This is why Provence is what you need!

Why do most people go on holiday? Some enjoy the adventure of seeing new places, but for most of us, it’s generally about getting away from it all. And there are few better places in the world to do that than Provence!

For peace and quiet, head to Provence

House in Provence, by Paul Cézanne

Although it may be a top tourist destination, there are plenty of peaceful corners in Provence where you can escape the tourist throngs. Generally-speaking, if you turn your back to the sea and head towards the mountains, you’ll have a better chance of finding the quiet you crave on your Provence tours. One of the most appealing such areas is the Luberon, a limestone massif north of Aix en Provence. There are no large towns anywhere in this region, much of which has protected status, being contained within a regional park. It’s also well-known for its biodiversity and is particularly rich in plant-life. The lovely village of Gordes is one of the largest settlements in the area and offers spectacular views from its hill-top location. Its castle is a popular tourist attraction and the impressive Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque is also well worth a visit. British visitors may also be interested in seeing Ménerbes, the real-life setting for the hugely popular novel ‘A year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle. Mayle no longer lives here, but the village is extremely picturesque and also boasts some interesting links with various personalities from the arts world. Pablo Picasso’s mistress Dora Maar lived here, as did painter Nicolas de Staël. 

Provence – the outdoors destination par excellence

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If, on the other hand, you want a more active holiday. Provence can cater to you too! Sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, it’s natural that there are opportunities aplenty for outdoor fun. There’s some excellent snorkelling and scuba diving on offer here, with the waters around the islands of Port Cros and Porquerolles being especially recommended. Deep-sea fishing, kayaking and yachting are all popular options as well. If you’d like to try another type of water-sport, then head north to the Gorges du Verdon. This is one of Europe’s most stunning river canyons, and an excellent location for white-water rafting and rock-climbing!

If you’re based in one of Provence’s larger towns, there’s still plenty of outdoor activities within easy reach. Day trips from Aix-en-Provence could take in options as diverse as horse-riding in the Camargue, hiking in the Alpilles regional nature park or mountain biking on Mont Ventoux!