Provence is one of the most romantic and beautiful regions of France. And as painted in the famous memoir, ‘A Year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle, the picture of Provence life is a charming 200-year-old farmhouse in a rural village surrounded by lavender. Reality is no different. With quaint little towns and their weekly markets, and lavender fields and vineyards stretching for miles and miles on end, this place is exactly as the book portrays. A fairytale destination for travelers who want to journey back in time and enjoy French tradition in all its glory.
From having some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Europe and being home to the most spectacular châteaux, to dishes like Ratatouille made in centuries-old traditional formats, history is the key to unlocking this region’s heart and soul. The glamorous coastline is also a draw to many of its visitors, with the dazzling, yacht-lined Côte d'Azur being the perfect place to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.
Then, of course, we need to talk about the wine. From refreshing Provence Rosé to quality Clairette de Die, there’s a drink for every night of the week – and plenty of choice for pairing with the region’s seafood. For gastronomy and luxury wine tasting experiences, there’s no better place than pretty Provence.
Of course, many holidaymakers come to Provence because of the French Riviera. The azure blue waters, stunning beaches and millionaire mansions set the scene for a high-end holiday. Glamorous Cannes and Monaco are both highly sought-after destinations, and combine beaches with exclusive wine bars and designer shopping. Further down the coast are some lesser-known coastal towns such as beautiful Bandol. For exquisite beaches that are off the beaten path, visit the Les Calanques as well as some of the beaches in Saint Tropez and the commune of Saint Jean Cap de Ferret.
This vast region is also home to spectacular cities. From the coastline there’s star-studded Nice, while Marseille and Avignon are excellent for sightseeing tours. Charming communes like Les Baux-de-Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence are perfect for escaping the crowds and avoiding mainstream restaurants. For art, we recommend Antibes or to discover the land of luxury perfumery, visit the town of Grasse. And finally, for the best white wine estates, head to Cassis.
Another favorite is Aix-en-Provence, the birthplace of post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. There’s a fantastic walking trail that links sites such as his childhood home, his former studio and parts of the surrounding countryside that served as an inspiration to much of his work. Beyond the history and art scene, the city is also a gateway to the wider Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC, which is the second-largest Provençal wine appellation with over 50 different communes across the west and northwest of the region.
If you’re looking for an island escape or a romantic excursion for just the two of you, let us whisk you off to Corsica on a private plane.
Most of Provence has a Mediterranean climate, and this is characterized by hot and dry summers with mild winters. Every season offers a unique advantage in this large region, and it’s also good to note that there are micro-climates and local variations. These range from the Alpine climate inland to the continental climate in the northern Vaucluse.
To see the quintessential lavender fields, arrive in the summer from late June to August. Sunflowers also bloom in July. If you want to avoid the busy tourist period, arrive during or just after the spring shoulder season.
September is also a good time to travel, with cooler temperatures that make it ideal for hiking, cycling and other outdoor pursuits. Fall is definitely this region’s best-kept tourism secret, with crowds disappearing and warming dishes such as Pistou soup replacing summer’s light salads. Vineyards are also at their most colorful and there’s a palpable buzz in the atmosphere as locals await the grape harvest.
This delicious wine-tasting destination has been producing wine for over 2,600 years. That makes Provence the oldest wine region in France, and one of the most prestigious. White grapes here include Rolle (Vermentino), Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano), Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. While red grapes are Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat. But the most popular wine in Provence is rosé, which accounts for over half the wine production here.
In the Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC, the second-largest Provençal wine appellation, red wine rules the roost. Nearly 60% of production is red, followed by 35% rosé and 5% white. Wine activities here are concentrated between the mountainous range running parallel to the coast, and its vineyards are never too far from the ocean. Its Grenache brings fatness and a fuller body to the wines, the Counoise varietals are delicate, fruity and supple, while the Mourvedre is robust and assertive.
To get a taste of the world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, plan a visit to Southern Rhone where some of the oldest and most confidential wineries can be found. Or tour the Bellet wine estates if you are staying nearby in Nice.
The region of Provence is a popular destination with wine enthusiasts, foodies and luxury seekers alike. Over the years, this chic yet glitzy destination has cultivated a world of high-end resorts and tourist services. Let us whisk you away to a 5 star golf and spa hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant between Provence and the French Riviera, a fairytale château complete with vineyards and wine tasting, or a magnificent French villa with pool just outside the city of Aix-en-Provence.
Whether you dream of charming country manors and private rentals surrounded by nature, or castle hotels that are out of this world, we can help you customize the perfect holiday.
Food in Provence is an unforgettable experience, with a great selection of red, white and rosé wines in most bars and restaurants. If you want a gastronomic experience to remember, there are plenty of Michelin-starred venues to choose from too.
Oustau de Baumaniere has two stars to its name and its wine cellar boasts over 60,000 bottles! For a modern take on Provençal cuisine, book your table at Le Champ Des Lunes at Le Domaine de Fontenille. If you enjoy the culinary poetry of regional cooking and organic ingredients, try Benvengudo Restaurant by Chef Thomas Voisin. Or eat the seasons with the freshest local ingredients at Restaurant de la Bastide de Marie, a venue that’s within reach from Avignon or Marseille.