fjords (called Calanques) formed along the shore, immersing yourself in the history of the area, or simply sipping Pastis (the National drink of Provence...it is an anise seed flavored, alcoholic drink which is a classic apéritif) in a relaxing café, it's always impressive to experience the light which is so unique to Provence and it is very easy to understand why the artists were drawn to this area, attempting to capture its illusive beauty!
Travelers to Provence would like to do like Peter Mayle and have "A Year in Provence", but generally our busy lives preclude this option. However, À Paris Travel is ready to help you see as much as your time allows! Contact us to arrange your touring in Provence.